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Black Hole Hardcover – Oct 18 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon (Oct. 18 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037542380X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375423802
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 3.6 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The prodigiously talented Burns hit the comics scene in the '80s via Raw magazine, wielding razor-sharp, ironic-retro graphics. Over the years his work has developed a horrific subtext perpetually lurking beneath the mundane suburban surface. In the dense, unnerving Black Hole,Burns combines realism—never a concern for him before—and an almost convulsive surrealism. The setting is Seattle during the early '70s. A sexually transmitted disease, the "bug," is spreading among teenagers. Those who get it develop bizarre mutations—sometimes subtle, like a tiny mouth at the base of one boy's neck, and sometimes obvious and grotesque. The most visibly deformed victims end up living as homeless campers in the woods, venturing into the streets only when they have to, shunned by normal society. The story follows two teens, Keith and Chris, as they get the bug. Their dreams and hallucinations—made of deeply disturbing symbolism merging sexuality and sickness—are a key part of the tale. The AIDS metaphor is obvious, but the bug also amplifies already existing teen emotions and the wrenching changes of puberty. Burns's art is inhumanly precise, and he makes ordinary scenes as creepy as his nightmare visions of a world where intimacy means a life worse than death. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 11 Up–Set in a Seattle suburb during the mid-1970s, this dark, atmospheric story is a gripping (and often unsettling) journey into the psyche of suburban teens on the brink of adulthood. The bug is a sexually transmitted disease that causes strange and irreversible mutations: one boy grows a miniature second mouth above his collarbone, a girls skin begins to molt, and another grows a preternatural tail. Some are able to conceal their mutations and live a normal life, while others are shunned and forced to seek refuge in a supportive, but tenuous community deep in the woods among the homeless and the homicidal. The impact of the plague on the community is seen through the eyes of two teens, Keith and Chris, both of whom become infected and develop mutations. Burns skillfully explores the inner drama of high school alienation with tenderness, precision, and grace. His masterful black-and-white illustrations evoke an eerie surreal tone that beautifully complements the underlying horror of the textual narrative. This accomplished graphic novel is a serious work of artistic and literary merit and is essential for any collection that includes adult graphic novels such as Dan Clowess David Boring (Knopf, 2000), Craig Thompsons Blankets (Top Shelf, 2005), and Gilbert Hernandezs Palomar (Fantagraphics, 1989).–Philip Charles Crawford, Essex High School, Essex Junction, VT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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