Tag: Fictionalised

Kurt Vonnegut – Jailbird | Review

Title: Jailbird

Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 240

Rating: 3/5

This book is a satirical novel that ties back in with the Watergate scandal, and because of that I struggled with it from time to time purely because I’m not particularly familiar with that particular part of American history. I’ve never liked Nixon, but he was also in power a long time before I was born and so it almost feels like it doesn’t matter.

Still, there was some fun stuff here, mostly revolving around Vonnegut’s wry observations and his occasional excellent one-liners. Because it’s also a sort of fictionalised biography of sorts, it also reminded me quite a lot of my own current work-in-progress, which follows the career of a fictional band. It has that same vibe where you have to optimise between showing and telling because while showing is an understandably good practice to have, you also need to tell sometimes to progress the narrative.

I’d say that I mostly appreciated this book from a writing point of view rather than because I particularly enjoyed it, but I think there’s a place for books like that on my shelves and I’m glad that I finally read this, especially considering it’s been on my shelves for several years now just waiting for me to finally tick it off. And to think that it took less than 48 hours. I feel kinda silly now!

Learn more about Jailbird.


Elaine M. Will – Look Straight Ahead | Review

Title: Look Straight Ahead

Author: Elaine M. Will

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 256

Rating: 9/10


Elaine Will - Look Straight Ahead

Elaine Will – Look Straight Ahead


Look Straight Ahead is a fictionalised version of a true story – that of author Elaine Will’s struggles with mental illness. Indeed, the book is extremely realistic in my view, but then I have first-hand experience of a few of the issues that it covers and second-hand experience of a few more. Loosely speaking, it follows the story of 17-year-old Jeremy Knowles, an aspiring artist, as he suffers from a mental breakdown, and the book examines the way that society deals with him, and how he deals with society.

Will’s graphical style is pretty clean and mostly in black and white, although she does use colour for great effect – she’s also very good at evoking a mood by going a couple of pages without dialogue, reminding me of the mood boards that my colleagues sometimes use for graphic design projects. There’s not too much detail and not too little, and it’s interesting to see how the imagery reflects Jeremy’s state of mind throughout the story.

I sped through this in a day because I was hooked from start to finish, and I reckon I might just re-read it again in a couple of weeks. It’s one of those books – y’know, the kind you can re-read and re-read, without getting bored of it? And because it’s a graphic novel, you’ll see new things in the visuals as well as in the story line. Go get it!


Elaine Will

Elaine Will


Click here to buy Look Straight Ahead.


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