Leanne Shapton Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry. Sunday, 14 February 2009, New York (2009)
I guess this is a graphic novel?
This mock auction catalogue is certainly the most unusual book I've read this year: the inventory records the chronologically-ordered stages of a couple's relationship from sizzling to fizzled out. There's a fair bit of evidence that it is doomed from the start. It is a really original way to chart a romance: lots of lovely little personal details - shopping lists, polaroids, the contents of sponge bags, menus, books with inscriptions or unsent letters inside. It is a most voyeuristic read; sometimes almost uncomfortably so as one examines the detritus of two lives through the loaded signifiers that are their 'things'.
I really enjoyed this: I thought it was very clever, but not annoyingly so. The not-quite-spelling-everything-out approach was well done - the reader/voyeur does have to work for their interpretations.
A cautionary tale? Burn everything!
Rating: 10/10 (worth it for curiosity value alone)
If you liked this... please tell me what I should read next!