Kevin Baker: Luna Park

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Most affecting on him Then the book takes an extreme magical or psychedelic turn and one can possibly start to put things together ntil near the very end when the author hits s with a very subtle reveal we hardly notice it ntil the final page with it s shocking end I actually stared at the last page for some seconds before the reveal sank in A fabulous endThe writing and the art combine to make a surreal strange semi conscious type of plot This is not going to be a book for everyone Not for the type who like their plots to begin at A and end at Z The plot is incongruous and where it is going the reader cannot grasp A Ta Place until a certain point 23s of the way through This is not a bad thing though I found the booktterly captivating to read It s one of those few books that stand out alone as an I ve never read anything ite like it before book The art is fascinatingly done mostly in a palette of terracottas greys and purplish blues that turn into lavenders at lighthearted scenes not that there are many of those If you ve ever seen old Communist posters or postage stamps from the era the art reminds me of that style at times Otherwise it matches the mood of the story perfectly That was a disappointment Starts off as a story about a Russian soldier now a mob enforcer looking for redemption Halfway through it turns into a surreal series of alternate histories the character could have lived completely abandoning the main plot Danijel e elj was an excellent choice as artist His art is made for dour Russian settings A major league disappointment Story was very confusing and circular in nature The art was great but too bad it came in combination with such a poorly constructed story I hate it when people who are really good at another genre come into a popular one like graphic novels or mystery or science fiction and think they re going to write the great American novel or whatever they re going to revolutionize or transcend the genre It generally means that what they ve actually written is a poor imitation of stories that have already been done to death a million times over by people who know the genre in. The promise of America only to become an enforcer in the Brooklyn mob Now he chases his ghosts with all he has left booze heroin and his lover Marina part time prostitute and full time fortune tellerThe only way the two of them can escape their miserable fates hinges on a desperate plan that will put them between warring mobs and span a century from contempora.

Very circular The present mirrors the past which mirrors the past which is all in the head of well I ll keep that a secret if you choose to read it 090411 this is what great graphic work can do that no other medium does intense horrific visuals no hard working through text the darkness is literal no ickly passing scenes as in film you can look you can build the horror you can never escape the narrative is gripping the artwork is beautiful the layers of images like the best film immediate and overwhelming as images in robbe grillet great work A kind of surreal trip through current Russian historya man out of time and place must deal with issues that will destroy him if he ignores his past but his past may be the very thing that has put him in the cross hairs of fate Reason for Reading The Russian historical aspects and the publisher s summary had me intriguedThis is a very difficult book to give a summary as nothing is as it seems but let me tell you what appears to be happening as the book starts Alik Strelnikov is a Russian immigrant who made a deal back in Russia which got him his freedom in America This freedom lead him to working for a second fiddle Russian mob group in Coney Island as an enforcer Here he lives an existence with his girlfriend in an apartment drinking listening to old Russian records and shooting heroin to forget what he has become But he is plagued with dreams nightmares actually the same ones over and over which show him in various situations in different How to Win an Argument... Even When You Lose uniforms and he is always afraid These nightmares will takes back in history to pre revolutionary Russia to WWI to the Chechen Wars and back to 1910s New YorkThis is an awesome gripping story The reader has no idea of what is really going on for some time My mind contemplated these dreams as possible flashbacks to past lives psychic visions of the past a tortured man turning his real problems into symbolic messages and finally a simpler consideration the raving dreams of a madman Why he keeps having the dreams is not so important but the recurring themes that they carry are With the ltimate one of betrayal being the. New York Times bestselling author Kevin Baker Dreamland writes his first original graphic novel with internationally acclaimed artist Danijel Zezelj Alik Strelnikov lives in the shadow of Coney Island a world of silenced rides and rusting amusement parks that mock his dreams of becoming a hero Ten years ago he traded a brutal existence in the Russian army for.

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Timately That s what we ve got here Baker a respected historical novelist should stick to his novels and let those who know how to write and tell a story graphically do their thing I do not recommend this luckily I was able to get it through my library and not have to pay for it This book kind of broke my brain but not for the twist ending I m so proud of myself I picked p on the first subtle clue Parts of it were staggeringly beautiful and of it was staggeringly heartbreaking I wish the art had a little definition but that s just personal preference It s strong and evocative and suits the story well The story itself isn t what it seems at first and Aquinass Way to God ultimately asks theestion is humanity doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again Do you like the idea of a decrepit Coney Island as a cheap metaphor for the insincerity of the Statue of Liberty How about as a symbol for the modern decline of the American empire But you don t feel like taking the train all the way to the edge of Brooklyn Do you think Russians are interesting but don t feel like familiarizing yourself with Russian history or literature by reading books without pictures Fear not our intrepid author gives according to his ability a panorama of Russian stereotypes throughout the ages With a limited palette Luna Park paints a picture of despotic thugs well read junkies and shamanic whores These caricatures run around interact and because they have the ghosts of Ivan Grozny Great Bronze Euestrian Peter and ol Uncle Joe running around in their DNA they can t help themselves from causing a bloody goddamn mess The end result is a comic book that is long and boring enough to be marketed as a graphic novel All that s lacking is a foreword by Anne Appelbaum to make this an ideal stocking stuffer for Russophobes too refined for Yakov Smirnoff and not yet ready for Robert Conuest a great losers tale Stark dark drawings a strong sorrowful message makes this a must read The immigrant experience no matter where it lands in the scale of years or history shall always be relevant Especially now It s always filled with strife tribulation. Ry Coney Island to the Russia of the Second Chechen War to spellbinding 1910s New York Mixing historical novel immigrant fiction and crime thriller LUNA PARK marks Kevin Baker's return to Coney Island the setting of his critically beloved Dreamland and features breathtaking art by Danijel Zezelj LOVELESS with to die for colors by Dave Stewart DC THE NEW FRONTI.

Kevin Baker is the author of the New York City of Fire trilogy Dreamland Paradise Alley and Strivers Row Most recently he's been writing about politics for Harper's Magazine and the New York Observer