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The Nobody by Jeff Lemire
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The Nobody (edition 2009)

by Jeff Lemire, H. G. Wells

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1128107,804 (3.5)21
Member:fyrefly98
Title:The Nobody
Authors:Jeff Lemire
Other authors:H. G. Wells
Info:New York : Vertigo/DC Comics, c2009.
Collections:Your library, Books I have read, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:1-b, 2-not owned, 3-read, 4-library, fiction, graphic novel, small towns, murder, invisibility, read 2012, R-2012-12, science fiction

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The Nobody by Jeff Lemire

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Summary: The Nobody is a take on H. G. Wells's The Invisible Man, in which a stranger covered in bandages arrives in a small town. He takes up residence in the tiny motel, and keeps to himself. Most of the townspeople distrust him, but a teenaged girl soon befriends him. But when the secrets of his past start to be revealed, both the stranger and the girl find themselves in a perilous and untenable situation.

Review: I haven't read The Invisible Man, so I can't comment on how well Lemire reworked it, but I thought this was an interesting story. I like how it worked on multiple levels: it had a good story to tell, with intrigue and action, and it also had some deeper things to say about trust and identity and running from your past and being a stranger... but at the same time, it didn't beat you over the head with those deeper meanings, and worked just fine on the more superficial level.

I'm somewhat torn as to how I feel about Lemire's artwork. Taken in isolation, it's not my favorite style. It's greyscale, with a lot of sketchy pencil lines and smudges. It doesn't look unfinished, exactly, but whatever the antonym of "polished" is, this is that. But at the same time, the style perfectly suits and even adds to the stories he's telling. They grey, sketchy lines of the art feel like the grey, worn-down buildings of a dying Nova Scotian fishing town, and the grey, worn-down people that live there. He also makes some really interesting choices regarding the composition and paneling of his story that add some spark to the work as a whole. 4 stars out of 5.

Recommendation: I think this book would be of interest to someone interested in modern author-illustrated graphic novels. The Nobody skews slightly more towards science fiction, but it's more of the "odd happenings in small towns" variety, and so should appeal to readers outside of the genre as well. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Jan 27, 2013 |
An odd tale about a scientist who following an accident in the lab becomes invisible, wraps himself in bandages and moves to a small town where he hopes to be left alone to find a cure for his invisibility. He isn't left alone. Stuff happens! ( )
  clstaff | Apr 11, 2012 |
Lemire renders a haunting adaptation of H.G. Well's Invisible Man in beautiful panels of black, white and ice blue. ( )
  kivarson | Jan 24, 2012 |
In "The Nobody," Lemire tells a version of the Invisible Man story. It's the H. G. Well classic reimagined as Rural Noir, filtered through the bleak but vibrant blue and white chromatic scheme making the setting for the story feel haunted right from the start. The characters from the Wells story appear here under similar names -- we have a Kemp, a Griffen (spelled "Griffin" in the original), a Marvel, but their roles are more mysterious. Lemire doesn't simply recast the story in a modern day setting. He reconfigures it, injecting it with a different kind of psychological mystery, and offers no easy answers in the end. Everything resolves by the final pages, but its meaning - and the motives of some the characters - remain slightly elusive. ( )
  stretch | Jul 2, 2011 |
This is really a retelling of The Invisible Man in a small-town setting. Lemire knows his small communities where everyone knows everyone else's business. When a man covered in gauze suddenly appears in a little town, there's lots of talk. A sixteen-year-old girl tries to befriend him, but never really learns his secrets. I'm most fascinated by Lemire's use of atmosphere (in this book, a single butterfly fluttering through panels; in his prior Essex County trilogy, it was crows flying through the air). He manages to say a lot with simple -- almost stark -- scenes. ( )
1 vote legallypuzzled | Oct 11, 2010 |
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Dedicated to Gus

Love, Dad
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I was sixteen years old in 1994 ... the year that John Griffen walked into Large Mouth.
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The Nobody takes H.G. Wells's timeless character of "The Invisible Man" and brings him into a modern small town, using him as a cipher to explore themes of identity, fear and paranoia, and how they can turn a small community in on itself and destroy even the most pure of friendships.… (more)

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