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Paul Up North


Paul Up North Paul Up North Paul Up North

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Michel Rabagliati

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Page 45 Review by Jonathan

"So, when're you gonna buy that bike?"
"I need to save up another hundred bucks. But I think I'll get a moped instead... it's less expensive, and I won't need a permit or anything..."
"Smart move! Mopeds are fun. You can go anywhere, and they're cheap on gas...!"

Sixteen-year-old Paul, of course, buys the moped, despite one last longing look at the far sexier motorcycle whilst in the shop. It's barely more than a hairdryer, mind, and attracts the amused piss-taking attentions of the elder biker brother of the lovely young lady he's trying to woo. He succeeds, eventually, despite his awkward, excruciating attempts at romance, and promptly falls madly, deeply in love with her. Which quite pleases the young lady in question. To start with at least anyway...

Yes, Michel Rabagliati's thinly veiled autobiographical creation returns with his hormones a-raging and his engine a-racing. Well, puttering along at least, much like his adolescent love life. It'll end in tears, I suspect you all know that already, for Paul has ever been a boy to wear his heart on his sleeve, but to see the train wreck of first love hitting the buffers so damn hard, well, it's enough to make you want to lock yourself in your bedroom and mope for a week in solidarity with our sensitive soul. His mum and dad are sympathetic, but even they lose patience eventually!

For all of Paul's tears though, this is a wonderfully sentimental and nostalgic look at the fun and frolics of teenage years, before the strictures of adulthood fully kick in. Life was simpler then, at that age, though it certainly didn't feel like it at the time! Michel Rabagliati plays out the seemingly insurmountable trials and tribulations of the waning of adolescence and reaching the cusp of adulthood note perfectly.

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