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ASTERIOS POLYP By: David Mazzucchelli July 28, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.
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     If you know anyone, as the Lycan Librarian does, who lump all graphic novels into the “mindless’ category, have them read ASTERIOS POLYP. It is about an architect who thinks on a very different plane from most others. Asterios lives with issues about his pomposity and his identical twin who died at birth but still shadows him, and he is demeaning to his brilliantly artistic wife, but the reader can forgive him due his genius. There is much more to this work than what I have described, but it is a book for each reader to reach into and extract their own  jewels as they find them, so will not impose mine on you. I will merely try to inspire you to read it.
     The story is fun, but the creative Mazzuccheli also plumps the plot with wit. He creates new words in spots, such as combining near and far-sighted into fearsighted, braiding bohemian and bourgeois into bohegeois and describing one character who spends his days wading through the sheet music collection in his apartment as clutter-blind.
       The illustrations are well done and one is rapt, turning pages and not stopping at the start of the new chapter as planned. The Lycan Librarian read it in one day and put aside a few chores to do so.
     To demonstrate the beauty of the prose, I have included the following quote: “To live (as I understand it) is to exist within a conception of time. But to remember is to vacate the very notion of time. Every memory, no matter how remote its subject, takes place “now,” at the moment it’s called up in the mind. The more something is recalled, the more the brain has a chance to refine the original experience, because every memory is a re-creation, not a playback.” I found the entire novel to be this thought-provoking. 

     Lucky you! In lieu of presenting you with a picture of the rather stark book cover, I thought I would give you the opportunity to meet Asterios and his flamboyant and earthy landlady, Ursula Major. Enjoy!

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