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Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli

Asterios Polyp (2009)

by David Mazzucchelli

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
974528,846 (4.19)96
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    kinsey_m: Both graphic novels have very well-rounded characters and are simultaneously devastating and uplifting.
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    ACGalaga: Although not written by Mazzucchelli, his artwork alone is always pleasing to look at. It's also one of the 2 must read Batman titles.
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» See also 96 mentions

English (49)  Danish (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
Really excellent, with beautiful art. It would have had five stars if it wasn't another White-Guy-Fuck-Up story, but at least it took that and did it real well. ( )
  lunaluxor | Oct 29, 2015 |

( )
  Ritinha_ | Aug 26, 2015 |
This is the first graphic novel that I've read in quite a while. The artwork is what impressed me most in this book. The story is good as told through the words of the characters, but there are so many subtleties portrayed through the artwork. It is the story of Asterios Polyp, a middle aged man in crisis. The story flashes back to his earlier life, giving an in picture of how Asterios has gotten to his current place in life. The story is interspersed with philosophical musings and reflections on the meaning of human experience.

I couldn't decide between four stars and five, but it is definitely worth a read. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Interesting. Lovely artwork - each character is represented in a different style, colour pallet and with their own speech bubble style and font - representing their different ways of perceiving the world and themselves - yet the whole thing still feels very smooth and cohesive.

The title character is a fifty year old architect who has won awards and recognition, but who’s designs have never been built. While teaching at a university he meets his wife, Hana, a sculptor. We see their love and their marriage, and finally the dissolution of their marriage.

Asterios goes from being a renowned architect to a small town mechanic, living with his boss’s family, the wife a new age mystic type - though able to hold her own in conversation with Asterios - and their son and his imaginary friend.

The book is largely a comparison of opposites - duality - this theme keeps coming up again and again. And conflicting personalities. And people trying desperately to connect with each other, despite us all perceiving the world so differently.

The ending . . . .? I mean seriously - wha? why? ( )
  catfantastic | Aug 3, 2015 |
Asterios is an architect who escapes from his life one day when his apartment burns down. We watch his life fall apart in flashbacks. He falls in love and then slowly alienates his wife Hana. We watch him become an auto mechanic and learn about his stillborn twin brother.

This graphic novel didn’t have the same emotional depth as others I’ve read, but it’s one of the most cerebral GNs I’ve found. It discusses the duplicity of a person’s character and highlights the ways we can see the people we love every day and yet not really see them. It’s beautifully told with unique fonts for each characters’ voice.

BOTTOM LINE: Wonderfully drawn and intellectually stimulating. ( )
1 vote bookworm12 | May 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
LJ Best Graphic Novels 2009: In a masterfully visual relationship drama, Mazzucchelli uses colors, shapes, motifs, graphic techniques, and art styles in inventive ways to drive home the story of an award-winning but name-only architect who painfully rebuilds his own life after he loses home and marriage.
It’s a shame that such an artistically accomplished work doesn’t have a story of the same high quality.
If Mazzucchelli wasn't already considered one of the greatest living cartoonists, he probably should be now. This is a work that demands to be read, re-read, analyzed, and discussed. It's a great example of something that could only be done in comics. The medium is certainly richer for its existence.
This is a book that stands with works by Updike, Roth, and other giants of American literature. It is undoubtedly one of the best novels of the year.
added by stephmo | editThe Stranger, Paul Constant (Aug 25, 2009)
“Asterios Polyp,” which took a decade for Mr. Mazzucchelli to complete, has been well worth the wait. Its ambition jump-starts the future of the graphic novel.

References to this work on external resources.

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Book description
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307377326, Hardcover)

The triumphant return of one of comics’ greatest talents, with an engrossing story of one man’s search for love, meaning, sanity, and perfect architectural proportions. An epic story long awaited, and well worth the wait.

Meet Asterios Polyp: middle-aged, meagerly successful architect and teacher, aesthete and womanizer, whose life is wholly upended when his New York City apartment goes up in flames. In a tenacious daze, he leaves the city and relocates to a small town in the American heartland. But what is this “escape” really about?

As the story unfolds, moving between the present and the past, we begin to understand this confounding yet fascinating character, and how he’s gotten to where he is. And isn’t. And we meet Hana: a sweet, smart, first-generation Japanese American artist with whom he had made a blissful life. But now she’s gone. Did Asterios do something to drive her away? What has happened to her? Is she even alive? All the questions will be answered, eventually.

In the meantime, we are enthralled by Mazzucchelli’s extraordinarily imagined world of brilliantly conceived eccentrics, sharply observed social mores, and deftly depicted asides on everything from design theory to the nature of human perception.

Asterios Polyp
is David Mazzucchelli’s masterpiece: a great American graphic novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:03 -0400)

Asterios Polyp, its arrogant, prickly protagonist, is an award-winning architect who's never built an actual building, and a pedant in the midst of a spiritual crisis. After the structure of his own life falls apart, he runs away to try to rebuild it into something new.… (more)

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