Self-deprecation is worth its weight in smoldering phoenix-ashes and baby unicorn tears.
Published on October 6, 2008 By SanChonino In Misc

Here's another cross-poster from my other website.  Only because I'm bored this morning.


Two weeks ago (it was a Monday night), I finally got the book I had ordered from Amazon.com three weeks previous - Bone by Jeff Smith. I was ecstatic. I had wanted to read the large, 1400-plus page epic for months, but hadn't been able to purchase it as I was living in Spain, and upon returning I couldn't justify purchasing it until all my school expenses were in order. But having all of my ducks finally in a row, I quickly bought it and waiting with bated breath.

I rushed into the house, grabbed a pair of scissors and manhandled the package opened. Dad took one look at it and asked, 'What is that? It looks huge.' He picked up the tome, flipping through the pages, and answered his own question with a 'This is a comic book. What are you doing buying a super-fat comic book?'

I quickly defended my purchase, took it downstairs, and hid it in my room until after dinner and some family time. Following an evening with my grandparents, I took refuge in the basement and read until exhaustion set in and I knew I needed to go to bed.

The next day in school, I carried it under my arm all over the campus (it's far too large to fit in my slim messenger bag). In my first two class, I got funny looks from people and a couple of comments. In my last class, the Simpson sisters both gave me a bad time about reading 'kiddie books' despite my protestations to the grandeur and sprawling beauty of the book.

I then went to work, and was ribbed by my co-workers and a couple of customers for reading a comic book. I just wanted to go home and read, not work, not talk to these people, or anything of the like.

So that's what I did when work was over - I went home and devoured the last 900 pages of the large book, until I was completely done with it around 2am. Should I have spread my enjoyment of the hefty volume out more? Probably. But I couldn't bring myself to stop.

And why should I? It is, hands down, the greatest fantasy novel I've ever read. So what if it has pictures to go with the words, and so what if it's got three characters that seem better suited to early Disney cartoons than to a moving, impressive work of high fantasy? It was incredible - absolutely, positively in my 'Top Ten Best Books Evarrr', and possibly the best graphic novel I've yet enjoyed. (And that includes most of the ones considered the 'best of the best' - such as Alan Moore's inimitable Watchmen, Neil Gaiman's unforgettable Sandman series, and the heartbreakingly beautiful Blankets by Craig Thompson.) Bone is absolutely gorgeous - wonderfully drawn, full of heart and humor, a moving, compelling story, plenty of exciting action and believable characters who the reader can relate to.

But despite the absolute brilliance of the book, most of the people I talked to would never, under any circumstance, read it - simply because it had little comic book pictures instead of massive walls of dense text. And frankly, that's a disservice both to Mr. Smith, who's written (I repeat) the best fantasy novel I've ever read, and a disservice to the people who are passing on this amazing work for a stupid reason.

So, constant readers (what few there might be), go get Bone. (Get it in the omnibus version, it's a bit cheaper and you'll be able to read it all at once, because if you're anything like me, you won't be able to put it down.) Read it. Enjoy it. Flip through those pages like a madman. And then report back here and tell me how good it was - because I'm fairly certain you'll be moved at least a bit by this beautiful, epic story.

And don't discriminate against great literature just because it has pictures.

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Now playing: The Bad Plus - Anthem for the Earnest


Comments
on Oct 06, 2008

'Are you dating Condoleeza Rice?'

'I'm not at liberty to say.'

on Oct 06, 2008

I am not much of a reader, especially a book that has more pages than an instuction manual for the Nintendo Wii. But i think it's wrong of people to make fun of others no matter what. I'm sure they do things others would deem worthy of a good joke as well and I am also sure they would feel just as annoyed as you did. I play video games and watch cartoons and anyone who thinks that is funny can bit my hairy, American born, Latino butt. 

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