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THE NAO OF BROWN Hardcover – 17 Sep 2012

25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 206 pages
  • Publisher: SelfMadeHero; 1st edition (17 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906838429
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906838423
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 2.5 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"...mental illness is the engine of Glyn Dillon s lushly rendered, passionately digressive graphic novel THE NAO OF BROWN --The New York Times

Covering more than 200 pages, The Nao of Brown is an impressive piece- the result of three years of hard work. --Amanda L. Andrei, Asian Fortune News

We were won over by Dillon s exquisite pen and water colour drawings and highly original narrative, which encompasses both romance, psychological intrigue, quiet observation of human tics and epic sci-fi fantasy. --Esquire

About the Author

Glyn Dillon's comics illustrations have appeared in several works from Vertigo, including The Sandman. He has also worked as an artist, animator and designer in television. He lives in London, England.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dicky Graham on 17 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You can always tell when you’ve really enjoyed a graphic novel when you begin to read and continue without pause – until the end of the story when you look up and feel the need to gaze out a window. That is exactly what happens with Glyn Dillon’s Nao of Brown.

This graphic novel goes beyond its expectations with expressive watercolours quickly absorbing this reader into the psyche of the main character ‘Nao’ – a half Japanese half English artist, struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder and tormenting violent thoughts. We are taken into Nao’s murderous imaginings in which she humorously gives marks out of 10 over the perversity of her mind – 8 out of 10 for snapping a taxi driver’s neck, 9 out of 10 for stabbing her Buddhist teacher with a pen. It is in this particular scene, ironically set in a meditation centre, that we are introduced to one of the main themes of the book, the philosophies of Buddhism. Nao frequents this Buddhist centre to try and calm her anxious thoughts, and to open her heart as she takes part in drawing the “Enso”, the ink drawn circle. This shape symbolises enlightenment and mindfulness, and of being in the moment, which later her boyfriend Gregory – a washing machine repair man compares to the machine and consequently a shape that touches on a meditation of his own life.

Without giving too much away, Nao of Brown also contains a neatly interwoven story about a half-man, half-tree creature with a conker for his head named Pictor. Pictor’s lives in a different world and contrasts visually well with Nao’s story.

In short, Glyn Dillon has created meandering and tenuous links that chain together an honest, tender and ‘beautifully violent’ observation of life, slowed in a river of simple plot, panelled in the apt medium of the comic book. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a solid introduction to the modern graphic novel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jo Barnes on 28 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is clearly written from the heart and beautifully drawn. The subject matter isn't for everyone, but if you're interested in Buddhism, OCD or Japanese anime (especially if you tick all three boxes!) this is the book for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Gittner on 16 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a truly wonderful book, it has the most wonderful watercolour artwork and is consistently beautiful all the way through. But unlike many comics isn't let down by the story which is strange and lovely. i was truly entranced finished in one epic sitting and then had to re-read it and found a whole new layer of meanings visual clues etc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Vp on 14 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Having worked in mental health for many years this book provides a really insightful depiction of a type of OCD which is often not very well known. The art is also beautiful. I can't find fault with this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Public on 15 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I saw a little of Glyn Dillon's work (in Deadline, Shade the Changing Man, and Sandman) in the '90s, and never forgot it: in the general school of Jamie Hewlett and Philip Bond, not too serious, but infectiously happy and full of deeply cool characters - you felt sort of hip just reading it.
I would have been nostalgically happy with more of the same, but Glyn Dillon has developed like a lunatic: his already exceptional art has evolved into really beautiful line-and-watercolour work, which just the same reads as fluently and grippingly as any comic; and he now seems to be an excellent, thoughtful writer, not trying to impress or condescending, but immersed in telling a warm, sensitive story about complex, surprising, and completely plausible characters. It is very satisfying to register for yourself the very many unlaboured internal connections and references he has troubled to make. Nao Brown is, I suppose, one of the deeply cool young people from his old work; but he is now interested in her thoughts and outlook...which turn out to be so utterly detached from her elegant, confident exterior that even the central romance of the story hardly seems to touch her (she seems more startled than anything when Gregory's thoughts seem eerily in tune with her own). Even with this seriousness, the story manages to seem light and happy.
It is very terrible to think that such an excellent and purely enjoyable comic might not find an audience. Unless you are totally opposed on principle to small-scale dramas, I guarantee you will not regret looking into this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gavzilla on 22 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover
My first thought is that I'm not too keen on the use of the word 'haafu' to describe mixed race Japanese people, and wouldn't recommend anyone using it. But some mixed race Japanese people do use it, so it's not out of character for Nao Brown in the story to do so.

That aside, this is a beautiful book, and one to read over and over again. There's a study guide to it by that the author recommends, but doesn't fully endorse here [...] for anyone struggling. I struggled with the correct meaning of Nao's constant ranking of things out of ten. Anyone else doing so should look at the washing machine settings on the front cover. ;)
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By WandaWoo on 23 Dec. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stunning artwork....really breathtaking by a talented artist. However the narrative really let it down. Why is it so hard to find a graphic novel with both elements in abundance. Recommend for the beautiful watercolour pictures but thumbs down for a terrible plot! Sorry.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By N. Bailey on 23 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
An astonishing, beautiful, heartwarming, heartbreaking tale from the man Jaimie Hewlett calls "the greatest English comic artist working today". What is more, Dillon also proves to be an insightful, imaginative writer, a master storyteller who wraps you in Nao Brown's world for hour after blissful hour. The artwork is remarkable, the characters unforgettable, the story intimate yet universal. Four years to create, four hours to read, a lifetime to savour. Thank you, Mr Dillon.
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