August 29th, 2005


more QUITTER reviews/hype

THE QUITTER scored a "starred" review from PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY and some nice pull quotes from some of my favorite authors and playwright, and other important print institutions:

Reviewed 2005-08-29
Publisher's Weekly
Pekar's work, memorialized in the movie American Splendor , is an ongoing chronicle of his life in all its quotidian glory. Until now, he's only written nonfiction vignettes of his life as a jazz-loving slacker. The strength of Pekar's work is in his depiction of moments, but you have to read a great deal of it to understand the overall arc. This autobiographical full-length comic amends that problem, providing the missing overview: a searingly honest memoir of a smart but troubled boy who depends on quitting any time he might fail--a strategy that eventually leads to a near-nervous breakdown after he joins the navy. But Pekar doesn't dwell on his anxiety with the look-at-me tantrums of Philip Roth or Woody Allen--he's not that indulgent. Pekar's frequent artistic collaborator Haspiel provides the square-jawed, nebbishy characters, drawn with a fat, '60s line, giving a sharp-edged sense of the frustration and tension of an immigrant midcentury boyhood. This book is full of the deeply flawed but sympathetic characters that populate Pekar's work: his hard-working but oblivious parents, an overrated tough guy Pekar beats up, the jazz writer who gives him an outlet away from being a street tough. Pekar's work dignifies the struggle of the average man, and this book shows how that dignity is earned. (Oct.)


“Harvey Pekar's confessional masterpiece.”­Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn

“Harvey Pekar is America's most heroic anti-hero. He's a fighter whose toughest opponent has always been the one he sees in his cracked and shattered mirror. Illustrator Haspiel depicts beautifully and comedically this history of the making of Pekar -- it's a Horatio Alger story without a happy ending, which is just the way we like our Pekar tales to be.”­Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir!

“I love THE QUITTER! It's a house filled with unexpected rooms. A crumpled message from a man's soul!”­ John Patrick Shanley, Pulitzer Prize Winning author of Doubt.

“A searingly honest memoir of a smart but troubled boy who depends on quitting any time he might fail. . . . Pekar's work dignifies the struggle of the average man.”­PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“A bright, dramatic graphic treatment by Haspiel. . . A lean and angry work, anchored by a mellowing sense of self-discovery.”­KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Promises to be one of Pekar's most unified and informative books yet.”

“One of the most revealing and thought-provoking studies of a working stiff ever produced.”­The WASHINGTON TIMES


Night Flight dug THE QUITTER, twice: