Black Hole by Charles BurnsBlack Hole by Charles Burns

Black Hole

byCharles Burns

Paperback | January 8, 2008

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about

Winner of the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards

The setting: suburban Seattle, the mid-1970s. We learn from the outset that a strange plague has descended upon the area’s teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways — from the hideously grotesque to the subtle (and concealable) — but once you’ve got it, that’s it. There’s no turning back.

As we inhabit the heads of several key characters — some kids who have it, some who don’t, some who are about to get it — what unfolds isn’t the expected battle to fight the plague, or bring heightened awareness to it , or even to treat it. What we become witness to instead is a fascinating and eerie portrait of the nature of high school alienation itself — the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety and ennui, the longing for escape.

And then the murders start.

As hypnotically beautiful as it is horrifying, Black Hole transcends its genre by deftly exploring a specific American cultural moment in flux and the kids who are caught in it- back when it wasn’t exactly cool to be a hippie anymore, but Bowie was still just a little too weird.

To say nothing of sprouting horns and molting your skin…
Charles Burns grew up in Seattle in the 1970s. His work rose to prominence in Art Spiegelman’s Raw magazine in the mid-1980s and took off from there, in an extraordinary range of comics and projects, from Iggy Pop album covers to the latest ad campaign for Altoids. In 1992 he designed the set for Mark Morris’s delightful restaging of ...
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Title:Black HoleFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9.3 × 6.6 × 1.3 inPublished:January 8, 2008Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0375714723

ISBN - 13:9780375714726

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good the art was great but story was so so.
Date published: 2017-07-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing art I think the plot in this book is a bit weak but the art is amazing. Some very unsettling images, great design.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not really sure why I liked this one Not usually something I would enjoy, but for some reason the artwork and the story here were just too grotesque and awesome to look away. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Grotesque in a good way This book was fantastic. The artwork was very well drawn and the storyline was gross and amazing all at once.
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read I wasn't sure I'd enjoy thus book but once I started reading it got under my skin and I had to finish the book. It gets teenage angst better than almost anything else I've read. Beautiful and disturbing.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Disturbing yet hopeful Is both otherworldly and relatable. I didn't think I'd like this book but once I started reading it was engrossing and I couldn't put it down. The characters are well defined and the art is well done.
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not my cup of tea This was one graphic novel I've seen recommended on a number of reading lists but despite all the acclaim it has received I couldn't get into it.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was good. 3.5 stars It's Seattle in the 1970s. Teenagers are hanging out, doing drugs, having sex. The problem is that there is a disease passed on through sexual contact that manifests itself in various ways, sometimes in a way that can be hidden, but sometimes it can't. It was a little odd in parts, but I came to care about what happened to the characters. It was good; I liked it. I thought the end was a little abrupt, though.
Date published: 2012-07-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Compelling Read This graphic novel is unpredictable and compelling. Where some books are just the opposite, making for a simple read, this one has some seriously freaky content that will make you think twice about your interpretations. At least, that's what I think about the book. I read it over a year ago, and I still find myself wondering about the (don't worry, no spoiler here) bio-medical stuff going on in the book. There are all kinds of crazy themes here about sex, disease, and what it means to be human. As the title suggests, this book is DARK, and for that, I appreciate it.
Date published: 2012-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down I bought this book on a whim, and boy was I surprised! Right from the opening chapter, this book will have its black and white claws in you. It's one of the few comics I have read that has you in a constant state of unease. The story is dark, pervasive, moody, freaky, and addictive.
Date published: 2008-01-29

Editorial Reviews

Winner of the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards"Smoldering brilliant... What Burns does so memorably here is blend the erotic and the frightening to create a black hole the reader will want to visit again and again."--The Boston Globe"The best graphic novel of the year... One of the most stunning graphic novels yet published."--Time"Black Hole is Burns's masterwork."--The New York Times Book Review"Surreal and unnerving... A remarkable work."--Chicago Sun-Times