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).
I have now spent a week in sloppy communion with Building Stories and am ready to declare it one of the most important pieces of art I have ever experienced. I also sort of want to kill myself...What makes Building Stories monumental isn't its unorthodox format. It's Ware's ruthless and tender pursuit of undisguised emotion. His work is brutal in the way all great art is. I can't wait to experience it again. -Steve Almond, The New Republic"Stunning...As usual, Mr. Ware's style is a model of compression in both word and picture. Less usual, for the genre as a whole, is the vividness with which he limns his heroine's intense, if fairly ordinary, inner life...The lack of clear structure, much less traditional linearity, turns reading into an unusually active process. This is a great, easily ownable work of art." - The New York Times"In the end, the process Ware recreates here is universal, which is what gives Building Stories its resonance. The woman's dream, after all, is everyone's: the dream of making sense of ourselves, of having things add up. That they don't, that they can never, is the paradox, and yet what else can we do but try? Here we have the essential question Ware wants us to consider, and his answer-brave, beautiful and brilliant-is the story we build out of this box." -David Ulin, The Los Angeles Times "This book is a masterpiece.... Building Stories is a masterpiece, above all, because it cares about human beings, many of them women. It cares enough to observe human beings closely, both when they are behaving themselves, and when they are engaging in their manifold selfishnesses. It cares enough about them to depict them when they are attractive and when they are singularly unattractive. The contemporary novel, it bears mentioning, does not care this much, because the contemporary novel is so preoccupied with affirmation that it will not risk what Ware is willing to risk. Perhaps Ware risks in this way because, as a person who began by illustrating, he is willing to see exactly what's taking place around him, all of it. But by building up his stories from the fragments, from the discontinuous moments, episodes of glancing contact, and the disconnections as well as the connections, he has made something that, if possible, is more literary than most contemporary literature. The American novel, that is, has a lot to learn from this very convincing and masterful work." -Rick Moody, Los Angeles Review of Books"There's no writer alive whose work I love more than Chris Ware. The only problem is it takes him ten years to draw these things and then I read them in a day and have to wait another ten years for the next one."-Zadie Smith"Ware provides one of the year's best arguments for the survival of print...the spectacular, breathtaking visual splendor make this one of the year's standout graphic novels." - Publisher Weekly, starred review "Chris Ware's Building Stories is the rarest kind of brilliance; it is simultaneously heartbreaking, hilarious, shockingly intimate and deeply insightful. There isn't a graphic artist alive or dead who has used the form this wonderfully to convey the passage of time, loneliness, longing, frustration or bliss. It is the reader's choice where and how to begin this monumental work-the only regret you will have in starting it is knowing that it will end." -J. J. Abrams"You could call Stories a game-changer, except so few besides Ware could ever construct such a retro-aesthetic feat." - Washington Post , "Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2012""A treasure trove of graphic artworks-they're too complex to be called comics-from Ware, master of angst, alienation, sci-fi and the crowded street . . . A dazzling document." - Kirkus, starred review"Ware has been consistently pushing the boundaries for what the comics format can look like and accomplish as a storytelling medium...More than anything, though, this graphic novel mimics the kaleidoscopic nature of memory itself-fleeting, c