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In the Shadow of No Towers (Pantheon Graphic Library) Board book – Illustrated, 7 September 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 43 ratings

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Amazon.com Review

Catastrophic, world-altering events like the September 11 attacks on the United States place the millions of us who experience them on the "fault line where World History and Personal History collide." Most of us, however, cannot document that intersection with the force, compression, and poignancy expressed in Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers. As in his Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus, cartoonist Spiegelman presents a highly personalized, political, and confessional diary of his experience of September 11 and its aftermath. In 10 large-scale pages of original, hard hitting material (composed from September 11, 2001 to August 31, 2003), two essays, and 10 old comic strip reproductions from the early 20th century, Spiegelman expresses his feelings of dislocation, grief, anxiety, and outrage over the horror of the attacks---and the subsequent "hijacking" of the event by the Bush administration to serve what he believes is a misguided and immoral political agenda. Readers who agree with Spiegelman's point of view will marvel at the brilliance of his images and the wit and accuracy of his commentary. Others, no doubt, will be jolted by his candor and, perhaps, be challenged to reexamine their position.

The central image in the sequence of original broadsides, which returns as a leitmotif in each strip, is Spiegelman's Impressionistic "vision of disintegration," of the North Tower, its "glowing bones...just before it vaporized." (As downtown New Yorkers, Spiegelman and his family experienced the event firsthand.) But the images and styles in the book are as fragmentary and ever-shifting as Spiegelman's reflections and reactions. The author's closing comment that "The towers have come to loom far larger than life...but they seem to get smaller every day" reflects a larger and more chilling irony that permeates In the Shadow of No Towers. Despite the ephemeral nature of the comic strip form, the old comics at the back of the book have outlasted the seemingly indestructible towers. In the same way, Spiegelman's heartfelt impressions have immortalized the towers that, imponderably, have now vanished. --Silvana Tropea

From Booklist

*Starred Review* With Maus, Spiegelman proved that the comics medium was capable of tackling even so delicate and contentious a subject as the Holocaust. Now, in his most ambitious project since that 1986 Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel, he shows that comics are equally up to the challenge of addressing the horror of 9/11. Spiegelman lives and works in lower Manhattan, and he witnessed the destruction of the World Trade Center. He uses an array of drawing styles and narrative devices to convey his outrage and helplessness following the attacks, and he depicts himself as the ultimate urban neurotic, railing against the events and their exploitation by the Bush administration to pursue its war in Iraq. Working in full color on cardboard pages big enough to suggest newspaper broadsheets, Spiegelman incorporates characters and motifs from the turn-of-the-(twentieth)-century strips to which he resorted for solace after the attacks. Although the book shows off Spiegelman's unmatched command of the comics medium even better than the highly acclaimed Maus, his technical mastery doesn't get in the way of his ardor. While it's impossible for any single work to come to grips fully with the atrocity of 9/11, Spiegelman presents a strikingly vivid response that is at once heartfelt and thoughtful. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product details

  • Item Weight : 1 kg 270 g
  • ISBN-10 : 0375423079
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0375423079
  • Board book : 42 pages
  • Dimensions : 25.65 x 2.24 x 36.83 cm
  • Publisher : Pantheon; Illustrated edition (7 September 2004)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 43 ratings

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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Book arrived earlier than expected, packaged neatly. As ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 September 2017
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Gem_182
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 April 2012
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david phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars scary but brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 February 2014
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Scotch Captain
5.0 out of 5 stars Tiefgründig & Realitätsnah
Reviewed in Germany on 10 May 2013
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Mathews
2.0 out of 5 stars Unusual type of book
Reviewed in Canada on 8 August 2017
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