August 5, 2006
I read this before bed, a few chapters a night, over the course of a week. The chapters are usually only a few pages long. The book has one of the best presentations in my collection, it’s a cloth-bound hardcover. Very nice.
The stories here read a lot like “A Contract With God” by Will Eisner. They’re brief vignettes from various blue-collar people. I often didn’t quite grasp what was going on, but I really liked the style. The stories each focused on one main character who was generally mute, and you learned their positions by the way the other characters interacted with them. There was a strange focus on abortion in many of the chapters. Topics ranged from a guy who donated sperm and wound up raping the woman who accepted it in the clinic to a guy who ran away from a wife who provided everything to him but freedom. There’s a transvestite, a man with a sex slave, a guy who cleans out the sewer, and a guy who pushes people into the train.
It’s varied, subtle, and quite… different. It shows its age a bit (apparently the stories ran in 1969), but I kind of like that too. Definitely good for people with huge collections who are looking for something different.