Finished: Aug. 19, 2010
First Published: Jul. 20, 2010
Genre: Graphic novel, post-apocalyptic, magical realism
I do the same thing every morning.
Acquired: Received a Review Copy from the publisher.
Reason for Reading: Pure Plot. I love post-apocalyptic stories.
This is a dark, oppressive story from every angle and will not be for everyone. The art is done with stark, spidery sketches done in blue, black & tan which at first glance were quite different to what I'm used to but as the story progressed I felt they really added to the atmosphere of the plot and contributed to the stark, oppressiveness.
Sam is a lazy guy stuck in a dead end job, who is belittled by his domineering boss and is plagued by his materialistic girlfriend. One morning, on his way to work there is a 9/11 type attack on his office building in Chicago, in fact, airplanes are crashing into major cities all over the US. Later reports of 'dirty bombs' are reported and the US goes into a state of post-apocalyptic survival. Sam is busy that day helping others get out of the building and making himself useful ending up with his boss who is in a state of shock. Sam has also found himself capable of viciously standing up for his survival ... no matter what. The next day he wakes up back in his regular life where the attack hasn't happened. And so Sam continues to live opposing days (and whenever he has a nap) one in which he must fight for his life everyday but he feels he has purpose to his life and one in which the world is safe and his life is boring as dirt. He must eventually choose which world to stay in.
I quite enjoyed the story, there is a lot of deep thinking involved, philosophizing and reading between the lines but I enjoyed the brain stretch. The ending is surprising and comes with unsaid but understood conclusions. All 3 characters are cliched, and one could pick on the author for his representation of female characters but when 2 out of 3 characters are female it is unfair to say he chose to especially stereotype the women. However, these stereotypes may have been used on purpose as Sam is not a likable character and the cliched women types bring out his unlikable characteristics purposefully. I think the story is worth reading and quite clever in its eventual climax and ending. One is left with a lot to think about.