London Free Press praises Geneviève Castrée’s “revealing” memoir

Reader Pulled Into Goglu's Difficult Situation

London Free Press    |    Dan Brown    |    February 28, 2013

Genevieve Castree’s Susceptible is about claustrophobia — not the kind that comes from being trapped in a small space, but the sort resulting from being raised in a smothering family.

The victim here is Goglu, a young punker growing up in Quebec who can’t seem to escape her mother and stepfather. The power of the book is that the pressure of the situation is palpable to the reader.

Goglu’s sullen face, framed by a hoodie, stares out at us from the cover.

Along with the emotion-torn teen, we experience her first beer, first joint, first snort of PCP, first abortion.

Although Castree follows in the footsteps of another Drawn & Quarterly creator, Paul Rabagliati, this is no Paul Moves Out.

Instead, many of the black-and-white images seem to float in space without any sort of background or tether to the page. The effect is something along the lines of a children’s book that’s been drawn while the illustrator is on acid.

This is a quick read, but not a light one. It is a revealing glimpse into the life of one young person and continues the great Canadian graphic-novel tradition of memoir. Now that she’s got the customary coming-of-age tale out of her system, I can’t wait to read more of Castree’s work.

For further reading: Jeff Lemire’s Essex County, Michel Rabagliati’s Paul books.

You might also like


Select Your Location: