Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review: Duncan the Wonder Dog

This is the most oblique, frustrating, rich, timely, and ultimately absorbing graphic novel about a world with talking animals so far in existence. It doesn't come all together at the end so much as spin apart, but it spins apart satisfyingly and narratively somehow. The basic question is, what if animals could talk? Of course, I want to know how it happened and why, because everything else seems pretty much the same with talking animals, with butchers, hunting, terrorism, pets, etc., but this isn't about the origins so much as the consequences. The key is that it's told sumptuously and with feeling. Just don't expect it all to come together, but there are beautiful and beautifully horrible moments to be had through this looking glass. Confusing, sometimes disturbing, sure, and not for the person who had to know why every plot detail in LOST happened the way it did. But for someone who could enjoy the ride, maybe this will work. And it's beautifully drawn -- the best use of "specific murkiness" I've seen (for lack of a better term). After 400 large pages of this I still feel only the surface has been scratched.

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