So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Strangers in Paradise: Pocket Book 1. Terry Moore

Katchoo and Francine are roomates, and Katchoo has a crush on Francine. Francine thinks she loves Freddie who is only out to get what he can, which he can't since Francine won't sleep with him. David is in love with Katchoo, but she hates men. Thus begins Strangers in Paradise which is a tightly scripted graphic comic that is now being released in a paperpack book series.

In volume one we learn the secret of Katchoo's past, and the three main characters struggle with their feelings for each other. Having been written for comics, similar to 19th century novels of Dickens and Dumas that began life as serializations in the magazines of the time, the plot keeps coming up with surprises. In book form this comes across as lots of plot twists and surprising revelations.

The drawings are fantastically well-drawn and expressive, and they are broken up by occasional pages of poetry and text (as if the artist got tired of drawing in her rush to fill in detail and get back to the story).

Despite the strong characterization, the true hero of the book is Love, the motivator and inner spark of all the main characters. In reality the book is about the healing power of Love. The title comes from a play of the same name that Francine was in while she was in high school. The book provides a flashback to the stage when one of the actors is saying "Without Love, we're never more than Strangers in Paradise."

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