Building Stories by Chris Ware

80%

5 Critic Reviews

Building Stories does things no traditional novel can, or not without much lumbering effort; and it does other things no comic has hitherto pulled off. No wonder, then, that opening it for the first time makes you feel like a child at Christmas. It's a thing to be treasured, a box of delights.
-Guardian

Synopsis

The New York Times Book Review, Top 10 Book of the Year
Time Magazine, Top Ten Fiction Book of the Year
Publishers Weekly, Best Book of the Year
2013 Lynd Ward Prize, Best Graphic Novel of the Year
4-time 2013 Eisner Award Winner, including Best Publication, Best Writer/Artist and Best Graphic Album
Newsday, Top 10 Books of 2012
Entertainment Weekly, Gift Guide, A+
Washington Post, Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2012
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Best Books of the Year
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Top 10 Fiction Books of the Year
Amazon, Best Books of the Year/Comics
Boing Boing, Best Graphic Novel of the Year
Time Out New York, Best of 2012
Entertainment Weekly, Best Fiction of 2012


Everything you need to read the new graphic novel Building Stories: 14 distinctively discrete Books, Booklets, Magazines, Newspapers, and Pamphlets.
 
With the increasing electronic incorporeality of existence, sometimes it’s reassuring—perhaps even necessary—to have something to hold on to. Thus within this colorful keepsake box the purchaser will find a fully-apportioned variety of reading material ready to address virtually any imaginable artistic or poetic taste, from the corrosive sarcasm of youth to the sickening earnestness of maturity—while discovering a protagonist wondering if she’ll ever move from the rented close quarters of lonely young adulthood to the mortgaged expanse of love and marriage. Whether you’re feeling alone by yourself or alone with someone else, this book is sure to sympathize with the crushing sense of life wasted, opportunities missed and creative dreams dashed which afflict the middle- and upper-class literary public (and which can return to them in somewhat damaged form during REM sleep).
 
A pictographic listing of all 14 items (260 pages total) appears on the back, with suggestions made as to appropriate places to set down, forget or completely lose any number of its contents within the walls of an average well-appointed home. As seen in the pages of The New Yorker, The New York Times and McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Building Stories collects a decade’s worth of work, with dozens of “never-before-published” pages (i.e., those deemed too obtuse, filthy or just plain incoherent to offer to a respectable periodical).

 

About Chris Ware

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CHRIS WARE is widely acknowledged as the most gifted and beloved cartoonist of his generation by both his mother and seven-year-old daughter. His Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth won the Guardian First Book Award and was listed as one of the "100 Best Books of the Decade" by The Times (London) in 2009. An irregular contributor to This American Life and The New Yorker (where some of the pages of this book first appeared) his original drawings have been exhibited in the Whitney Biennial, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and in piles behind his work table in Oak Park, Illinois.
 
Published January 1, 2012 by JONATHAN CAPE (RANDOM). 246 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Building Stories
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Douglas Wolk on Oct 18 2012

Like everything else here, it’s also slow, demanding and melancholy.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Rachel Cooke on Oct 20 2012

Building Stories does things no traditional novel can, or not without much lumbering effort; and it does other things no comic has hitherto pulled off. No wonder, then, that opening it for the first time makes you feel like a child at Christmas. It's a thing to be treasured, a box of delights.

Read Full Review of Building Stories | See more reviews from Guardian

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Glen Weldon on Oct 09 2012

As we read, these stories intertwine, these characters deepen. The medium allows us to adopt a perspective that is not merely omniscient but truly godlike: Ware's characters remain trapped in their tiny panels, but we are above them, looking in...

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Jason Beerman on Oct 26 2012

As stunning as the visuals are in Building Stories, it is Ware’s writing that carries the story forward from frame to frame in bouts of existential prose.

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Los Angeles Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Rick Moody on Oct 25 2012

it doesn’t move like a film, and it has no special effects, and Ware’s gorgeous, patient, attentive line always looks both elegant and like a human being drew it...as such, it requires us to slow down and deal with the people in it, with their aches and pains, and with the landscape as it is.

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Reader Rating for Building Stories
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 158 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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