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Ghost World s/c [Paperback]

Daniel Clowes
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 13.99
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Book Description

June 22 2004
Fantagraphic's bestselling book ever with over 100,000 copies in print, Ghost World is a Catcher in the Rye for its generation and the basis for the Academy Award-nominated film. It tells the story of Enid and Rebecca, two above-it-all teenaged best friends confronted with the prospect of adulthood and the uncertain future of their friendship.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

Dan Clowes described the story in Ghost World as the examination of "the lives of two recent high school graduates from the advantaged perch of a constant and (mostly) undetectable eavesdropper, with the shaky detachment of a scientist who has grown fond of the prize microbes in his petri dish." From this perch comes a revelation about adolescence that is both subtle and coolly beautiful. Critics have pointed out Clowes's cynicism and vicious social commentary, but if you concentrate on those aspects, you'll miss the exquisite whole that Clowes has captured. Each chapter ends with melancholia that builds towards the amazing, detached, ghostlike ending. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA?Eight interconnected stories about two teens. Enid and Rebecca have been friends for so long that it's difficult for either of them to let the other grow or change. Now Enid will probably leave their working-class neighborhood and go away to college and Rebecca cannot accept this change in their relationship. Enid is the more radical and dramatic of the two, the one who talks a male friend into escorting her into an X-rated "adult" store. Rebecca is not so much a follower as simply more circumspect. She's the one who reasons that Josh, a friend they're both guilty of provoking sexually, really deserves to sleep with one of them after all the teasing he's weathered. While the vocabulary here is raunchy, it is accurate for the characters. These realistic 18-year-olds don't always talk nice and don't always act nice but they do have moral fiber underneath their tough-girl exteriors. It's just that they're at a point in life and a place in society where exteriors are a lot more important than nice. This is a book with distinct appeal to urban high school students, but it's certainly not for their younger brothers and sisters. Depending on where your comics are shelved, add this one where the age-appropriate audience is most likely to find it. The artwork is evocative and tasteful and the book can serve as a bridge to more literary stories of friendships.?Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant July 22 2002
This is the first graphic novel that actually made me feel sympathy for some of the characters - made me care about them and their experiences. There's a point in the story that the girls go to a strangeish retro diner that has a hippie for an employee. One of them seems to realize something about this happy-happy seeming middle-aged man and spends some time leaving a large tip. It then flashes to a couple panels that depicts this man - no longer smiling and all - cleaning up and collecting the tip then depositing coins into a machine. I must've read those 1 or 2 pages a dozen times. I can't quite put it into meaning the reason I stuck to those pages but it really meant something to me. I guess the author just fleshes out the characters to such an extent that you just have to care about them. There are many other notable scenes too. Ghost World is simply a brilliant book about people and their "real" lives as opposed to the ones other people think they lead. Don't listen to the haters because this graphic novel changed my opinion about comics once and for all after reading an umpteenth amount of pulpy Batman ishes. They really can have heart and meaning about them and that's the important thing. Get it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillinat writing, Brilliant art April 24 2004
Daniel Clowes', 'Ghost World,' is a shining example on how effective the medium of the graphic novel can be when coupled with fantastic, highly literate writing. Clowes' brilliance is demonstrated with his remarkable ability in capturing dialogue and the psyches of his late-teenage female characters - Enid and Becky. In fact, their characterizations and conversations seems so authentic and natural that it's almost as if Clowes videotaped real-life snippets of actual teenagers lives and then fashioned comic strips out of them.
Unlike the movie adaptation, which had a sustained narrative, the graphic novel is comprised of episodic vignettes that seem more like a collection of short stories. These little tales are packed with so much melodrama, sharp-humour, keen observation and emotion that by the time you're finished with this 80 or so page book you'll feel like you've already digested volumes.
I can't recommend this book highly enough and whether or not you've seen the movie you definitely need to read the original source. Top quality stuff all the way through.
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4.0 out of 5 stars struggle to find who you are March 7 2004
I saw the movie upon recommendation from my ex-girlfriend (as if that matters), and that's the way I found this gem out, as so many others have. This was my first encounter with Daniel Clowes, and I loved it. He always maintain some self-defacing quality in his humor (see Eightball, for example), but that actually translates to the search for true self in a rather seriously frustrating (pseudo-)real-world experiences of Enid and her pals. It is quite amazing what Clowes captures in what he probably could not experience himself --- the life of a "teenage girl" who avoids to fit in, yet could not find her own comfortable niche.
My criticism is that Ghost World is too short. I find some seriously deep qualities in what are depicted; yet the development of story goes too fast that literally nothing gets elaborate enough for me to slow down and appreciate to the extend that I wish. After reading, I just wished strongly I could read more of the stuff.
Maybe that's the joy of graphic novels --- so much is left for readers to wonder. Or it is just me having read numerous Japanese comics with elaborate story lines --- I can assure that a Japanese manga artist would make 20 volumes of comics out of a cool story like this. In any case, this one certainly made me interested in Clowes other works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised Oct. 15 2003
By A Customer
Had never read what after looking through a few of the reviews here I now know is called a "graphic novel." But there was a copy of "Ghost World," translated into French, on the bookshelves of the apartment I'm subletting. I'd seen it there all along but got around to it only after first trying my hand at the real literature also on the shelves. Men of letters such as I do have our pride, after all.
And what a suprise! "Ghost World" was true, natural, human. The qualities, I think, of the finest literature. I was so moved by my quick first reading of the book that I've gone to the trouble of trying to remember my Amazon password just so I could write this review.
I'm not qualified to judge the drawings, but some of them--"drôle d'Al," as the French translator calls him, serving Enid a plate of onion rings or Rebecca, timid and ashamed, showing up at Josh's place at quarter to three in the morning--had me laughing out loud or shaking my head in wonder.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I knew people like this in High School... Sept. 19 2003
I saw the movie because of an interview of Daniel Clowes I heard on NPR. Then I bought the book because the movie was so good, and everyone knows the book is always better than the movie, right? Actually they're both good. Movies and comix (of the self-contained, non-superhero type) are similar enough that one translates pretty well into the other. The scene with the bus at the end, for example, is about as poigniant in the book as in the movie, but in a novel it'd just be stupid.
The art is interesting, blending a surrealistic attention to kitschy detail with a well-proportioned reasonableness. Everything is bathed in an eerie blue glow, which Clowes (NPR interview) likened to the illumination of a television screen at night. It does not shy from the boring ugliness of ordinary life.
The story is about Enid and Rebecca wresting with an adult world that, in the summer after their high school graduation, expects them to join it. As their caustic banter shows, they are very aware of adulthood's boring ugliness, and band together to resist. They rebel against tedium, with mixed success, before realizing that they need to get on with their lives. "Ghost World" tells this universal story of American life with grace and wit. I really recommend this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Honest and well-drawn
Enid and Becky are done with high school. This should be the time of their lives when they party and travel to the beach. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Book Cupid
4.0 out of 5 stars Teen Angst Captured
Awesome. This was completely easy to read. Images were well drawn, but more importantly the conversations were so believable. I laughed out loud on the bus - slightly embarrassing. Read more
Published on May 27 2012 by Who the hell is Natalie Varios
5.0 out of 5 stars Daunting
This graphic novel relates the wanderings of Enid and Rebecca, who have just finished high school and are ambivalent about everything, whether it is about their future, their... Read more
Published on May 13 2011 by S. Lavigne
4.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like the movie...
I didn't like the Ghost world movie, but the graphic novel was a lot better. There were a couple of times I got confused with people (heh, maybe it's just me) but it was funny and... Read more
Published on June 13 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who has seen the movie before the book......
I would say that the story is a little different from what you saw on the big screen. The movie twisted a few of the plot points around, changing the character's interactions, but... Read more
Published on July 18 2003 by Alicia
5.0 out of 5 stars This book and David Boring . . .
had a lot to do with convincing me that a graphic novel could really achieve the depth and complexity of a genuine work of art. Read more
Published on June 28 2003 by Gulley Jimson
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible
Yet another angsty novel about high school outcasts. The material is tedious at best.
Published on Dec 17 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Watch the Movie!
But if you did, rest assure that the book doesn't [disappoint]. I read this book when I was Enid and Becky's age, and I tell you, though it's a comic book, it was and still is the... Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2002
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