Sunday, 14 December 2008

Yuichi Yokoyama - Travel

There's the cover above and the colour picture on the inside of the dust cover.

I was a bit unsure about whether to buy this one, I had read his other book 'New Engineering' and liked it but though it was more clever than actually enjoyable. I'm really glad I did as I really enjoyed this one, it's great!

There is no real story, 3 strange men get on a train, ride it for 180 pages and then get off at their destination. There are no words. It takes them the first 40 pages to find the seat they want on the train. I found this book hilarious. Every tiny action is built up into a vast important deed, for instance a passenger opening his book, or the lighting of a cigarette. One of the funniest bits is the three men walking through the train and everyone in the other seats turning to stare at them. Everyone stares at each other with enormous intensity for the whole book. The train travels through different weather - sun, rain, lightning - and they all are shown beautifully, as is the very weird landscape the train travels through. It seems to be a science fiction sort of landscape often full of weird men going about their strange and intense tasks. The drawing is very unusual. It often reminds me of a colouring-in book, with the clean lines and white spaces.
It is definately one of my favourite books of the year.

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