July Books 9) Black Hole, by Charles Burns

Attracted to this graphic novel by the glowing blurb from Time (which I have found trustworthy in the past); it’s a combination of a) the coming-of-age story which I have enjoyed in the form of Fun Home, Blankets and Persepolis I and II, and b) the liminal fantasies of Neil Gaiman. The teenagers of mid-70s Seattle find strange things happening to their bodies: one grows an extra mouth on his chest, another takes to shedding her skin, a condition transmitted by sexual contact. Small groups of them form and dissolve in the woods, in deserted houses, trying to get out of town. In some ways it’s a similar take on the terrors of adolescence to Buffy; Burns’ stark monochrome rendering gives a bleak and gripping perspective. Not exactly a cheerful book but a memorable one. Slightly surprised I haven’t seen more recommendations of it.

One thought on “July Books 9) Black Hole, by Charles Burns

  1. In case my review inspired you to seek this novel out, I would advise you to leave it a few months – far too much difficult pr*gn*ncy as a plot theme!

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