Biography of a Fly
by Jaap Robben
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Pub Date 06 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 11 Dec 2022
For readers of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse comes a beautifully illustrated philosophical book on the value of friendship and life, told from the perspective of a fly, and a gift book for all ages.
What if you were thrown into existence in the middle of your life, with numbered days left ahead of you? Would you see the world in the same way? In his inimitable style, Jaap Robben answers these questions through the unexpectedly witty lens of a fly, from the moment it enters the world as a larva right up to its deathbed. Watch this humble fly throw himself into life and his unlikely friendships with gusto, however short that life may be. Irresistibly charming, funny, and sprinkled with entomological details, this is a moving tale for any stage of life, about how we are all ultimately alone, and yet also together.
- “It is a perfect marriage of art and words, with Faasen’s simple palette and combination of extreme close-ups and wide angles reflecting the specificity of the fly’s life, and the big, existential themes that Robben’s words convey. So winning and so full of heart.” —Riveting Reviews
- “Full of wonderful sentences and witty dialogue.” —Trouw
- “Irresistible.” —Het Parool
- Early finished sample copies available January 2022
- Trailer available https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC7tMwU2omM
- Originally told via a series of posters and billboards displayed throughout various cities. Walking tours or poster projects can be replicated anywhere – already interest expressed in Vancouver
- Plans for a family concert by Vancouver’s Symphony Orchestra, based on the story of the book
- Signed copies available
- Visual digital campaign using assets based on the posters, possibly organized like a blog tour where one installment posts every day
- Landing page for Jaap’s work, featuring all three titles
- Advertising and displays at main gift shows
- For lovers of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy and Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
- Holiday gift baskets to key editors for inclusion in 2022 gift roundups
- Handmade feel, collectors item, for museum shops, book and art lovers of all ages
Average rating from 25 members
Thank you NetGalley and World Editions for accepting my request to read and review Biography of a Fly.
Author: Jaap Robben
Genre: Comics, Graphic Novels, Manga
Perfect example of why a mind is a terrible thing to waste. I love creative people.
Included are sketches depicting the various phases and thought processes of a fly. The sketches are simple. The real story is in the words. Robben takes us on a journey where we see what a fly thinks, how it lives, where it was born; and we are there for Fly's first intimate moment.
This is a fun, somewhat educational (okay, I didn't fact check), and a sorta sad showing of the food chain.
Warning: There is a considerable amount of poo talk (just saying).
I would definitely gift this to a friend with a sense of humor as a coffee table book and a kid who needs a little tap into the cruel but fun side of life and science.
The art in this book is gorgeous and I really enjoyed that aspect. The actual story itself didn’t meet my expectations as I expected a philosophical story that was going to make me think and learn, but I didn’t get that from this book.
I did enjoy it though.
Biography of a Fly
by Jaap Robben
Watch this humble fly throw himself into life and his unlikely friendships with gusto, however short that life may be.
I found this graphic novel charming and very funny. Would highly recommend this.
Rating 4/5 stars
This graphic novel was excellent. I simply adored the graphics and frequently found myself grinning aloud while reading the accompanying text.
All ages will like this book. As an adult, I thoroughly appreciated this brief novel. I found the author's use of the fly's life span as a guide to be amazing.
I wholeheartedly suggest this book to anyone who like comic books or hilarious graphics. The writing was excellent and had a poetic quality.
(October 5th 2022)
How can something so simple be so good and interesting?
Biography of a Fly was not what I expected but I loved every page of it. The illustrations were really impressive, the storyline was so cute and, honestly, I was actually educated on the life of a fly and that, I did not expect.
It's funny, it's sweet, maybe even a bit emotional or sensitive. It really is a good book and I truly believe everyone who reads it, likes it.
This was a very good graphic novel. I just loved all the pictures and found myself laughing out loud held within both the text and pictures. My favourite picture was a close up of the flies many eyes. This novel is brilliant for all ages. The birds and the bees talk was very mild and there was a funny mating picture which to younger child you could tell them it's a hug lol. I really enjoyed this short book as an adult. I thought it was brilliant how the author follows the number of days that a fly lives for. And at each stage of his life he didn't know what was happening but his friend Eagle explains it all. I loved every second of this book. It might be short but well worth the read. The pictures although using minimal colours was just perfect and made me smile. It really made a statement. I definitely recommend this book to those who love graphic novels or funny pictures. The text was brilliant and felt somewhat poetic.
So much praise goes out to the author and publishers for creating this wonderful story that can be enjoyed time and time again.
The above review has already been placed on goodreads, waterstones, Google books, Barnes&noble, kobo, amazon UK where found and my blog https://ladyreading365.wixsite.com/website/post/biography-of-a-fly-by-jaap-robben-world-editions-4-stars either under my name or ladyreading365. The retail review links are on my blog
A funny and different type of book. It tells about life of a housefly through the mouth of a fly itself. There are accompanying illustrations. An interesting book. Funny and quirky. Can be read in a go. Recommended to all the readers.
Jaap Robben shared a visual work with story, image, and engaging multimodal design. A well-crafted book for fans of artistic work.
Biography of a Fly is what the title implies: a 23 day look at the life of the titular character (eventually dubbed "Poo-Paws" in the narrative) as he attempts to find meaning and companionship in his very short life. The book is illustrated with simple pictures showing our fly as he is born, learns to fly, meets and befriends a grumpy buzzard, and tries to find a mate. Buzzard. despite being separated from our eager and excitable character in intelligence, demeanor, and out look on life, ends up finding himself changed by their short meeting.
- Cleverly uses unlikely subject matter to pose some truly Big Questions regarding meaning, existence, and companionship.
- Art style matches the character, being simple but memorable and fun.
- Surprisingly emotional.
- Relies too heavily on scatological humor for my taste (it does make sense considering the protagonist though, so I guess I can't complain too much.)
Four stars. The subject character may not be one we have much sympathy for in real life, but the author has done well here to inject enough meaning into the character that we inevitably end up caring for him in the end.
FFO: deeply existential themes masquerading as harmless cuteness.
**I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to World Editions and Netgalley*
Really strange concept but it works. It's a simple story but as others have said,despite the fact that flies are pretty disgusting,you do end up having a lot of sympathy for them and their really short lifetime.
Cute and easy to read kid's book with a fun lesson learned and catchy prose. The illustrations are simple and bold. It could have used a bit of editing, but overall enjoyable.
I think selling this book for fans of The boy, the mole, the fox, & the horse (BMFH) does it a diservice. I was excited to check out the Biography of a Fly as our cliental at the bookshop loves the above mentioned book, and I thought it could be a perfect recommendation at Christmas. However, this book is very different from BMFH (in its own fantasic way) and has its own quirky and entertaining look on the value of friendship and life.
I really enjoyed the illustration style.
I never thought that I could feel sorry for a fly! The ending was quite sweet to say what it was depicting.
This story did not connect with me at all . There were dry humourous moments that came with attachment to the title character and the artwork was vivid and striking but the format itself didn't do it any wonders.
Is this poignantly beautiful or plain bizarre? It's hard to tell.
'Biography of a Fly' is aptly named. A fly is born, it lives, it dies. This is shown by the countdown of days, indicating the passing of time as Fly conducts its life.
Fly is normal- it buzzes around, lands on excrement and seeks a mate.
Fly is abnormal- it has philosophical tendencies and befriends a buzzard.
It is a strange book but one that prompts some thought. Such as, a fly has no notion of its physicality; it never sees anything of its body and the book presents this concept for people to consider:
'Imagine if you could only guess what your body looked like. Based simply on how it feels. Just think how magnificent you could be.' p38
The imagery throughout is striking and, at times, unsettling; a fly has too many eyes to be seen in such a close-up view. The use of monochrome with accents of blue makes for bold, impactful spreads. Also, the layout of each page has been well-considered so the white space is balanced and the text is never impeded by the artwork.
Unavoidably, a book about the life of a fly is weird but it's also fun.
This is a book where once you finish it you have to sit down in silence and reflect. At first glance, this book reads as a weird book about a fly and a buzzard being in a weird grumpy x sunshine friendship. However, when you take a minute to reflect. It’s about life and friendship and making the most of the time you have. It’s about throwing yourself into life and living it the best way you can. In only a few pages we got to see a fly live more than some of us will.
A freaking beautiful tale about a fly and its place in the world. Who says insects and birds can't be friends?!
Biography of a Fly is an unexpectedly bittersweet tale about... well, the life of a fly. And a very short one at that. The story was dry at times and occasionally funny, but somehow I grew emotionally attached to the titular character in just 65 pages.
The artwork is minimalist and vivid, though hard to view properly due to the digital format. The text feels a bit too wordy for a graphic novel and I would prefer for it to be more split up across pages or with paragraphs. Ironically, it's the illustrations that get cut off on my screen.
Overall it was an interesting read but I might enjoy this more if the reading experience was better.
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