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George Sprott Paperback – 13 May 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (13 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224089986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224089982
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 1 x 27.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 901,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A small masterpiece" (Observer)

"A masterfully executed exploration of time, identity and loneliness" (Metro)

Book Description

A remarkable graphic novel from the author of Wimbledon Green and It's a Good Life If You Don't Weaken.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Man alive, I love Seth but what was this?! "It's A Good Life If You Won't Weaken" was brilliant as was "Clyde Fans", while "Wimbledon Green" was a small masterwork. In fact it's from "Wimbledon Green" that he bases most of his new book "George Sprott" on (there's even one panel which I'm sure was in the endpapers of "Wimbledon Green" reproduced here). It's a similar fictional biography told in part by the subject, part by an omniscient narrator and part by people who knew him.

Here's the story of George Sprott. His parents argued when he was little. He attended seminary but dropped out to go to the arctic. While there he impregnated some eskimos and never got in touch with his bastard kids. He then had a successful radio then TV career talking to nobodies about his arctic trips. He had numerous affairs during his life and never had a fulfilling relationship with anyone. He dies.

It really is such a dull story about such an ordinary man. There's nothing here to grip the reader. It just feels like you're being talked to by an old biddy. "Oh the past was so much better". Oh come on, change the record Seth! Is this really all you have to say?

The utterly boring life story of George Sprott is padded out, sorry, interspersed with two page drawings of ice bergs and photographs of buildings made out of cardboard then are followed by a full page talking about that building. It's the same for each building. It was a grand place one, in it's heyday in the 30s or 40s then in the 90s it was demolished and blah blah blah.

I was so bored by this I was counting the pages til the end and there aren't that many pages. It just drags interminably onwards through Sprott's uneventful life.
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Format: Hardcover
This book should be on the shelf (if you can find one high engough) of anyone who loves this art form. The opening two page spread - in my view one of the most remarkable in comics history- are the floating bodies and egg shaped heads of Sprott the old man about to die and Sprott the baby about to be born- united visually, as only comics can, through Seth's luscious curved drawing style. And this sets the tone for the book: an exploration of mortality, memory, loss, and guilt. That all sounds a bit pompous, but it really works and left me deeply moved. Seth is one of the best current comic artist/writers and this is by far his best work to date (especially welcome after the somewhat trite Wimbledon Green). The large book format is thrilling to hold and read (and a very reasonable price. You feel you can swim into this book, which is entirely appropriate to the double page wide arctic landscapes.
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Format: Paperback
'George Sprott' is an unusual book. It recounts the end, in 1975, of the life of a minor TV personality who made his living reminiscing on air about the Far North. George is elderly and professionally moribund: his audience has been steadily declining and he seems increasingly a man out of time. His final decline is narrated quietly. Nothing much happens.

Seth's art is as good here as anywhere in his oeuvre. 'Wimbledon Green' was a triumph, and 'George Sprott' seems to have benefited from the looser style Seth pioneered in that book. But for me the major advances are the way that the story is told and the greater emotional resonance. The narrative dips and veers and takes odd back roads. Seth gives us passages that are allusive and surreal as well as his trademark social realism. This is one of those books that can be read quickly but must be reread repeatedly to be fully understood.

The reader has to assemble a picture of George Sprott - his achievements, failures and implied regrets - from the accounts of friends and relatives as well as from direct observation of the man himself. Gradually we see that this life, which, viewed superficially, is merely a classic instance of early success followed by a long meander into irrelevance, has greater significance, both for George and for the culture that no longer has much use for him.

I found Seth's first graphic novel, 'It's A Great Life, If You Don't Weaken' technically admirable but rather cold and self-involved, and in places frankly tedious. 'Wimbledon Green' seemed almost the work of a different writer: complex and genuinely funny.
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Format: Paperback
Good item and quick.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
all ok
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