After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.

2017 edit #2
I am happy to report that my bone marrow transplant was a success and that I'm feeling more like myself everyday. That said, I'm going to try to start blogging a little more frequently, but please bare with me as I still continue to recover.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Building Stories by Chris Ware


Title: Building Stories
Author: Chris Ware
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 260 (according to Goodreads)
ISBN: 9780375424335
Publisher: Pantheon
Twitter: @PantheonBooks
Format: Various presentations in a boxed set
Rating: 5/5 stars

Chris Ware's Building Stories is a graphic novel presented in a boxed set of 14 connected but not connected stories, told through various types of formats. In the box you will find pamphlets of various sizes, a book that resembles an over-sized Golden Book, a couple of softcover books, one clothbound hardcover book, a newspaper, a board that resembles the board from a board game, and a handful of other layouts. Not one of these needs to be read in order as you find them in the box (even though that's how I read it), but as you read them, they all find a way to interconnect to tell a story greater than their individual parts, hence you're building the story.

Building Stories is the story about a three-flat apartment building in Chicago and the people that live there: the elderly landlady, the married/possibly not married couple on the second floor who never seem to be happy with each other, and an amputee who lives on the third floor, and chose to live there as a means of getting exercise due to her lost leg. There is nothing fanciful in these people's stories; there is nothing idyllic about their lives. If anything, this is the only complaint that I have with the story as a whole: nobody ever really seems to be happy. I know that Ware is trying to show people and their real lives, but as I finished reading, I was filled more with a morose feeling than anything else. Don't get me wrong, the emotions that Ware is able to pull from his simplistic art and bare dialogue is astonishing, I guess I just wish there was something of a "happy ending" in the book, even though there is no true ending per se. We see certain parts of the character's lives, but like any life that we witness from the outside, I still think there is so much more to the characters than what we have been shown. We are presented with snippets of their past and present, but we don't really know what their future holds, much like any person that we may know. I think I would be interested to see Ware revisit these characters in a couple of years, and show us where their lives took them.

I'm torn on whether I want to read anything else by Ware. There was such a pervading sense of melancholy throughout the entire collection, I don't know that I would trust anything else of his to not have that same feeling throughout. Yet, he presents these emotions so well that I think it would be a shame not to read something else of his again sometime. Maybe I just need to give myself some time to absorb everything from Building Stories before I move on to anything else of his, as I think this story is going to stick with me for some time.

To purchase any of the books in this post, and help my local Indie bookstore, and help me buy more books, click the links above!

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