Antony Moore - The Swap (1 star)

Antony Moore - The Swap

(Harvill Secker)


Cartoonists have for years been creating humorous/nostalgic stories about the obsessive pastime of comic book collecting: see Joe Matt’s confessional memoir The Poor Bastard and the eccentric whimsy of Seth’s Wimbledon Green. Financial sector suit-turned-NHS psychologist Antony Moore has a go with this comic novel about a collector that draws on the author’s years as a member of that tribe.

Moore no longer hoards comics, though he apparently owns a dog (named after one of the X-Men), and one wonders how dedicated an aggregator he was, given his rudimentary grasp of comics culture. The subject of the titular exchange that plagues the book’s protagonist throughout his life is one of the world’s most valuable comics, Superman One. Any comics fan knows this should be Action Comics#1, which featured Superman. And, in addition to being ill-informed, Moore has pilfered wholesale Nick Hornby’s geek-lad narratives to knock out a lazy novel that’s in far from mint condition.

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