Title: Beautiful Darkness
Author: Fabien Vehlmann
Format Read: Hardback
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I think that the book description needs to be replaced by "Inside Out meets Lord of the Flies, with the pacing of Speed." I think that this description gives readers a better reference point from which to approach this graphic novel.
Beautiful Darkness is a terrifying, tragic tale wrapped up in a package of child-like innocence and wonder. Do you ever consider what humans really harbor inside of themselves? Whether children are really born innocent? What we are capable of without the boundaries provided by established society? What lengths we are willing to go to in order to survive? If so, this book is for you. It won't give you any answers, but it'll certainly make you think about these and other questions in ways you might not have wanted to think about them before. Just warning you.
On the subject of warning, this is not a book that is for the squeamish or faint of heart. The style of Kerascoët's artwork may feel whimsical and jovial, the content, though, is as far from those concepts as you could possibly get. This graphic novel may look like a children's book, but it is not, and it is relentless in its assault of your senses and sensibilities. Just to drive the point home, I'll leave you with this visual from the book:
Beautiful Darkness doesn't hold your hand as you wander in the dark corners of your mind. And I loved every single minute I spent with it.
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