Review: Epileptic by David B.


David B.


Year Published:

Graphic Novels, Comics, Memoir, Biography
Why Picked:
I was at the library and picked ti up to read while waiting for my daughter to finish her writing workshop.
Number of Pages:
Non- Fiction:
David B. was born Pierre-François Beauchard in a small town near Orléans, France. He spent an idyllic early childhood playing with the neighborhood kids and, along with his older brother, Jean-Christophe, ganging up on his little sister, Florence. But their lives changed abruptly when Jean-Christophe was struck with epilepsy at age eleven. In search of a cure, their parents dragged the family to acupuncturists and magnetic therapists, to mediums and macrobiotic communes. But every new cure ended in disappointment as Jean-Christophe, after brief periods of remission, would only get worse. Angry at his brother for abandoning him and at all the quacks who offered them false hope, Pierre-François learned to cope by drawing fantastically elaborate battle scenes, creating images that provide a fascinating window into his interior life. An honest and horrifying portrait of the disease and of the pain and fear it sowed in the family, Epileptic is also a moving depiction of one family’s intricate history. Through flashbacks, we are introduced to the stories of Pierre-François’s grandparents and we relive his grandfathers’ experiences in both World Wars. We follow Pierre-François through his childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, all the while charting his complicated relationship with his brother and Jean-Christophe’s losing battle with epilepsy. (From Shelfari)
This is probably one of the few 2 star ratings you will see here. I have to little time to read thing I do not enjoy.
I found the art to be complex and visually interesting but not emotionally evocative. It was dizzying in it complexity and often so full of detail it was overwhelming.
I found the telling of his life to be pretentious and overdone.  I know intellectually that his childhood must have been very sad.  The story of growing up in a family where someone is chronically ill is tragic, but I did not emotionally connect to any of the people here.  The brothers are both unappealing and cruel.  The parents are dazed and clueless.  The sister virtually invisible.
If you want to read a fine example of graphic biography I recommend Persepolis, not this.

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