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review 2017-05-29 21:49
[Book Review] User
User - Devin Grayson

User is the queer coming-of-age on the Internet story I didn't know I was looking for (but really should have been).

I grew up discovering the Internet as it grew from a specialist resource and message board hub into the complex sprawling hodge-podge it is now.  Not that Internet is not still growing and changing, but it's become something a bit more ubiquitous rather than something that's limited special interest or hobby.  There's still a divide in how people view friendships and relationships developed in person and online, but those relationships do occur and can be incredibly meaningful as are the worlds we create with each other.

User is a story about all of that and more.  It's about finding refuge in shared fantasy and friendship, as told by a young woman who discovers text-based online fantasy gaming.  The story is heartfelt and raw, dealing with difficult subjects frankly.  I highly recommend.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of Image Comics in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/05/book-review-user.html
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quote 2017-05-15 18:04
I am finished with myself, with my sacrifices and my pity, with what chains me. I am going to make a new beginning. I want passion and pleasure and noise and drunkenness and all evil. But my past reveals itself inexorably like a tattoo mark. I must build a new shell, wear new costumes.
Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love"--The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1931-1932) - Anaïs Nin

Anaïs Nin

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review 2017-05-15 14:33
"Henry and June" by Anaïs Nin
Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love"--The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1931-1932) - Anaïs Nin

I've spent months with the writings of Anaïs Nin collected in this book, reading much as she might have written them, at night in the hours winding down to sleep a page or two at a time. The writings come from her diaries, written in 1931 and 1932 when she came to know June Miller and her husband, the writer Henry Miller, culminating in a passionate affair with Henry.  

 

The writing here can be fantastic, though as you might expect in a diary, it can also be uneven. There are transcendent passages, even more compelling in many cases than Henry's fictional(ish) accounts of the same world, and it tells in real time the story of a woman awakening to some knowledge in herself she's tried to ignore.

 

The Millers become a conduit for Nin's sexuality to open in a way she couldn't have imagined. Nin first finds herself enthralled with June then, after June leaves the country, gets drawn into a physical relationship with Henry and she lives the whole affair through her writing. There are entries full of rapture and passion, but there are many others about her doubts and fears. Nin, who was married at the time, struggled with her passion and how her actions could hurt her husband. What's more, she is haunted by the promise of June who holds a strange power over both Henry and Nin and will return at some point threatening their relationship.

 

If you are the type who reads one book at a time, Henry and June can feel tedious, as I learned during some periods when I was more consistent in my reading. It was not written as a self-contained story so it reflects the uneven way life actually moves. Nin has remarkable character shift in these years but it happens in fits and starts. On one page she may come to a declaration like, "I want passion and pleasure and noise and drunkenness and all evil." But an entry or two later she may again be convinced that Henry is cruel or she is.

 

If you're able to stick with it, Henry and June is a remarkable book both for Nin's honesty and her ability to charge the writing with such emotion without going over the top. Her cruel moments, her insecurities, her lust, her indiscretions, Nin spreads it all out on the page and we're lucky enough to get to read it.  

 

Henry and June is a great read for this and for anyone who has been avoiding the big questions in their head, about a relationship or sex or work or even religion and politics. Nin's willingness to explore her passion — intellectually, physically and in writing — may embolden us to face the doubts and dark corners of our own minds honestly.

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review 2017-04-07 04:32
Wow.
User - Devin Grayson

User by Devin Grayson is the queer, coming-of-age on the internet graphic novel I didn't know I was looking for.  It's raw, painful, beautiful, and relateable.

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review 2017-03-05 04:03
do you want to cry?
Love is Love: Exclusive Digital Edition - Sarah Gaydos,Jamie S. Rich

an anthology of stories, poems, and art no more than a few pages each, most just a single page.

 

i kept having to stop reading b/c i was tearing up so bad.

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