Page 45 Review by Publisher Blurb
New hardcover format for what at the time were mostly new short stories from the Brazilian twins (no, I don't know what's going on with the surnames), some of them autobiographical, but all of them threaded with thought. A large number of them also feel as if they could have been written by Neil Gaiman.
I'm trying to pin down what I mean by that. In one it's the unexpected day of strange romance with a girl who seems as ethereal as she is contrary; in another it's the summoning of a deeply missed, dead friend who spends the evening with his surviving mates down at the local bar as they celebrate companionship. It's poignant though underplayed throughout, and in particular there's the scene in which one of the group finally tells his mate the secret he couldn't bring himself to whilst the lad was still alive. Conversely, there's also the three-pager in which a young man wakes up next to a beautiful girl, but chooses to lie his way out of her bed and apartment rather than hang around. But just when you're thinking "what a scumbag," there's an insight which again, to me, is pure Gaiman:
"He went towards the day, missing his "boyfriend-in-love" days. It reminded him of a song he knew. "Without love, I'd be nothing." And the boy-nothing left the girl-nothing with whom he'd had sex-nothing the previous night and spent the rest of the day thinking about love-everything."
The only reprint that I'm aware of here, "Qu'est-ce que c'est?", comes from the Dark Horse AUTOBIOGRAPHIX collection, and it's well worth the inclusion as the twins, whilst in Paris, find themselves set upon by a notorious gang who prowl the Metro whilst the resident population look the other way. The physical intrusion as they're completely overwhelmed, every pocket searched at once, is so well conveyed that you feel their panic.
"We live in a much more violent city, in Brazil... but no matter how violent it gets, it's home. It's where we belong. In a strange place, surrounded by strange people speaking an even stranger language, we felt alone... as the train took us back to the hostel, where no one would be waiting to know what had just happened to us."