Epileptic by David B.

Our Random House rep gave me a galley of Epileptic by David B. some time ago and it took me until now to read it. Jessa from Bookslut really loves this book, but I have to admit that I do not love it as much as she did. She’s a graphic novel fan and I am more of an admirer. I think David B. has extraordinary talent as an artist and as a writer, but it didn’t grab me with that much force.
Epileptic is David B.’s autobiography. He was born Pierre-François Beauchard in a small town near Orleans, France the middle of three kids. His childhood was idyllic—gangs of children to play with including his older brother and younger sister. That changes when his brother Jean-Christophe develops epilepsy at the age of 11. His parents embark on a quest to alleviate if not cure their son of the disease. They become involved in alternative medicine, exploring macrobiotic diets, magnetism, and even mediums. David B.’s world is disappearing as his family moves from locale to locale and Jean-Christophe gets no better.
In fact, his brother seems to give up and David B. explores the anger he felt as he feels so isolated growing up. Many of the drawings show the disease as a monster that holds him as well as his brother in its clutches. The illustrations in this book are at once beautiful and intricate. They really grab your attention and are great representations of the story and what is in the author’s mind. It’s a good book that shows a very personal struggle with epilepsy. I think the fault with it lies with me not the author. I find it difficult to lose myself in graphic novels, as arresting as they can be. Something about the movement of the eyes I think. This book is very good though.