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Building Stories [Hardcover]

Chris Ware
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
RRP: £30.00
Price: £19.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Oct 2012

In Chris Ware's own words, 'Building Stories follows the inhabitants of a three-flat Chicago apartment house: a thirty-year-old woman who has yet to find someone with whom to spend the rest of her life; a couple who wonder if they can bear each other's company for another minute; and finally an elderly woman who never married and is the building's landlady...'

The scope, the ambition, the artistry and emotional heft of this project are beyond anything even Chris Ware has achieved before.

Frequently Bought Together

Building Stories + Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth + New York Drawings
Price For All Three: £45.69

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224078127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224078122
  • Product Dimensions: 29.7 x 6.5 x 42.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Building Stories was one of the most incredible experiences I had all year... This comics collections is really something special." (Steve Gaynor Games Radar)

"Multilayered and graphically stunning... Exciting just to open!" (Marcus and Julian Sedgwick Guardian)

"I've read little to top Chris Ware's amazing Building Stories." (Valerie O'Riordan Bookmunch)

"Superb... A beautifully illustrated story." (Digital Arts)

"There's nobody else doing anything in this medium that remotely approaches Ware for originality, plangency, complexity and exactitude. Astonishment is an entirely appropriate response." (Sam Leith Guardian)

Book Description

Twelve years after he changed the history of comics with Jimmy Corrigan, a new graphic novel masterpiece by Chris Ware.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but . . . . 14 Oct 2012
By monica
For me, it's actually 3 1/2 stars, but that might be simply because I was expecting the outstanding. Chris Ware is I think my favourite American comics writer and I heartily recommend this book, but I don't think it's Ware at his very best.

If you've read (the exceedingly good) Acme Novelty Libary no. 18, Building Stories will ring a bell: Except for tales of a temporary resident the story is of the tenants of an apartment building, focussing upon the main character of the previous book. (If you own ANL no. 18 be prepared to own another copy of it--rather disappointingly it's one of the books enclosed and though it's slightly larger than the original I noticed no other changes.) Ware dips in and out of the lives of an old woman, a couple with a strained relationship, and, most of all, a lonely young woman. There's little drama in those lives and most of what we learn of these people we learn from their thoughts, but the book is credible and most of it is thoroughly absorbing, The art is of course terrific.

But a couple of the booklets barely held my interest. While the 'The Daily Bee', a mock newspaper, was very nice a booklet about the bee character, which actually has the most attractive artwork in the book, grows almost tedious. Another over-long booklet seems to have no point other than to show us that a mother loves her child. Indeed, I wondered whether Ware had written some of Building Stories shortly after becoming a parent; although he never quite slides into sentimentality he comes close to it. (The child's words and actions do seem true to life, though.)

And the lonely woman, the child's mother, sometimes verges on being a rather annoying bore.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. 12 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Underpriced for its quality. It's absolutely beautifully done, both the finishing touches and the stories.
Unpacking it felt like Christmas!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read on...... 18 Oct 2012
By 12345!
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So Its been 2 years since the Acme novelty library 20 (Lint) and 4 years since Acme novelty 19, so it would be no surprise that a release from Chris Ware was pending.

This review mentions no part of the actual storyline and is therefore not going to spoil details of content to the reader of the review.

It should be noted that a small part from acme novelty 16 is reproduced in bigger scale within this set along with a bigger format hardback edition of acme novelty 18. Reprinting them bigger has done no harm and has allowed readers of Ware to access older material & avoid silly prices for older bindings. So in summary 2 enlarged editions of previously book published material and 12 new items. I also believe some of the contents of the 12 new items have been published in dribs and drabs over a the last decade in the American press and other places. However, never before has all this work been bought together.

Unlike the more recent and previous small hard back book format, we have been presented here with a huge box containing a pile of painstakingly detailed material. Each item within presents a fragment of a fuller body of work. Each fragment is presented in its own right in the form of anything from a simple small double sided paper strip, to a huge broadsheet style newspaper. One standout item for me is the hard book with gold spine & cardboard outer pages (bindings reminiscent of build to last robust kids books).

The outer box has a presence of beauty and attention to detail, when held upright the front cover is a feast for the eyes, a flow of ideas fold themselves around the lettering, the bottom of the box has foundation bricks lined up to support the 'structure' that you are holding and the top panel shows clouds 'above' the box.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Building stories 6 Aug 2013
Chris Ware is an undoubted genius and Building Stories is his greatest artistic creation yet.
It is a wonderful , multilayered series of stories. Every lover of graphic art and story telling should own and cherish this masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding 23 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Complex formats, absolute realism, intervened stories and a tone of reading for a low price. It is beyond my expectations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable book with non-linear narrative 8 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Chris Ware has always created remarkable stories that move, inspire, and depress, and I have watched (and collected) the majority of his work over the last twelve years. He has produced pamphlets, broadsheets, hardback books, paperbacks, journals, and work that is so tiny that you need a magnifying glass to see it (see the cover of the Acme Novelty Library http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0224077023/ref=asc_df_022407702313149772?smid=A3NAO0K0FOUXHJ&tag=hydra0b-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=0224077023&hvpos=1o2&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=148832994320404488&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=)
It makes sense that this artist who has worked from the micro to the macro in terms of publishing, has brought all these forms together in huge package. It is a remarkable achievement.

Also - I'm in it. Which is nice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 12 Feb 2013
As a big fan of graphic novels - particularly the growing autobiographical genre, I loved this "book". I know it isn't autobiographical (or is it!?) but it rang out as authentic storytelling. Yes, she's irritating, mundane, self absorbed and neurotic but she's all the more interesting for it. It reminded me in feel to some of Harvey Pekar's work but without the supposed nobility of the blue collar struggle.
I was moved by the story a great deal and despite the fact the protoganist is a woman, I saw so many aspects to my own life, as I'm sure is Ware's intention. Perhaps, as a male, I am not equipped to say this but I was in awe of his ability to capture a woman's life.

The art work is beautiful - stark, clean - almost like Hopper at some points. Many of his frames are high shots, emphasising the isolation and frustration and they have a cinematic quality to them.

The box with all its bits and pieces is wonderful. I felt like a child at Christmas taking out all the sections. I liked the random nature you can approach the story too...

This is one of the best pieces of story telling I've read in a while!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Awesome
I saw this box for sale at a local Sci-Fi book store. It was so much cheaper here. We even framed one of the comics that comes with this. It's great stuff, really! Read more
Published 22 days ago by MG
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant classic
Astonishing edition! Colourful, playful, inventive, defying. Each of the different beautiful parts and bits is a new adventure. A must have. An instant classic!
Published 2 months ago by ZLT
5.0 out of 5 stars Value fror money
Bought for my husband who was delighted with with it. I could see that there's loads in the box there as thought it was great value for money Like intriguing
Published 2 months ago by Lorraine
5.0 out of 5 stars A monumental piece
Was always a fan of Wares work and this does not disappoint, we get all the usual goodies of excellent craftsmanship and insane attention to detail in an interesting and innovative... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andreas Tsialis
2.0 out of 5 stars typeface too small
I found this book an interesting concept since the parts can be read in any order and there is no real narrative but unfortunately the type face is very small and it is difficult... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sandra Marie Kelly
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful drawings
I love Chris Ware's work and I like this but I bought it as a present for someone else, so cant comment on the whole package
Published 4 months ago by F C GREY
5.0 out of 5 stars Chris Ware can do no wrong
Achingly beautiful in Chris Ware's usual touching style. His immaculate line work and flowing prose catch those tiny moments in life that hold hidden depths.
Published 6 months ago by Mr. S. A. Priest
4.0 out of 5 stars Present for my Bro
I got this as a present for my brother and he really likes it (results), but I was surprised at how big and heavy this was when it arrived (I was expecting the book to be a bit... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Specs
5.0 out of 5 stars A box of aesthetic treasures
An excellent absorbing box of stories...the presentation in the box with a host of different formats makes the whole thing feel like a box of treasures.
Published 10 months ago by Kenny L
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Does this include the story from Acme Vol. 18? 2 19 Oct 2012
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