Hairshirt by Patrick McEown [Review]

John and Naomi were childhood sweethearts whose lives took them in different directions.

In a soulless city where ambition and hope go to die, John stumbles upon his old friend while meandering apologetically through a life he didn’t choose and the two of them fall in love again. But the painful memories, secrets and nightmares return. John is tormented by memories from their youth and as he struggles to understand his own feelings, he realises that Naomi, too, is suffering – and that her troubles could infect and affect everyone around her.

— Publisher’s Blurb

I spotted this on in Waterstones when I was down in London the other, always on the look out for interesting looking graphic novels, it certainly caught my eye, and the ‘shelftalker’ that promised a ‘dark’ tale of young love had me carrying the book to the till.

Following John and Naomi, as the meet up again, they get a second chance at love. But shadows from the past start to rear their ugly head, and the secrets, traumas and long buried pain, threatens to destroy everything again just like it did before.

So, I loved the artwork in this one, and the idea of the story I thought I might be getting, but the execution, left me a little confused as to
‘why?’ and to be honest left me a little cold. By ‘why’ I just don’t know exactly what McEown was actually trying to say, with the events he depicts, the novels ‘raison d’etre’. I think reading it again, may help pick up some of the nuances I missed the first time around. Knowing the ending etch, and not being distracted by hoping for the best for the characters, what happens next etc.

I just get the feeling the rewards won’t match the effort involved. 😐

Now reading all that back, it makes it seem as if I disliked the book, and that’s not the case, I’m more ‘meh’ about it really. It started off great, and I was really liking John and Naomi’s story and the slightly surreal direction it takes, but it sorta lost its way for me in the middle. A different ending that either broke my heart or made me smile, might have made a difference… If you could borrow a copy from a friend or a library, I’d say go for it, you could certainly end up ‘clicking’ with it more than I did, but I’m not sure I could recommend you splash the cash, without being sure you’d enjoy it first.

Saying that, should you want to buy a copy, you can do so from The Book Depository!

One thought on “Hairshirt by Patrick McEown [Review]

  • April 27 at 2:21 am

    The artwork looks disturbingly beautiful, but the pointlessness of the story may annoy me too much.
    Trisha recently posted…Book Review- PoxMy Profile

Comments for this post are closed. Why not send me a tweet instead?

For more posts like this, please follow me on Bloglovin'