Author: Richard McGuire
Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novel
‘Do you remember the guy who used to live here?‘
I’ve just finished this intriguing graphic novel, after being drawn in by the simplicity of the cover. The book follows a room over
millions of years, how it develops from a patch of land to the home of a number of different people.
It is an easy read – I finished it in no more than half an hour – but it is interesting to follow the lives of the house’s occupants. In the years before the house is built, we see the history of the building behind the plot, and I love how much is revealed of the family who lived there, and how the age of the house is commented on even when it is obscured by the walls of the room and we can no longer see it. The book is never just about what is inside the room, but about the entire space around it too.
From the book, I got the sense that the author could have taken any square of land anywhere in the world and written a history of it that was engaging and entertaining. It made me think of my own house, of what stood there several hundred years ago, let alone thousands or millions.
The illustrations are too simple at times, but that’s probably just because I am not a huge fan of minimalist art. In the context of the book, they seem appropriate, but particularly at the beginning I got the feeling the same scene has just been copied and pasted onto multiple pages with little change. Arguably, this shows how in that time period, there was little activity in the room, but I still found it a bit boring.
I can’t say I would pay the £22.99 retail price The Book Depository are asking for it, though really it is more a piece of art than a book, and I would love to have it on my shelf to flick through now and again. Personally, I found that no mountains were moved for me, but it is still a beautiful concept for a book.
Star Rating: ★★★½ (3.5/5)
Has anyone else read this book? If so, what did you think of the minimalist art style?