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David Boring Paperback – 7 Nov 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape; 01 edition (7 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224063235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224063234
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 1 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Imagine a tilted comic-book homage to Hitchcock's Vertigo, but with religious cults, fetishistic scrapbooks and scenes of underwater coupling" (Guardian)

"For those interested in comic art's potential, Clowes' work offers exciting literary possibilities. Boring is anything but" (Time Magazine)

"Daniel Clowes' underground comics are now a hipster must-have. Why? Because his work is beautifully drawn with subtle, convincing storylines centred on everyday emotional weirdness" (Time Out)

Book Description

A startling follow-up graphic novel by the author of Ghost World.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I may be a little hasty writing this review (I only finished the first reading twenty minutes or so ago), but I simply cannot contain myself. This really is a truly fantastic graphic novel (or 'comic book' as Clowes states on the cover, presumably to avoid the common euphemism). When I ripped it from its Amazon packaging this morning I was peculiarly less-than-optimistic of Clowes' cold, realistic cartoon style which reminded me all too much of the mainstream '60s comics that our eponymous (anti-) hero's absent father authored. Thankfully, these feelings were quickly shattered.
To avoid ruining it, David Boring is a young man who pursues a number of doomed sexual encounters in pursuit of his ideal woman (in a nutshell, big-bottomed). This leads him to the mysterious Wanda, his relationship which whom results in a near-fatal shooting, and isolation and murder-mystery on a secluded island while the world is in danger of apocalypse. All the characters in this story are doomed and pathetic, but the story is an interesting exploration into sexual obsession and the nature of love and attraction - as well as being a suspenseful whodunit.
Where I would stray from saying this about any other comic book, 'David Boring' is filmic (in the conventional "3-act structure" David attempts in this unwritten screenplay) in the way that presumably gave 'Ghost World' the potential to make the adaptation such a cult status (the book or film of which I am still yet to have experienced). While I would love to see 'David Boring' made into film more so than any other comic I've read in quite a while, like every great work of this medium it could only possibly have been fully realised in the static pictorial narrative form.
There may only be 116 pages of actual narrative, but you will be immensely surprised by how succinctly Clowes executes so richly complex a tale in such limited constraints. You'll finish it in an hour, but you'll no doubt be drawn back. I'm just about to re-read it now.
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Format: Hardcover
Art is definitely nothing to do with comics, the paper kind, drawn by nerdy young men with unhealthy obsessions, right? Well - not quite. Daniel Clowes is an artist of shadows, planes, interlocking bodies, but above all of comics. He does not allow the form to limit him, and what you get is a novel in miniature, with the strange, sad and sexy story of David Boring.

Woven within this story is the parallel comic format story of Yellow Streak, a superhero for our age who, apart from being able to transport himself into the past and future, seems to have no relation to the `straight' superheroes of the past. He was drawn by, and symbolises, David's father - his mother is there in the flesh and seems to dislike, or at any rate, actively oppose David, in his endeavours.

"Endeavours" seems to posit a raison d'etre, but David doesn't really have one, other than wondering feebly who killed his friend from the past (who he didn't really like anyway), and where his girlfriend Wanda disappeared to. David is popular with women - and why wouldn't he be? A lonely, gentle, malleable figure, he has no shortage of replacements for Wanda, and prior to her he spends his time cataloguing his conquests in a book of photographs.

David Boring is seriously funny - I was deeply enthralled and engaged by its events, and at the same time, I was smiling idiotically to myself at its wry wit, its subversion of social attitudes, the disaster scenarios and personal relationships it depicts. This is brilliant creative and sardonic humour.

A tour de force, feeding and building into the angst of its time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this after reading 'Ghost World', which I thoroughly enjoyed. David Boring is very funny, the characters were quirky and complex and I loved the storyline. I was left wanting more after I finished the novel. I am looking forward to reading more of Dan Clowes' work.
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Format: Paperback
I've never read anything by Daniel Clowes (nor have I seen the adaption of Ghost World that is so critically acclaimed) so I wasn't sure what to expect really, especially since there was no brief description blurb on the back of book. David Boring is about David Boring, a 20-something part time film student and expert pick-up artist. The story chronicles his meeting of a woman called Wanda, someone he eventually becomes infatuated with. David Boring is a unique story to say the least, with a 3-act structure, no act is similar (by much) to the previous, and there are plenty of twists and turns. But it's also a hard comic to get into.

While the story is unique in itself, it's also pretty aimless and has this annoying tendancy (like every piece of media aiming for indie cred) for the characters to fall prey to a severe amount ignorance when it comes to extraordinary events. For instance, David finds himself in some pretty extraordinary situations, especially one or two which are pretty life threatening, but at no point does he wonder, question or even go out of his way to figure out why these things are happening. Often, the story looks as if it's going to a very interesting place only to fizzle out to nothing at all. There are a number of interesting story beats here (David tries to figure out more about his late father through a comic book his Dad drew years ago, or the World War nuclear apocalypse backdrop that is kept at arms length) that ultimately lead to nowhere. It gives the impression that the author, while obviously gifted in terms of characterisation, writing and artwork, wanted to make an incredibly layered and complex story that ends up being quite shallow in parts.
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