Gast

Gast Helen is an amateur bird watcher and naturalist who lives in a rural community in Wales When a local farmer Bill tells Helen that a rare bird named Emrys killed himself at Cuddig farm she decides to

  • Title: Gast
  • Author: Carol Swain
  • ISBN: 9781606997550
  • Page: 215
  • Format: Paperback
  • Gast

    Helen is an amateur bird watcher and naturalist who lives in a rural community in Wales When a local farmer Bill tells Helen that a rare bird named Emrys killed himself at Cuddig farm, she decides to investigate One of the dogs at the farm tells her, by way of explanation, that Emrys had no feathers and couldn t fly She plucks an old cosmetic kit from a dumpster and disHelen is an amateur bird watcher and naturalist who lives in a rural community in Wales When a local farmer Bill tells Helen that a rare bird named Emrys killed himself at Cuddig farm, she decides to investigate One of the dogs at the farm tells her, by way of explanation, that Emrys had no feathers and couldn t fly She plucks an old cosmetic kit from a dumpster and discovers it belonged to Emrys Inventorying the kit s contents, she finds a spent.12 gauge shotgun shell Her attempt to learn about Emrys turns into a journey of self discovery and ultimately a hard fought reconciliation with the world as it is Carol Swain s Gast is the rare kind of contemporary graphic novel critics are conjuring when they exult over the promise of the art form a philosophically mature vision, uniquely executed by an artist wholly in control of her craft In Gast, Helen s inner life is slowly revealed through a mixture of naturalistic detail and phantasmagoric occurrences.

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      Posted by:Carol Swain
      Published :2019-01-17T18:14:48+00:00

    One thought on “Gast

    1. Fabian

      Cinematic and dark, "Gast" is an unexpected treasure. The girl looks to solve the mystery of the dead "bird", one frame at a time!Swain employs the 9 frames per page method all resulting in a pace that is at the same time arresting & smooth. Ever since I met this goat roaming the German country side I think I am done with goat meat! This book will make you feel akin to this (new & alien) feeling, as they are witnesses to Helen's fish-outta-water plight. V. poignant!

    2. Sam Quixote

      Helen, a young girl whose family recently moved to the Welsh countryside, becomes obsessed with the recent suicide of her farmer neighbour, Emrys. As she begins looking into the man’s former life, she discovers his lonely and hard existence, living as a transvestite and working land that yielded little. Gast – the Welsh word for female dog or bitch – is a very muted story. Carol Swain chooses not to have an omnipotent narrator and there is no inner dialogue from Helen, so the reader is kep [...]

    3. David Schaafsma

      See, this is the kind of story I like, very minimal, expressed mainly through visuals and through a lot of people who don't talk much. A girl moves to Wales and spends most of her time outdoors, and very soon begins investigating the death of a neighbor, piecing it together with the help of some people and animals. Of course talking animals is a staple of comics and other works of literature, I am thinking of Charlotte's Web, Animal Farm, Maus, and more recently in Adam Hines's Duncan the Wonder [...]

    4. Daniel Gargallo

      One of those "Rare Candies" in the world that seems to level-up your soul. A triumph of the slice-of-life genre and the nine-panel page, Gast is a gripping book that I could not put down. There is detective work in this story, there are questions, there are answers, but not in the way zealots of the mystery genre would appreciate. It isn't just that there are no easy answers, it is that the mystery of Gast is so genuine and comprehensible that it will offend a conspiracy theorist's sensibilities [...]

    5. Brian

      It seems implausible that a book with magic-realist talking animals and the suicide of a cross dresser would be called quiet and unassuming. Indeed, when the latter element was introduced I began to worry I had been duped by the pastoral, James-Herriot-like cover art. But even broaching politically and otherwise charged subject matter, Swain maintains the unhurried, curious, nonjudgmental point of view of her child protagonist and the quietude of the Welsh countryside. I'm drawn to small stories [...]

    6. Emilia P

      Welsh countryside! Talking dogs and sheep! A strong and weird female protagonist! The history of a transvestite farmer to contend with! This was pretty interesting, and I enjoyed the lovely scenes of the grey and moody countryside. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty immersive. I wish it had packed more a punch, but I enjoyed reading it, and would check out more Swain stuff if it came up.

    7. Richard

      HmmAt first I was rather unimpressed (and a little confused, as Gast wasn't at all the book I was expecting it to be sometimes books sit on my to-read list for so long that I forget what they are or why they are there), but Gast does build a certain cumulative effect. Melancholy and lonesome but kind of sweetly odd.

    8. Jed Mayer

      A subtly moving coming of age story that also serves as a meditation on the permeable borders between humans and animals, men and women, England and Wales. Slow, brooding, quiet frames pass by with little dialogue, and the experience of reading/looking is like walking the rolling landscapes of border country on a slightly overcast day, rich but melancholy: the first real piece of art I've encountered under the guise of a "graphic novel."

    9. D.M.

      Carol Swain is a pretty easy sell for me, as I've been a fan of her work since I first saw it more than 20 years ago. So, it's been with considerable delight that I've seen her sort of resurface (at least for me) in the past few years. Gast is her first major new solo work since Foodboy (I think), and it is perfect Swain.In spite of what the synopsis says (taken straight from the back jacket of the book), this is not so much a discovery of the inner life of a young girl as it is the witnessing [...]

    10. John

      You do not need eye-bleeding excess in art, nor a deluge of words to tell a story. You can tell a great, old story: this person was here and now they are dead. But who were they and what brought them to this? you can tell it without saying everything that can be shown, but mirroring the guilelessness of the narrator with the artwork, by injecting a touch of magical realism to give it a fairy tale quality. The medium is robust because it needs so little to do so much.

    11. Iloivar

      I'm so glad I didn't read the description of this book before I started actually reading it. I enjoyed a sense of discovery as I read, and was pleasantly surprised by elements that are spilled on the back cover. It is beautifully and simply drawn, and takes a slow pace, revealing the story piece by piece, as the main character uncovers it.

    12. Hans

      Wow! Stumbled upon recommendations for Carol Swain in my search for some female graphic novelists. I feel incredibly lucky. After reading several thousand books, it's hard to believe that there is still room to travel to new places. I did that with Swain's short stories and again with this longer tale. Love the angles, space and pace. This is a m*therf*cking rough gem.

    13. Robin

      A quietly beautiful slice-of-life graphic novel about a young girl investigating the suicide of her neighbor. Featuring animals who comment on the cruelty and peculiarities of human beings, Swain has crafted a gritty and philosophical mystery.

    14. Tara Schaafsma

      I liked this. Very spare, a girl who just moved to Wales. She is trying to figure out the death of a 'rare bird' that a neighbor tells her about. She can talk to animals, and is into watching and drawing nature.

    15. Bryn

      I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It's one of the slowest, quietest graphic novels I've ever read and I found it strangely enchanting.

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