Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Cruddy (by Lynda Barry)

Leant to me by my friend Annie, who knew I was familiar with Barry's Marlys comics. (I remembered reading them in L.A. Weekly.) I gather that Cruddy got a lot of attention when it first came out a number of years back; according to the cover, it made Entertainment Weekly's best books of the year list, whenever that was. (Notice I am too lazy to just Google it, already.)

Since it's labeled as "an illustrated novel" I expected more illustrations; there really aren't a ton, and I think there are more in Alexie's Teenage Indian book. What there are did add some zest to the text, but the prose really stands on its own. It's a fantastic book--dark, gruesome, gripping, and blackly comic. I guess it's a "YA" in that the protagonist is a young adult, but it deals with some heavy themes in a sophisticated way.

From the first paragraph, the narrator's voice sucks you in, and doesn't let go until the end. I read this on a plane, and I was happy when the plane ride lasted long enough to let me finish it. A fantastic read.


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