Mild-mannered Myriam is diagnosed with macular degeneration in her right eye, but that doesn’t explain the strange things she’s been seeing: children in bright red helmets dancing on the doctor’s ceiling, exotic vines growing from her television set, and thousands of colored castles forming patterns on her kitchen walls. Her husband Fred is certain that Myriam’s visions are a bunch of nonsense, and her family dismisses her odd observations as the results of old age and an addled mind. So when Myriam begins to notice something “off” about the house next door, she has only her own instincts to trust: can she tell the difference between a trick of the eyes and a real crime?
The surreal lives side by side with the everyday in this graphic novel about life with Charles Bonnet syndrome, a condition in which a person with partial or severe blindness has complex, often bizarre hallucinations. Gareth Brookes’s rich, artistic crayon drawings pull the reader into Myriam’s vibrant and unnerving world, showing the frustration and fear that arise as a result of this unique condition—and the moments of unexpected beauty.
“As this sad, slyly surreal book proceeds, neither Myriam nor the reader can be certain what is real, and what is very, very not.”—Glen Weldon, NPR
“Brookes’ talent for surreal experimentation, shown in his first graphic novel The Black Project, dominates this depiction of life with macular degeneration coupled with the less-common Charles Bonnet syndrome.”Publishers Weekly
“Spooky and edgy, but well worth the read, this intriguing story sheds light on a potentially overlooked condition.”—Teresa Potter-Reyes, Library Journal
“Brookes has created a story of disability and personal strength that is amplified by his formal experimentation. That’s a hard combination to find, and makes A Thousand Coloured Castles essential reading.”—Alex Hoffman, Sequential State
“Gareth Brookes is one of the most surprising comics creators working anywhere in the world. A Thousand Coloured Castles is entirely rendered in shimmering layers of coarse waxy crayon. The effect is astonishing, unsettling, and strange—much like the weird, beautiful visions intruding on the central character's view of the world. The book's great and lasting power comes from its recognition that the darkest shadows—and the brightest wonders—can be found in the most ordinary of people. An extraordinary achievement.”—Dylan Horrocks, author of Hicksville
About the Author:
Gareth Brookes is a graphic novelist, printmaker, and textile artist who studied fine art at the Royal College of Art. His most recent graphic novel, The Black Project, won the Best Original Graphic Novel Award from Broken Frontier. Visit www.gbrookes.com for more information.