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Tomine, Adrian (Book - 2007 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Item Details

FROM THE PREEMINENT CARTOONIST OF HIS GENERATION, THE MOST ANTICIPATED GRAPHIC NOVEL OF 2007 Shortcomings , Adrian Tomine's first long-form graphic novel, is the story of Ben Tanaka, a confused, obsessive Japanese American male in his late twenties, and his cross-country search for contentment (or at least the perfect girl). Along the way, Tomine tackles modern culture, sexual mores, and racial politics with brutal honesty and lacerating, irreverent humor, while deftly bringing to life a cast of painfully real antihero characters. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker , Tomine has acquired a cultlike fan following and has earned status as one of the most widely acclaimed cartoonists of our time. Shortcomings was serialized in Tomine's iconic comic book series Optic Nerve and was excerpted in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #13 .
Authors: Tomine, Adrian, 1974-
Title: Shortcomings
Publisher: Montréal : Drawn & Quarterly, 2007.
Characteristics: 108 p. :,chiefly ill. ;,25 cm.
ISBN: 9781897299166
Statement of Responsibility: Adrian Tomine
Subject Headings: Man-woman relationships Comic books, strips, etc. Asian Americans Comic books, strips, etc.
Genre/Form: Graphic novels.
Topical Term: Man-woman relationships
Asian Americans
MARC Display»

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Nov 27, 2013
  • tegan rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A dissolving relationship and an unresolved ending made this book a bit on the depressing side. If it weren't for Alice, the main character's best friend, I probably wouldn't have bothered finishing this book.

Jun 29, 2012
  • azbier rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really feel that it is disrespectful of the Windsor Public Library (central) to place works like this in the Young Adult section of the library. It should be shelved in the Fiction section. Just because something looks like a "Comic" should not devalue its artistic and literary value. Any counter arguments to this could be used to argue that all of the items in the regular fiction section should also be classified as "Young Adult". I can only conclude that this and many other "Graphic Novels" or "Sequential Art" are classified based on limited information and bias.

Jun 30, 2011
  • JustinRay rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

As realistic as any prose fiction. A sad story that raises more questions than it answers and requires reflection to appreciate.

Jan 24, 2011
  • itstartswithano rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

LOVED this! Clever observation of modern life and relationships. I only wish the story kept going...

Apr 25, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Simply written and neatly drawn, this volume displays Adrian Tomine's obvious experience and skill with the comic medium. There are no superheros or villains here, all the drama comes from real modern day people. You may not like all of the characters, but you certainly know one or two.
Fans of California's East Bay will appreciate direct references to Mills College, University Theater and Interstate 880 (p 34). There are also some veiled nods to College Avenue's Crepevine and Pegasus Books (p 13 & 17), Mama's Royale Cafe on Broadway (p 44), The Smokehouse on Telegraph (p 57) Juan's Place on Carleton (p 59),and a really subtle appearance of the legendary but now defunct Cody's at Telegraph and Haste (p 60).

Mar 04, 2010
  • fblichert rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very funny book. Adrian Tomine cleverly illustrates the difficulty of finding one's place in the world, while posing interesting questions about relationships, race, and gender.


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Apr 24, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

J_Duncan_Cook thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Summary

Apr 24, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Jaded tri-genarian Ben Tanaka has a decent life but manages to find enough to complain about. Managing a local theater also seems to distance him from his girlfriend Miko's interest in independent film, looking down on her Asian Film Festival with enough self loathing for both of them. His friend Alice Kim is a womanizing woman and manages to aid him in some semblance of a social life.
Add to this one cross country internship for Miko, a new, cute flirty punker employee at the theater, and a waffling bisexual white girl making his acquaintance and Ben has his hands full. It seems Ben knows what he doesn't want, but does he really want what he thinks he does?


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Apr 24, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: There are some aggressive racial and sexual discussions.

Apr 24, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: References to and a couple of sexual acts.


Add a Quote

Apr 25, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"You know, there's still a part of me that thinks when I land in Oakland, everything will just be...back to normal." -Ben to Alice

Apr 25, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"I love this place. I don't think ther's a healthy item on the menu." -Sasha to Ben

Apr 25, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"Oh, that's one of my works-in-progress. I wake up every morning, go pee, and then take a picture. I've been doing it since January." -Autumn to Ben

Apr 25, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"Still, I'm sure my family would rather see me with a Japanese boy than a Korean girl." -Alice to Ben

Apr 25, 2010
  • J_Duncan_Cook rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

“God, you drive me crazy sometimes. It's almost like you're ashamed to be Asian." -Miko to Ben”


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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/08/26 17:01