The Elephant of Surprise Known As Casanova: Acedia

ca1There’s a neat joke about elephants and libraries. If nothing else that’s why you should read this book today. Oh, and did I mention this is also another awesome product of Milkfed Criminal Masterminds’ Matt Fraction? If that doesn’t get you to snatch up this book, read on!

If you’re a long time fan of Matt Fraction, you’d know Casanova Quinn is one of his older characters that’s become his cult classic of sorts beyond that hawk guy. Fear not though new readers! I, like you, haven’t read too deeply into the previous Casanova stories, and found myself settled into this story almost instantly. That’s because me and the main character have some things in common, starting with: both of us have no clue who he is. In that, I found many things quite attractive about the story and the style of which the world around the main character unfolded.

The story is packing all the big essentials for a good action thriller. We’ve got femme fatales, amnesia, ritzy parties, blown up cars, and a mysterious occult society that claims the world will end in 9 days. I love the costumes for the cult followers, a very Silent Hill style that presents equal parts creepy and intriguing.

The art style reflects a very smooth, almost Darwyn Cooke’s Parker sort of atmosphere. Not quite as clean as Cooke but it has that same feel of a world with intrigue and tough guys that order drinks shaken. Fábio Moon’s style trumps Cooke’s in this instance because the book feels more like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang than it does Gold Finger, which is fitting because I want a thriller on a more modern and realistic scale.

Though these are all things on the surface of the book, and excellent as they are, things get even better when you really look at the word, “acedia,” and pour some thought on the first page of the book. I loved the lines, “I remember feeling like I wasn’t afraid to die anymore. No memory of the past means no fear of the future.” They got me thinking about acedia, and what it meant slapped to the end of the title. According to Wikipedia, it means a sort of slump that come about when someone is bored with life and cares little for their own standing. It feels like a mystery within a mystery to understand why the word is paired with the character, and we get hints but far from anything conclusive.

It’s fair to say, this book dropped an elephant on me this Wednesday. Well done Mr. Fraction and company.

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Alex Añé

I am a geek, writer, web developer and avid comic book fan.

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