Building Stories

Chris Ware

With the increasing electronic incorporeality of existence, sometimes it’s reassuring—perhaps even necessary—to have something to hold on to. Thus within this colorful keepsake box the purchaser will find a fully-apportioned variety of reading material ready to address virtually any imaginable artistic or poetic taste, from the corrosive sarcasm of youth to the sickening earnestness of maturity—while discovering a protagonist wondering if she’ll ever move from the rented close quarters of lonely young adulthood to the mortgaged expanse of love and marriage. Whether you’re feeling alone by yourself or alone with someone else, this book is sure to sympathize with the crushing sense of life wasted, opportunities missed and creative dreams dashed which afflict the middle- and upper-class literary public (and which can return to them in somewhat damaged form during REM sleep).

status checked out
genre Literature and Fiction » Oversized Comics
publisher Pantheon
publish date October 2, 2012
popularity checked out 2 time(s)


  • By Future Man -

    Perhaps the finest craftsmanship yet applied to the graphic novel form. Chris Ware’s second graphic novel is stunning! Not a book, but actually 14 distinct books housed in a boardgame-like box, each with their own personality and sensibility. Ranging from giant boards inscribed with non-linear symbolic narratives to densely literary hardcover volumes and wordless flipbooks, there is a vast array of storytelling available here.
    Without a necessarily ascribed reading order, we’re left to wander through the lives of the inhabitants of one old apartment building in whatever way we choose and explore the gritty details long since abandoned in corners of the box.
    Each little (or in some cases, quite substantial) book leaves much to be said for itself and the construction and design of the whole package often plays into the reading of the story itself. Very worthy of careful examination. A whole class could easily be built around the study of literary form shown here.
    Read it, let’s talk!

  • By Kryss Adams -

    This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve happened upon and I love the format and aesthetic of it; there are 14 individual little booklets, each in a different style. As for the story itself, not a whole lot happens. The apathy, anxiety, and powerlessness of the narrator makes it uncomfortably sad, and I read it as a critique of American life and the desire to avoid discomfort. In a way, I think it’s a call to action — don’t be like the protagonist! Go out and make something of yrself!

    Read this book, but pace yrself or you’ll feel devastatingly sad for a few days!

Leave a Reply