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Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir by…

Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir

by Nicole Georges

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This was originally posted at http://readaholiczone.blogspot.com/2015/08/calling-dr-laura.html

This being a non-fiction graphic novel about the author's life I found a lot in this read that I could relate to and I bet you can too. I think a large group of readers can identify with the dysfunctional family dynamics that Nicole has endured throughout her life. This is a remarkably written no-holds-barred look at the effects physically and mentally a self-centered parent can have directly to a person's childhood and also the long-term effects on their later life. Also therefore how it influences each individual in the family differently. The book is ideally put together going back and forth between Nicole's childhood to her as an adult showing how childhood experiences have tremendous consequences on her adult life and decisions. For example, seeing a loved one in a controlling relationship you then follow in the person's footsteps.

Now there are the graphics to discuss which are not the greatest that I have seen. Unless the person in the drawing had on glasses or blond hair, they all looked alike to me. Nonetheless, the drawings portrayed the story exceptionally along with the book's dialogue. Therefore, complimenting each other well. The author has a great sense of humor. So by telling her memoir in the manner of a graphic novel I think it made the story twice as funny due to the fact that you get not only a laugh out loud blurb but also a hilarious picture that goes along with it. Finally, I would like to mention that though this is technically in the LGBT genre since she is a lesbian this actually is a book for everyone. It is just a part of her coming of age story. There are no sexually suggestive pictures except for a kiss. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys graphic novels or who likes a good book.
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  THCForPain | May 27, 2016 |
I've been a fan of Georges for a couple of years now -- I discovered her Invincible Summer zine shortly after moving to Portland and devoured issue after issue -- so I was PSYCHED when I heard this book was coming out. Even so, I wasn't prepared for how engrossing the story is. I picked this up last night to read a dozen pages or so and wound up poring through the whole book in one epic sitting. The artwork is smart and endearing (the switch between childhood and adulthood is very cleverly handled); the portrayal of Portland culture is charming without resorting to cliché; the characters are nuanced and mostly well rounded. In some places, I wanted more information -- and more judgment -- about her parents and sisters and the complicated, often twisted family dynamic Georges grew up in, but I also appreciate the careful distance Georges keeps from those kinds of judgmental portrayals. I also wonder why the codas and the epilogue weren't more seamlessly worked into the narrative, but I certainly appreciate them for the closure they provide, and I like the direct address to the reader in the first coda. Overall, it's a stunning graphic memoir that takes my appreciation of Georges's work to a whole new level. ( )
  Snoek-Brown | Feb 7, 2016 |
I feel sad and kind of guilty that I didn't like this graphic memoir as much as I expected to. Sad because, well, duh – it's disappointing to be disappointed, and this sounded so promising. Guilty because Nicole Georges definitely had a story to tell, and I feel as if I caught maybe half of it.

Partly that's because of Georges' style. I read plenty of comics and graphic novels, and I've never found it difficult to tell who was talking. In this book, I often did.

Partly, though, I kept looking for an arc that just wasn't there. Georges keeps bringing up ideas and events that feel as if they're leading to some kind of payoff, and then it all fizzles out. Things happen almost at random, without much in the way of analysis. The story is vague and melancholy and the wrong kind of quiet.

True fact: Nicole Georges' response to stress is to doze off. That's exactly how this story felt to me – as if she weren't quite awake through the telling of it, but expected me to be.

I love graphic novels, but this one just didn't work for me. ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir by Nicole J. Georges is on the American Library Association's 2014 Rainbow list. It's a memoir told as a graphic novel of a Nicole George's childhood and early adulthood.

There are two competing threads to this book. The first is Georges's attempt to locate her father, whom she had been told had died before she was born but hadn't. The second is her coming to terms with her identity and her sexual orientation.

Unfortunately for me, I read this book as a library book and I tend to rush through them because of the ticking down of the due date. Calling Dr. Laura at least for me, wasn't a book that can be quickly read. Part of my problem was keeping characters separate in my head because of the switching between narrative threads and the very similar character design for a number of characters.

To be honest the part where she finally breaks down and calls into the Dr. Laura show didn't leave much of a impact one me. Again, that's mostly through the need to read the book quickly. If you do decide to read this book, take it slowly. ( )
  pussreboots | May 28, 2015 |
Nicole finds out from a psychic that the father she thought was dead is actually alive and her family has been lying to her all this time. It's a great premise that got me to buy this, but the actual story isn't that interesting. She jumps around from her troubled childhood with an abusive mom and stepfathers, her current unhappy relationship, and eventually the story of who her father really was and why it was a secret. The drawings are in the naive style that I like from Aileen Kominsky-Crumb but find annoying by anyone else, though she can really draw faces well. ( )
  piemouth | Jun 11, 2014 |
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An intriguing journey through fear and secrets to the heart of family, Georges’ story is a fascinating and fresh addition to a growing genre.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547615590, Paperback)

When Nicole Georges was two years old, her family told her that her father was dead. When she was twenty-three, a psychic told her he was alive. Her sister, saddled with guilt, admits that the psychic is right and that the whole family has conspired to keep him a secret. Sent into a tailspin about her identity, Nicole turns to radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger for advice.

Packed cover-to-cover with heartfelt and disarming black-and-white illustrations, Calling Dr. Laura tells the story of what happens to you when you are raised in a family of secrets, and what happens to your brain (and heart) when you learn the truth from an unlikely source. Part coming-of-age and part coming-out story, Calling Dr. Laura marks the arrival of an exciting and winning new voice in graphic literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:23 -0400)

"When Nicole Georges was two years old, her family told her that her father was dead. When she was twenty-three, a psychic told her he was alive. Her sister, saddled with guilt, admits that the psychic is right and that the whole family has conspired to keep him a secret. Sent into a tailspin about her identity, Nicole turns to radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger for advice-- Calling Dr. Laura tells the story of what happens to you when you are raised in a family of secrets, and what happens to your brain (and heart) when you learn the truth from an unlikely source" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

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