Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Fantastic Arrival

Ever locate a book in a bookstore that you KNOW has to come home with you? That's how I felt about The Arrival by Shaun Tan. I had heard of the book before yet never purchased it until I located a copy in a used bookstore. After viewing several of the pages, the book quickly stuck to my hand and refused to leave.

The Arrival is a fantastic story about a man who leaves his wife and daughter to make a home for them in a new city. Sounds lovely, right? However, this new city is no ordinary city. This city is straight from the imagination, of fantasy and nightmares combined. Even the "spoken language" is unlike anything you've ever seen before. Creatures that defy logic. Food that looks more like works of art. People with clothing that would be deemed insane. And yet, this is the city in which the man begins his new chapter in Life.

There are no words in this book. The entire story is told in images that appear to be faded and obscure, yet no less fanciful. We travel with the man from his home in the old city, then aboard the ship, and finally to his new home. We struggle with him as he tries to get around, all the while getting used to the sights that now surround him. I found myself smiling as I viewed each image.

The Arrival will appeal to those who love the work of Dave McKean, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, and Audrey Niffenegger.

I'm so glad this book finally arrived in my life.


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