Warning: cranky review ahead! I have to admit, I would never have picked up this book on my own, but it is on my reading list for a graphic novels class I am taking at Dominican University. Did I have an epiphany after reading it, and am thankful I was forced to go out of my comfort zone? No…for it was a really weird book.
In fact, I wouldn’t even label it as a graphic novel; it is comic book with loosely related themes throughout it. Such themes are: food, cute animals, and peeing all over yourself. The summary states that it will skewer foodie subculture, but that’s not what I took away from it. But a fault I have always had is my practicality. Sometimes I miss the big picture, because I get hung up on a certain detail that I can’t let go. I will be interested to go to class on Sunday and hear what my classmates have to say about this quirky book.
So back to the book- the illustrations are just not very attractive. Now, I am not against pictures that are sketchy and capture the essence of the idea, even if they are not truly very precise in nature. I enjoyed Hyperbole and A Half and Adulthood is a Myth, two novels that were uncluttered and simple in layout. But both those books organized the story and/or strips into a cohesive narrative, and I feel this book just flits from one topic to another. Part travel log, part food diary, part surreal dream fragments; this book is hard to categorize. The author, Lisa Hanawalt, obviously loves animals, and draws many animals in an anthropomorphized manner, with birds being her specialty.
Before you think I hated the book, I didn’t, for I laughed out loud in several areas. In regards to the aforementioned peeing all over yourself comment, she just draws what many people (or maybe just me and the author) think about while we use public restrooms. My college friends and I are planning a girls weekend to some Michigan wineries, so when I saw the menstrual barcycle picture, I imagined my friends (we can get a bit rowdy when we’ve had a few drinks) making fools of ourselves. That image alone made the book worthwhile for me.
So if you can’t tell already, I’ve had a crappy day and am taking it out on this book. Sorry, not sorry, Hot Dog Taste Test. The author had a wicked sense of humor, and I think I’d be her friend, but I just wasn’t sold on the format of the book.
July 20, 2017 at 9:25 am
Hahaha, okay, so when I saw this in my reader I saw the title “Hot Dog Taste Test” followed by the first line “Warning: cranky review ahead!” and I 100% thought you went to some sort of weird hot dog taste test and had a horrible time. I have no idea why I’d think that after all the posts I’ve read here but I did. I’m still laughing at the image my imagination created of you in this absolutely dreadful hot dog taste testing situation. I actually had to go back and start re-reading the first paragraph again because it took me a while to realize you were, in fact, talking about reading a book. WOW. Clearly I’m having an illogical morning :).
Sorry you had a rough day but your rough day led to my silly morning. Also, in case it was some sort of prophetic warning I saw, maybe you should avoid any sort of hot dog taste testing situations in the near future…
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July 20, 2017 at 10:58 am
It’s an odd title for a book- I understand your confusion. Heck, I was confused just reading the book!
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