Book Lover’s Quest: Big Questions by Anders Nilsen Needed Big Book–Huge, Glorious, Awesome Book!

Jeff VanderMeer • August 18th, 2011 @ 12:13 pm • Book Reviews, Uncategorized

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Big Questions by Anders Nilsenand I have had only a passing acquaintance until now…when the awesome Drawn & Quarterly Press decided to drop a metric ton on me in the form of a huge hardcover book that has been lovingly and exquisitely designed. Wow wow wow—absolutely beautiful in all possible ways.

Huh? Wha? Why? Who? say those amongst you who care not for the tactile creativity that is a well-designed book printed on a real honest-to-god offset press as opposed to in html e-purgatory.

Let me then take you through a little guided tour of how the pleasure centers of the book lover’s brain light up when encountering this kind of artifact, especially so unexpectedly…

Whoa! Cool endpapers—and a creatively tipped-in faux cover flap for a splash of color and surprise, and to appease those who prefer dust jackets to covers printed right on the boards. Nice touch.
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Focusing on the front cover flap to admire the detail work and the sharpness of the color…it’s like they’re a dozen expensive chocolates…except they’re images on a flap.
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OMG OMG—there’s a signing page and this is a limited edition. OMG. *Checks pulse to make sure not going over the limit for a man of 43 years of age.* Spends a long time just admiring this page…
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Recovers slightly while viewing the full title page, which displays smart, savvy design and good use of the available space.
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Pulse rises slightly again on seeing the table of contents: the harbinger of all that is awesome within the book, and, again, smartly designed.
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Oooh, nice interior art—bold and interesting–although this squirrel ass-kicking panel I’m reproducing here mostly in honor of my friend Larry Nolen…
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More awesome art, occupying the interstices between the real and the surreal…now salivating at the thought of sitting down with the book to read it at my leisure, while also vaguely entertaining the notion of buying a paperback version and slip-casing this limited hardcover so as not to get oily fingerprints on it, or in any other way damage it…

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WTF. An afterword, too?! Bless my stars and whiskers! What other end matter treasures await me?!
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Um, pulse rising again, sharply, as I encounter Appendix A. Oh happy happy joy joy because even as I’m poring over the treasures of this appendix I am thinking to myself “It doesn’t end here, it doesn’t end here…because where there is an Appendix A, surely surely there must be an…”
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“…Appendix B!” SQUEEEE! In full-color.
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Squuuueeeeeeeeee! Reduced to a brain-exploded exhausted ripple of pure book-lovers’ bliss….
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The back cover is the requisite dying fall, allowing the book admirer to think back with admiration, and a certain measure of restored calm, on the care and skill expressed through the book’s design. Along with the thought: this one is going on a bookshelf reserved for the best…
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2 Responses to “Book Lover’s Quest: Big Questions by Anders Nilsen Needed Big Book–Huge, Glorious, Awesome Book!”

  1. Jackie Gamber says:

    I share your love of an artfully presented book. The multisensory experience is beyond compare. Where did you get this treasure?

  2. Larry says:

    I.WANT.THIS.NOW!!!

    And yes, that image you posted for me to see pushed me beyond mere “I’ll order this shortly” to paying extra for Saturday delivery. Squirrels are awesome :D

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