Read The New American Splendor Anthology: From Off the Streets of Cleveland by Harvey Pekar Free Online
Book Title: The New American Splendor Anthology: From Off the Streets of Cleveland|
Date of issue: January 22nd 1993
ISBN 13: 9780941423649
The author of the book: Harvey Pekar
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 324 KB
Edition: Running Press
Read full description of the books The New American Splendor Anthology: From Off the Streets of Cleveland:I'm not entirely sure that I can really give a star rating to this book. In a way, it's a strange old thing. Let me see. I wrote out a sort of review long hand in my diary last night. It went a bit like this:
I read Harvey Pekar's American Splendor Anthology, taken out from the library. First library book I've read in ages. Really satisfying.
The book's excellent, too, if you like this kind of thing. Pekar's sort of funny – not amusing. It's just that his vignettes, comics, strips, stories, what have you, are, by common convention, pointless. There's none of the situation-disruption-resolution structure you might tend to get in classic storytelling. There's no set up or punchline. There's just observation, reflection. Many are notes, almost, of times when he lost his glasses or conversations with friends or minor altercations he's had with his wife.
he recounts his time as a semi-regular guest on David Letterman's show in the 1980s, which I vaguely remember.
In some ways, what I find so intriguing about him is that he's always thought of himself as an honest everyman, working as he did and perhaps still does at a VA hospital in Cleveland. Even when he was on the verge of stardom in the US, he chose to rub Letterman up the wrong way, haranguing him about GE's very shady business practices in light of their ownership of NBC.
Even when Pekar was being courted for his own TV show, he remained always a hospital fling clerk. It appeared he was always satisfied doing that.
But what of the book itself? Well, in terms of the art, the panels are all drawn by different artists, Robert Crumb included. And, as I said, there's very little by way of payoff and punchline to any of the stories.
Is that good or bad? Well, to me, it's neither. It just ... is. The stories are sort of pointless, often quite fascinating because of it. Sometimes they're frustrating, but as a whole, each is like a very tiny piece of a jigsaw that is Harvey Pekar, from his roots as the child of Polish immigrants to his obsessive neuroses concerning his day-to-day life.
You get these glimpses of Cleveland during the early 1980s, too, the lot all illuminated as if by a zillion penlights at distance. There's always some steep shadow or incompleteness in his tales, but they're very revealing despite it. There are lots of unanswered questions about him, and to an extent, the stories, too.
Hey – go ahead. Read it!
I'd add this to my diary review. It's not for everyone. It might appeal to you if you're generally fascinated by the way people interact, if you're very much a people-watcher, if you're curious about language and the way people speak and think and act with each other. I'd hazard that Pekar's the kind of guy who just likes conversation for the hell of it. He likes words and accents, expressions and expressiveness. I think that's what turns him on. Perhaps I'm quite intrigued by this too, hence my endorsement.
Anyway. More to do.
Pardon my spelling if anything's errant.
Read information about the authorHarvey Lawrence Pekar was an American underground comic book writer best known for his autobiographical American Splendor series.
In 2003, the series inspired a critically acclaimed film adaptation of the same name.
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