Go to Homepage   Josh Koppel: Good / Grief


Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage:one moon gifHarper Perennial (Trade Paperback), ISBN 0-06-095628-3
Most modern literary works appear to have one thing in common for this reader -- they rejoice in no obvious sense or reason. Good / Grief by Josh Koppel fits into this category perfectly.

Book: Josh Koppel, Good/Grief Good / Grief, cited as a humorous retelling of Marcel Proust (Remembrance of Things Past) in graphic form, consists of something like a hundred pages of photographs each with a line or two of text.

Artistic? Yes, in the modern sense. The photographs often appear blurred or shadowed for effect. Some look like black and white copies taken from sections of magazines and newspapers. Some derive from old movies. You find everything from toy plastic soldiers to the proverbial kitchen sink.

The text, if you can follow it from page to page, does tie together after a fashion to tell the story of a rich kid and his experiences. But the flow -- dramatically slowed by the use of photographs and imagery -- makes it difficult to keep the tale in mind as you flip over the pages.

The imagery, too, can become tedious. For example, several sections showcase the same model posing with slightly different expressions to reflect the mood of the sentence on the page. Again, this reader admits, he doesn't have an affinity for art of the modern kind, particularly when it consists primarily of black and white. So this might prove a real classic for the reader who likes the literary style. Very deep, very meaningful and very unclear messages.

As for the humor though, I found none of it. Maybe I ought to get someone to sit down with me to explain it.

For the average reader, probably not a book they'd like to spend $15. But for the aesthete, it might possibly be worth a look.

Stephen Smith

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