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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Quest to be Sumo

Pham, Thien (2012)  Sumo  New York:  First Second

Scott broke up with Gwen.  He then did the only logical thing for a young man to do after breaking up with someone he loved a great deal -- he moved to Japan to become a sumo wrestler. 
Maybe that sounds unrealistic to you.  Fine.  Then go read some other book. 
I found it delightful.  It reads kind of like a graphic novel version of a haiku.  It is fairly short, reads fast, and at the end you feel hopeful even though the conclusion of Scott's sumo training and indeed the conclusion of his relationship to Asami remain unclear.  The art is simple, but beautiful and the story is told in flashbacks in which different time periods are delineated by the color of the wash used to color each panel. 
I find this a hard book to get at with words.  You really need to read it.  The running theme seems to be that, if you break up with someone, it will hurt, but you will be okay.  When I read it, it makes me feel happy in a melancholy way.  I think this would be a good one for high school especially. 
I'll end the only way I can, with some images from the book.

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