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Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother and Me Paperback – 3 Nov 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (3 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022409422X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224094221
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 0.9 x 26.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 588,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Heartbreaking memoir... Stark details...are married with warm, funny recollections of Jewish-Canadian life" (James Smart Guardian)

"An extraordinarily moving and vivid account, in text and cartoon-style pictures, of the life and death of an Alzheimer's patient" (John Bayley, author of Iris)

"Brimming with humility and insight, Leavitt proves herself a skilled and unflinching memoirist. Her spare, evocative illustrations and the tender restraint of her prose will leave you breathless, heartbroken and profoundly grateful" (Nancy Lee, author of Dead Girls)

"Sarah Leavitt uses the medium of comics to tell her story with more economy and power than either words or pictures could muster by themselves. She brings a good eye for the telling detail -the small observations that reveal larger truths - to her memoir of a family in crisis. Tangles is the work of a perceptive, creative, and honest storyteller" (Brian Fies, author of Mom's Cancer)

Book Description

An extraordinarily moving and vivid account of the life and death of an Alzheimer's patient.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vivek Tejuja on 1 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
I have often wondered while reading memoirs or something very personal: How do the authors manage to put all this down to paper? All the hurt, the anguish, the memory of it all, on paper for others to read. I do not know how they must feel to put it down - to go through those memories all over again, so they can tell it to the world. I am sure though it must not be easy to do that. This thought crossed my mind as I finished reading, "Tangles - A Story about Alzheimer's, my mother and me" by Sarah Leavitt, a story of her mother's illness and her love for her, and that is in a graphic novel format.

I had wanted to read this book since a while now, however something else kept coming in the way, pushing this one on the back burner. And when I finally did, it reminded me of someone who I had known with the disease and all the memories came rushing by. Anyway, back to the book. "Tangles" is one woman's story about losing a parent and at the same time strangely enough, also finding a parent through Alzheimer's. The content and context is heavy and may be that is when the book being in a graphic novel format helps.

"Tangles" is the story of Sarah and her mother and Sarah seeing her through Alzheimer's. It covers six years of her mother's life with the onset of the disease through her death and the emotional turmoil Sarah and her family goes through. For me it was about the disease and what it does to you as a person - at the same time what it takes from you. Fragments of memory are snatched slowly and steadily till it reaches a stage when you struggle to remember your loved ones. Sarah writes about it with a touch that makes you want to reach out to the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Partridge on 20 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
Realistic and painfully true story of the author's mother who developed Alzheimers disease, showing the creeping disintegration of her mental abilities. Done as a graphic style novel, it makes the subject much easier to understand. Done with humour and humanity it is educational but enjoyable and the drawings convey clearly each characters place in this story of a very normal family (if there is such a thing!) and how they had to deal with this living loss. Would highly recommend it. Its a book that should be in every library to educate people on how it is to deal with Alzheimers in the real world, but done with a light touch for such a heavy subject. Excellent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By araucaria on 29 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
the author's mother became ill with alzheimers in her 50s, and this is the story, told in graphic novel form, of the years until her death in her early (I think) 60s. Her love for her mother shows through on every page, and the story is at once uplifting, and heartbreaking. My mother also has dementia, and I cried all the way through, both at the situations I could recognise, and the situations that are inevitably to come. A work of genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Velvet on 20 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
The subject matter is 'just asking for a graphic novel' well done to Sarah Leavitt for the idea of turning it into one.

I found this book hard to put down.

I found the observations and family experiences helpful, and sometimes shocking. You got a feel of what her mother was like and how she turned into someone else from time to time.

The cartoon conversations and quick black and white drawings brought the book 'alive'.
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Format: Paperback
After cancer comics (I can think of three good examples dealing with breast cancer, one by a man) is it the turn of senile strips?
Graphic life-writing should have an edge, either satirical or pictorial. (Epilepsy was memorably treated by David B.) This is simply lame, and not helped by Leavitt's inability to suggest a male face above 19 or 20, when faces can still be rather feminine; fellow sapphist Alison Bechdel had no such difficulty. But maybe this is more of a self-help book?
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