Shortcomings, Adrian Tomine

I got this out of the library on a whim, as I was passing, because I liked the cover and I haven’t read any new graphic novels recently.  Shortcomings is about a guy called Ben Tanaka and the breakdown of (primarily) his relationship with his community activist girlfriend Miko.  I found it hard to like for two reasons:

1. I do not like alienated protagonists.  I just don’t.  I wanted to take Holden Caulfield and feed him to hungry lions.  So I didn’t like Ben, and I didn’t want to read about him, because he was completely unpleasant.

2. And this sounds stupid, but here it is.  This wouldn’t have been an issue if I had liked the protagonist, or really any of the characters.  There’s this scene in To Kill a Mockingbird where the teacher is reading a story to the kids, and it doesn’t make any sense to them, because they live in a certain way, and the story is totally outside their context.  And I sort of felt like that with this.  In addition to not liking anybody, I also didn’t identify with them, because their world is so not mine.

Hm.  This is a very close-minded-sounding review.  Oh well.