Book Review: Baking with Kafka by Tom Gauld

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Title: Baking with Kafka
Author: Tom Gauld
Publication Date: 27th September 2017
Price: $24.99AUD

Synopsis: "In his inimitable style, British cartoonist Tom Gauld has opened comics to a crossover audience and challenged perceptions of what the medium can be. Noted as a "book-lover's cartoonist", Gauld's weekly strips in The Guardian, Britain's most well-regarded newspaper, stitch together the worlds of literary criticism and pop culture to create brilliantly executed, concise comics. Simultaneously silly and serious, Gauld adds an undeniable lightness to traditionally highbrow themes. From sarcastic panels about the health hazards of being a best-selling writer to a list of magical items for fantasy writers (such as the Amulet of Attraction, which summons mainstream acceptance, Hollywood money, and fresh coffee), Gauld's cartoons are timely and droll - his trademark British humour, impeccable timing, and distinctive visual style sets him apart from the rest.

Lauded both for his frequent contributions to New Scientist, The Guardian and The New York Times, and his Eisner-nominated graphic novels, Tom Gauld is one of the most celebrated cartoonists working today. In Baking with Kafka, he proves this with one witty, sly, ridiculous comic after another."

My thoughts: The comics contained in this (beautifully produced) book are at times perceptive, at other times cutting, and pretty much always funny. Gauld has an uncanny ability to really cut into the heart of things, and also to make us take a look at things that we would usually find completely serious - but under his gaze, become hilarious.

At times the comics could be a little too cutting for my liking, so a few were a little hit-and-miss, but that's my personal taste and, still, the vast majority had me either giggling or smiling and feeling that swift strike of recognition.

This is a lovely little book that I recommend to anyone who wants a bit of a giggle.

[I received a review copy of this book from Allen & Unwin in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!]

A favourite line from the book: Instead of a favourite line, have a glimpse of Gauld's style.
Image source

You would like this book if: You like witty, sarcastic, literary comics.

Tea to drink while reading this book: I would avoid drinking whilst reading this, actually. Just in case one catches you complete off-guard and you snort your beverage of choice right out your nose.

Rating:  8/10

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