counter create hit Woman's World: A Graphic Novel - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Woman's World: A Graphic Novel

Availability: Ready to download

Norma Fontaine lives in a world of handy tips and sensible advice. Whether it’s choosing the right girdle or honing her feminine allure, she measures life by the standards set in women’s magazines. But Norma discovers that the real world is less delightful—and more sinister—than the one portrayed in the glossies. When dark secrets threaten her brother’s blossoming romance, Norma Fontaine lives in a world of handy tips and sensible advice. Whether it’s choosing the right girdle or honing her feminine allure, she measures life by the standards set in women’s magazines. But Norma discovers that the real world is less delightful—and more sinister—than the one portrayed in the glossies. When dark secrets threaten her brother’s blossoming romance, Norma must decide whether to sacrifice life in a woman’s world for the sake of her brother’s happiness. As her decision is slowly revealed, readers realize that, like life in the magazines, Norma isn’t quite what she seems. A stunning visual tour de force painstakingly assembled from 40,000 fragments of text snipped from women’s magazines, Woman’s World is a powerful reflection on society’s definition of what it means to be a woman.


Compare

Norma Fontaine lives in a world of handy tips and sensible advice. Whether it’s choosing the right girdle or honing her feminine allure, she measures life by the standards set in women’s magazines. But Norma discovers that the real world is less delightful—and more sinister—than the one portrayed in the glossies. When dark secrets threaten her brother’s blossoming romance, Norma Fontaine lives in a world of handy tips and sensible advice. Whether it’s choosing the right girdle or honing her feminine allure, she measures life by the standards set in women’s magazines. But Norma discovers that the real world is less delightful—and more sinister—than the one portrayed in the glossies. When dark secrets threaten her brother’s blossoming romance, Norma must decide whether to sacrifice life in a woman’s world for the sake of her brother’s happiness. As her decision is slowly revealed, readers realize that, like life in the magazines, Norma isn’t quite what she seems. A stunning visual tour de force painstakingly assembled from 40,000 fragments of text snipped from women’s magazines, Woman’s World is a powerful reflection on society’s definition of what it means to be a woman.

30 review for Woman's World: A Graphic Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    After finding out about this novel, that it is a collage of 40,000 fragments of text found in women’s magazines from the early 60s, I had to get a copy, just to goggle at it. Reading it was quite secondary. But I did try that too. And I could have guessed that it was like being forcefed Battenburg cake and chocolate cream rolls and elephants’ feet morning noon and night and all my teeth fell out and I put on 2 stone, I had to quit, I was quite ill. This book is really like one of those Oulipo bo After finding out about this novel, that it is a collage of 40,000 fragments of text found in women’s magazines from the early 60s, I had to get a copy, just to goggle at it. Reading it was quite secondary. But I did try that too. And I could have guessed that it was like being forcefed Battenburg cake and chocolate cream rolls and elephants’ feet morning noon and night and all my teeth fell out and I put on 2 stone, I had to quit, I was quite ill. This book is really like one of those Oulipo books where they write a novel without the letter e in it or like one of those lunatic performance art pieces from the 1980s One Year Performance 1980–1981 (Time Clock Piece) by Tehching Hsieh For one year, from April 11, 1980 through April 11, 1981, Hsieh punched a time clock every hour on the hour. Each time he punched the clock, he took a single picture of himself, which together yield a 6 minute movie. He shaved his head before the piece, so his growing hair reflects the passage of time. Documentation of this piece was exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2009, using film, punch cards and photographs. Because when you think about it, Graham Rawle didn’t need to actually cut out and photograph all the 40,000 bits from his piles of magazines, he could have just written a novel in the style of this kind of vapid buy-more-shit-for-your-beautiful-kitchen adspeak and saved himself a world of pain. But that would have been too easy! And it would have just been a parody, not a lunatic performance art piece. But I see that’s a minority opinion, most readers love this. I believe that when you get further than I did you find there’s an actual story and a fairly tough one at that embedded in all this confectionary. So I’m going to try again at some other time when I’ve recovered from the diabetes and eaten a couple of vegetables.

  2. 5 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    A remarkable achievement. A labour of love, passion, madness, skill and dazzling wit. And the greatest cut-and-paste novel there was and ever will be. Cunning. Crafty. Readable. Overlong? Yes. Perhaps a tad. But works of visionary genius are exempt from such criticisms. Recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I had so much fun with this! I'm sorry it's over...now looking forward to reading all of Rawle's other books. Rawle painstakingly crafted a novel by cutting and pasting the text from early '60s women's magazines -- 40,000 pieces in all! -- and used the language of the times to tell a compelling page-turner that reads like a crime thriller and then a moving emotional family story and period romance all in one.. ...A great story for anyone who loves great novels -- and a treat for anyone who appre I had so much fun with this! I'm sorry it's over...now looking forward to reading all of Rawle's other books. Rawle painstakingly crafted a novel by cutting and pasting the text from early '60s women's magazines -- 40,000 pieces in all! -- and used the language of the times to tell a compelling page-turner that reads like a crime thriller and then a moving emotional family story and period romance all in one.. ...A great story for anyone who loves great novels -- and a treat for anyone who appreciates graphic art and storytelling too. Although the book came out more than a decade ago, it's new to me. Glad I found this, thanks to my Goodreads friends. Rawle may be my favorite author discovery for 2017.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Antonomasia

    It's rare that a book turns out to be so different from my expectations. Found - with no prior awareness of it - in a bookshop in 2006, the cover and blurb made it look like a twee vintage witty feminist thing, the book equivalent of Soap & Glory packaging and Emotional Rescue birthday cards - with a tad more depth. Its entire story is constructed with text cut from the pages of 1960s women's magazines. And that light vintagey impression lasted until I looked at reviews on here a few days ago an It's rare that a book turns out to be so different from my expectations. Found - with no prior awareness of it - in a bookshop in 2006, the cover and blurb made it look like a twee vintage witty feminist thing, the book equivalent of Soap & Glory packaging and Emotional Rescue birthday cards - with a tad more depth. Its entire story is constructed with text cut from the pages of 1960s women's magazines. And that light vintagey impression lasted until I looked at reviews on here a few days ago and then actually read it. Woman's World is difficult to review or analyse without giving spoilers. Though there is certainly quite a bit here on the expected subject of femininity as a concept constructed by consumerism and the media. Also on how absorbing too much of your sense of others' social perceptions, and your personal aspirations, from magazines doesn't exactly make a rounded and benevolent personality (a lesson I desperately needed in my teenage years). But for the most part this is a slightly pulpy, and rather pacy, thriller set in a small town in early-60s England, with themes of the ways some groups of people are treated by society. There is also a very intriguing psychological background here and I would love to know whether it was based on any real-life examples or if the author thought of it himself. The magazine cut-outs are intriguing at times, triggering imaginings about the subject of the article they words may have come from. But they were never distracting per se: this was the fastest 400 page book I've ever read, including the likes of Harry Potter. But one which must have required awesome dedication to construct.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Doug Beatty

    I really really enjoyed this book. The author spent years cutting out phrases from ladies magazines from the 1960's and I wondered how it would work but he managed to create a cohesive story with it. And a very dramatic and interesting story at that! I love how he includes little advertisement phrases here and there and you really get a feel for how text was written in that era, but it does not detract from the tale of Roy Little, his mother and his sister Norma and their surrounding exploits. I I really really enjoyed this book. The author spent years cutting out phrases from ladies magazines from the 1960's and I wondered how it would work but he managed to create a cohesive story with it. And a very dramatic and interesting story at that! I love how he includes little advertisement phrases here and there and you really get a feel for how text was written in that era, but it does not detract from the tale of Roy Little, his mother and his sister Norma and their surrounding exploits. I really don't want to to in to the plot in too much detail so as not to ruin it for anybody, but suffice it to say it involves White's laundry van, an incident with a brassiere, a willing fiance, and a photographer named Mr. Hands. Many people complain that there is a twist that you can see from a mile away but I don't believe that it really was meant to be a twist, a perceptive reader will be in on the plot from early on and the reader can see what the main characters of Roy and Norma can not. It really is a bit of a psychological drama and even though it is very amusing in parts, it does build tension from time to time and it will keep the reader involved. I was a bit confused at the very end (the last two pages or so) and am not sure I am really aware of the final outcome, but the book to me was one of the better and more imaginative things that I have read. Truly a work of art, even the font (or multiple fonts) used and the illustrations that pepper the text really create a reading experience, much more than just reading an ordinary book. I am a big lover of novels that push the envelpe and try something entirely new, and this one truly succeeds. I will be anxious to discover if this author/artist is going to jump in to the literary world with something else. Definitely one you should try!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mike Reed

    Astonishing and wonderful. Not just because of how it’s made – by cutting and pasting text from 1960s women’s magazines – but for its vivid characters, extraordinary story, and unique combination of the hilarious, the suspenseful, and the heartbreaking. Absolutely loved this. Hugely recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Awmigod you guys this book was awesome - pure creativity. It was an atypcial example of a graphic novel (very, very few pictures) but a perfect example of what graphic novels really are - how you can tell a story not just with the words you use but the way the piece looks. The book is a collage of words and phrases from 1960's women's magazines pasted together to tell a story. That's interesting enough, but what's amazing is that rather than rely on the presentation alone this is actually a prop Awmigod you guys this book was awesome - pure creativity. It was an atypcial example of a graphic novel (very, very few pictures) but a perfect example of what graphic novels really are - how you can tell a story not just with the words you use but the way the piece looks. The book is a collage of words and phrases from 1960's women's magazines pasted together to tell a story. That's interesting enough, but what's amazing is that rather than rely on the presentation alone this is actually a proper, gripping, intricate novel with a beginning middle and end, where the narrator as well as the other characters have proper identities and individual characteristics and the tone shifts throughout. Like a good graphic novel, you didn't focus just on the art or just on the story but shifted your focus between each - advertising slogans are quoted and agony aunt advice is referenced throughout but not in a way that feels overly forced. but rather creates a sense of time and place. I did the "Smug Mrs Doyle" face when I read the first chapter and felt very pleased with myself for figuring out the "twist" - then I read the second chapter and realised it's not intended as a "twist" at all, it's just the story, but since it wasn't described on the cover I still think the reason Norma is so obsessed with the advice in magazines is meant to be a secret until you start reading - all I can say is that it was a genius way to make the - is source material the right phrase? - central to the plot as opposed to a gimmick.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Schweitzer

    Crafted from words and sentences clipped 1960s women's magazine, Women's World, offers a strange tale told in an even stranger language of a bygone era. Graham Rawle did not merely craft pages from words he found. He carefully assembled stunning page after stunning page. Images, bold typography and other clippings embellish the already intriguing layouts. At the beginning the novelty of the book and the strange flow of the language makes the book a little slow. The use of advertising language th Crafted from words and sentences clipped 1960s women's magazine, Women's World, offers a strange tale told in an even stranger language of a bygone era. Graham Rawle did not merely craft pages from words he found. He carefully assembled stunning page after stunning page. Images, bold typography and other clippings embellish the already intriguing layouts. At the beginning the novelty of the book and the strange flow of the language makes the book a little slow. The use of advertising language throughout often pulls the reader out of the story. However, as the characters develop and the action picks up, the ransom note feel of the book fades into the background letting the story take over. The author faced unique challenges working with such limited and rose-colored language. When events in the book turn dark or inappropriate for the morality of the era, the characters much discuss it using the parlance of a shiny, happy, with-it 1960s working girl or housewife. Rawle found increasingly creative turns of phrase to capture these plot points. Discussing the plot too much will give away spoilers. The story has a few problems, but overall, Rawle created an excellent book cover to cover.

  9. 5 out of 5

    knig

    Was it the playful comic book style, the in depth knowledge about brillo pads and lipstick : but it took 60 pages before the penny dropped with this one. What a gruesome, wicked, delicious little contretemps about a third in: how could I not have seen this coming? Well, I knew something was rotten in the state of Denmark, but I was thinking Elephentitis, or some such. Of course, with a name like ‘Norma’, I probably should have been thinking ‘Bates’, but hindsight is always 20/20, eh? What a quir Was it the playful comic book style, the in depth knowledge about brillo pads and lipstick : but it took 60 pages before the penny dropped with this one. What a gruesome, wicked, delicious little contretemps about a third in: how could I not have seen this coming? Well, I knew something was rotten in the state of Denmark, but I was thinking Elephentitis, or some such. Of course, with a name like ‘Norma’, I probably should have been thinking ‘Bates’, but hindsight is always 20/20, eh? What a quirky little gem, with a pitch perfect ending. Perfect with a Cosmopolitan and a beachside pool on the side.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wink

    A GASP-INDUCING NOVEL ABOUT MADNESS AND DECEPTION Turn to any page of Woman’s World and you’ll see that it isn’t your ordinary novel. In fact, it took author (and collage artist) Graham Rawle five years and 40,000 text cut-outs from 1960s women’s magazines to piece together this book. What makes Women’s World truly incredible, however, isn’t just Rawle’s keen ability to string together a coherent story from magazine fragments. That alone would be admirable. But Women’s World is much more than jus A GASP-INDUCING NOVEL ABOUT MADNESS AND DECEPTION Turn to any page of Woman’s World and you’ll see that it isn’t your ordinary novel. In fact, it took author (and collage artist) Graham Rawle five years and 40,000 text cut-outs from 1960s women’s magazines to piece together this book. What makes Women’s World truly incredible, however, isn’t just Rawle’s keen ability to string together a coherent story from magazine fragments. That alone would be admirable. But Women’s World is much more than just a novelty, with a gripping story, both tragic and humorous, reminiscent of Psycho, if Psycho were told in a vintage women’s magazine. Honestly, I had my doubts when I first picked up this book. It’s rare that a literary gimmick carries its weight in regard to the book’s narrative merit. But after the first ten pages of being distracted, trying to figure out where each piece of text came from and how Rawle so cleverly weaved it into the narrative, the strength of the plot took over. Without giving away too much, Women’s World starts off with Norma, a young woman who we realize has something wrong with her, but she doesn’t admit this. She is obsessed with glamour and fashion, speaking as if she were a character from a women’s magazine, and we quickly see that she is deranged. She lives with her “housekeeper” (aka her mother) Mary, and her brother Roy, neither who want her to leave the house. But she does. And then trouble ensues, which affects the entire household with moments that made me cringe and gasp. From beginning to end Women’s World is wonderfully “written.” I felt for the characters, rooted for the protagonist (Roy), and in the end, sighed with amusement, the way I might after stepping off a roller coaster. – Carla Sinclair Woman’s World by Graham Rawle Counterpoint 2005, 437 pages, 6.2 x 8.4 x 1.5 $13 Buy a copy on Amazon

  11. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    Woman's World is, without question, one of the most innovative and original books I've ever read. Graham Rawle wrote a general outline of the story, then over the course of five years pieced it together using pictures, words, and phrases from 1960's-era women's magazines. The result is a fascinating story with a modern worldview, but a hauntingly authentic 1960's voice. The story centers around Norma Fontaine, a stylish and modern woman with a keen fashion sense who, for reasons that become clea Woman's World is, without question, one of the most innovative and original books I've ever read. Graham Rawle wrote a general outline of the story, then over the course of five years pieced it together using pictures, words, and phrases from 1960's-era women's magazines. The result is a fascinating story with a modern worldview, but a hauntingly authentic 1960's voice. The story centers around Norma Fontaine, a stylish and modern woman with a keen fashion sense who, for reasons that become clear as the story progresses, is encouraged by her family to remain indoors at all times and avoid being seen by the neighbors. To say any more than that would be to give away the plot, and it's much more satisfying to let Rawle do the storytelling. I'll just say that anyone who is looking for a truly original piece of storytelling, and an amazing piece of artwork, will find it in this one-of-a-kind book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sonia Gomes

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is an amazing book, Graham Rawle has created a book with cuttings from Woman’s Magazines of the sixties. Norma loves to dress so a good deal of the book describes Norma’s dresses, her girdles and hats. Those clothes did remind me of the Lana Lobell catalogues my mother used to get when we were kids, we loved them and always pored over them for hours. But why is Norma’s mother so angry with her, particularly when she is so beautiful and takes pain with her clothes? Is it something to do with This is an amazing book, Graham Rawle has created a book with cuttings from Woman’s Magazines of the sixties. Norma loves to dress so a good deal of the book describes Norma’s dresses, her girdles and hats. Those clothes did remind me of the Lana Lobell catalogues my mother used to get when we were kids, we loved them and always pored over them for hours. But why is Norma’s mother so angry with her, particularly when she is so beautiful and takes pain with her clothes? Is it something to do with Roy the elusive brother? Slowly the drama unfolds, as we get to know more about Norma and Roy, particularly when Roy gets a girlfriend Eve. Everything is going on fine, when there is a crisis and Eve gets to know the Norma/Roy story. This is a tragic and heartbreaking story of people trapped in the wrong bodies, so confused, sad and lonely.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Graham Rawle has written a strange and alluring story here and one that's funny from the get-go. Using only cuttings taking from Women's magazines of the '60s, Rawle builds the story of a fashion-interested, slightly affected family. The actual layout (the cut and paste technique used by Rawle makes the reading unique in and of itself) creates much of the humour. This book is clever, in a marvellous way, with the language, mores and obsessions of the era and of his characters often sweeping acro Graham Rawle has written a strange and alluring story here and one that's funny from the get-go. Using only cuttings taking from Women's magazines of the '60s, Rawle builds the story of a fashion-interested, slightly affected family. The actual layout (the cut and paste technique used by Rawle makes the reading unique in and of itself) creates much of the humour. This book is clever, in a marvellous way, with the language, mores and obsessions of the era and of his characters often sweeping across the page in the enthusiastic language of adverts and self-help articles. There's even a murder storyline to compel the unsuspecting reader along. Lusciously slow to reveal the attractive lines of its own cleverly assembled wardrobe, the characters change outfits again and again until the story falls into place with an innate sense of style and a flare for the dramatic.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura Macdonald

    I loved this book, and not just because of the way in which it was constructed. Yes, that is very clever and the author does capture the spirit of Women's magazines from the 1960's with his creativity, but I think it is all to easy to be overawed by this clever literary device and not see the beautiful, touching story behind all the crazy fonts and advertisement texts. This is the story of Norma and her brother Roy and how they are both in a constant battle,between doing what their hearts tell t I loved this book, and not just because of the way in which it was constructed. Yes, that is very clever and the author does capture the spirit of Women's magazines from the 1960's with his creativity, but I think it is all to easy to be overawed by this clever literary device and not see the beautiful, touching story behind all the crazy fonts and advertisement texts. This is the story of Norma and her brother Roy and how they are both in a constant battle,between doing what their hearts tell them to and what they feel is the right thing to do in the fact of a judgemental society. Both of these characters will stay with me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    J

    Perhaps the most fun thing that can happen to a reader is serendipity. The novel you casually pluck from the shelf with no previous information to go on turns out to be an excellent read. You’re luckiest when the writer in question turns out to have been prolific and you are launched on a course of devouring the complete works. Most often this isn’t the case. Who doesn’t know, more or less, what to expect when they first pick up an Agatha Christie novel? (For my own part, I hadn’t expected those Perhaps the most fun thing that can happen to a reader is serendipity. The novel you casually pluck from the shelf with no previous information to go on turns out to be an excellent read. You’re luckiest when the writer in question turns out to have been prolific and you are launched on a course of devouring the complete works. Most often this isn’t the case. Who doesn’t know, more or less, what to expect when they first pick up an Agatha Christie novel? (For my own part, I hadn’t expected those mysteries to be so damn fun, which was a treat for me, but the general structure was just as expected.) The cover of the hardback edition of Graham Rawle’s novel Woman’s World didn’t promise anything particularly special. The recent election had made me more aware of women’s representation in media and art, and the idea of a novel written by a man with such a title made me give the book a second glance. Low on the cover clung a blurb from Joanna Lumley (of Absolutely Fabulous) which gave me additional pause. Piqued enough, I plucked up the novel and flipped it open. The novel was written in cut and paste style with elements of magazines cut out and pasted together into something entirely new. I riffled through the book, then looked very closely at the pages. Either this was a put on done with some kind of graphic design tool in Photoshop (which would probably be immensely time-consuming) or it was legit (quite likely immensely time-consuming times ten). I flipped to the back of the book and read the back cover where the blurb from The Guardian promised that this was indeed for real. For five years Rawle, Stakhanovite of the scissors and paste, has laboured 17 hours a day, seven days a week, assembling 40,000 fragments of text from women's magazines to produce a tale that moves with the pace of a thriller, with as many cliffhanging chapter endings and swerves of story. But there's the added excitement of a typographical rollercoaster: each page features nearly 100 variations as we lurch from sedate Times Roman to the fullblown exclamations of advertisers' fancy capitals. My first major worry upon starting the novel was that it would prove very distracting, the visual cut and pastiness of the text, but that feature soon faded into the background. Certainly there were pages where the radical juxtaposition of text or the use of imagery forced your attention back to the very graphic nature of the novel, but overall, Rawle was wise to limit just how much the pages attract the eyes to look rather than read. To be sure, as you can see from the excerpts above, the pages are very chock-a-block full of switches and changes and font and size are often chosen specifically at times for emphasis, but much of the story unfolds in relatively the same size text and mostly stays within the straight and narrow of accepted margins. Primarily a novel of fractured identity, Rawle’s book beautifully illustrates the difficulties of knowing who you are when you’re being bombarded with media messaging about who you should be. The kind of stereotypes taken for granted in the 1950s and 60s (and the era from which these magazine bits are clipped) are here given novel twists, our more media savvier minds “getting the joke” while at the same time we feel their oppressive ubiquity in a way previous generations might have been less prone to notice outright. We are introduced at the novel’s beginning, to its first person narrator Norma Little, sister of Roy Little and Mary her “housekeeper.” Something is clearly off between Mary and Norma, the older woman acting far above her station as mere housekeeper. The actual relationship of these characters I’ll leave for the reader to discover, but needless to say, much like the novel itself, nothing is fully what it seems. In a rather shocking opening scene that will come to mean far more as the book unfolds (and it is very infrequent that Rawle or Norma will point to anything outright), Norma witnesses a traffic accident. Standing at an upstairs window, Norma sees a delivery van run down a child: The front of the van hit the girl side-on, hammering her head hard on to the road. Her legs seemed to float up and the vehicle caught her again and pushed her along, folding her body into the tarmac. By the time the van managed to stop the girl was lying on her back, but she didn’t look right at all. Her left leg was bent under her so she was lying on it, and her foot was up by her face but with the toes pointing the wrong way. Her head had gone flat at the back like a burst football. 102 words done in 42 pieces of text with words like “hit” and “head” done in white on black reverse text while the use of “float up” in a different style visually lifts those words on the page just as the body is described as doing. It is extraordinarily moving at times how Rawle’s use of design can underscore a text’s meaning (or in other places, undercut it). Norma shakes off this vision and goes about her day, applying for a job. The fact that she does so so effortlessly (“Anyway, if you get too involved in these things you end up going in the ambulance. I didn’t want to go in the ambulance.”) is our first tip-off that all is not right with this woman. The strange looks she gets throughout the day are written off as things other than they are, the reactions of characters to her dismissed as jealousy, lust, and sexist prejudice. Unsettled, we start to question what precisely is going on. Norma’s story, however, is interrupted by the return of Roy, her brother. Between Norma and Roy’s relationship with Mary a certain clarity begins to arrive. The continuing development of this relationship and the complications of it begin to come to the forefront. Before the novel is over, there will be an engagement, a sexual assault, possibly murder, emotional upheaval, a continuing psychological breakdown, and many revelations. Rawle’s ending leaves us hanging to some degree, the climax of the book dovetailing neatly (perhaps a trifle too neatly) with the genesis of our story, but with enough open-endedness that its lack of resolution obscures some patness. I fully expected the limitations of Rawle’s style to lead to awkwardness in his phrasings, but he neatly scissors his way around that, sometimes chopping up words, very occasionally getting down to the nitty-gritty of individual letters. The liberal large-scale use of marketing slogans, some of the novel’s more sizable excerpts, fit perfectly into the story’s conceit and also help to highlight the very fragile ground on which Norma’s personality rests. What Rawle has done here is nothing short of genius. From bits and pieces he has constructed a novel that is humanly moving with characters rich and complex and he has done so in a fashion that feels neither gimmicky nor forced. It is art of the first degree when the medium and the message become so seamlessly interwoven. How ever he chooses to follow this up, it will be a challenge of the first order.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Norma likes to try out new tricks with makeup and nail varnish that she finds in the magazines. She prefers that her clothes be vivid and glamorous, like the ones in the glossies, rather than practical and dull. She quarrels with her mother about her lack of initiative while she reads about housekeeping tips and gets lost in the pulpy romance stories. But, typical as she may seem, Norma is not your average young woman. She's got secrets. While those secrets might not seem shocking or novel to ev Norma likes to try out new tricks with makeup and nail varnish that she finds in the magazines. She prefers that her clothes be vivid and glamorous, like the ones in the glossies, rather than practical and dull. She quarrels with her mother about her lack of initiative while she reads about housekeeping tips and gets lost in the pulpy romance stories. But, typical as she may seem, Norma is not your average young woman. She's got secrets. While those secrets might not seem shocking or novel to every reader (I saw the answers coming well before the Big Reveal, although the reveal itself was done gently and tactfully), the story is interesting. Norma is naive and heavily absorbed by her fantasies, and the 1960s real world is not the ladies' paradise her beloved magazines proclaim it to be. Despite the seemingly dire circumstances, though, Norma refuses to allow the status quo to continue keeping her prisoner. Like the most diligent of scrapbookers, she cuts and pastes her world of midcentury ideals and advertising taglines to form a picture that better suits her. Outside her bedroom door, it may not be much of a woman's world, but in the cool sanctuary of the glossy pages, it definitely is. One distinctive and praiseworthy characteristic of this book is that the text is composed entirely of actual cut-out words, phrases, and slogans from magazines--specifically, Norma's real-life reading material: women's magazines from the 1960s. (When I first opened the book, my first thought was, "This is a copyeditor's nightmare!") Woman's World was a quick and interesting read as it was, but I strongly believe that the typesetting was an important tool in framing this particular narrative. (And the writing process itself must have been fascinating--imagine collecting bits and pieces of magazines for years, as the author did, then sifting through them to see what story they are going to tell.) Looking like equal parts teen girl's collage and ransom note, each page conveys Norma's desperate struggle to free herself from confinement in a narrow, restrictive world. At the same time, Norma's story and her chosen medium illustrate her determination to bring color and beauty to her dim prison. Does Norma ever succeed in getting free? That's hard to say, but she made me hope so.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I'm not usually a fan of "artsy" books. My thought tends to be "if they need an artsy gimmick the writing is probably lacking". After reading Women's World by Graham Rawle I will not let that keep me away again! Written entirely with clippings from vintage 1960's women's magazines, the "artsy gimmick" of this book is not only impressive, it is necessary to the voice of Norma (Fontaine) Little who narrates this incredibly original book. Women's World starts as a humorous character study of Norma I'm not usually a fan of "artsy" books. My thought tends to be "if they need an artsy gimmick the writing is probably lacking". After reading Women's World by Graham Rawle I will not let that keep me away again! Written entirely with clippings from vintage 1960's women's magazines, the "artsy gimmick" of this book is not only impressive, it is necessary to the voice of Norma (Fontaine) Little who narrates this incredibly original book. Women's World starts as a humorous character study of Norma who lives with her maid/mother and her brother/...in 1960's Great Britain. How would one know how to be a lady without the women's magazines guiding her through fashion, hairstyles, poise and etiquette? Clearly eccentric, Norma rarely leaves the house. But when she ventures out on a long overdue job interview she meets up with a curious man, Mr. Hands, who not only stares at her beauty, as others are want to do, but is bold enough to approach her with a proposition too intriguing for her to pass up. As Norma prepares for her rendezvous with Mr. Hands, her brother Roy is fresh on the heels of a romance like none he ever thought possible. Mr Rawle's character study moves smoothly into a mystery that reveals one twist after another as Norma and her brother must come to terms with their relationship. There is so much more to this story but to say any more would give away too much. This is the most innovative book I have read and seen. Any aspiring artist or writer can only be inspired by this book. NoBSBookReviews

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lizz

    I came across "Woman's World: A Novel" while I was browsing at Sam Weller's Bookstore. The cover caught my attention. As I read the back, I immediately knew that this was a book that I wanted to read. The author took over 40,000 excerpts from women's magazines in the 60's and created a readable book all about a woman's life. The creativity of this author alone was enough to commit me to reading it cover to cover, but as I read I came to discover that the text that was put in, actually made the st I came across "Woman's World: A Novel" while I was browsing at Sam Weller's Bookstore. The cover caught my attention. As I read the back, I immediately knew that this was a book that I wanted to read. The author took over 40,000 excerpts from women's magazines in the 60's and created a readable book all about a woman's life. The creativity of this author alone was enough to commit me to reading it cover to cover, but as I read I came to discover that the text that was put in, actually made the story more interesting. You may assume that eventually I didn't even notice that I was reading a collaged novel, but that never happened. It wasn't like subtitles, where eventually you forget about them, but I actually liked that they never faded into the background. It just made the story more interesting and creative. I absolutely loved this novel and would recommend it for anyone looking for a completely "novel" experience.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michał

    The whole idea behind the book deserves all the praise in the world. Making a novel out of the cutouts from 60s women magazines? Wow. And it still makes sense, what's more, it's better because of it. The book just oozes with old-fashioned gender roles and simplified way of thinking about the world. There is something fascinating in getting a glimpse of a world through the eyes of a person so brainwashed by the obsession about the looks and presenting yourself in the best way possible. The book h The whole idea behind the book deserves all the praise in the world. Making a novel out of the cutouts from 60s women magazines? Wow. And it still makes sense, what's more, it's better because of it. The book just oozes with old-fashioned gender roles and simplified way of thinking about the world. There is something fascinating in getting a glimpse of a world through the eyes of a person so brainwashed by the obsession about the looks and presenting yourself in the best way possible. The book has got some narrative aces in its sleeves so I'm not going to spoil anything but I'm just gonna say that the main character's perspective is doubly interesting. I found the book's pacing a bit slow at times but the world it's created is all the more shocking and captivating because we know it's real (well, at least it was). A little bit of feminism, a lot of the 60s and a tad of "Psycho"

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    The author created this book by piecing together fragments of text from women's magazines published in the early 1960s. Bits of advertising and domestic advice merge together into a dark and gripping story. As a graphic designer myself, I have collected many typographically experimental books (and I have even written some of my own). Such books tend to be beautiful to look at but irritating to read. Woman's World is different. The story is an utterly engrossing tale of madness and conflicted ide The author created this book by piecing together fragments of text from women's magazines published in the early 1960s. Bits of advertising and domestic advice merge together into a dark and gripping story. As a graphic designer myself, I have collected many typographically experimental books (and I have even written some of my own). Such books tend to be beautiful to look at but irritating to read. Woman's World is different. The story is an utterly engrossing tale of madness and conflicted identity. The experience of reading the collaged, hybrid pages is never annoying. One is continually reminded of the typographic origins of the text, and yet the typography doesn't get in the way of the literature. This book is a unique achievement within the realm of experimental type.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jodie-Lee

    (OBVIOUS SPOILER ALERT) This book was recommended to me by my literature teacher because of my apparent obsession with gay and lesbian literature, so the major twist, which granted comes early on in the story, was lost on me. However the book in itself was more than a pleasant surprise. I've never read any "found literature" before so to me the concept was entirely genius, the hours that must have been poured into editing and clipping and reading...it makes my mind ache just thinking about it. But (OBVIOUS SPOILER ALERT) This book was recommended to me by my literature teacher because of my apparent obsession with gay and lesbian literature, so the major twist, which granted comes early on in the story, was lost on me. However the book in itself was more than a pleasant surprise. I've never read any "found literature" before so to me the concept was entirely genius, the hours that must have been poured into editing and clipping and reading...it makes my mind ache just thinking about it. But the result is a novel so beautiful, eery, funny, and tragic in equal measure that it's one I shan't soon forget!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    Like nothing else I've ever read, unique in every way - format, characterisation, setting and plot. The book is composed of thousands of pieces of text cut from women's magazines from the 1960s - genius! But enjoyment of the book doesn't rely on this as a gimmick, it has a fantastic central idea and great writing. Graham Rawle also wrote those "missing consonant" books which are very clever and funny, and I noticed today that he has produced a version of The Wizard of Oz" which would be worth a Like nothing else I've ever read, unique in every way - format, characterisation, setting and plot. The book is composed of thousands of pieces of text cut from women's magazines from the 1960s - genius! But enjoyment of the book doesn't rely on this as a gimmick, it has a fantastic central idea and great writing. Graham Rawle also wrote those "missing consonant" books which are very clever and funny, and I noticed today that he has produced a version of The Wizard of Oz" which would be worth a look.

  23. 5 out of 5

    severyn

    A curiosity - the book is constructed entirely from cut-out words and phrases from 60s women's magazines, which creates an oddly old-fashioned tone. Interesting idea, which doesn't quite sustain an otherwise unremarkable tale, but it'd be interesting to try the same method of constructing fiction from cut up non-fiction with other different types of magazines, just to see how the tone of the source pushes through. A curiosity - the book is constructed entirely from cut-out words and phrases from 60s women's magazines, which creates an oddly old-fashioned tone. Interesting idea, which doesn't quite sustain an otherwise unremarkable tale, but it'd be interesting to try the same method of constructing fiction from cut up non-fiction with other different types of magazines, just to see how the tone of the source pushes through.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    I'm conflicted about this book: I found it absolutely intriguing that the author created a novel with cutouts from 1960's women's magazines and that there was actually a story line. But by the end of the novel I found the hyperbolic descriptions of detergents and clothing a bit much. The premise was certainly different and it took me a while to finally figure out what was actually going on. I'm looking forward to discussing this book, especially the ending, at book club. I'm conflicted about this book: I found it absolutely intriguing that the author created a novel with cutouts from 1960's women's magazines and that there was actually a story line. But by the end of the novel I found the hyperbolic descriptions of detergents and clothing a bit much. The premise was certainly different and it took me a while to finally figure out what was actually going on. I'm looking forward to discussing this book, especially the ending, at book club.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Noah

    A truly unique reading experience. A story made up of words and phrases entirely cut out of vintage women's magazines that is as fun to read as it is to look at. There's a crazy experience of actually paying attention to the physical words as you're reading, that's completely unlike the usual way you would read a novel. And it's ultimately a clever story that slowly reveals to you why this format makes perfect sense. An incredible piece of art & literature. A truly unique reading experience. A story made up of words and phrases entirely cut out of vintage women's magazines that is as fun to read as it is to look at. There's a crazy experience of actually paying attention to the physical words as you're reading, that's completely unlike the usual way you would read a novel. And it's ultimately a clever story that slowly reveals to you why this format makes perfect sense. An incredible piece of art & literature.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Diana Marie

    Incredibly creative both in context and design.. with plot twists that I definitely didn't predict. The most interesting aspect of this book was the dialogue created between the 1960's Woman's Day magazine phrases vs. the book's self-described "modern day woman" attitude. Also, the author's ability to combine bits and phrases of sentences to construct these beautifully creative lines. I had a blast reading this Pleasantville meets John Waters story. Incredibly creative both in context and design.. with plot twists that I definitely didn't predict. The most interesting aspect of this book was the dialogue created between the 1960's Woman's Day magazine phrases vs. the book's self-described "modern day woman" attitude. Also, the author's ability to combine bits and phrases of sentences to construct these beautifully creative lines. I had a blast reading this Pleasantville meets John Waters story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    There is a perverse genius to this novel. Artist Graham Rawle composed it entirely of words, phrases, and images clipped from British women's magazines of the 1950s and 60s; imagine a book-length ransom note. That sounds like a gimmick, but the wonderful surpise is that it's a terrific comic novel, and the source material gives our narrator, Norma, a distinctive and very humorous voice. There is a perverse genius to this novel. Artist Graham Rawle composed it entirely of words, phrases, and images clipped from British women's magazines of the 1950s and 60s; imagine a book-length ransom note. That sounds like a gimmick, but the wonderful surpise is that it's a terrific comic novel, and the source material gives our narrator, Norma, a distinctive and very humorous voice.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    The book's unusual collage format could have been distracting but actually supports the story & gives the characters more depth. It's amazing what a delicate touch the author achieves with what seems like a ham-handed technique. I have reservations about the ending -- seems like the author painted himself into the corner and took the easy way out -- but otherwise I liked it very much. The book's unusual collage format could have been distracting but actually supports the story & gives the characters more depth. It's amazing what a delicate touch the author achieves with what seems like a ham-handed technique. I have reservations about the ending -- seems like the author painted himself into the corner and took the easy way out -- but otherwise I liked it very much.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I was amazed by this book. Somehow, though the text comes from completely independent fragments, the author was able to create a single compelling voice from them. The "twist" is pretty easily apparent from the first few pages, but if you read it for that you are sure to be disappointed anyway...the real joy in this book is in the unique reading experience. I was amazed by this book. Somehow, though the text comes from completely independent fragments, the author was able to create a single compelling voice from them. The "twist" is pretty easily apparent from the first few pages, but if you read it for that you are sure to be disappointed anyway...the real joy in this book is in the unique reading experience.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rakesh

    Just plain amazing. The combination of graphic art and creative storytelling has to be seen to be believed. See Paul Bryant's review for an example of how vintage Women's Magazines were the source material for this delightful creation. Anna H, in her review, describes how labor intensive the process was that resulted in this extraordinary book format. A fun to read and fun to look at book. Just plain amazing. The combination of graphic art and creative storytelling has to be seen to be believed. See Paul Bryant's review for an example of how vintage Women's Magazines were the source material for this delightful creation. Anna H, in her review, describes how labor intensive the process was that resulted in this extraordinary book format. A fun to read and fun to look at book.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.