Berlin: City of Stones (Berlin Series #1)

Overview

Berlin: City of Stones presents the first part of Jason Lutes' captivating trilogy, set in the twilight years of Germany's Weimar Republic. Kurt Severing, a journalist, and Marthe Muller, an art student, are the central figures in a broad cast of characters intertwined with the historical events unfolding around them. City of Stones covers eight months in Berlin, from September 1928 to May Day, 1929, meticulously documenting the hopes and struggles of its inhabitants as their future is darkened by a glowing ...

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Overview

Berlin: City of Stones presents the first part of Jason Lutes' captivating trilogy, set in the twilight years of Germany's Weimar Republic. Kurt Severing, a journalist, and Marthe Muller, an art student, are the central figures in a broad cast of characters intertwined with the historical events unfolding around them. City of Stones covers eight months in Berlin, from September 1928 to May Day, 1929, meticulously documenting the hopes and struggles of its inhabitants as their future is darkened by a glowing shadow.

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Editorial Reviews

Time Magazine
Lutes has a clean, clear style in both his drawing and writing that make him deceptively easy to read as he explores personal stories unfolding in a turbulent period in history. — Andrew D. Arnold
Kirkus Reviews
This black-and-white historical narrative, written and illustrated by Lutes, collects eight volumes of his ongoing comic book set in Berlin during the late '20s. It's a multilayered tale of love and politics at the beginning of the Nazi era, as Lutes follows the stories of three characters: a 20ish art student from the provinces, a textile worker, and a young Jewish radical. Their lives intersect in only the subtlest way-Lutes depicts them crossing paths at some great public events, such as the Mayday march that closes this part of his book. And Lutes plays with perspective in a visual sense as well, jumping from point-of-view frames to overhead angles, including one from a dirigible flying above in honor of the Kaiser. At street level, Lutes integrates his historical research smoothly, and cleverly evokes the sounds and smells of a city alive with public debate and private turmoil. The competing political factions include communists, socialists, democrats, nationalists, and fascists, and all of Lutes's characters get swept up by events. Marthe, the beautiful art student, settles in with Kurt, the cynical and detached journalist; Gudrun, the factory worker, loses her job, and her nasty husband (to the Nazi party), then joins a communist cooperative with her young daughters; Schwartz, a teenager enamored with the memory of Rosa Luxembourg, balances his incipient politics with his religion at home and his passion for Houdini. The lesser figures seem fully realized as well, from the despotic art instructor to the reluctant street policeman. Cosmopolitan Berlin on the brink of disaster: Lutes captures the time and place with a historian's precision and a cinematographer's skill. Hisshifts from close-ups to fades work perfectly in his thin-line style, a crossbreed of dense-scene European comics and more simple comics styles on this side of the Atlantic. An original project worth watching as it shapes up to something that may be quite magnificent.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781896597294
  • Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
  • Publication date: 6/1/2000
  • Series: Berlin Series , #1
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 209
  • Sales rank: 504,437
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An Unexpected Find

    When I first saw this book in the graphic novel section I didn't quite believe that there was a graphic novel based on 1920-30's Germany. After reading the first couple of pages on my lunch break, I was hooked. This is much more than a "period piece" in comic format; Lutes has really done a great deal of research here and pours life and emotion into the characters. The artistic style for the work is perfect in recreating Berlin in context and does well to immerse the reader. However, those looking for a "How the NSDAP took over" narrative will be disappointed; but the excellent character development and deeply personal storyline will almost instantly salve any prior let-downs. An excellent read for any mature graphic novel fan. After reading "City of Stones" I immediatly went out and got the sequel "City of Smoke".

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