Read Luna Park (Colecção Novela Gráfica II, #11) by Kevin Baker Danijel Žeželj João Miguel Lameiras Hugo Jesus Online


Alik Strelnikov vive na sombra de Coney Island, um mundo de passeios silenciosos e parques de diversões enferrujados, que ridicularizam os seus sonhos de se tornar um herói. Há dez anos, trocou uma existência brutal no exército Russo pela promessa de se tornar um executor da máfia de Brooklyn, mas as suas noites são atormentadas por pesadelos em que as atrocidades a que asAlik Strelnikov vive na sombra de Coney Island, um mundo de passeios silenciosos e parques de diversões enferrujados, que ridicularizam os seus sonhos de se tornar um herói. Há dez anos, trocou uma existência brutal no exército Russo pela promessa de se tornar um executor da máf­ia de Brooklyn, mas as suas noites são atormentadas por pesadelos em que as atrocidades a que assistiu na Chechénia se misturam com visões alternativas do passado, que terminam sempre da mesma forma trágica.Na sua estreia na BD, o popular escritor Kevin Baker, alia-se ao ilustrador croata Danijel Zezelj, para criar uma novela gráf­ica perturbadora, que marca o regresso de Baker a Coney Island, cenário da sua aclamada trilogia Dreamland....

Title : Luna Park (Colecção Novela Gráfica II, #11)
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789896825904
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Luna Park (Colecção Novela Gráfica II, #11) Reviews

  • Fabian
    2019-05-18 22:01

    Stark, dark drawings & a strong, sorrowful message makes this a must read. The immigrant experience, no matter where it lands in the scale of years/history, shall always be relevant. Always filled with strife & tribulation.

  • Nicola Mansfield
    2019-05-16 00:51

    Reason for Reading: The Russian historical aspects and the publisher's summary had me intrigued.This is a very difficult book to give a summary as nothing is as it seems but let me tell you what appears to be happening as the book starts. Alik Strelnikov is a Russian immigrant who made a deal back in Russia which got him his freedom in America. This 'freedom' lead him to working for a second fiddle Russian mob group in Coney Island as an enforcer. Here he lives an existence with his girlfriend in an apartment drinking, listening to old Russian records and shooting heroin to forget what he has become. But he is plagued with dreams, nightmares actually, the same ones over and over, which show him in various situations in different uniforms and he is always afraid. These nightmares will take us back in history to pre-revolutionary Russia, to WWI, to the Chechen Wars and back to 1910s New York.This is an awesome, gripping story. The reader has no idea of what is really going on for some time. My mind contemplated these dreams as possible flashbacks to past lives, psychic visions of the past, a tortured man turning his real problems into symbolic messages and finally a simpler consideration, the raving dreams of a madman. Why he keeps having the dreams is not so important but the recurring themes that they carry are. With the ultimate one of betrayal being the most affecting on him. Then the book takes an extreme magical or psychedelic turn and one can possibly start to put things together until near the very end when the author hits us with a very subtle reveal we hardly notice it until the final page with it's shocking end. I actually stared at the last page for some seconds before the reveal sank in. A fabulous end!The writing and the art combine to make a surreal, strange, semi-conscious type of plot. This is not going to be a book for everyone. Not for the type who like their plots to begin at A and end at Z. The plot is incongruous and where it is going the reader cannot grasp until a certain point 2/3s of the way through. This is not a bad thing though. I found the book utterly captivating to read. It's one of those few books that stand out alone as an "I've never read anything quite like it before!" book. The art is fascinatingly done mostly in a palette of terracottas, greys and purplish blues that turn into lavenders at more lighthearted scenes (not that there are many of those). If you've ever seen old Communist posters or postage stamps from the era, the art reminds me of that style at times. Otherwise it matches the mood of the story perfectly.

  • Delbert
    2019-05-17 21:46

    Do you like the idea of a decrepit Coney Island as a cheap metaphor for the insincerity of the Statue of Liberty? How about as a symbol for the modern decline of the American empire? But you don't feel like taking the train all the way to the edge of Brooklyn? Do you think Russians are interesting, but don't feel like familiarizing yourself with Russian history or literature by reading books without pictures? Fear not, our intrepid author gives, according to his ability, a panorama of Russian stereotypes throughout the ages. With a limited palette, Luna Park paints a picture of despotic thugs, well-read junkies, and shamanic whores. These caricatures run around, interact, and, because they have the ghosts of Ivan Grozny, Great Bronze Equestrian Peter, and ol' Uncle Joe running around in their DNA, they can't help themselves from causing a bloody goddamn mess. The end result is a comic book that is long and boring enough to be marketed as a graphic novel. All that's lacking is a foreword by Anne Appelbaum to make this an ideal stocking stuffer for Russophobes too refined for Yakov Smirnoff, and not yet ready for Robert Conquest.

  • Marie
    2019-05-04 21:51

    This book kind of broke my brain, but not for the twist ending (I'm so proud of myself: I picked up on the first subtle clue). Parts of it were staggeringly beautiful, and more of it was staggeringly heartbreaking. I wish the art had a little more definition, but that's just personal preference. It's strong and evocative and suits the story well. The story itself isn't what it seems at first and ultimately asks the question: is humanity doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again?

  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    2019-05-10 23:52

    A kind of surreal trip through current Russian history...a man out of time and place must deal with issues that will destroy him if he ignores his past; but his past may be the very thing that has put him in the cross-hairs of fate.

  • the gift
    2019-04-25 01:04

    this is what great graphic work can do that no other medium does: intense, horrific, visuals. no hard working through text, the darkness is literal. no quickly passing scenes as in film. you can look, you can build the horror, you can never escape- the narrative is gripping, the artwork is beautiful, the layers of images like the best film, immediate and overwhelming as images in robbe-grillet. great work.

  • Treruttan
    2019-05-13 02:05

    Two words: Mind fuck!

  • Sridhar Reddy
    2019-05-05 02:58

    Stories of New York City's multitude of ethnic communities has always been fascinating for me, as they reflect the eternal struggle of the American immigrant. There is the struggle to balance the adoption of a truly free society that allows you to forge your own, unique identity with the fears of losing the ancient cultures that largely define who we are. This is the struggle of the affections of the homeland and the motherland. Kevin Baker delves us deep into the Russian immigrant communities of Brighton Beach and Coney Island, and the world of mob crime that proves to be the fastest track for new Americans to make a living in an unforgiving new world. The story follows the travails of Alik, a Russian immigrant who becomes an enforcer for one of the most notorious gangs in Brighton Beach. As Alik gets deeper into the politics and maneuvering of gang life, he also seeks to kill the pains of his fractured past with drugs and the company of a volatile woman, also his lover, a strange woman named Marina. Marina is also the keep of Alik's rival gang boss. Alik simply wants to get away with Marina, a proposal that proves far more complex than said, given Marina's child and Alik's loyalties. The first half of Baker's story is riveting as a crime drama, giving hints of Alik's former life as a soldier in the Russian army. The second half however spins off into the metaphysical and supernatural as Alik learns that his life, and the hurdles he faces, may not be unique, one-time experiences. The book commands attention because of its characters and rich environment. Baker and artist Danijel Zezelj create one of the most beautiful depictions of New York that I have ever seen in a long time, filling the city with equal parts wonderment and grime. The second half of the book however spins out of control, not knowing the proper balance between supernatural plotting and historical exposition. Baker demonstrates his exhaustive research into Russian history, but his efforts to weave it into a cohesive story seems exceptionally forced. In the end the story does not deliver the type of punch and satisfaction that the art and research achieved. The result is an achingly beautiful and undeniably rich book that has a misguided and insufficient soul. The real standout of this book however is the work of colorist Dave Stewart, who has done one of the finest coloring jobs that I've ever seen in any graphic novel in the past decade. Steweart's colors are the strongest storytelling elements in LUNA PARK, and they successfully transported me between time eras and metaphysical levels. Stewart's work is alone worth the price of admission, and is a must for any graphic design / art enthusiast. The book is worth checking out at the library, but recommended for purchase only for fans of Baker, Zezelj or Stewart's previous works.

  • Bob Redmond
    2019-04-21 19:46

    Kevin Baker, author of the brilliant PARADISE ALLEY and other historical fiction, joins forces with painter and illustrator Daniel Zezelj for this first-rate graphic novel.While set in Baker's familiar environs of Coney Island and lower Brooklyn, this book veers off at a sharp angle from the 19th and early 20th century New York chronicles for which he's best known. The book maintains historical rigor all the same, this time through the contemporary Russian culture around Brighton Beach and the boardwalks, as well as the roots of those cultures in Eastern Europe, not shy of savage grit and attempts to rise above it.A star-crossed love story between Alik and Marina, the narrative travels freely through time and location, using the amusement park not so much as an escape but a portal: to the crime-ridden modern-day tenements of Coney, and the violent wars in Eastern Europe in this and preceding centuries. Baker's genius correctly identifies the park as a place of fear as well as joy; like America, it promises dreams, but delivers what the Greeks named ananke: harsh necessity, or fate. We cannot escape the human condition, no matter how many spins of the coaster.For an author who mythologized the amusement park even while showing its hardscrabble underbelly in DREAMLAND, it's quite a statement. Rather than a paean to Americana, the book follows the Greil Marcusian history of America as a place of futile promise, and the necessity to break that cycle (cf Marcus' SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME). Will we do it? Baker's account keeps us holding breath up to the last page.Zezelj's artwork informs and deepens the narrative, creating an additional momentum that makes the reader both want to turn the next page and savor the last one at the same time. The force of the artwork is perfect and its part in the narrative essential.It's at once a luscious and disturbing book, unexpected and undeniably brilliant.*WHY I READ THIS BOOK: Luna Park is the name of my arts production business, chosen because of its namesake (the second main park at Coney Island) and founders who envisioned a place where the masses could exercise their imagination. I saw this book mentioned on a blog or review, and reserved a copy for when it came out last fall. It took me a while to open it up, for fear that it would not be enough, or perhaps that it would be too much. Its ultimate questions certainly resonate: where do reality, imagination, illusion, escape, and transformation overlap, and can there be any constructive progression therein?

  • Tony
    2019-05-19 20:44

    Stories about ex-Soviet gangsters in Brooklyn are kind of a trope at this point (especially in film), but this graphic novel offers them up in a new format with some striking artwork. Alik is a Russian veteran of the war in Chechnya who has come to Brooklyn to try and escape his dark past, which includes the loss of his true love. However, he's found escape of the wrong sort in heroin, and works as an enforcer for a small time Russian hoodlum. He's also obsessed with a beautiful fellow Russian hooker/fortune-teller who is in thrall to a powerful Russian mobster. While this all sounds straightforward, there are also surreal shifts back in time to what seem to be previous incarnations of him and his lover/wife, which seem to all end in (and foreshadow) tragedy. These dark dreams alternate with the mounting feud between Alik's overconfident boss and the more ruthless mobster who owns his lover, all leading inevitably toward a Coney Island shootout. What might have been a well-told, but routine, crime story is made into something more lasting and mournful through the use of these flashbacks and the amazing artwork. The artist is Croatian and he brings a European sensibility to it that lends the story a distinctive quality perfectly in sync with the story New York novelist Baker (Dreamland, Paradise Alley) has created. Definitely worth checking out by those interested in very dark stories and artwork.

  • Craig
    2019-05-14 20:54

    A major league disappointment. Story was very confusing and circular in nature. The art was great, but too bad it came in combination with such a poorly-constructed story. I hate it when people who are really good at another genre come into a popular one like graphic novels (or mystery or science fiction) and think they're going to write the "great American novel" or whatever (they're going to revolutionize or "transcend" the genre). It generally means that what they've actually written is a poor imitation of stories that have already been done to death a million times over by people who know the genre intimately. That's what we've got here. Baker, a respected historical novelist, should stick to his novels and let those who know how to write and tell a story graphically do their thing. I do not recommend this (luckily, I was able to get it through my library and not have to pay for it).

  • Michael
    2019-04-23 22:00

    No hay que juzgar a un libro por su cubierta. O a un genero por su aura. Novela grafica prescindible, donde falta mucho de lo que creia iba a encontrar: desesperanza creible, una vida posible y negra, una historia lineal, y en su linealidad, realista. Alik, ex soldado ruso, escapa del horror de la guerra y se instala en Coney Island. Trabaja para un mafioso, se enamora de una puta, se inyecta heroina para olvidar y no puede deshacerse de sus pesadillas, que lo esperan a cada vuelta de esquina. Bajo esta premisa escogi el libro. En algun momento, se pierde la linealidad temporal (algo no necesariamente malo), se enreda la historia, vuelve a nacer Alik, se confunde su puta de America (asi le dice el planeta a los Estados Unidos), con su amor de Rusia. Lectura de banio, basicamente. De inodoro, mas precisamente

  • Geoff Sebesta
    2019-05-05 03:48

    Wobbles in and out of greatness. A story that is not quite coherent, art that tries to pack just a little bit too much in.Zezelj is his usual revolutionary self. There are not many artists out there better than this guy is. But the pacing is too dense, and the multiple layers of allegory are undone by Zezelj's failure to square the visual circle. You need characters who simultaneously look alike and different? That's a tall order for any comic book artist. The way it tends to turn out is that you never know who any of the characters are at all.

  • Trisha
    2019-04-26 23:59

    There are at least one or two full spread scenes that are amazing. I loved most of the sepia strips of story. It started out as a really good "Fool me once" story. Then came some historical scenes, which were great until it became the whole story. I get where Kevin was going with in the theme, it was just too many war scenes than I expected.

  • Denali
    2019-05-15 23:48

    A tale of love, war & betrayal. There were large parts of this that I thought seemed sort of formulaic but I loved the overall concept. I won't say much more but it's a quick read so if you do have a chance to pick it up, it's worth it.

  • Ming Siu
    2019-04-27 03:42

    A tad overwritten in terms of captions, but it's a twisty, complex tale with gorgeously evocative artwork. The ending is kind of love it or hate it, and I belong in the former camp.

  • Brian
    2019-04-21 00:46

    This was not really the story that I thought it was going to be after reading the back of the book. Not that the publisher's summary was wrong or misleading, but it was incomplete. The real point of the book is not the crime and gangs and prostitutes, but rather uses them to ask deeper questions. A much more "modern literature" type of story than I expected. I did enjoy it, though, and the severe left turn into surrealism that occupies the last third of the book was quite enjoyable once I figured out what was going on.

  • Sean
    2019-04-30 19:55

    I enjoyed both the story and the art, and found myself transported into the haunting and violent world created by Baker and Zezelj. That is, until the last 4 pages which ruined the story and mood of the book, and left me thinking, "Huh?" Had it ended 4 pages sooner, this review would have been a lot more positive.

  • Michael
    2019-05-12 00:46

    Clever last third and ending, but the opening section of the book is horrifically slow. From a theoretical point of view, I appreciate the multi-level narrative, but the end result is a bunch of unfinished, un-compelling stories. The art is truly beautiful (in a tragic, depressing way), though.

  • Jason
    2019-05-16 19:37

    Very circular. The present mirrors the past which mirrors the past which is all in the head of ... well, I'll keep that a secret if you choose to read it.

  • Kurt
    2019-05-14 22:51

    I likely will be the only person mentioning Zora Neale Hurston’s THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD when reviewing this graphic novel, but it kept coming to mind. There is a passage at the heart of that wonderful book that describes humanity as once being one great glittering mass that jealous angels beat down into tiny bits of sparkle, buried and lost in the mud that still sing out and seek each other to be whole again. A lovely description of how we as humans clutch at many things to try and make ourselves whole, often to our own detriment—sometimes to our own destruction. The narrative of THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD takes the main character many places, but ultimately she ends up where she started—though wiser and stronger for the journey. In LUNA PARK, this circular pattern is repeated toward no good end for its characters. While Hurston’s work retains hope despite admitting a certain futility, LUNA PARK seems only to despair. The desperation that drives it’s characters to find each other creates a dark inescapable momentum that carries them past the finish line into another lap ‘round the track. The joy in this joyless world is in the vivid rendering of the journey—particularly the dark and lovely art work of Danijel Žeželj. The subtle distinctions that make each face unique—specifically the three significant women in the narrator’s life—all dark, lovely and strong yet individuals. The whole book is a dark passage, the use of partial light throughout gives the book the feel of memory—smothered and inescapable. Enjoyed the writing as well, conveying a lot with a little. The dialogue was both natural and foreboding and aching with grief. Choices once made are often inescapable, linking personal history to moments of world history gives them the feeling of destiny. A looping narrative could feel redundant or like a trap, but each journey through LUNA PARK feels like a fresh hell.

  • Joy
    2019-05-04 23:47

    Reading this is like twisting in the wind. I think that's exactly the emotion that the author and artist mean for you to feel - As if your feet are never firmly on the ground. When the story begins to feel grounded you find yourself sliding into another story of Russia and America intertwined in the characters. All of them left bleeding by the overwhelming political immensity of the countries in which they live and betrayal of those they love most. The story is first rate, with minor flaws. The end was odd. It didn't fit the pattern, but it was a jolt to end the story and I liked it.The art is also wonderful. Dreamy and dark, with harsh lines that fit the noir part of the story well.

  • Erika
    2019-04-20 01:43

    I debated reviewing this since I know I'm not the target audience for this book and I hesitate giving it a starred review for that reason.I was first interested in it for the art that I saw in an article, but sadly it turns out the art I saw that interested me was pretty much the only art in the book I enjoyed.All of the art was done in shades of gray, black and browns and in the end just sort of blurred into each other making it hard to make out what was happening or to tell who was who and it made this book very hard to read.For me and graphic novels, something had to really pop and stand out, if it can't be the story then it better be the art, in this case for me both failed.The story was a dark and depressing one, unrelentingly so. Which automatically turns me off most stories. After awhile it just gets boring. Oh look, a new character I get he treats the protagonist badly...and look he did! Oh look, a new plot twist..I bet it ends badly for the protagonist...and look, yes it did!When nothing but bad things happen, it just gets old and hard to care about after awhile.I did like the section that used a tarot deck, the images were strong and they actually used them correctly, which is always a nice surprise.I gave this one two stars for the few images that worked for me, the nice use of the tarot and an interesting story idea, but I had to force myself to finish it because I found it boring and tedious over all.

  • Ayman zorkany
    2019-05-05 22:59

    اختيار اماكن ثابتة طول الرواية الجرافيك ومواقف راسخة دايما وشخصيات تلمس ارواحها قبل ما تعرف تفاصيلها المادية والتأكيد على ده باسلوب الرسم الغير محدد بـخط تحبير خارجى قوى " أوت لاين " تلات محطات مهمة وحيوية استطاع المؤلف بانصهاره الناجح مع الرسام انه يروح ويرجع ويتلاعب برشاقة معاهم متجاوز مشاكل الزمن والتفاصيل التى قد تبدو مهمة فى الواقع ولا تشعر بالحاجة اليها هنا ولكن تظل هنا المحطات تلك هى نقط ارتكاز الرواية الساحرة اللتى يأوى اليها القارئ كل شوية من تجميعه لتفاصيل واحداث يثرى بها تلك المحطات .. تبلغ ذروة الرواية حينما تمتلئ تلك المحطات بالكثير من الاحداث والمعلومات والتفاصيل تمنحهم مع بعضهم خط درامى قوى وان ظل ساحر ضبابى ايضا ولكنه اقترب من التماسك ، فى تلك الذروة تصل الرواية الى درجة رهيبة من الجمال واالابهار .. ماتلى تلك المرحلة وان كان مناسب بالفعل لتطور الرواية والتأكيد على فكرتها ولكنه كان اقل ابهارا وحيوية للقارئ ولولا النجاح التام فى ديكوباج الجزئية الاخيرةبمعنى تقطيعها وتوزيعها دراميا بلغة الكوميكس بقوة حادة وشعرية جميلة فى ذات الوقت _ لولا هذا لكانت النهاية مخيبة لأمال القراء المنفعلين بالرواية بشكل مفجع .. التحامل الكبير ده على النهاية يعود بجد لروعة وحيوية الرواية ولكنه لا يبخس من قدر النهاية نفسها والتى ارى انها تتشابه فى النتيجة التى وصل اليهابطل فيلم سكورسيزى الاول ( سائق التاكسى )تتشابه معها ولكن تتفوق عليها بكثير بالتأهيل اليها وموافقة البطل على أدائها ..

  • M
    2019-05-07 01:59

    The worlds of Russian hardship and American dreams collide in Kevin Baker's historical fiction world of Luna Park. Former soldier Alik Streinikov is a man who has seen his ideals shatter like glass around him. Initially indoctrinated into the Russian army as a means of making something of himself, Alik finds that the true horrors of war are the cruelties inflicted upon mankind in the name of power. Escaping to New York, the former warrior finds himself scraping by as a mob enforcer amongst the tainted ruins of Coney Island. Determined to make life better for himself and his lover Marina, Alik attempts to break away from the corrupted world of his reality. The book twists the storyline from modern day across various timelines, demonstrating the lengths a desparate man would go to in order to attain love, freedom and security. While the art from Danijel Zezelj is hauntingly beautiful, the story from Baker unravels into a time-jumping quagmire. The story is left with no clear resolution to any of the plot points brought up by the Russian/American juxtaposition, and instead spirals off into an understated commentary on political tragedies. Much like the real Coney Island, Luna Park is a bright idea that fades upon encountering reality.

  • Amy
    2019-05-20 00:49

    I'm pretty sure I've read this before but it was only vaguely familiar and even then I didn't feel motivated to keep reading. I can't fault the graphics or the writing itself, but I COULD NOT connect with the MC who just broods on his dreams and how morally bankrupt he, his native country and his adopted country were/are/will be. It's all very symbolic and morose and fatalistic in nature which I think was intended to be meaningful but was instead shallow and dull. Everything is presented in a sort of fugue state without real interactions (i.e. Dialogue, shows of emotion) with other humans. If you're going to present a story in a dreamlike trance, that is fine, but you need counterpoints - highs and lows, contrasts - to define the central theme song. This is just incessant Eeyore for whom I have never held patience.

  • Cale
    2019-04-23 20:48

    I didn't know what to expect when I started this, and I'm still not entirely sure what I read. It definitely seemed very Russian in its story and themes, as a man finds himself trapped in a cycle of violence throughout multiple lives. The ending was very surprising, but did feel earned once I thought about it. The artwork is bleak and rough, with the color work adding to the emphasis. The story passes through several eras of 20th Century Russian history. The characters are unpleasant; they work for themselves, recognizing their own failures even as they maintain their behaviors. It's a very different perspective which makes this for a challenging book to read, but ultimately interesting.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-20 23:47

    The historical details in this are great, and the plot is twisty in ways I didn't expect. Danijel Zezelj's art is also totally stunning. Unfortunately, this is very clearly the work of someone who doesn't understand the comics medium. The words crowd the art, explaining what doesn't need to be explained and distracting from the visual storytelling. And for the first 100 pages, the book is a real slog, a repetition of tropes that I find personally distasteful and sub-par crime fiction. The last fifty pages are fascinating, but couldn't quite make up for the first two thirds of the book. I'd definitely be interested to read Baker's novels, however, particularly Dreamland -- turn-of-the-century Coney Island is fascinating to me, and the reason I picked up this book in the first place.

  • Gregory Gay
    2019-04-28 22:39

    From its description, Luna Park sounded like a noir fan's wet dream. Betrayal, crime, sex, a hooker that dabbles in fortune telling - come on. That's amazing. The end result is fairly good, if told in a really confusing manner. By weaving together scenes of betrayal throughout history, the authors make a blunt statement about the realities of Russian history. The artwork is dreamlike - beautiful, but oddly abstract. It looks good, although the color palate felt a bit limiting at times. Overall, Luna Park was an interesting read, but I think that I'll have to read it another time or two to really *get* it.

  • Salamah
    2019-04-26 21:02

    The beginning of the story was good. It was about this man from Russia who was a soldier in a war and his girlfriend died while he tried to save her. He is living in Bk near coney island and meets another girl who he loves. This girl though works for a gangster who is taking over coney island. That is where the good stuff about this book ends. I did not like the drawings because it was difficult to know what you were looking at. So I had to concentrate ultra hard on the pictures. The ending was a mess. I don't really understand what happened and as a matter of fact I did not understand a lot about the book. I have to read someone else's review!