Publishers Weekly Reviews Beverly

“Publishers Weekly Reviews Beverly” / Publishers Weekly / January 31, 2016

The streets, houses, and people that populate the linked pieces of Drnaso’s blandly terrifying debut collection all share a soul-deadening, right-angled sameness that turns into its own kind of nightmare. Set in Chicago and its suburbs, the stories refract the familiarities of popular fiction and TV about teenagers, high school, and family. But while Drnaso’s hard-angled, Chris Ware–like art is flat, bright, and simply drawn—like exercises in perspective done in some ’80s computer drawing program—a murky queasiness soon fills each tight-cropped frame. From a family vacation shattered by an unwelcome intrusion of childhood sexuality to a longer piece about a rape (which reads like a tabloid tale redone by Daniel Clowes), the book is heavy with alienated fear and haunted by predators imagined and real. Ironically, in the final story, a drunk man complains about how he’d never want to live downtown (“probably get mugged or something”), though the lonely outer ’burbs he is returning to are dark with fear and loathing. (Jan.)

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