Book - 2006
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With stunning black-and-white illustrations, a noted cartoonist chronicles growing up with an epileptic older brother. The author charts his complicated relationship with his brother from childhood to adulthood, and the effects of the illness on the entire family.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, 2006, c2005.
Edition: 1st American pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9780375714689
Branch Call Number: 921 B111b
Characteristics: 362 p. : chiefly ill. ; 23 cm.


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May 16, 2018


libraricorn Dec 20, 2016

Incredibly striking

Jun 20, 2016

I loved both volumes of _Incidents in the Night_ so was excited to read another graphic by the same author/artist. This one is much more personal and disturbing. The increasingly violent dream sequences really ratchet up the drama and the art, though maybe a little too busy for my taste, certainly conveys his confusion about his life.

Oct 18, 2015

David B.'s autobiographical graphic novel is a dark look at the effects of his brother's epilepsy on their entire family. Their parents go to many different extremes to try to find a cure for Jean-Christophe. The devastating effects of epilepsy on Jean-Christophe, his parents, and siblings just seem to grow throughout the book. A lot of this graphic novel is about hopelessness and loneliness, with the only glimmer of hope being David B.'s burgeoning career as an artist.

Feb 20, 2013

On pg. 90

Aug 06, 2011

I found the story and the author's perspective interesting, but it wandered at times and lost me.

Nov 13, 2009

David B. was born Pierre-François. He grew up in France in the 1960s and 70s with his mother, father, older brother Jean-Cristophe and little sister Florence. The siblings played in the alleys and streets with the neighborhood kids; life was normal. Then, one day when Pierre-François is nine years old, eleven-year-old Jean-Cristophe suffers a grand mal epileptic seizure in the street. The family is changed forever, and together they set out on an endless search for something?anything?that will cure Jean-Cristophe. The journey is not pretty. Not only are Jean-Cristophe?s seizures debilitating and awful to behold, but the possibilities of a genuine cure are slim. A horrific surgery is rejected for a stint with an extreme macrobiotic cult; spiritualists consult with the dead, who are supposed to deliver a miracle cure; doctors, philosophers, psychiatrists, intellectuals, and religious leaders are consulted as a last resort that can never really be the final attempt. The family is often treated with cruelty; time and time again they are filled with false hopes by quacks and charlatans who take advantage of their desperation. Ultimately nothing works, but the years of hoping and trying take their toll. Young Pierre-François protects himself from the chaos of his brother?s condition with homemade suits of armor, books about long-ago heroes of war, imaginary friends and ghosts, and epic drawings that depict scenes of ferocious and violent battles. Pierre-François? artistic outlet becomes David B.?s masterpiece. The book is brilliantly drawn in heavy blacks and whites that go beyond mere representation to show thoughts, dreams, even metaphors. The characters are fully-fleshed out and true (subplots involve both sets of grandparents and their involvements in both World Wars) and the story is sophisticated and intense, making Epileptic a real work of art.

May 30, 2007

With Expressionist woodcut-like black and white illustrations, here's a riveting memoir of growing up with a severely epileptic brother (and parents who frequently relocate the family, searching for the perfect cure) with a Cabinet of Dr. Caligari-like feel.


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Aug 06, 2011

marishkajuko thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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