A Few Perfect Hours and Other Stories from Southeast Asia and Central Europe

A Few Perfect Hours and Other Stories from Southeast Asia and Central Europe Autobiographical cartoonist Josh Neufeld takes us on a dramatic tour of places as exotic and different as Thailand the former Yugoslavia and New York City Highlights include Neufeld and traveling co

  • Title: A Few Perfect Hours and Other Stories from Southeast Asia and Central Europe
  • Author: Josh Neufeld
  • ISBN: 9781891867798
  • Page: 485
  • Format: Paperback
  • Autobiographical cartoonist Josh Neufeld takes us on a dramatic tour of places as exotic and different as Thailand, the former Yugoslavia, and New York City Highlights include Neufeld and traveling companion Sari Wilson on a volunteer expedition to an organic farm in Malaysia, their stint as extras in a Chinese language Singaporean soap opera, a train trip through war torAutobiographical cartoonist Josh Neufeld takes us on a dramatic tour of places as exotic and different as Thailand, the former Yugoslavia, and New York City Highlights include Neufeld and traveling companion Sari Wilson on a volunteer expedition to an organic farm in Malaysia, their stint as extras in a Chinese language Singaporean soap opera, a train trip through war torn Serbia, and a near disastrous cave adventure in Thailand With gentle humor and a keen eye for the revelatory detail, Neufeld explores religion and spirituality, politics and personalities, and the mysteries of everyday life His stories reflect the backpacker s conflicted feelings a yearning for adventure mixed with homesickness and a sense of disconnection, trapped in a reality constantly in flux In the collection s title story, Neufeld illustrates how the tensions and fears involved in travel through a strange country are dispelled by a Thai monk s blessing In On a Mission, Neufeld contrasts the viewpoints of American Baptist missionaries in northern Thailand with the traditions of a Buddhist festival And in Cremations, Cubicles Cant, Neufeld juxtaposes his grandmother s Jewish funeral with a Hindu cremation ceremony he witnessed on Bali.

    One thought on “A Few Perfect Hours and Other Stories from Southeast Asia and Central Europe”

    1. I've enjoyed Josh Neufeld's comics previously (A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, his collaborations with Harvey Pekar) and was interested to dip into some of his earlier work. I liked aspects of this travelogue very much. Certainly the best story in the book, The Cave of Fear, details some off the beaten track exploring in Southeast Asia, really captures a sense of place in a way that can only be done with comic travelogues. I dug the way Neufeld blended his own thoughts on the experience with [...]

    2. Heh Sarah's reading a ton of graphic novels again. School must be getting too ridiculous to read actual novelsAnyway, I've decided that I love travel diaries that are in drawn form. It's too bad that I can't draw very well very fast because I would totally write my own graphic novel/travel diary. Of course I would need to go somewhere first. I love how seeing new places across the world helps Josh and Sari overcome their fears or at least forces them to think deeper about thoughts and scenarios [...]

    3. This book really irritated me. I can sum up my problem as this. Early in the graphic novel, the main characters (both declaring themselves to be not religious) accept a Buddhist blessing with untethered awe. Later, they scorn the religion of Baptist missionaries who also give them a blessing. The author does not find any irony at all in their actions.

    4. I read this comic a long time ago, but I remember that I enjoyed it a whole lot. I really like comics that tell travel stories, espcecially when they are this well done.

    5. I wanted to like this book. I didn't.There's something about tourism that annoys me -- not the act of going from place to place and being a tourist, but the desire to be authentic. The idea that, because you have some vague understanding of the country, you're "less of a tourist" is what leads to the most cringe inducing bits in this graphic novel.The scene where they accept the blessings of buddhist monks and cringe at the baptists is one of them. The scene where an ice cream seller is given hi [...]

    6. I know I read this relatively recently - probably shortly before I joined . Sadly, my memory sucks (which is why it's really really good I joined ). So I only had vague memories of this, and since it's such an obvious part of my ongoing GN travelogue hobby, I decided I needed to reread it.--So good. Funny, realistic, slice of life, insightful, honest. An essential in the quest to read all graphic novel travelogues. The only quibble I have is that Neufeld (and his partner, Sari Wilson) choose to [...]

    7. I really enjoyed this memoir. It tells stories from a years-long backpacking trip that Josh and his girlfriend Sari did in the 1990s. The art really adds to the stories bringing scenes, situations, and personalities to life. Also included are Traveller's Tips, that would be useful to think about for those embarking on a similar adventure. I was taken back to my own backpacking days, and the adventures I had by reading this, but it would also be of interest to those considering such an adventure. [...]

    8. I agree with the introduction that says that comics are in an ideal form for travelogues, as they can not just tell you about a place, but show it too. My favorite story in here was of a 6-7 hour tour of some caves somewhere in Southeast Asia, which includes lots of wading through rivers and some crawling through really tiny spots. Other than that, I thought the book was mostly meh. I guess I'm not a huge fan of the travelogue form.

    9. I usually love travel writing and graphic memoir, but this was dull. It felt like watching a couple's holiday slides - never interesting, always self-indulgent (not that this was indulgent, or smug.) I've read, and experienced, enough disillusionment with fantasy versus reality, and this was a driving feature, so it just wasn't for me.

    10. Boring! I don't plan on finishing this book, but I may. It just doesn't grab me the way I want it to; there are a few interesting parts, but on the whole, I only want to finish it so I can get rid of it.

    11. A collection of neat short stories in the form of comics.The story about the cave left an everlasting impression on me.

    12. Disjointed travelog. My library copy is inscribed with an original drawing and I wondered how Damien could have given it up. Now I know.

    13. Good graphic true story collection about exploring Southeast Asia off the beaten path; the European stories were not as good.

    14. It wasn't a bad book. Just wasn't a huge fan of the author's tone. I found it a bit confusing too. I wasn't sure if he was going for funny, or sarcasm, or what.

    15. Allowed me to live vicariously through people who have traveled extensively, i.e. who are not at all like me, for about 100 pages.

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