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Pachyderme [Hardcover]

Frederik Peeters
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

8 Oct 2012
A sci-fi tale which has all the echoes of a David Lynch film. Almost cinematic in style, in the breathless opening to this graphic novel we get a traffic jam due to a wounded elephant; a blind pigkeeper; an alien-looking grey baby; a cavalier and alcoholic skirt-chasing surgeon; and a beanpole of a Swiss secret policeman. Our heroine, Carice, walks from her car through the woods, as if in a trance, to a hospital to visit her diplomat husband, indisposed from a car accident. Her goodbye note, which she intends to deliver in person, is in her purse. The hospital is vast, remote, and foreboding, filled with suitable loonies. The book's first third ends with Carice waking an apparently dead body in the morgue with her whistling. Chopin? the body asks. Carice nods. We learn of her too-early marriage, her dashed dreams as a concert pianist, and in the course of conversation realize that the aged cadaver she's talking to is her future self.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: SelfMadeHero (8 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906838607
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906838607
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 17.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 558,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

That s Peeters masterful control of timing and pace at work, to make Pachyderme so incredibly rich and involved, so breathless and out of control, yet everything, including the reader s experience of his work, is planned out, meticulously, perfectly, beautifully, to create something disturbing and marvellous. --Richard Bruton, Forbidden Planet

About the Author

Frederik Peeters has been nominated at Angouleme in the best book category five times. The publication and success of Blue Pills firmly put him on the map as one of the most important graphic novel authors tackling difficult topics with sensitivity. He is constantly looking to challenge himself with projects that are both important and hugely imaginative from Blue Pills, Lupus, RG and Koma, Sandcastle and Pachyderme. He lives with his wife and daughter (whom Blue Pills was based on) in Geneva.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful delirium 10 Aug 2014
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Here’s the thing about Pachyderme: it’s a really good comic but it’s also weird and abstract and right there and then there are people reading those two words and immediately switching off after deciding this book isn’t for them - and I don’t want to turn people away from this kind of comic just because it’s a little different. It’s totally accessible, it’s definitely engrossing, and it’s a real page-turner. So long as you’re ok not knowing exactly what’s happening at all times and can go with the flow, you’ll get a lot out of this small book.

A woman leaves her car in a traffic jam in the country after discovering a dead elephant is blocking the road. She has to get to the nearby hospital because her husband has been in a terrible car accident. She traverses the forest to reach the hospital and discovers that she can’t find her husband. As she makes her way through this increasingly Kafka-esque place, she’ll meet an alcoholic surgeon who may or may not hold the key to World War 3 if the phallic-nosed ghost detective is right. Why do the walls have nipples, why is the forest full of babies, and how are the dead coming back to life? Maybe this is a dream. Or a fantasy. Or maybe she was in a terrible car accident and not her husband. Or does she have a husband? When did this happen and how did she get here?

In his illuminating introduction to the book, Moebius (aka Jean Giraud, RIP) mentions David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive as a comparison to Frederick Peeters’ trippy tale which is totally accurate, not least for Peeters’ cinematic art treatment of the story. There are parts of the book which you can follow and you think you know what’s happening and then suddenly Peeters will take a left turn and you’ll be somewhere else.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars too short 17 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
predictable "twist" ending, pretentious wanna be weird, but most of all very short. it is only a little short story and at this price it is hard to recommend.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing waltz through the unconscious (or something like that) 9 Jan 2014
By J. Hundley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Part cold-war spy drama, part surrealist painting, part stream-of-unconscious, Pachyderme is as intriguing as it is hard to really describe. Ostensibly the story of a woman trying to visit her husband in the hospital after an accident, it isn't really about that at all. It is, though, a fascinating trip through the looking glass into the world / mind / psyche of a woman at a crossroads in her life trying to make sense of her competing desires and the intrusion of the life / world she finds herself having drifted into. Or something like that.
The art here is by turns somber / cheeky / moody / expansive. The color palate is mostly subdued, with punctuations of boldness that enhance and throw the other pages into relief. As should be assumed, there is a lot going on here. There is a constant current of unease, but never creepy or depressing. I will certainly be dipping back in again.

I once read a humorously obtuse review of a novel which concluded: "This is the sort of thing you will like, if you like this sort of thing." I am finding myself wanting to reprise it, half seriously, now. For those who insist on a linear narrative, obviously, this is not your ball of tea. For those with a desire to have a graphic novel stretch you out a little and make / let you draw your own insights, this may well be a treat for your tastes. Forgive the high ratio of "/" to words here, but there is a lot of /ing going on in this beguiling little novel.
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful delirium 10 Aug 2014
By Sam Quixote - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Here’s the thing about Pachyderme: it’s a really good comic but it’s also weird and abstract and right there and then there are people reading those two words and immediately switching off after deciding this book isn’t for them - and I don’t want to turn people away from this kind of comic just because it’s a little different. It’s totally accessible, it’s definitely engrossing, and it’s a real page-turner. So long as you’re ok not knowing exactly what’s happening at all times and can go with the flow, you’ll get a lot out of this small book.

A woman leaves her car in a traffic jam in the country after discovering a dead elephant is blocking the road. She has to get to the nearby hospital because her husband has been in a terrible car accident. She traverses the forest to reach the hospital and discovers that she can’t find her husband. As she makes her way through this increasingly Kafka-esque place, she’ll meet an alcoholic surgeon who may or may not hold the key to World War 3 if the phallic-nosed ghost detective is right. Why do the walls have nipples, why is the forest full of babies, and how are the dead coming back to life? Maybe this is a dream. Or a fantasy. Or maybe she was in a terrible car accident and not her husband. Or does she have a husband? When did this happen and how did she get here?

In his illuminating introduction to the book, Moebius (aka Jean Giraud, RIP) mentions David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive as a comparison to Frederick Peeters’ trippy tale which is totally accurate, not least for Peeters’ cinematic art treatment of the story. There are parts of the book which you can follow and you think you know what’s happening and then suddenly Peeters will take a left turn and you’ll be somewhere else. And then another left turn, then another, and you don’t know what to think.

This might seem like an irritating form of storytelling - and it probably will be to some readers - but Pachyderme is the kind of well-crafted story which offers the audience multiple interpretations, all of which are valid. And it does so in a way that’s always keeping you engaged so that you’re not totally off balance but not fully in control either - and, it seems, neither is the author.

Again, it’s the kind of book where describing it makes it seem overintellectual, ungraspable and pretentiously arty that will completely isolate practically everyone - but it’s not. Pachyderme won’t be for everyone - what is? - but it’s the kind of mesmerising story that anybody looking for an original and fascinating comic will get something out of.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful artwork and a surreal story 8 Feb 2014
By rhonig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Pachyderme is such a surreal experience. Peeters beautiful artwork leads the reader in and out of a fever dream, constantly moving between the grotesquely fantastic, and the equally terrible reality. This is simply a must read graphic novel.
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