The Sound of the World By Heart
by Giacomo Bevilacqua
An experiment in social isolation turns into a journey of self-discovery as a photojournalist commits to spending sixty days in New York city without talking to a single person. More than just an exercise in observation and self-control, he’s hoping to forget a troubled past and mend a broken heart. But the city has a sneaky way of throwing the best laid plans and noble efforts to waste, revealing secrets that lie right in front of him. All he has to do is open his eyes…
A touching, vividly illustrated journey through contemporary modern New York, exploring what it takes to find yourself — and maybe your soul mate — in the middle of a crowded, bustling modern world.
2.5 of 5 Stars
What I first noticed with this graphic novel was the artwork which I really enjoyed. Several scenes included cityscapes which were my favorite, possibly because it’s a subject I’m interested in exploring in my own artwork. I appreciated the detail that went into these scenes with the various buildings and vehicles. It would be easy for a frame like this to get really busy but the balance was done well. I also enjoyed how the characters were drawn. I found the hair on the main character to be interesting, it’s not a style that I’ve seen often and I really liked how it added to his persona.
As much as I enjoyed the artwork, the story left me feeling a little lost. For quite a while I couldn’t really figure out what was going on and when I did it just wasn’t that interesting to me. It got a little better toward the end of the book and I did find myself smiling, especially in the last few pages. That said, there were quite a few gaps in the story that were just confusing. I wanted to know more about his past and what brought him to New York. This is talked about but it felt sort of disjointed with information being given in little bits and pieces.
Overall, I really enjoyed the artwork but am sort of ambivalent about the story. It wasn’t bad but it didn’t draw me in either. I never really became engaged with the character and his emotions so it didn’t have much impact on me. Even though I didn’t connect with the story, it’s still worth grabbing if you happen to come across it, if just for the artwork.