Book Review: Exquisite Corpse

Posted May 9, 2015 by Kara in book review, Kara / 1 Comment

Book Review: Exquisite CorpseExquisite Corpse by Penelope Bagieu
Published by First Second on May 5th, 2015
Genres: graphic novel
Pages: 128
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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four-stars

Zoe isn't exactly the intellectual type, which is why she doesn't recognize world-famous author Thomas Rocher when she stumbles into his apartment...and into his life. It's also why she doesn't know that Rocher is supposed to be dead. Turns out, Rocher faked his death years ago to escape his critics, and has been making a killing releasing his new work as "lost manuscripts," in cahoots with his editor/ex-wife Agathe. Neither of them would have invited a crass party girl like Zoe into their literary conspiracy of two, but now that she's there anyway. . . . Zoe doesn't know Balzac from Batman, but she's going to have to wise up fast... because she's sitting on the literary scandal of the century!

I am still not sure what I read. BUT I THINK I LIKED IT!

I guess I requested Exquisite Corpse. I have no record of this in my email, but I know I was on the fence about wanting to read it because it had a writing storyline.

It’s short and it flows well. I was all involved in the story and expecting a nice wrap-up when the unexpected happened, and HOLY TWIST! And to be honest, I usually hate when books come out of left field like that, but you know what? I loved it here. I really did.

But I think that’s why the rating is so low. Because there isn’t much in the way of foreshadowing there so you don’t know what’s coming, and when it does, it is hilarious and so bizarre. It went from drama to dark comedy in a split second.

The artwork is brilliant. Colorful. Intellectual. Easy to follow and pretty to look at. Skilled in its styling.

Graphic novels are so expensive though!! I mean, I get why, but this book is so short, and if you aren’t in love with the images, I’d have a hard time justifying spending that money when I can barely afford to buy groceries. Ebooks are always an option, but they just aren’t the same as having those colorful pages in your hands.

If you’re going to make the plunge though, this is a great one to invest in, because it’s just so much fun.

Zoe is one of those girls that stands in front of cars at the car shows. She gets hit on my skeevy guys all day long and her boyfriend at home farts and calls her “bitch.” One day she catches a man peering at her through his apartment window while she eats her lunch on a bench. She really has to pee so she buzzes his apartment and he lets her in. They get to talking, one thing leads to another, and she is stopping by all the time to hang out with him. Turns out he is uber-famous Thomas Rocher (who I picture as a Jonathan Franzen type because they are both full of themselves).  There is a bit more to his story than he tells right off though, and she finds that out once she meets his editor, Agathe. What a bizarre name. But anyway.

Yeah, this was a pretty epic book. I haven’t been caught off guard by an ending like that in some time. The only weird thing was this book was set in Paris and I didn’t get that vibe from the characters at all. You could sorta tell by the artwork that it was Paris and it was mentioned once or twice in passing, but I definitely did not get the sense of place from this that I feel I should have.

I know, I KNOW some readers are going to be unsatisfied with the ending due to personal ethics and morality, and that’s fine, but for me, it was a fun story and it was fiction. I don’t believe it was meant to be taken seriously–I got a comedic vibe off of this, after all. But please, let me know what you think if you read it!

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