So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Apartment Book: A Day in Five Stories


The Apartment Book: A Day in Five Stories. Leo Hartas

The Apartment Book is an oversize (11"x14") illustrated look into the daily life of an apartment building and its many residents. Each double page illustration shows a cutaway view of an old Victorian building that has five stories and a basement with six apartments. The residents vary, with three families on the first three floors, an actress and her maid on the fourth floor, and an artist and a crazy inventor in two small apartments on the fifth floor. The author has added the maintenance crew, a homeless person seeking temporary shelter, a couple of burglars, and even an alligator that prowls the sewers beneath the basement.

Each of the 14 illustrations shows the events in the house at different times of day, starting at 7 am and ending at one the following morning. The drawings are richly populated with interesting details and the dialog is neatly confined to the sidebars. This is a sumptuous treat for the visually inclined, and the residents' stories will keep you interested to the very end. However, with all the activity depicted in this one day, it does not look like a place I would like to live in for long.

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