What is it about?
This is a guidebook to the ‘most beautiful of ugly cities’ via the medium of a sketchbook/scrapbook journal. Florent Chavouet – a French man staying in Tokyo whilst his girlfriend has an internship there – takes us on a visual journey through not just Tokyo, but his Tokyo. A nice mixture of drawings and annotation, this is perfect coffee table book.
Is it any good?
Chavouet’s somewhat realistic but overall cartoony art style really appealed to me – this book is very aesthetically pleasing. He shows the reader all the little nooks and crannies of Tokyo that a conventional guidebook might neglect to mention, and he creates characters out of the passersby he sketches by capturing their characteristics with his pencil. He also manages to weave a gentle narrative into the pages, and the reader comes to feel like they know Chavouet. His quirky sense of humour shines through in this book, making it impossible not to smile whilst you flick through it.
How long did it take to read: three days (but this is sort of irrelevant as it’s the sort of book you kind of just flick through)
For fans of: travel writing, comic books, manga
This book tastes like: warm noodles