I Never Liked You

I Never Liked You

A Comic-strip Narrative

Graphic Novel - 2002
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A graphic novel about teenagers and their agony.
"A harrowing memoir of loss and the struggle to connect, Brown's story is told with a spare poetic elegance. A self-absorbed teenager, Chester Brown strays into the difficult territory of friendship and early love while at home there is a slowly building crisis over his mother's mental health. Emotionally intense, the story veers unsteadily between the extremes of eerie detachment and sudden desperate outbursts of need. A complex and disturbing true story told with a nuanced, queasy visual style that lingers in the mind long after the book has been put away." -- Publisher's description.
Publisher: Montreal : Drawn & Quarterly Publications, 2002.
Edition: 2nd ed..
ISBN: 9781896597140
1896597149
Characteristics: 185 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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m
microserfs
Jan 05, 2017

I was not a big fan of this. I am a little surprised that the synopsis says this is considered "one of the best graphic novels published in recent years."

After reading this, especially the written portion at the end, all I can surmise is that the author must think very highly of himself. Small moments from his childhood are supposed to be so profound. I'll excuse his relationship with his mother because that was quite interesting and complex, but the majority of the dialogue was so contrived. And the artist came off as so rude to everyone around him. I am, and was as a kid, extremely introverted but I still treat others kindly. It went beyond just not being able to interact with others; he was cold and rude to others.

Also it was a bit ridiculous how every single girl in the novel had a crush on the author. Even his own mother commented on his looks and I was beginning to wonder if this was how he remember his childhood or if it was more wishful thinking on his part? I mean, every single girl had a crush on him. It was a bit ridiculous.

I did enjoy the drawing style though. It had a 70’s dream-like quality to it that I think fit very well with the story. This is why the book was given 2 stars instead of 1, as the style is just as important as the plot in a graphic novel for me. Beyond that though the entire thing was quite dull.

k
kalio
Nov 13, 2009

In a Canadian suburb in the 1970s, Chester Brown is a typical teenager. ?Typical? means that he?s involved in a series of detached, passive-aggressive relationships with his unraveling mother, his schoolmates (some who bully and some who flirt), and the girls next door. Chester is a skinny, artistic kid who, despite his too-cool front, is absolutely clueless. The kids in young Chester?s world try desperately to maneuver the confusing rituals of love and like. They?re awkward, wistful, manipulative, and mean-spirited. The things they do are at odds with the things they say; they want to be mature, savvy adults when they?re still petulant little kids at heart. The adult author Chester Brown depicts the moments of unease that epitomize teenhood with elegant little black-and-white line drawings, often a single panel on an otherwise blank page to really drive the home the emptiness and loneliness that is adolescence. The storyline is carefully paced; every incident is intense and focused and driving toward a strange, stirring conclusion. Chester Brown?s dysfunctional childhood is not one you?ll soon forget.

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