The BookBrowse Review

Published January 22, 2020

ISSN: 1930-0018

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The BookBrowse Review

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Book Jacket

Spring Rain
A Graphic Memoir of Love, Madness, and Revolutions
by Andy Warner
28 Jan 2020
208 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN-13: 9781250165978
Genre: Biography/Memoir
Critics:
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An intimate graphic memoir by a New York Times bestselling writer about his semester abroad in Beirut as he grows close to a crowd of mostly LGBTQ students, and suffers a mental breakdown while the city erupts into revolution.

In 2005 Andy Warner traveled to Lebanon to study literature in Beirut, one of the world's most cosmopolitan and storied cities. Twenty-one years old and recently broken up from his girlfriend, Warner feels his life is both intense and directionless. Immersing himself in the vibrant and diverse city, he quickly befriends a group of LGBT students, many of whom are expats straddling different cultures and embracing the freedoms of the multicultural city. Warner and his friends party, do drugs, and hook up, even as violence breaks out in the city―the scars of a fifteen-year civil war reopening with a series of political assassinations and bombings. As the city descends into chaos and violence, Warner feels his grasp on reality slowly begin to slip as he confronts traumas in his past and anxiety over his future.

Illustrated in beautiful and intricate detail, Spring Rain is an absorbing and poignant graphic memoir of a young man's attempt to gain control over his life as well as a portrait of a city and a nation's violent struggle to define its future.

"A cartoonist uses his art to connect the world he sees collapsing outside with the psychological state crumbling within. The political and psychological potently intertwine within this highly charged memoir." - Kirkus Review (starred reviews)

"If the final quarter of the book feels a bit meandering, it could be blamed on realism: there's no clean narrative for the turmoil of a mind or country in unrest. Warner's work honors the richness of Lebanon and the fragile, fleeting nature of peace." - Publishers Weekly

Andy Warner is the New York Times best-selling author of Brief Histories of Everyday Objects (Picador, 2016). His comics have been published by Slate, Fusion, American Public Media, The Nib, Symbolia, Medium, KQED, popsci.com, Showtime Network's Years of Living Dangerously, IDEO.org, The Center for Constitutional Rights, UNHCR, UNRWA, UNICEF, and Buzzfeed. He is a contributing editor at The Nib and has taught cartooning at Stanford University, California College of the Arts, and the Animation Workshop in Denmark. He makes comics in a garden shed in San Francisco and comes from the sea.

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