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Sandcastle

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It’s a perfect beach day, or so thought the family, young couple, a few tourists, and a refugee who all end up in the same secluded, idyllic cove filled with rock pools and sandy shore, encircled by green, densely vegetated cliffs. But this utopia hides a dark secret. First there is the dead body of a woman found floating in the crystal-clear water. Then there is the odd f It’s a perfect beach day, or so thought the family, young couple, a few tourists, and a refugee who all end up in the same secluded, idyllic cove filled with rock pools and sandy shore, encircled by green, densely vegetated cliffs. But this utopia hides a dark secret. First there is the dead body of a woman found floating in the crystal-clear water. Then there is the odd fact that all the children are aging rapidly. Soon everybody is growing older—every half hour—and there doesn’t seem to be any way out of the cove. Levy’s dramatic storytelling works seamlessly with Peeters’s sinister art to create a profoundly disturbing and fantastical mystery. Praise for Sandcastle: “Begins like a murder mystery, continues like an episode of The Twilight Zone, and finishes with a kind of existentialism that wouldn’t be out of place in a Von Trier film.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review   “Sandcastle is a fast 112-page read you won't be able to put down.”  —Cleveland.com “Peeters and Lévy convey some profound, if profoundly unsubtle, truths about the human condition. Weighty stuff, expertly told.” —The Comics Bulletin


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It’s a perfect beach day, or so thought the family, young couple, a few tourists, and a refugee who all end up in the same secluded, idyllic cove filled with rock pools and sandy shore, encircled by green, densely vegetated cliffs. But this utopia hides a dark secret. First there is the dead body of a woman found floating in the crystal-clear water. Then there is the odd f It’s a perfect beach day, or so thought the family, young couple, a few tourists, and a refugee who all end up in the same secluded, idyllic cove filled with rock pools and sandy shore, encircled by green, densely vegetated cliffs. But this utopia hides a dark secret. First there is the dead body of a woman found floating in the crystal-clear water. Then there is the odd fact that all the children are aging rapidly. Soon everybody is growing older—every half hour—and there doesn’t seem to be any way out of the cove. Levy’s dramatic storytelling works seamlessly with Peeters’s sinister art to create a profoundly disturbing and fantastical mystery. Praise for Sandcastle: “Begins like a murder mystery, continues like an episode of The Twilight Zone, and finishes with a kind of existentialism that wouldn’t be out of place in a Von Trier film.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review   “Sandcastle is a fast 112-page read you won't be able to put down.”  —Cleveland.com “Peeters and Lévy convey some profound, if profoundly unsubtle, truths about the human condition. Weighty stuff, expertly told.” —The Comics Bulletin

30 review for Sandcastle

  1. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    Lévy and Peeters muse on the vicissitudes of life, aging, and death. There is a plot, of sorts: a handful of people who visit a small stretch of beach come across a corpse, soon realize that their bodies are rapidly aging, and eventually learn that they won't be able to leave this beach. Children grow up rapidly, explore each other's bodies, get pregnant, give birth. Adults become even more themselves as their life cycle accelerates. The tone for this existential mystery is plaintive and melanch Lévy and Peeters muse on the vicissitudes of life, aging, and death. There is a plot, of sorts: a handful of people who visit a small stretch of beach come across a corpse, soon realize that their bodies are rapidly aging, and eventually learn that they won't be able to leave this beach. Children grow up rapidly, explore each other's bodies, get pregnant, give birth. Adults become even more themselves as their life cycle accelerates. The tone for this existential mystery is plaintive and melancholy rather than sinister, as very little time but a lot of ambiguity is given to the reasons behind why this is happening. The moral: people will be people, even if their lives are shortened and compressed? One can only guess. Lévy keeps his dialogue straightforward and prosaic, with only the occasional flight of mournful, somber musing. Peeters' black and white drawings aren't in my favorite sort of style, but they are certainly effective at capturing a mood that feels both real and dreamlike. Overall this was a minor but intriguing experience. synopsis: we all live, we all age, we all die.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    Actual rating: 1.5 Half a star for the cool concept (which I won’t spoil), but everything else just made me so damn uncomfortable. Too much nudity and sexual activity involving CHILDREN!!! Seriously, amidst all this insanity: why are all the “kids” so sex-crazed??? Actual quote: “We’ll organize an orgy... Just the kids.” Absolutely appalling. The ending was expected, but there’s no resolution/explanation whatsoever. This graphic novel just sort of happens... and then it ends. Maybe I’m missing so Actual rating: 1.5 Half a star for the cool concept (which I won’t spoil), but everything else just made me so damn uncomfortable. Too much nudity and sexual activity involving CHILDREN!!! Seriously, amidst all this insanity: why are all the “kids” so sex-crazed??? Actual quote: “We’ll organize an orgy... Just the kids.” Absolutely appalling. The ending was expected, but there’s no resolution/explanation whatsoever. This graphic novel just sort of happens... and then it ends. Maybe I’m missing some subtle allusions to moral, metaphor, or allegory, but I don’t really care. The black and white coloring and style was hard to look at, and many of the details were lost inside the panels. Also, (view spoiler)[the dog dying was upsetting. Why do authors always feel the need the kill the animals? And don’t fucking come at me with “But people died, too” bullshit. (hide spoiler)] I heard M. Night Shyamalan is adapting this as his next film. It sounds like his kind of thing, but I wonder how he’ll be able to capture the concept for live action...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    Yikes. So I read this cause of the new M. Night Shyamalan film. And I don't know. There's a lot of uncomfortable sexual situations involving children. It's a graphic novel, and that somehow makes it more upsetting seeing it in black and white. Plus I have to say that this book just seemed focused on the taboo of things and not actually explaining a blessed thing. The ending I think was supposed to be haunting, but I just went this makes no sense. Definitely not happy about how much I paid for th Yikes. So I read this cause of the new M. Night Shyamalan film. And I don't know. There's a lot of uncomfortable sexual situations involving children. It's a graphic novel, and that somehow makes it more upsetting seeing it in black and white. Plus I have to say that this book just seemed focused on the taboo of things and not actually explaining a blessed thing. The ending I think was supposed to be haunting, but I just went this makes no sense. Definitely not happy about how much I paid for this one. "Sandcastle" is a graphic novel that follows a family visiting a hidden beach. The family consists of a mother (Marianne), father (Robert), and two children, Felix, 3 and Zoe, 5. They find a bunch of abandoned clothes and jewelry and eventually find a solitary man who watches them and says very little. When another family shows up and some other people out walking, it appears that the children in the group are growing up quickly and others are aging rapidly. As they try to figure out a way to get off the beach, the whole thing turns into chaos. As I said, kids growing up and it being really explicit about sexual situations made me hard cringe about this. I get that horror should make you squeamish and uncomfortable, but it seemed that was all the novel wanted to show us. We had some half hearted attempts for people to leave and that was it. I wanted more explanation of things and even some better dialogue. I will say the artwork was stark and moving in a lot of the panels.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kaitie

    Only giving this more than one star for the art. If someone wants to read this as a reference to learn figure drawing there are better books to turn to, but this wouldn't be the worst place. But the artist is not the writer here. The book wants to talk about demise, which seems the likely place to go with an unusual age-progression premise, but I could not get beyond how side-tracked the story would get with the sexual aspect of it. It is made explicitly clear that the young characters, ranging Only giving this more than one star for the art. If someone wants to read this as a reference to learn figure drawing there are better books to turn to, but this wouldn't be the worst place. But the artist is not the writer here. The book wants to talk about demise, which seems the likely place to go with an unusual age-progression premise, but I could not get beyond how side-tracked the story would get with the sexual aspect of it. It is made explicitly clear that the young characters, ranging from a young teen to little kids, have the same mentality even when they gain adult bodies. It is explained that they don't have a strong grasp of empathy outside of their pets. The entire ending hinges on this child-like mentality. And yet they miraculously know what being on your period means and have enough knowledge about sex to become pregnant without any adult ever mentioning the concept. The youngest character, a little boy in an adult body, insists he has to have sex before he dies. The fourteen-year-old comes on to a married man saying it's okay not only because of her body but because they'll all be killed before he ever sees his family again. (view spoiler)[And he agrees. (hide spoiler)] It operates on this straight and allosexual perspective that if two opposite genders are even next to each other and have the opportunity they must have sex. And yet only one of the married couples in the large cast seem to even enjoy each other's company. It wants to discuss existentialism, but it isn't mature enough to realize true existentialism is enjoying your own life and not just wallowing. We learn very little of the other character's lives to begin with and frankly with the way it talks other topics it complete lost me early on. Critics have been comparing this to a Twilight Zone episode but that show was never this exploitative. This is more like a mediocre episode of Tales from the Crypt that no one remembers outside of the ending. (view spoiler)[And those shows never felt like a snuff film powered by unseen magic. (hide spoiler)] An uncomfortable read. Skip it for anything other than the art.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Just wait for the movie. Please don’t waste your time. 5/29/21 edit: I was going to leave my review at the two sentences above, but the more I thought about this, the more I realized that I have quite a lot to say about what happens in this book. I have no doubt that the intentions were good, but the execution was botched and the entire thing fell apart as a result. •None of the characters were interesting. They were either two-dimensional or so unremarkable that they could have been removed with Just wait for the movie. Please don’t waste your time. 5/29/21 edit: I was going to leave my review at the two sentences above, but the more I thought about this, the more I realized that I have quite a lot to say about what happens in this book. I have no doubt that the intentions were good, but the execution was botched and the entire thing fell apart as a result. •None of the characters were interesting. They were either two-dimensional or so unremarkable that they could have been removed with little to no consequence. It didn't really matter to me if they died or not, because none of them left a strong enough impression to make me care. •The dog didn't need to be included. He was only there for shock value when he inevitably died. I'm so tired of horror stories using animal deaths to try and be edgy, it's gotten old and it's just callous and unnecessary. •The racism did not need to be here. It was rightfully portrayed as wrong, but as with a lot of this book, it went nowhere and had no purpose outside of making one of the father characters a despicable human being. Taking it out would not have changed anything about the overall plot, it would have just made one annoying character slightly less annoying. •Sexualizing the children was gross. I don't care if they're aged up, we've seen these kids as ACTUAL KIDS and we don't need to see them going through puberty and having sex and talking about having orgies. It was uncomfortable and - surprise surprise! - added absolutely nothing. Did I need to see a teenage boy's penis close-up? No. Did the fourteen-year-old girl need to be sex-crazed as she rapidly aged? Also no. Did we need a pregnancy subplot? Once again, no. •Speaking of the pregnancy subplot, it was so nice of everyone on that beach to die overnight and leave the baby (or young woman, when the story ends) all by herself as she waits for her impending demise. The adults I can understand passing in the night, but if an hour is equivalent to two years, that would mean everyone would age 48 years in 24 hours, and the kids would be middle-aged at the very MOST the next day. They'd still have a handful of hours before they died of old age, and unless they all took some kind of cyanide before falling asleep, I doubt they'd all be dead. •The joint suicide of the engaged couple was so romantic and DEFINITELY NECESSARY. /sarcasm •The hotel boy running down the beach and getting shot was never explained. Was it a mass hallucination? Was it real? Who knows, who cares, we have minors to sexualize and that's definitely our top priority. •The fable the man from Algeria told at the end was far more interesting than the entirety of the actual story. I would have rather read about the king trying to escape death for 100 pages. •Why did the phones stop working after one phone call? Why did the police never show up? The beach isn't completely out of the way, fourteen people end up there over the course of the story, so it can't be that difficult to find. And were the phones aging, too? Is that why they couldn't dial out after a while? •I understand this is supposed to be a commentary on how death is inescapable and no one is exempt, but it just felt so damn bleak and depressing as a result. •Nitpick Corner: I wasn't a fan of the art style. It just wasn't pleasant to look at, especially the graphic pictures of genitals. The black and white also made it hard to tell what was going on at times, with how everything kind of blended in together. I'm intrigued with how M. Night Shyamalan worked with this concept in Old. He at least seems to have aged up the kids' bathing suits with them so they're not walking around naked, and that's already an improvement over the source material. I'm liking the horror angle that was largely absent from the novel, where the characters became pretty resigned to their fates after a while and stopped fighting it; you would think that they'd be trying harder to escape and trying different things, other than running into an invisible barrier and expecting a different result each time. This added to my reading challenge for the year, and lord knows I'm way behind on it, but this book wasn't worth the extra title. It really wasn't.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Seth T.

    I’m not a fan of poetry. Never have been. There’s always been some obstacle between me and my enjoyment of what so many others seem to dig on. That said, there are a couple bits here and there that I’ve enjoyed. A line, a stanza, an idea. I liked a poem an English professor friend of mine wrote because it mentioned Bubo, the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans. I liked bits of “To His Coy Mistress” because it was absurd and, so, funny. And I liked bits of Shelley’s “Ozymandias.” You know, “t I’m not a fan of poetry. Never have been. There’s always been some obstacle between me and my enjoyment of what so many others seem to dig on. That said, there are a couple bits here and there that I’ve enjoyed. A line, a stanza, an idea. I liked a poem an English professor friend of mine wrote because it mentioned Bubo, the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans. I liked bits of “To His Coy Mistress” because it was absurd and, so, funny. And I liked bits of Shelley’s “Ozymandias.” You know, “two vast and trunkless legs of stone” and all that. I heard the poem in seventh grade and the whole idea resonated with me—the fragility of kingdoms, the temporary nature of everything we are and do. I grew up on the beach. We moved to the coast when I was three. I stayed near the sand until I was thirty-two. In those nearly three decades, I built a lot of castles, sometimes in the traditional sense, packing sand into shapes and then carving out everything that wasn’t “castle” from the mass. More often though, I crafted what my dad (our master craftsman to whom we were apprenticed) had termed dib-dab castles.[1] And of course, the greatest tragedy of each of our creations was their limited duration. Not one single fortress survived the night and the rising tides. No matter the strength, value, or beauty of the castle. Time and tides swept flat every kingdom. By comparison, Ozymandias’ kingdom was particularly tenacious, leaving those two stone trunks. Books about the mortality of the race are not rare. In fact, most stories can in some sense be read as an exploration of our perishable nature, of our inevitable expiration. The fact that we will all die pretty much sooner than we’d prefer motivates (even if only subconsciously) so much of our narrative displays—and of course our real-world actions as well. One of the saving graces of the human experience is that without the intervention of some terrible accident (injury or disease or murder), we all get at least six decades to gradually make sense of the whole tragic mess. Those years and years of intermittent contemplation may bring us to peace or push us toward existential horror, and that’s what centuries of literature helps us explore. Sandcastle is no different, and by collapsing those decades and years and months and days and hours of potential meditation into the span of a day or less, authors Frederik Peeters and Pierre Oscar Lévy force the issue rather neatly. Sandcastle, like most Twilight Zone episodes, is heavily plot driven. The reader’s first pass is going to almost inevitably be wholly invested in the question of Holy Crap What Is Happening?! The book is written and drawn with judicious tension. Lévy and Peeters grab hold of one’s attention deftly and don’t show any concern with offering relief until the book’s final curtain draws closed. It’s an exhilarating ride and well worth the ticket paid. Partway through, however, readers will begin to sense that the plot, the story, the mystery, and whatever climax awaits is probably beside the point. Sandcastle is thoroughly invested in the human dilemma—that bit of story that takes place in between plot points. Lévy and Peeters offer a neat entry into their discussion of the human end, lubricating the conversation by its relevancy and immediacy. The characters are rather typical, but that allows us to investigate the typicality of their conundrum. Throughout Sandcastle's paces, it’s never quite clear whether the nature of the book’s MacGuffin is founded in science fiction or magic—though various clues point toward some sort of fantasy sci-fi. Visitors to a secluded lagoon in (probably) Spain find themselves trapped there by mysterious means. More alarmingly, they rather quickly find themselves aging with alacrity—at something like a rate of one year in fifteen minutes. The elderly begin to expire, the children hit puberty early, and the younger adults try to figure out what to do. The authors use the generic character tropes as a means to more immediately bridge the gap between the reader and the question that hangs over each of our lives: What do we do with the fact of our limited time in this sphere? [He was going to say: without riding a pony] Even as Sandcastle is itself a grand parable for those with ears to hear, Lévy and Peeters have seen fit to include a couple smaller interior parables for easy lessons and digestion. One is in the nature of the sandcastle itself, titular and obvious, finding itself expressed through several iterations over the course of the tale. Another is a swansong fable about a king who so feared death that he entombed himself to keep the spectre at bay. The careful (or lucky!) reader may discover more breadcrumbs and trails that the authors have laid out, all to the end of better engaging their subject. [Biology *is* cool!] The dialogue is simple and maybe sometimes a little awkward. This may be an artifact of translation or it may issue from vacationing foreigners all trying to speak in a common tongue. In the growing children’s case, it may show that while their minds mature and they acquire some of the intelligence natural to their age,[2] there’s still a bit of social awkwardness attached to the absence of experience. The personalities, too, seem immune to aging. The petulant teenage girl still lives to frustrate her parents even at the age of thirty. The five-year-old girl still loves her parents with wide-eyed affection, even well into her newfound adulthood. And the three-year-old boy is as detached from the immediacy of his situation as an adult as he was as a child. And all of the children will sit bound and tight for a good story, even in the midst of imminent death. [Everybody loves a story!] Peeters, whose art is full and lively, describes the book as a parable. And it is. Sandcastle is one more opportunity to prompt our thoughts toward consideration of our mortality and if there can be any meaning in it. These parables surround us, whether in Shelley in junior high or in the kingdoms we build as children in the sand, but we are—as a species or as a culture—so prone to forgetfulness and distraction that reminders, even obvious ones, can be welcome. Even for those who believe they know about life and death and afterlife and afterdeath, the privilege to reconsider the limits we’re born with is a gift that should not be squandered or abdicated. We are already, as a people, so very arrogant. Why not take the opportunity to take on the humiliation of mystery? _______ [Review courtesy of Good Ok Bad.] _______ Footnotes 1) I’ve since learned from Wikipedia that these are probably more commonly called drip castles , though a good number call them dribbled castles. These are constructed by taking a fistful of very wet sand (a slurry) and letting it drip in a controlled manner from the hand. The castles are wonderful and organic and amazing when well-produced. Here’s a basic tutorial: And yes, dad, I know that if I held the sand so high above it would demolish the castle below. I drew the large space between to illustrate the 3 steps: 1) the hand holding the slurry, 2) the wet sand dripping down, and 3) the drops of sand solidifying into a castle. Window included, just like I was taught (by example). 2) Such as the five-year-old girl who, after having sex well after puberty (a.k.a. lunchtime), discovers bleeding and explains it to her partner as either the natural result of their intercourse or perhaps her period. Not the usual information for five-year-old to have at a ready hand.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ramon

    A failed experiment. A bunch of people get trapped in some kind of time vortex that never gets explained and is meant to elicit some kind of statement on the temporality of life and human nature but it just never becomes interesting. Characters are either too broad or thin (there's too many, for one thing). What's especially frustrating about this is that the art is SO GOOD. It hurt giving it one star but I couldn't even say it was OK. I felt like my time was wasted and I can only imagine how lo A failed experiment. A bunch of people get trapped in some kind of time vortex that never gets explained and is meant to elicit some kind of statement on the temporality of life and human nature but it just never becomes interesting. Characters are either too broad or thin (there's too many, for one thing). What's especially frustrating about this is that the art is SO GOOD. It hurt giving it one star but I couldn't even say it was OK. I felt like my time was wasted and I can only imagine how long it took Peeters to illustrate. I've missed his confident brushwork. He draws the characters aging so well. There's a three-dimensionality to his panels that I really have missed seeing in indie/art black and white comics.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nazrin A

    An uncomfortable read. Too much nudity and sexual activities involving (well... technically) children! I was curious about the mystery but in the end there's a lot of unanswered questions. An uncomfortable read. Too much nudity and sexual activities involving (well... technically) children! I was curious about the mystery but in the end there's a lot of unanswered questions.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    I wasn't very impressed by the M. Night Shyamalan movie, but I was intrigued that it was based on a graphic novel I hadn't read. But this makes even less sense that the movie, sexually objectifies women and children, and includes the telling of a dumb fable about a king building walls against Death. The art is pretty ugly also. Yuck. I wasn't very impressed by the M. Night Shyamalan movie, but I was intrigued that it was based on a graphic novel I hadn't read. But this makes even less sense that the movie, sexually objectifies women and children, and includes the telling of a dumb fable about a king building walls against Death. The art is pretty ugly also. Yuck.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    I really liked this. Peeters, the author of the memoir, Blue Pills, which is about making a baby when one partner is HIV-Positive, a really a fine book, here works with a fictional fable written by Pierre Oscar Levy, about a group of people who find themselves on a beach together, trapped in a kind of bubble, and age a lifetime in a day. What do you do with a life time? What do you try to accomplish in a short time? It's strange and at times disturbing, but really good and strangely moving! I really liked this. Peeters, the author of the memoir, Blue Pills, which is about making a baby when one partner is HIV-Positive, a really a fine book, here works with a fictional fable written by Pierre Oscar Levy, about a group of people who find themselves on a beach together, trapped in a kind of bubble, and age a lifetime in a day. What do you do with a life time? What do you try to accomplish in a short time? It's strange and at times disturbing, but really good and strangely moving!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maria Cecília Miscow

    w t f

  12. 5 out of 5

    Raina

    Dude. It's hard to describe this book without spoiling it. Daytrippers arrive at a lake and find a body in the water. Feels like a movie, including some Lostie stuff. Some interesting character studies. And the cover is just stunning (assuming you're good with nips). It's very European. For amerikans, it's transgressive. It would make a fantastic short film or play, if you could pull off the special effects. In fact, it would make a great acting exercise for a class or somesuch. Hmmm... I wanted Dude. It's hard to describe this book without spoiling it. Daytrippers arrive at a lake and find a body in the water. Feels like a movie, including some Lostie stuff. Some interesting character studies. And the cover is just stunning (assuming you're good with nips). It's very European. For amerikans, it's transgressive. It would make a fantastic short film or play, if you could pull off the special effects. In fact, it would make a great acting exercise for a class or somesuch. Hmmm... I wanted more resolution, but that's probably more about me than about the piece.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    A man hiding on the cliff face of a beach watches a young woman skinny dip in the sea. A couple of families show up early to the beach to set up their stuff before the crowds appear and one of them discovers the young woman floating face down in the sea - or at least she was young, not now. Slowly as more people appear on the beach they notice strange things happening to the kids. The three year old boy suddenly looks much older, at least six, while his five year old sister is taller and beginni A man hiding on the cliff face of a beach watches a young woman skinny dip in the sea. A couple of families show up early to the beach to set up their stuff before the crowds appear and one of them discovers the young woman floating face down in the sea - or at least she was young, not now. Slowly as more people appear on the beach they notice strange things happening to the kids. The three year old boy suddenly looks much older, at least six, while his five year old sister is taller and beginning puberty. They realise that the beach is somehow making them all age incredibly quickly but find that they can't leave - they're enclosed in some kind of force field. And at the rate they're aging, it looks like everyone's going to die there. "Sandcastle" is a fascinating and strange sci-fi/Twilight Zone-type story with plenty of mystery that'll keep you reading until the end, never guessing where it's going. This is Pierre Oscar Levy's first comic book and he writes it very well with the surprises coming thick and fast with interesting characters making up this small band of doomed people. There are elements in the story that aren't explained, added to the overall mystery of what the beach was/is. Some kind of government experiment gone wrong? A dream? Is the beach a portal to a parallel dimension? Are the people somehow metaphors for sandcastles, that appear on the beach and disappear over the span of a day? Small events in the book point to different explanations but ultimately it's up to the reader to decide what it means to them. Frederik Peeter's art is of the same high standard as his last book, the excellent "Blue Pills" which I highly recommend. He does a brilliant job of showing each of the characters age rapidly, panel by panel. "Sandcastle" is a weird and interesting comic book that's definitely good fun to read and has a thought provoking, well written story at its heart. One to pick up if you see it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrés Santiago

    Superb! One of the best graphic novels I've read all year. A bit reminiscent of Bunuel's "Exterminating Angel". Tragic and gripping to the last page. Highly recommended. Superb! One of the best graphic novels I've read all year. A bit reminiscent of Bunuel's "Exterminating Angel". Tragic and gripping to the last page. Highly recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth A

    This is an interesting graphic novel to read as the weather turns crisper in these northern climes. You know that feeling when you're walking outside in the fall and your breath catches as you glimpse something out the corner of your eye, and then realize it is only falling leaves? This story is like that, only there is no relief to be had. It is hard to talk about this book without giving away the fun of discovering what it is about, so all I'll say is that it'll make you think about beach days This is an interesting graphic novel to read as the weather turns crisper in these northern climes. You know that feeling when you're walking outside in the fall and your breath catches as you glimpse something out the corner of your eye, and then realize it is only falling leaves? This story is like that, only there is no relief to be had. It is hard to talk about this book without giving away the fun of discovering what it is about, so all I'll say is that it'll make you think about beach days very differently after you read this one. The black and white sketchy art wonderfully evokes the right mood for the story. If you decide to read this, do not read the book blurbs, just pick it up and read it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    1.5 stars is probably closer to what I’d give this. Just too much left unanswered.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Selena Winters

    One and a half stars. Reading this one in anticipation for the new Shyamalan movie. While it's got a solid premise (and I respect the author for not explaining how people are aging and why), it ultimately doesn't feel like it achieves much in the end. People live, grow old, then pass away. The reason why I gave it a lower rating, however, is that nothing interesting is done with this premise and many things don't make sense within the story's logic. How come some of the children (who start out a One and a half stars. Reading this one in anticipation for the new Shyamalan movie. While it's got a solid premise (and I respect the author for not explaining how people are aging and why), it ultimately doesn't feel like it achieves much in the end. People live, grow old, then pass away. The reason why I gave it a lower rating, however, is that nothing interesting is done with this premise and many things don't make sense within the story's logic. How come some of the children (who start out as three and five-six) understand some very adult concepts and speak like adults by the end, yet a child that starts out as a baby retains its child-like mind well into adulthood?

  18. 5 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    OK... so like many others, I checked this out because of the M Night movie that came out earlier this summer. Real rating is 1.5 stars but decided to round it up to 2 because I found the idea to be neat. And in the end, that's all it really is. A neat idea... but the execution and ending sucked. The reason for the people rapidly aging is never explained (at least the movie offered an explanation, regardless of how stupd it was) but the worst part was the children having sex. Granted, they aren't OK... so like many others, I checked this out because of the M Night movie that came out earlier this summer. Real rating is 1.5 stars but decided to round it up to 2 because I found the idea to be neat. And in the end, that's all it really is. A neat idea... but the execution and ending sucked. The reason for the people rapidly aging is never explained (at least the movie offered an explanation, regardless of how stupd it was) but the worst part was the children having sex. Granted, they aren't kids anymore at that point due to their rapid aging, but it was still gross because one of the characters is/was only 3 years old, and another is/was 5 years old. It was honestly unneccessary and just in bad taste. That, coupled with plot points that just drop and are never explored (i.e. the person observing them from afar) make what could have been a fun graphic novel, a drag.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    I decided to read the original graphic novel after watching the movie 'Old to see how they compared. I have to say the film follows the story very closely, with only a few changes. The biggest difference is that the graphic novel doesn't attempt an explanation and you are left to make your own conclusions. Interesting, and very European in style. I decided to read the original graphic novel after watching the movie 'Old to see how they compared. I have to say the film follows the story very closely, with only a few changes. The biggest difference is that the graphic novel doesn't attempt an explanation and you are left to make your own conclusions. Interesting, and very European in style.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Etienne

    Let me start this one with an editorial. Someone will have to explain to me why a French comic is 50% more expansive in its original language than the English translation. Because when we, French people, buy translation and they are more expansive we are told its because of the translation, but when the translation is the other way around we still pay more... Some publisher sure love they money.... I get the production volume, the mass editing isn't the same in French, but still, I won't believe Let me start this one with an editorial. Someone will have to explain to me why a French comic is 50% more expansive in its original language than the English translation. Because when we, French people, buy translation and they are more expansive we are told its because of the translation, but when the translation is the other way around we still pay more... Some publisher sure love they money.... I get the production volume, the mass editing isn't the same in French, but still, I won't believe this explain it all! That being said, this was a fine comic! I would have love more explanation on the why, which never came, but I truly enjoy the concept, the art, sure there is a little too much nudity and some racism, but they are part of the story or character trait, doesn't mean the author is... I pick it when I heard it was what as "inspired" the movie Old, which I can't wait for it to stream so I cant watch it (I don't go to theater). Totally worth it. Fun low science-fiction comic/graphic novel!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    I'm not really sure what to make of this one to be honest. Is it a sci-fi, a mystery or a meditation on mortality and the nature of humanity? Bit of all three, but mostly the latter, I guess. The illustration is excellent anyway, with the depiction of facial expressions and of characters ageing being particularly good. As far as the plot's concerned, I'm unconvinced though. You have to buy in to the premise for any science fiction piece to really work, and with this one I didn't. But having said I'm not really sure what to make of this one to be honest. Is it a sci-fi, a mystery or a meditation on mortality and the nature of humanity? Bit of all three, but mostly the latter, I guess. The illustration is excellent anyway, with the depiction of facial expressions and of characters ageing being particularly good. As far as the plot's concerned, I'm unconvinced though. You have to buy in to the premise for any science fiction piece to really work, and with this one I didn't. But having said that, while the concept wasn't satisfactorily fleshed out as far as I'm concerned, its ramifications certainly were. An enjoyable read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alessio

    This novel has a great concept and really interesting characters, but a really poor, almost non-existent execution. Some characters have certain quirks and say things that are never explained into the story and feel like red-herrings for a mystery that's never really resolved, and that ends with an unsatisfactory ending. Overall it felt more like torture porn than an actual story. This novel has a great concept and really interesting characters, but a really poor, almost non-existent execution. Some characters have certain quirks and say things that are never explained into the story and feel like red-herrings for a mystery that's never really resolved, and that ends with an unsatisfactory ending. Overall it felt more like torture porn than an actual story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Good pace and fascinating premise. Lacked resolution and I didn't understand the part José running towards them. Was it to give false hope, to build up suspense, to show that people 'outside' weren't aging? Good pace and fascinating premise. Lacked resolution and I didn't understand the part José running towards them. Was it to give false hope, to build up suspense, to show that people 'outside' weren't aging?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tim Nowotny

    An interesting read that stayed with me for a surprisingly long time. The story of this is quickly told and it‘s hard to pinpoint on what really happens here. But what I liked so much were the quiet tones, the little decisions people to for themselves here.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marlee

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Real Rating: 1.5 I read this because it is the basis for the upcoming movie “Old” directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The contents of this book are terrifying to say the least, but in ways I wasn’t expecting. As a movie buff I’ve seen many different types of horrific scenes play out in front of me, but this book actively rattles my bones. The illustrations for this graphic novel are done in a grotesque, black-and-white, almost hand-drawn type style that aids the book in its simplistic yet terrifying Real Rating: 1.5 I read this because it is the basis for the upcoming movie “Old” directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The contents of this book are terrifying to say the least, but in ways I wasn’t expecting. As a movie buff I’ve seen many different types of horrific scenes play out in front of me, but this book actively rattles my bones. The illustrations for this graphic novel are done in a grotesque, black-and-white, almost hand-drawn type style that aids the book in its simplistic yet terrifying story. However, to say the least, this graphic novel should have some warning for the situations presented in the book, as they can be extremely triggering to an unsuspecting reader. It is for those triggering situations that I find this book so distasteful. I will go and watch the movie when it comes out, but I have EXTREMELY low expectations and hope that M. Night Shyamalan changes this book to better fit the outstanding movies he has already created. **Spoilers Ahead** **TW: Sexual Situations Among Minors, Racism, Death** The graphic novel follows a ragtag cast of families and sightseers that go to a beach but they suddenly begin to age quicker than normal (the movie will follow this plot as well, as seen in the trailer). The children quickly age, one of which going from 3-13 in a matter of a few hours. They then begin to undergo puberty as their parents worry about the aging. Newly teenagers, these young children begin to pair off to have sexual relationships with each other. One of which makes a daughter that began as five get pregnant and give birth at record speed to a daughter. There is racism between an older man and an immigrant from Africa. He tries to kill him at one point after his mind has deteriorated from old age. Of course, the book ends in speedy deaths for each of the characters and a fresh adult crying over her mother’s dead body after only having been born a few hours earlier.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Taco

    (view spoiler)[I'm sorry...huh??? The hell??? Like, the only hint of an explanation to them growing old is the boy getting shot as he's trying to reach them. As an allegory, I can understand the basic premise of "Life is short." But this is a "horror" novel that significantly serves more to confuse the audience than to actually evoke fear in the audience. There are snippets of stuff within the story that show promise to this premise, but the author bombed so hard in the execution that I'm left u (view spoiler)[I'm sorry...huh??? The hell??? Like, the only hint of an explanation to them growing old is the boy getting shot as he's trying to reach them. As an allegory, I can understand the basic premise of "Life is short." But this is a "horror" novel that significantly serves more to confuse the audience than to actually evoke fear in the audience. There are snippets of stuff within the story that show promise to this premise, but the author bombed so hard in the execution that I'm left unsatisfied with the story. (hide spoiler)] If anyone has any good graphic novel, horror, or ocean-themed recommendations, let me know in the comments. I'm a big fan of all three, but this graphic novel was a huge letdown and a waste of $15.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nikki in Niagara

    May contain spoilers, though I've tried to keep it cryptic. I'm going to start by saying I absolutely *hated* the ending which has brought my rating down to a four. Otherwise, up until that point, I was absolutely mesmerized with this book! Such a unique, gripping story and completely spellbinding. It's up to the reader to make sense of the story and figure out the meaning for themselves. The genre is either science fiction (which is actually mentioned in the story) or magical realism (an old myt May contain spoilers, though I've tried to keep it cryptic. I'm going to start by saying I absolutely *hated* the ending which has brought my rating down to a four. Otherwise, up until that point, I was absolutely mesmerized with this book! Such a unique, gripping story and completely spellbinding. It's up to the reader to make sense of the story and figure out the meaning for themselves. The genre is either science fiction (which is actually mentioned in the story) or magical realism (an old myth/fairy tale is related to give this impression). The story comes full circle expressing to me the theme of people building walls around themselves, to protect them from the possible evils of life, but then only succumbing to a unfulfilled life that ends in death. I was greatly fascinated by the story, attentive to the end to find out what would happen. But was disappointed with the conclusion as I had really felt that the youngest boy's question about what happens after death was going to lead to a profound examination of death not being the end, or only the beginning or eternal life, etc. (I'm Catholic) I find these themes often come out similar to the Catholic view of death in many stories even when the author hasn't set out to do so. But instead, we got a silly abrupt, death is death, myth and an ending that shows life continuing but rather without any hope. The book is for mature readers as it does show full frontal nudity of both sexes, however it is in natural circumstances and not gratuitous at all. Certainly worth reading! Very well done.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shana Darabie

    I liked the art. I liked the concept. The actual writing was rather meh and in the end, the story didn't really go anywhere. I'm not bothered by sex, but why, with all that's happening were the kids so obsessed with it? On top of that, I got the impression that in spite of the aging bodies, these characters were not maturing mentally, except for when it was convenient for the story. Then there's the one note racist who was boring and served no purpose other than to doubt what was happening right I liked the art. I liked the concept. The actual writing was rather meh and in the end, the story didn't really go anywhere. I'm not bothered by sex, but why, with all that's happening were the kids so obsessed with it? On top of that, I got the impression that in spite of the aging bodies, these characters were not maturing mentally, except for when it was convenient for the story. Then there's the one note racist who was boring and served no purpose other than to doubt what was happening right in front of him. Here's hoping the movie adaptation has a little more going for it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Souther

    So I wanted to read this because it's the premise for the upcoming M. Night Shyamalan movie, and uh...unless he adds some plot, it's really just going to be a longer version of the trailer. There is nothing here beyond "what if some people got stuck on a beach that made you grow old fast". So I wanted to read this because it's the premise for the upcoming M. Night Shyamalan movie, and uh...unless he adds some plot, it's really just going to be a longer version of the trailer. There is nothing here beyond "what if some people got stuck on a beach that made you grow old fast".

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marta

    Creepy, mysterious and beautifully drawn.

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