PAUL GOES FISHING reviewed by Planet of the Books

Paul Goes Fishing : Michel Rabagliati

Planet of the Books    |    Planet of the Books Staff    |    April 4, 2008

Similar in emotional impact to the Catcher ‘N the Rye novel that Paul, the main character, affectionately clutches to, Paul Goes Fishing is subtle and understated. Yet, it reveals deep truths of life with a power that is probably only truly felt days after completing the final page. Michel Rabagliati returns us to the life of Paul for the fourth time, taking Paul out into the country for a fishing holiday. The action and story line itself is straightforward, clearing the way for Rabagliati to focus on the thoughts and memories inside Paul’s mind.

Like whimsical daydreams we float through Paul’s childhood memories, his musings on the changes brought on by the rise of the personal computer, and the possible reasons behind the successes of his friends and relatives. Throughout all of these stories, Paul, like most of us, experiences the fears and doubts over the uncertainty of the world and his capacity to deal with it successfully. Paul isn’t a great outdoorsman and his inability and perhaps lack of desire to conform to this masculine type, elicits jokes about his sexuality and common sense leaving him an outsider among other men. Avoiding the brooding or anger found in many reflective works, Paul as a character always takes the bumps and anxieties of life in stride. He not only ignores jokes, but also adeptly uncovers the irony of the hunter as masculine type.

As the novel continues to unfold, what makes Paul special slowly begins to emerge into plain view. Paul Goes Fishing is a well-written, well-drawn, and well-produced graphic novel from Drawn & Quarterly a press known for its high quality productions.



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