Flood! (3 stars)

ERIC DROOKER

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Flood! (Dark Horse)

Like Paul Auster’s celebrated New York Trilogy, Eric Drooker’s triumvirate of tales set in the Big Apple depicts life in the city as lonely and alienating. As with Auster, there’s more than a touch of Kafka about these stories, which concern a construction worker made homeless who literally vanishes into the cityscape and an artist who envisions the floodtide he’s eventually swept away by. The overarching theme of Drooker’s book, citizens being submerged in their city, reflects the period in which it was conceived, in this 1980s during the Regan administration when NYC was witness to a tidal wave of homelessness.

The narrative might be fixed to a specific time and place, but Drooker’s visual rendering of the story, using woodcuts that resemble cave drawings, give it a mythic quality that transcends its setting. In any event, Drooker’s grim visions of urban America remain just as relevant under the Bush administration.

(Miles Fielder)

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