The Voices of Water by Tiziano Sclavi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release Date: November 22, 2022
As the title suggests, this graphic novel is about a guy who hears voices, voices that he most often can’t quite make out, but only in the presence of moving water – i.e. rain, the shower, a sink, etc. Though the reader may read it more as a series of short fiction chapters with a vague vein of interconnectedness. A choice was made to keep the text sparse and to let the imagery do the heavy lifting. I’m not sure it worked out as well as intended, though there is wide variation throughout the book. There are a few chapters that can be read as clear and evocative standalone stories (e.g. “Revenge,” “In a Better World,” and “A Day of the Week: Tuesday,”) but there are others that leave one wondering whether one grasped what was intended (if anything was intended.)
The art is line-drawn (penciled style) monochrome. It works well for the tone of the book, and many of the frames feature old town European architecture that is both attractive and establishes an interesting setting.
This one is definitely high on atmospherics and feels a little disjoint because it’s not always clear that the protagonist, Stavros, is in the vicinity of the action, and – therefore – how the overarching narrative ties together. Overall, I think it works, and I’m glad I read it.
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