This month I decided to give everyone a reasonably easy challenge (in terms of reading, if not searching), since I haven’t had too much energy for anything over the last few weeks, so the October challenge was to read a book less than 200 pages long. Simple, right? Right! 😀 I managed to find two books quite quickly – one by Edgar Allan Poe, the title of which has completely slipped my mind (just under 200 pages), and a second (around 120 pages), which I eventually decided to read:
This is a short graphic novel which tells the story of a young woman called Anna, who has struggled with anorexia since puberty, egged on by Tyranny, who refers to itself as Anna’s “other self”; a demonic manifestation of the dark thoughts at the root of her disorder.
I really wanted to like this book, since it seemed like a really interesting concept, but unfortunately I found it more boring than anything else. I did like some of the art, which was occasionally quite emotive (though the style itself wasn’t particularly to my taste), but not often enough to make a huge impact. Tyranny, in particular, was often frightening in its words, but looked too much like a scribble to be physically intimidating.
The writing also fell a little flat, as it was too clinical to allow for any real emotional connection to the story; Anna herself I felt sorry for, but her anorexia was her only distinguishing feature, and in a book where almost all the characters have eating disorders of one kind or another, she didn’t stand out from the crowd at all, and I barely felt that I knew her by the end of the book.
Somebody who’s had an eating disorder (either their own or that of somebody they know) effect their life might get more from this book than I did – it does do quite well at reinforcing the idea that eating disorders aren’t something to be ashamed of – but I don’t think I was really the right audience for Tyranny.
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