Category: Books – Mixed-Media Literature

  • Infinite Jest: is this about me, or the characters?

    I spent much of the summer reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, and regardless of my final thoughts or critical appraisal, the book itself was an experience that succeeded in challenging me as a reader. Along the way, I constantly consulted the web site Infinite Summer, just to measure my reactions against the multitude of […]

  • Book Reviews/ Reviewer Reviews

    So…I’ve been writing reviews and critiques for a long time now. Back in 2005 or 2006, I started an account on Shelfari, and wrote a short review of every book that I read. Hundreds of short reviews, most of them trying to look at the book from a writer’s perspective: what could I gain from […]

  • Daddy’s – Lindsay Hunter

    I’ve meant to write about Lindsay Hunter’s Daddy‘s for awhile, and for a lot of different reasons. First and foremost, of course, I went to grad school with Lindsay (for about a year, I think) and I was excited to see that–after she relocated from Orlando to Chicago–she’d made a name for herself with a […]

  • The 9/11 Report

    The 9/11 Report: Graphic Adaptation is a fascinating read, I think, both for what it does well, and for its negatives implications. What does it do well? I think that it proves that graphic novels can tackle nearly any subject, and that the mixed-media approach of art and text can be extremely useful in distilling […]

  • Fatherland

    I learned about “Fatherland” after reading Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America” and Michael Chabon’s “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union,” both of which were alternate histories that re-imagined the circumstances (and outcome) of World War II. Before reading either book, I’d never really given much thought to the idea of an “alternate history novel,” but Roth’s […]

  • The Photographer

    “The Photographer” is quite possibly the most inventive book I’ve ever read, and it’s a testament to the author(s) that it stands as an amazing example of a memoir, a piece of literary journalism, a graphic novel, a book of photo journalism, and (most accurately) a piece of “mixed-media literature.” I’ll get back to that […]

  • Best American Comics?

    Each new year, it seems, the genre of “literary comics” (my term of choice is “graphic narratives”) grows and matures just a little bit. Thirty years ago, when the comics medium was dominated mostly by teenage/escapist fare, the most important evolution in the comics medium was the rise of “comix,” a sort of indignant response […]

  • Natural Disasters, Graphic Novels, Blogs, Bio-Comics!

    “A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge” is a graphic novel that demonstrates the underlying theory that made Art Speigelman’s “Maus” so haunting, memorable, and successful. In our current culture, saturated by televised images of destruction, we sometimes need to see major tragedies and disasters in a completely stylized way in order to avoid becoming desensitized. […]

  • Mixed-Media Fiction: Sink or Swim?

    “The Raw Shark Texts” is an interesting concept that never really rises above “interesting concept.” It’s a breezy read, moves very quickly and sometimes develops real suspense, and the plot is well thought-out, but it still feels superficial by the very end. Perhaps this is because the characters feel as if they could have been […]

  • “House of Leaves”: Mixed-Media Fiction or Gimmick Fiction?

    “House of Leaves” falls into the love-it-or-hate-it category of literature, a book all at once intriguing and inventive and mind-blowingly creative…and also gimmicky, needlessly difficult, frustrating, and self-indulgent. It is a book that defies easy genre categorization (just call it “fiction,” and more specifically, “mixed-media/ post-modern fiction,” and don’t try to further label it), but […]