Book Review: The Sound of the World By Heart by Giacomo Bevilacqua

The Sound of the World By Heart by Giacomo Bevilacqua is a illustrated journey originally published in Italian, and recently translated to English. An experiment in social isolation turns into a journey of self-discovery as a photojournalist commits to chronicle 60 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.

The Sound of the World By Heart is a visually stunning graphic novel that starts with a simple idea. I found that the artwork and the intent made the book a much more emotionally engaging book than I expected, although it did verge on pretentious. Samuel Page is our main character, and I will admit that I found the text hard to read on occasion, but I think that was a combination of font and my digital copy rather than something that will be an issue in a paper copy. I loved this look at contemporary New York City- and think that the visual really saved the book when the narration begins to meander a bit. I thought the love story and emotional journey was interesting, but I think the book wanted to be more philosophical that I was interested in reading, and that diminished my enjoyment a little. 

The Sound of the World By Heart is a beautiful graphic novel, with a good intent but a tendency to veer off toward pretentious. However, it is worth looking through for the artwork alone. 
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