Review: ′Swimming in Darkness′ Mysterious Graphic Novel Is a Chilling Architectural Tale

The thermal baths of Vals are hiding a secret.

Writer and Artist: Lucas Harari, Translator: David Homel Grine

Pierre is a young man who has dropped out from architecture school. He was just about to finish his career, but somehow his thesis subject had affected him deeply.

Peter Zumthor was an architect and designer of thermal baths, Val′s spring′s complex being one of his most astounding works.

Located deep inside a mountain in the Swiss Alps, the complex is both the scenery and the subject matter of this graphic novel. Its vast and towering walls are the most important feature. As you may imagine, there′s a local legend about this particular mountain: it is said to have a mouth that, every hundred years, swallows people up.

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Valeret is another architect who is also obsessed with it all: the baths, the mountain, Zumthor′s legacy. Soon a cat-and-mouse type of chase will occur, a chase that has one subject only: Pierre′s sketchbook. Pierre has pieced together some missing rooms, some earlier designs of the thermal compound that are related to the mystery mountain, designs that will affect and disturb all who surround him.

This is more a psychological thriller more than anything else. Emotions are very subdued, and Harari′s palette of blues, grays, and reds is melancholic and thoughtful. Mostly, it′s about architecture, and, of course, deeply, is about human nature when faced with the inexplicable.

Swimming in Darkness is on sale since November 5, 2019.

Genre: Graphic Literature, Adult Fiction

Featured image by Lucas Harari, all images belong to Arsenal Pulp Press

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This post was last modified on December 9, 2019 1:47 pm

Mariana Ruiz

A Bolivian that writes children's books in Spanish, when she is not busy writing fiction or wondering about the Universe, she is playing games with her two sons and fantastic partner.

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