Ghost World

Ghost World

by Daniel Clowes


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1998 Ignatz Award Winner, Outstanding Graphic Novel: The inspiration for the feature film and one of the most acclaimed graphic novels ever.

Ghost World has become a cultural and generational touchstone, and continues to enthrall and inspire readers over a decade after its original release as a graphic novel. Originally serialized in the pages of the seminal comic book Eightball throughout the mid-1990s, this quasi-autobiographical story (the name of one of the protagonists is famously an anagram of the author's name) follows the adventures of two teenage girls, Enid and Becky, two best friends facing the prospect of growing up, and more importantly, apart. Daniel Clowes is one of the most respected cartoonists of his generation, and Ghost World is his magnum opus. Adapted into a major motion picture directed by Terry Zwigoff (director of the acclaimed documentary Crumb), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. This graphic novel is a must for any self-respecting comics fan's library.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781560974277
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Publication date: 04/01/2001
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 95,242
Product dimensions: 9.98(w) x 6.58(h) x 0.24(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Daniel Clowes is a celebrated graphic novelist, Academy-Award nominated screenwriter, and frequent cover artist for the New Yorker. He lives in Oakland, CA. He is

a multi-Harvey, Eisner, and Ignatz Award winner, and his papers were recently acquired by the University of Chicago library.

What People are Saying About This

Dave Eggers

Dan Clowes is a master storyteller and artist—there's poetry in every panel.

Michael Chabon

I think Ghost World is astonishing... I think it's one of the best books about adolescence written.

Customer Reviews

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Ghost World 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
mjspear on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Affecting portrayal of teenage girl friendship and alienation. Enid and Rebecca come of age in an urban landscape populated with weird characters, would-be boyfriends, and (surprisingly sympathetic) parents. Everyday events (prank phone calls, trips to a 1970s diner, spying on strangers) are elevated to grave importance in their narrow world. Not everyone's cup of tea but a true prize for those who 'get it.' Edgiest of the edgy: f-bombs, nonPC remarks, cartoon portrayals of sexual activity, nudity.
KLmesoftly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story captures the difficulties of growing up perfectly - the awkward transition from high school to college, leaving one's home town and struggling to maintain friendships. Don't read this looking for much of a plot, as such; it's a character study.
dst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can see why people have raved about this. The girls are enchanting characters, both bitchy and insecure. Whether that has something to do with actual teenagers, I do not know. Chilly artwork complements the storyline perfectly.
perlle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The subject is the time between high school and adulthood. The question is about friendship and how the "ghost world" effects and changes them. The book is full of teenage experiences everyone can identify.
heidialice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enid and Rebecca, too cool and eccentric for their peers, have been inseparable since childhood, but the summer after they graduate from high school, things start to subtly shift between them. They still have their twisted fun with each other and people they know, but the end of the summer looms as Enid longs to escape the town, and the child she was.Well-drawn, with perfectly executed dialogue, probably more poignant and appropriate for older teens. Especially good are the glimpses into the real young women behind the personas.
Niecierpek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am not exactly in the age group that this novel is directed at, but it appealed to me in the end as well. At the beginning it seemed like a meaningless jumble of awful adolescent girl-speak, and I was seriously tempted to put it down, but then it got much better and was quite funny, lyrical and poignant in the end. It¿s a story of two girls in the ¿Ghost world¿- the world between adolescence and adulthood. The girls finished high school, and don¿t know quite yet what they want to do with themselves. Although they desperately want to be adult and cool, they are still children in many aspects. By the end of the novel, though, the change in the mood, the graphics and the dialogue come together and make us realize that they have grown up. The ending was a nice way, I think, of exploring the advantage of graphics in conveying meaning.
dr_zirk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you've only seen the film version of Ghost World, you're missing out on an entirely more compelling version of the story, rendered in a medium that is much more appropriate to the subject matter. Daniel Clowes has formidable talents in illustration, story and (best of all) characterization. Despite the delicate challenge of depicting the complicated lives of young women, Clowes succeeds marvelously by carefully balancing his delivery so that we are given just enough information, but never feel overwhelmed with too much detail. Enid and Rebecca are richly developed characters, and their story is subtle and fascinating. Not bad for a "comic book." If you're new to the world of graphic novels, this is a great place to start - this is the good stuff.
wendellg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
second time I've read the book - after seeing the movie about 6 times - and it confirms that this is a great, well-told story: very understated and yet it has a great impact. On a personal, professional note: I'm glad to have promoted this work (in both the film and the original book version) to a young woman and received feedback from that - she loves the movie, then read the book and thought that was better...
GingerbreadMan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this a couple of years before they made the film, and I now reread it over a weekend at my brother's. I didn't remember the difference between thew film and the book was so big. The book is much more plotless, static or perhaps floating, almost without a dramaturgical core. The main theme, growing apart, losing sync with a close friend is sort of happening in passing, in the margins even. It's quite skillfully done, and it moves me in a understated way.
Othemts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A sad but compelling graphic novel about a teenage girl who is an outsider on the cusp of adulthood but not satisfied with the inauthentic world she lives in. An excellent movie was made from this book, but I think its worth reading this first.
Djupstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My favorite literary graphic novel by far.
taylorh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Do I like Ghost World? I don't know.Clowes art is economical while still somewhat grotesque. Features are a bit distorted out of true and are never hollywood-false, fortunately. He uses a spare amount of color to highlight the otherwise black and white drawings, in such a way that there is an almost bleak wash of dusk light suffusing the story. It adds just the right amount of poignancy to the undertones of the tale. Dusk, a time of change, realizations, shifting speeds, moving on.
wiremonkey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you have ever been a middle class, disenfranchised adolescent in North America, if you have ever been bored/disillusioned/confused about growing up/sexuality/what the hell you should be doing with your life and what it all means anyway, this book is for you. Clowes portrays the adolescent angst (that is so painfully real at the time but seems a little shamefully narcissistic a few years later)to perfection.
_________jt_________ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
WHOA! It's been awhile since I had this intense an experience with literature. I found the final pages so unbearably moving that I cried not once, but twice (I reread the book immediately and was just as verklempt the second time). As with The Giving Tree, I can't explain the effect this book has on me -- it just gut-punches me, leaving me helpless. Better than any comic book I've read lately, or indeed ANY book or movie or TV show I've seen lately, this is the best THING that I have EXPERIENCED in a long, long time.
stephmo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Daniel Clowes has a talent for zeroing in on those who are fighting against the notion that anyone but they has ever struggled with fitting into their own skin. Ghost World follows this struggle through Enid and Becky as they take the only path permissible - forming a tight bubble where one can pretend that they and everyone in it is absolutely, the only people that get anything about the world. The problem with angst-ridden teen bubbles is that reality has this pesky way of poking at the bubble, what with things coming to the surface like discovering things you actually do care about and finding things you might actually want to try.If you don't remember trying on different personas or if you no longer acknowledge your angst-ridden teen days, Ghost World can appear to follow two rather cruel and aimless girls. I did prefer the work of David Boring not only because you get a longer story arc, but because it's clear that Clowes does not spend his time with the deliberately cruel. Instead, he spends time with those that become cruel in their misguided attempts to protect themselves from the cruelties of others.
mattsya on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like Your Eyes in Stars, this is a story of a great friendship that grows apart as adulthood sets in. Very funny and often vulgar, Clowes' comic book is the form at its best. Clowes is highly regarded in the comics world, and is truly a master of the form. As with Blankets and Death of Speedy, the drawing adds great emotion and subtext to the otherwise non-dramatic narrative. Enid is a wonderfully complex character with a wicked sense of humor. This comic effectively captures the moment of the end of adolesence and the beginning of adulthood. Recommended for all readers.
poetontheone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two co-dependent, mouthy girls fresh out of high school have nothing to do but sulk and whine about their lives in an unbearable small town. Some further character development would have improved this premise by leaps and bounds, as so many will fail to realize the intended parody Clowes' attempts with these miserable 'hipster' youths. The building tension towards the end is unexpected and refreshing, but not ultimately able to elevate the story's unstable backbone. A funny-but-melancholy coming of age story, as many are, complimented by some bleak though often goofy pencil work.
timtom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a good example of the new-era of american graphic novels: away from the superhero stereotypes, realistic, cynical and well-drawn. But the storyline is a bit weak, and the two main characters, two pre-college best friends facing the slap of adulthood, are hard to relate to.
iftyzaidi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two cynical, world-weary high-school girls approach graduation and life beyond it with a sense of ennui and uncertainty. This is actually a graphic novel that should probably rate 5 stars - it is an incredibly well-drawn and written portrait of fear and loathing in a small town but I was possibly not in the frame of mind to appreciate it as much as I should have. Will re-read this one down the line.
Jargoneer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Much praised graphic novel adapted into a much praised film.Best friends Enid and Becky are best friends; adolescent girls on the cusp of adulthood. Enid is more opinionated, insecure about her physical appearance, generally less mature as she seeking her `true¿ personality. Becky is attractive, more a follower of Enid than an instigator and more comfortable in her own skin. They have the faux cynicism of youth, spending much of their time making snide comments to each other about other people and the world in general; while outwardly following more acceptable social etiquette. They discuss potential boyfriends, sex and what they want to do with their lives. Eventually as time moves on they grower further apart until their friendship is more-or-less a thing of the past.The book is less a novel than a collection of linked short stories or vignettes, probably as result of it being published periodically in Eightball. This works well when establishing the characters but is less successful in developing them ¿ the final couple of chapters feel disjointed from the rest as if there are strips missing. Nominally described as black and white the artwork is actually tinted; green in the copy I read but there appears to some variation between editions regarding this. Clowes art is relatively straightforward, comprised of strong simple lines. (The artwork actually simplifies over the length of the book as Clowes gradually adopts a simpler style). This works well in Ghost World by focusing the reader onto the story and the characters rather than spending more time analysing detailed artwork.The problem with focusing the reader onto the story and the characters is that both tread such a well-worn path. The story of childhood friends gradually growing apart is an oft-told tale in books, film, television and song ¿ one leaves to go places/abroad/the big city, the other is left behind trapped in a mundane existence. (Of course, films especially often reverse this with the one who left (now harassed or bitter or trapped in the rat race) having to go back to the small town they escaped from and experiencing a spiritual reawakening). Ghost World is no different ¿ the catalyst that starts the decline in their relationship is Enid applying for college and not telling Becky. Even from the first few pages it is obvious that Enid will be the one that leaves, that Becky is on the verge of accepting the situation.With a clichéd plot the stress of the book falls on the characters but again they are follow pre-determined patterns. Enid is the outsider who is confused about what she wants but she knows that she wants more than is on offer on Main Street; Becky, on the other hand, really just wants to fit into the society around her. Clowes never threatens to alter the dynamic of the relationship, of the characters ¿ Becky is never allowed to step from behind Enid and he leaves her stranded in the shadows.Ghost World is not a bad book, it is enjoyable, but it has been over-praised, possibly as result of it being more human in a medium that is dominated by superheroes. The journey Clowes takes us on is not an exciting one of discovery but a pleasant one through familiar places.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Catching up on graphic novels I always wanted to read. Either because of the movie which I didn't know said movie was based on a graphic novel or heard a lot about said graphic novel and just now finally getting around to reading it. So anyway, I remember seeing the movie a lot whenever it was on TV and thought it was an okay but not that bad of a movie. After reading this, it does make me want to revisit the movie again. I mean it has been a long time since I last saw it but I recall the story and its characters I guess. I also thought at the time that Thora Birch would of been a good Daria or Janeane Garofalo. So about the graphic novel, yeah the art is something to get used to. The story and characters are there, a little different from what I saw in the movie but still. Interesting is all I got to say for this one. Give this a read if you've heard of it because of the movie or while looking for graphic novels to read or something. Interesting read I guess.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
so good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really appreciate the artwork in this book along with the odd color scheme. Unfortunately, the artwork is the most impressive feature for me. I find the book lacks a storyline until about halfway through, and when the story finally shows up, it is nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps it is because I moved many times growing up, and I am accustomed to saying goodbye to friends, which happens to be a key aspect of this story. I went into this book expecting it to be funny, and to me, it was not. Overall, I find the book simply average because I have read graphic novels that are worse and several that are equal or better than this one.
AlternativeMind More than 1 year ago
Ghost World written by Daniel Clowes is an amazing read. The diction in the comic is astounding and I found the characters of Enid and Rebbecca to be sincerely hilarious. Though I did see the movie and physically enjoyed it, I also adore the graphic novel, too. If you enjoy funny and yet awkward conversations between two alternative teenagers, well drawn pictures and a memorable plot, I recommend reading Ghost World.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago