Little Things: A Memoir in Slices

Overview

A collection of funny, poignant, and autobiographical short stories, Little Things looks at the aspects of daily life — friendship, illness, death, work, crushes, love, jealousy, and fatherhood — we take for granted. As each story loops into others, Jeffrey Brown shows how the smallest andseemingly most insignificant parts of everyday life can end up becoming the most meaningful. Brown's first full-length autobiographical book in several years, Little Things is also his most ...

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Overview

A collection of funny, poignant, and autobiographical short stories, Little Things looks at the aspects of daily life — friendship, illness, death, work, crushes, love, jealousy, and fatherhood — we take for granted. As each story loops into others, Jeffrey Brown shows how the smallest andseemingly most insignificant parts of everyday life can end up becoming the most meaningful. Brown's first full-length autobiographical book in several years, Little Things is also his most impressive, touching, and true.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Jeffrey Brown is one of my favorite graphic memoirists. And one of the funniest. Each book is like another glimpse into one of the best diaries anyone anywhere is keeping."

— Glen David Gold, author of Carter Beats the Devil

"If I were Pippi Longstocking, Jeffrey Brown's Little Things is exactly the sort of treasure I'd plant in a hollow tree, as a day-making gift for a stranger, a friend, or anyone who needs convincing that there's magic in the mundane."

— Ayun Halliday, creator of The East Village Inky and author of No Touch Monkey!

Publishers Weekly

A comics memoirist in the slightly worn-out quotidian mode pioneered by Harvey Pekar, Brown has already produced a series of books about his relationships with women. This one's a bit more scattered-it's a collection of short pieces about the last two years of Brown's life, including some medical troubles, a camping trip, various interactions with his cat and a lot of not-particularly-momentous conversations with friends. It doesn't quite cohere into a narrative, although the final section, "A Little Piece of Myself," gives his relationship stories some closure, showing Brown as a new dad meeting his girlfriend's father. Like his earlier autobiographical books, Little Thingsis drawn in quick pen doodles-Brown's big-headed, stubbly, emotionally fraught self-caricature appears in almost every panel, and he loads his images with evocative physical details. The ultra-casual style occasionally pays off in comedy, as when he captions a scribbled sketch of a driver who hit his friend's car "actual expression may have been smarmier than appears." But a handful of his anecdotes veer into tedious accounts of his life as a cartoonist, and most of them ramble aimlessly for too long; his ability to minutely recall his experiences of various kinds of day-to-day ennui doesn't make them interesting. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
More autobiographical sketches, in no particular order, from Chicago graphic artist Brown (Cat Getting out of a Bag and Other Observations, 2007, etc.). From the previously published first chapter, "These Things These Things," through the finale, "A Tiny Piece of Myself," the prolific author covers roughly the last four years of his small-scale experiences. A reader would have to be well acquainted with his personal life to see much of a progression from one year to the next; Brown's graphic recollections can seem random and ordinary, and no doubt that's intentional. The always hirsute and bedraggled artist makes the rounds in one story after another: drawing at Earwax coffeeshop, selling CDs at Barnes & Noble, listening to music, dealing with his cat, having touch-and-go romances that involve lots of waiting for phone calls and parsing of signals, not to mention negotiating dilemmas like whether to romance "smartie" or "cutie." The art is lo-fi in the extreme, with cramped framing and people who look like the sort of hunched caricatures another artist might doodle in the margins before moving on to the main event. The book's dialogue will win no awards, resorting often to a Seinfeld-ian blah blah blah method of elision. Chapters like the long-winded "Missing the Mountains," in which he goes hiking and plays Scrabble with a friend, sometimes give Brown's memoir the air of a chronically low-achieving slacker's take on the form-i.e., exert as little effort as possible. But the bulk of the pieces charm with their off-kilter humor and sad-sack tales of the lovelorn, such as the brilliantly self-deprecating mini-essay, "How to Meet a Girl."Unprepossessing but also winning snapshots of varying(non)importance from an unremarkable life that pretends to be nothing but. Could easily appeal to those new to the genre. Agent: Marc Gerald/The Agency Group
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416549468
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 993,563
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 0.80 (h) x 7.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I am beginning to truly love graphic novels

    ...This one is by a young man who works at Barnes and Noble. He relates vignettes of his life in a matter of fact way that make them seem extraordinary. I had seen a portion of one of his strips in an anthology and am now happy that I have found the full text.

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    Posted April 3, 2011

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