I was skeptical of Broken Lines throughout the beginning, and, though I ultimately enjoyed the book, not all of that skepticism had gone by the end. Broken Lines is, in the book’s own terms, an “illustrated novel.” Author Tom Pappalardo’s interpretation of the idea explores the line between purely textual and graphic novels. While that offers a plethora of intriguing options, Pappalardo’s book only takes partial advantage. Some of the book’s use of arrows, boxes of relevant (or not) factual information, and stylized photos works quite well. Others times, the additions feel pretty unnecessary. After the amusing novelty wore off, I increasingly questioned whether the irreverent bits and bobs really added anything substantial to the experience of the story.
The story itself is something like a Douglas Adams-inspired roadtrip in which a handful of eclectic characters in a moving van flee demon fire-starting firefighters (haha, yeah, irony). Though some of the “unexpected” plot and character choices feel a bit twee–like the author was trying slightly too hard to be kooky–by the end, I ultimately found the book fun and endearing enough. Broken Lines plays at the boundaries of the novel in form as well as content, but it doesn’t always succeed in its ambitions. Yet enough of the story’s features are amusing and irreverent to warrant a read.
|Author||Tom Pappalardo • Tom Pappalardo, Illustrator|
|Page Count||228 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|