Marc Bernardin
January 10, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Epileptic

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
David B.
publisher
Pantheon
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it an A-

The lifeblood of any successful memoir is detail. Cartoonist David B. (born Pierre-François Beauchard) remembers it all: the sudden shock of watching his brother, Jean-Christophe, fall to his first epileptic seizure; the aggressiveness of his parents, who exhausted themselves seeking a cure; and the frustration of a would-be artist, who sought refuge in tales of horrific war and in drawing scenes of bloodletting. Epileptic is honest, sometimes to a fault, and perceptive, especially about a kid’s view of disease (on sensing an impending seizure: ”a foolish grin spreads across his face, and his eyes seek us out, as if to cling to us”). It illuminates the idea that, to a child, even adversity can become adventure.

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