A Life Force

A Life Force Called a masterpiece by R Crumb A Life Force chronicles not only the Great Depression but also the rise of Nazism and the spread of socialist politics through the depiction of the protagonist Jacob

  • Title: A Life Force
  • Author: Will Eisner
  • ISBN: 9780393328035
  • Page: 105
  • Format: Paperback
  • Called a masterpiece by R Crumb, A Life Force chronicles not only the Great Depression but also the rise of Nazism and the spread of socialist politics through the depiction of the protagonist, Jacob Shtarkah, whose existential search reflected Eisner s own lifelong struggle.

    One thought on “A Life Force”

    1. The second in Eisner's Contract with God trilogy, historical fiction, set in 1934 as the Depression was well under way and the forces of communism/socialism/Nazism swirled as a response to world economic events. The story, set on Manhattan's lower east side, Drops Avenue, owes much to nineteenth century melodramas, Penny Dreadfuls, and the more serious work of the literature of urban poverty such as Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie. Robert Crumb called it a masterpiece, and it surely is a signpo [...]

    2. Will Eisner dedicó su vida a crear cómics que abordarán temas humanos trascendentes, A Life Force es una muestra magistral de esta labor.Eisner nos lleva a los Estados Unidos durante la gran depresión, una época donde mantener la esperanza de una vida digna representaba un difícil reto de cara a la dura situación cotidiana, como Eisner nos la describe, el vivir se convirtió en una lucha por la supervivencia. Basta con mirar la expresión y postura en los personajes para darse cuenta del [...]

    3. This is Volume #2 in the Contract with God Trilogy, and unlike the first book in the series, this one is a collection of linked stories - the characters all interact with each other over the course of the book. The depression years were a bleak time for many, maybe especially for the immigrant residents of Dropsie Avenue. People struggle to make ends meet, and as with all bad times, there are those who make/find opportunities to make a killing (literally and figuratively). This volume tells the [...]

    4. Brilliant. It creates a mood matched by the best of literary novels. The tenement tales are engaging and rich with period details. Will Eisner sets up the stories and introduce characters in a very lucid, interesting manner. There is so much to learn about plot and dramatic flow even by a short story writer. To call Eisner a master of the form would certainly not be a hyperbole.

    5. I loved this book as well.The way he used the graphic novel medium is just fantastic. It shouldn't be too surprising really, since his 'a contract with God' was allegedly the first graphic novel. He looks into history through the lives of people- how it happened , what it meant to their daily lives etc A very good read

    6. Touching on the 1930s Great Depression, Nazi persecution of Jews and the growing Communist movement . and philosophically, the meaning of life of man and cockroach, this was yet another work of art by Eisner.

    7. Amazing. I've never read a graphic novel set during the Great Depression, but it seems this is the best!!

    8. Rereading, I like, even love, this work so much more. Of course, I have aged, too, since I read this in its original serialized formHighly recommended.

    9. Di bandingkan dengan Kontrak dengan Tuhan, dalam buku ini terjalin kisah yang lebih kompleks dan begitu detail. Mencerna sebuah novel grafis ternyata menarik juga bagi saya. Dan cerita yang awalnya sederhana berkembang menjadi penuh perenungan dan pencarian akan makna keberadaan kita dalal kehidupan dan penemuan jati diri serta impian-impian kita. Kebahagiaan pengorbanan, keberanian menjadi hal-hal yang diangkat dalamm buku Daya Hidup ini. Bagaimana kisah seorang Yahudi utk bisa selamat di lingk [...]

    10. Buku kedua lebih saya sukai dibanding buku pertama yang menurut saya berat,ini cukup ringan tapi tetap berbobot dari segi cerita yang dibahas seputar kehidupan orang-orang di jalan Dropsie di tengah-tengah tahun-tahun depresi dan perang dunia ke-2,Jacob mungkin bukan tokoh yang saya favoritkan di sini tapi cara dia membandingkan arti hidupnya dengan seekor kecoak mengingatkan saya akan tulisan-tulisan Eka Kurniawan.

    11. A fantastic exploration of poverty and struggles during in New York during the Great Depression with the backdrop of the Jewish experience and the rise of Nazism in Europe.Important as a key early graphic novel, it still holds up as a great read. The characters are a little more exaggerated than in A Contract with God which hurt my enjoyment a bit but I'm looking forward to completing the trilogy.

    12. I spent the weekend reading Eisner and I'm simply in love with his Tenement stories. His attention to period details and the overall tone of his work is enveloping, letting a millennial get a taste of the Depression Era without getting too close. Reading Eisner is like looking through a window to the past or, perhaps, a window into the tenement on Dropsie Avenue.

    13. Mid-1930s on Dropsie Avenue. Jacob and Rifka Shtarkah doing their best to survive the Depression. Their son and daughter both are heading for marriages outside of their faith, friends in Germany are facing the horrors the Nazis are visiting on the Jews, lawyers and the mob are more involved than anyone realizes, and cockroaches seem to know the secret of survival.

    14. A little melodramatic at times, but very well done interlinked stories of common people, full of philosophical musings in the backdrop of the Great Depression and the rise of fascism.

    15. Melalui buku ini saya tahu bahwa kecoak punya daya hidup jauh lebih besar dibandingkan manusia. Daya hidup yang terentang jutaan tahun, bahkan sebelum manusia modern muncul di dunia. Ketika Franz Kafka dengan Metamorforsis-nya terlalu rumit bercerita tentang kemampuan bertahan hidup kecoak dan manusia, Will Eisner menyederhanakannya melalui grafis dan narasi. "Sepanjang pengetahuan kita, kecoak bukanlah serangga yang nyaris punah. Populasinya di muka bumi tidak pernah dihitung. Perkembangbiakann [...]

    16. This is the second installment of Eisner's 'Contract with God'/Dropsie Ave trilogy. Unlike A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories which is a collection of stories, this book is one story with various characters and how their lives intersect during one of the bleakest times in our nation's history. This story spans from the beginning of the depression through the Nazi revolution and how it impacted the immigrant working man. Eisner uses newspaper clippings to build the setting and mood di [...]

    17. I found this graphic novel stunning, perhaps the best graphic novel I've read (although hard to compare to Maus since I read that twenty years ago). The second volume in "The Contract With God" trilogy, it surpasses the first with a combination of sophisticated near-perfect plotting, excellent artwork, and compelling visual arrangements. Like the stories in the first volume, it is set in the tenements the mythical Dropsie Avenue in the Bronx in the 1930s. Most of the characters are Jewish, but i [...]

    18. I just came across this thanks to a friend of my daughter's. An Eisner I haven't read - excellent.Life Force is a novel about characters living in a Brooklyn tenement during the early Great Depression. They are a rich mix: Italian and Jewish immigrants, a ruined WASP, children, gangsters and carpenters. Their individual aspirations and cross-hatched interactions build the very energetic plot. We get love affairs, broken hearts, left-wing organizing, business plans, murders, dealing with the disa [...]

    19. Eisner's Dropsie Avenue books, which tell stories of immigrants of New York City during the early 1900s peppered with bits of religion, are not usually a subject matter that I find myself getting very invested in while reading. I also don't care about the plight of teenage girls finding out that they are pregnant. Tell me a story about a teenage immigrant girl in 1920s New York discovering she is pregnant and I'll show you how fast a grown man can pass out from boredom. Yeah, I'm an insensitive [...]

    20. Hot diggity dog! even better than "A Contract With God." You don't need to read that to read this, but they are connected, if only through the neighborhood they take place in, and perhaps a subtle reference here or there. Eisner seems to have worked out the kinks of the graphic novel medium that he created, in the 5 years between "Contract" and this. The characters are more compelling, the situations more dire, and I like the fact that this was one seamless story, told in 11 chapters, as opposed [...]

    21. Buku kedua dari Trilogi Contract with God, 1 hari lebih lama saya baca (selesai 2 hari) dikarenakan ceritanya lebih rumit dibanding seri pertamanya. Bilamana seri pertama seperti mengintip kisah hidup orang lain, disini kita melihat jalan hidup seseorang bernama Jacob Shtarkah, keluarga, dan lingkungannya yang menyebabkan hidupnya berputar.Jacob Shtarkah yang menolak arti hidupnya mirip kecoak, mencari arti hidup yang lain padahal hal tersebut sudah berada disekelilingnya.Lebih rumit juga karena [...]

    22. Wonderful. Eisner is still speaking of the Bronx and Dropsie Avenue, in the second book of the Contract with Trilogy, Eisner focuses on a particular set of people, whose lives interacted and intersected with one another with/without them knowing. While I loved book 1 due to particular stories, as a narrative book 2 works better because of its consistency. I can't wait to see how Eisner lays out book 3. I hope that someone it brings all these individuals and their stories together to complete a w [...]

    23. Had I known earlier that there was a "sequel" to A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories I could have gotten this as soon as possible. Here, Eisner was able to show his brilliance which came with his vast knowledge of the American Jewish life. At first, it seems that the story can't be brought to a single thread; however, it is through the themes that these stories became livelier, meaningful, and more real. Indeed, a must-read.

    24. This graphic novel is a bonafide masterpiece. Eisner weaves a tapestry of tales about the characters living at 55 Dropsie Avenue in the Bronx during the 1930s and 40s. He chronicles the Great Depression, the rise of labor unions, and Nazism.The illustration is spot on; always gritty, yet somehow tender. The reader knows they're looking at illustrations, but it never feels cartoonish and Eisner heightens the realism and helps set the scenes by including collages of news stories.A Life Force is on [...]

    25. Will Eisner was a genius - not only does he takes us through the times of the great depression, the cultural changes in the society and the time of the war like other great artists via characters he builds and makes us live with but by the end of the book - he's also established his main premise - a pondering question which he plants in the minds of the reader - What is your life force ? What keeps you alive from yesterday to today to tomorrow. Is it any different from a cockroach ?Classic Stuff [...]

    26. The life of Jacob Shtarkah, a Jewish man who questioned what it means to be alive. Eisner connected multiple characters in a Bronx tenement from the Great Depression to World War II, despite the toughness to live on, each one managed to help each other and prospered as a result. A Life Force is even better than A Contract With God in my opinion, I love the motif of life being how we choose to make it, the story itself is also very interesting.

    27. Really lovely. Kept everything that worked in A Contract With God and fixed a lot of things that didn't. The women are still a little lacking, but are more multi-faceted, and the underlying philosophy of the cockroach that just keeps surviving, against people who survive the same way but also yearn, is powerful. It's sad. It's a generally sad book. But it's also beautiful and hopeful, and I love it.

    28. A very different approach to the standard graphic novel that I'm used to. There are no superheroes, sci-fi adventures, apocalyptic situations.just a real life look at how life was during the Depression, leftist politics, and the beginning of Nazism from the perspective of a Jewish man and his family, and his neighbors in NY. Will Eisner does this all in comic form and it is "refreshing" to read. I am a fan of The Spirit and this graphic novel solidifies my interest in his works.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *