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Imagine Wanting Only This
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Imagine Wanting Only This


A gorgeous graphic memoir about loss, love, and confronting grief

When Kristen Radtke was in college, the sudden death of a beloved uncle and the sight of an abandoned mining town after his funeral marked the beginning moments of a lifelong fascination with ruins and with people and places left behind. Over time, this fascination deepened until it triggered a journey around the world in search of ruined places. Now, in this genre-smashing graphic memoir, she leads us through deserted cities in the American Midwest, an Icelandic town buried in volcanic ash, islands in the Philippines, New York City, and the delicate passageways of the human heart. Along the way, we learn about her family and a rare genetic heart disease that has been passed down through generations, and revisit tragic events in America's past.

A narrative that is at once narrative and factual, historical and personal, Radtke's stunning illustrations and piercing text never shy away from the big questions: Why are we here, and what will we leave behind?

(With black-and-white illustrations throughout; part of the Pantheon Graphic Novel series)

Title:Imagine Wanting Only This
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:278 pages
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    Imagine Wanting Only This Reviews

  • Donna
    Jun 12, 2017

    To abandon something beautiful is where the crime rests.If this quote from the book is true, then the author is guilty of this crime, both when speaking as the main character in this book and as its w...

  • Divine-Asia
    May 18, 2017

    I went into this with too much expectation and excitement. I thought it was going to be a visually beautiful memoir and it was but it was also empty. The author is obsessed with ruin and decay and tel...

  • Jennifer
    Apr 19, 2017

    I don't really even know how to begin this to be honest. I'm just going to sort of ramble.I feel like Radtke took something I hesitantly think about too often (how temporary mankind's time on earth is...

  • Kyle Minor
    Mar 15, 2017

    My favorite book of 2017 so far. A must-read for fans of Adrian Tomine, Danica Novgorodoff, Craig Thompson, Daniel Clowes, etc....

  • Sean Kottke
    May 02, 2017

    Please note, my feelings about this book are out of step with the critical and popular consensus. First, the image on the cover (which appears in the narrative) isn't possible. There's no spot inside ...

  • Vincent Scarpa
    Feb 28, 2017

    Edit/update: my interview with Kristen for Electric Literature: by the sudden passing of a cherished uncle — his death the result of an inscrutabl...

  • Gabrielle
    May 28, 2017

    I was expecting something introspective, but not this blatantly pretentious. I really appreciate the pacing, the carefully chosen bits of life Radtke shows, balancing the mundane with the profound qui...

  • Timothy
    May 12, 2017

    I somehow can't resist my own catty retort to the title's directive: I wanted this book to be more than it was, so I was left with the dissatisfaction of not having imagined wanting only this but then...

  • Rod Brown
    May 21, 2017

    Even though the memoirist only does a couple of middling-bad awful things, I spent each page I read hating her more and more. Her endless navel-gazing and crap profundity make her narcissistic and sha...

  • Todd
    Apr 19, 2017

    Not exactly a memoir but more a rumination on the impermanence of our lives and what we've built around ourselves, told through black and white, impressively line-drawn illustrations and narrative. Th...