In pictures

English-language books on Berlin are oddly rare, for reasons I don’t entirely understand. Trying to hunt one down on Amazon, I ran into Jason Lutes’ Berlin, a portrait of ’20s Berlin as a graphic novel. I’m pretty enthusiastic about comics; 90% are crap, but the few great successes make up for them. And, if this review is anything to go by, Berlin is one of the good ones:

tracing the arcs of several overlapping narratives; playing with time; a fiction based around real events; in particular, mapping the sense of bewilderment, loss, chaos, creativity, and uncertainty in Berlin at that point – a city on the edge. Lutes plays out the chance encounters in bustling city life with real grace, ultimately to heartbreaking effect.

Has anybody read the thing? Is it as good as all that?

3 Comments so far

  1. William Thirteen (ber_william) on November 23rd, 2008 @ 6:16 pm

    oh there are plenty of English language books on Berlin – i have dozens of them myself.

    i have read Lutes first book – there is also a follow-up volume "Berlin:City of Smoke" – it is certainly enjoyable and a good introduction to the politics and personalities of the period.

  2. dan (danohuiginn) on November 23rd, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

    OK, maybe there are more books than I thought ;)

    And thanks for the comment on Lutes; in that case I’ll add it to my (long) list of things to buy as time and money allow.

  3. ber_julia on November 23rd, 2008 @ 10:00 pm

    yep, i also enjoyed vol.1 very much and i am looking forward to read vol.2! i just recently saw it in a bookstore after waiting for it for about 3 years!

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