Monday, May 24, 2010

The Left Bank Gang

The Left Bank Gang

by Jason

Fantagraphics, 2008

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway in Paris, brought together in the 20s. They go to the boxing fights, play ping-pong, drink in restaurants, discuss problems in their personal lives and fight. This could be perceived as a realistic novel, if not for one "but": four literary giants in the world, created by Jason, are not writers - but the artists drawing the comics. In this alternative history Dostoevsky has mentioned, too, as the author of graphic novels. Finally, when the four friends get tired of a dull life in Paris, which also does not apportion the writers money, they decide to go on a desperate step - to rob a bank.

All writers in this graphic novel are animals, as in all the books of Norwegian artist and author of many books, now published in English by Fantagraphics, Jason. And beside that it is a funny novel (Fitzgerald and Hemingway here, for example, in the literal sense measure, hum, their genitals), then it becomes even funnier when you look like two dogs speak, who, in general, perhaps the biggest writers of the XX century. Jason could not help but dilute the rather slow and boring, as the life of writers in Paris, story, dropping his heroes in a risky business, in which woman has been implicated.

The author shows a robbery rather complicated, but effectively, showing events on behalf of each of the characters individually. «The Left Bank Gang» is a modernist thriller, but with one flaw: painted four writers, and then let them into the criminal case, Jason eventually did not use the big names of his heroes. No connection between the first part, with life in restaurants and talk about comics, and the second one, the actual robbery. As it turns out that putting in place of writers even sailors of Sebastopol, nothing would not has changed in the book.

It is, nevertheless, a very exciting book. If mentioned masters of words were alive, they would not have minded to such stories about themselves.

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