Saturday, May 23, 2015

Comics Friday: Exquisite Corpse by Penelope Bagieu

From Goodreads:
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 feel like I've seen this one get a fair amount of publicity in the comics/graphic novels circles, but it's something I grabbed on a whim.  I was interested in the idea of a literary figure faking his death as well as being in a romantic relationship with a non-intellectual.  I think the author did a great job of making Rocher pretentious and unappealing, to the point that he was hard to read.  I definitely pictured him as comics-style Jonathan Franzen, which didn't do much for his likability, but was exactly what I expected.  He was unlikable in a fun way, especially if you know literary enthusiasts who tend toward the pretentious side of things.

As much as I appreciated Rocher's character, I was less impressed with Zoe.  She's not very smart and pretty much just relies on her looks to get what she wants.  In the end, of course, the twist reveals that she ultimately outsmarted Rocher, but for the majority of the book she just grated on my nerves.  I liked Agathe more, but not muich more.  Overall, this was just ok.  It's not one that I'll likely purchase or recommend to other readers.

Click the link at the top of the post to see some differing reviews - there are several readers and outlets I trust that felt differently.  I saw one review that declared this the chick-lit of the comics world.  I agree, but that's not a draw for me the way it was for the writer of the review.  I agree that it's great to see women's stories represented in comic form, but it's just a genre that appeals to me at this point.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.

No comments:

Post a Comment