This was my first foray into the realm of graphic novels! Unfortunately, as excited as I was to finally introduce myself to this genre...this book solicited a "meh" response and not much else.
I realize why it is a critic's darling. It deals with weighty issues such as race, stereotypes, relationships and identity. The illustrations are well-drawn (not that I'm much of an expert in this area). Yet, it just wasn't my kind of story. The protagonist is extremely unlikeable (whiny, self-absorbed, hypocritical...you get the picture). Unfortunately, the other characters do not distract the reader from his gloominess. In fact, with the exception of his best friend Alice, the supporting characters are pretty one-dimensional...I could not have cared less about their fates. Also, the story ends on a not-so-happy note (I won't elaborate so as not to spoil but I will say it was lacking somewhat). Found this amusing synopsis of Shortcomings on the interwebs (read, this is not from the actual book):
Despite all of my hangups about this novel, I think it would make for interesting discussion - whether in a classroom or amongst friends. Perhaps it is simply meant to make you pause and think about some of these issues...