Thursday, 18 June 2015

Book review: Wonderful Copenhagen

I would recommend anyone reading this to find a copy of this graphic novel by Danish creator Adam O for the stunning full colour artwork alone. However, I am conscious that to do so might be doing a dis-service to the powerful themes the book explores.

The story is SF/Fantasy, but more in the tradition of authors like John (Day of the Triffids) Wyndham than Aldous (Brave New World) Huxley or George (1984) Orwell. For this reason I am not sure if it is right to call Wonderful Copenhagen 'dystopian'. I think 'post-apocalyptic' may be a more useful term, because in the time period when the story is set the dystopia (our own ecologically fragile, surveillance-ridden world) has already passed. We only see this world through the flashbacks of the principal (in fact, the sole) character. Without wanting to give too much away, I will say that Adam O proves quite masterful in the way he explores the potential dangers of increased repression by a technocratic state with beautiful, and in some aspects disturbingly believable, attention to detail.

An added plus side to spending hard cash on buying a copy is that the proceeds from the English translation (available in the UK from Active Distribution) all go to Haven Books to Prisoners, a shoestring charity which buys books for people who are studying in prison.   

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