By Laurie Sandell
Published July 2009 by Little, Brown & Company
Source: Publisher review copy
When Laurie Sandell was a growing up, she was in awe of her father, who told incredible stories of a life of privilege, heroism, academic achievements and more than mere brushes with famous people. In attempt to also live a life fit for great stories, Laurie puts herself out into the world experiencing life as a Tokyo stripper, seducer of women, yogi and even Ambien addict. Then she stumbles into a job as a celebrity interviewer which she loves. It's during this time that she decides to write about her dad and when she starts doing research, she discovers that he's not the man that he says he is. When she confronts her parents, her mom essentially tsk-tsks her. But Laurie needs to know "if this man, who I based my life on, is a fake, then what does that make me?"
This was my first graphic novel. I read it as part of Dewey's Read-a-thon and I read it almost toward the end of the 24 hours. I discovered two things: a) a graphic novel was the perfect choice for that time of the night since it was bright and quick to read, and b) I remembered very few details when I started writing this review. I don't know, in retrospect, if that was entirely because I was so tired when I read it, if it was because I was not that taken by a story told in graphic novel form or a bit of both. Sandell tells an interesting story but, for me, the graphic novel format made it feel lighter than the story truly is. Because Sandell really has a powerful story to tell, although she does seem to gloss over some parts, such as her stint in rehab.
If you're looking for something different, this is a unique and fun book. Do bear in mind that just because this is a "cartoon" book, it is not for children. There is a fair amount of sex, drug use and alcoholism portrayed in the novel.