Hardcover
7.8 x 10
216 Pgs
SKU:
9781770463745
$42.95 CAD/$34.95 USD

A man has trouble falling asleep and reflects on his life, marriage, and time itself

In The River at Night, Kevin Huizenga delves deep into consciousness. What begins as a simple, distracted conversation between husband and wife, Glenn and Wendy Ganges—him reading a library book and her working on her computer—becomes an exploration of being and the passage of time. As they head to bed, Wendy exhausted by a fussy editor and Glenn energized by his reading and no small amount of caffeine, the story begins to fracture.

The River at Night flashes back, first to satirize the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and then to examine the camaraderie of playing first-person shooter video games with work colleagues. Huizenga shifts focus to suggest ways to fall asleep as Glenn ponders what the passage of time feels like to geologists or productivity gurus. The story explores the simple pleasures of a marriage, like lying awake in bed next to a slumbering lover, along with the less cherished moments of disappointment or inadvertent betrayal of trust. Huizenga uses the cartoon medium like a symphony, establishing rhythms and introducing themes that he returns to, adding and subtracting events and thoughts, stretching and compressing time. A walk to the library becomes a meditation on how we understand time, as Huizenga shows the breadth of the comics medium in surprising ways. The River at Night is a modern formalist masterpiece as empathetic, inventive, and funny as anything ever written.

Praise for The River at Night

This book is a long, complex, and tangential stream of consciousness narrative that takes place in the mind of his continuing character, Glenn Ganges, over the course of one sleepless night.

The Seattle Review of Books

As Ganges and his wife Wendy…go about their daily lives, Ganges’s ambient mind and goofy-smart interests combine to take the reader on elaborate journeys through human consciousness in stories that delight in pushing the formal visual structures of the comics medium.

The Millions

[The River at Night is an] ambitious new graphic novel about everything from insomnia to the nature of time, with philosophical explorations into relationships, video games and the importance of making it to the library on time, all contained within as well.

The Hollywood Reporter

[The River at Night is] about everything and nothing...It’s a deeply surreal journey through work, computer games, law enforcement, geology, married life, and robots.

The Guardian best of 2019

As midwestern everyman Glenn Ganges fights insomnia, his addled brain contemplates everything from video games to geologic time.

The Globe and Mail best of 2019

Kevin Huizenga’s The River at Night, the recent collection of his Ganges series, is an achievement. It’s the culmination of years of work, the best book by one of our best cartoonists.

The Comics Journal

[Kevin Huizenga] transports the fortunate reader through this new sequential-art meditation on time and, let’s also say, life and how to live it.

The Austin Chronicle

A sprawling exploration of time and the self...Huizenga’s cartooning blends the clear, concise storytelling of classic comic strips with more experimental layouts and compositions, a fusion of aesthetics that makes his artwork deeply expressive and consistently surprising.

The A.V. Club

Huizenga threads through each of these stories his interest in how the transcendental enters into domestic life.

Shelf Awareness

Glenn Ganges in: The River at Night is perilously philosophical, goofily logical, lovingly wild. In Huizenga's hands, an ordinary day reveals its acme holes of infinite regress and counterfactual calamity. A wonderful book, to read and read again.

Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances and Little Labours

Unexpectedly poignant and occasionally magical... While Huizenga’s architectural, fine-line style is clearly influenced by Chris Ware... the vast spaciousness of this surreal night flight is all his own. Glenn’s reveries will pull readers into multiple deserved rereadings.

Publishers Weekly

A mix of John McPhee and Richard McGuire’s “Here,” The River at Night is about making the best of life when you know that the world’s been around for billions of years and will go on long after you, too, are gone. How wonderful to spend time with these sweet, gentle characters as they stare straight into the unfeeling universe and decide to make the best of it. A truly beautiful book.

Paul Ford, National Magazine Award-winning Technology Critic

Wow! I was not prepared for this: The River at Night is a surprising, beautifully rendered, mind-expanding, heartwarming exploration of what it means to be human, to have thoughts, to lie in bed all night after guzzling too much coffee, to follow your thoughts on a journey that maps the universe and makes light of the electrical activity of a brilliant mind. Kevin Huizenga is a kind of dreamer who gets us to think, to love what's in our heads, to love what's in his. Everybody will dig this book!

Matthew Klam, author of Who is Rich?

A remarkably intelligent, playful, at times actually stressful, and thoroughly relatable reading experience like nothing else.

Library Journal

The River at Night [is] at once a very personal story of the thoughts in one man’s head when he can’t sleep at night, and surprisingly universal in its exploration of those thoughts and where they go.

The Hollywood Reporter, Top 10 Comics of the Decade

Huizenga has a gift for marrying the weird, abstract, funny, and touching in a way that would otherwise never work for any other creator, but feels natural, and almost structured, in it’s chaos.

Comics Beat

Graced with gorgeous lines that recall the suburban grids of lliana, The River at Night is alternately surreal and mundane, profound and silly.

Chicago Magazine

There is humour here, and empathy, and a startling grasp of the nature of consciousness. It deserves multiple readings not simply because it is a great book, but because these readings all unearth something new.

Broken Frontier
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