Asterios Polyp is an architect who has never built a building, and yet he is a famous name in his field, or at least he was. He currently finds himself divorced, out of work, and homeless after his apartment catches on fire. As Asterios rebuilds his life, we see his past unfold, from his birth, to his childhood, to his years of womanizing, to his marriage, and to his divorce. We meet a diverse cast of characters including Hana, Asterios’ ex-wife and his polar opposite. Most importantly, we meet Asterios himself.
This graphic novel is constantly switching between past, present, and imaginary realities, which I found off-putting when I first tried to read it. However, when I picked it up the second time I couldn’t put it down. This is, at times, a densely intellectual novel, referencing philosophical theories and ideas throughout the story. It is based on Homer’s Odyssey, and makes frequent references to Greek mythology, which could make the story even more esoteric. However, it is also a very human book of how two people fall in and out of love. It is ultimately a touching, and tragic story that I adored.