Review in the style of Publisher’s Weekly.
Cyril Pedrosa. NBM, $44.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-68112-080-5
The central reappearing characters in this volume include an aging activist, a rising politician, a misanthropic divorced orthodontist, a Neolithic adolescent, and a girl with a camera. In some sense, the central plot concerns a government effort to built an airport and a citizens’ protest against the development.
Pedrosa focuses, with initial languor but then with increasing specificity, on the fears each character has about the meaning of their art, their vocation or their survival. The structure of the story, which flickers between characters, scenes and locations, and includes breakout pages of all-text soliloquies, encourages the reader to burrow deeply into the quotidian struggles of each individual.
Pedrosa’s art floats from dreamlike pastels into heavy, oceanic inks and scratches of graphite; his palette is muted enough to throw ocassional bright lights or colors into shattering focus. Readers who are unused to nonlinear storytelling or find the enormity of this volume intimidating will still find plenty to admire in the rendering of emotional dialogue and ordinary moments between characters.