Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Alcoholic

Title: The Alcoholic
Writer: Jonathan Ames
Art Work: Dean Haspiel
Publisher: Vertigo
The Alcoholic is a graphic novel about a man that considers himself an alcoholic.  I picked this book up because I am interested in stories that are mature, sad, melancholy and dark.  I like to read these sorts of books because I find that I can relate to them better than other books.  But what I am looking for the most in these sorts of novels is a solution, a solution on how to escape the dark side and enter the light.  Nobody reads a novel about a person in a dark situation and hopes they never get out of it.  I think we are all optimistic and hoping for a way out.
The story is about Jonathan Ames, a New York City writer and is written in the first person perspective.  It starts off in the year 2001 when Jonathan wakes up in a strange car with a strange old woman that wants to cuddle with him.  Jonathan then starts talking about how he got to that point; beginning since high school.  Overall he deals with the same problems that most teenagers had to deal with, and blames alcohol for most of his problems.  Yet at some point in the story, Jonathan admits that he was never good at drinking and that getting drunk always caused him to vomit.  In fact most of the story is about him dealing with tragedies or self imposed depressions that are common in life, like parents dying, best friends moving away, and girlfriends dumping you.
However all these problems aren’t caused by his drinking, instead he looks to alcohol to escape from these problems, which is common for many alcoholics.  For some reason I just didn’t like this book because it never really showed the dark side of his drinking.  It wasn’t like he lost friendships or went broke because of his drinking.  When I think of how bad addiction to alcohol can be I just picture Nicolas Cage in the movie Leaving Las Vegas, where he loses everything he has in life to alcohol and eventually dies.  Alcoholism in The Alcoholic simply was not a central theme to the novel.  While the artwork is appropriate for the theme of the book, I would have preferred much more dark shades and gritty pictures.  Over all, the book is an amusing story and I wish Jonathan success in life.

No comments:

Post a Comment