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Back in 1984, a rebellious,17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive,and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece. Miraculously Back in 1984, a rebellious,17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive,and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece. Miraculously combining a perfect memory for both emotional and physical detail with the sometimes painful lucidity two and half decades’ distance have brought to her understanding of the events, Lust meticulously shows the who, where, when, and how (specifically, how an often penniless young girl can survive for months on the road) of a sometimes dangerous and sometimes exhilarating journey. Particularly haunting is her portrait of her fellow traveler, the gangly, promiscuous devil-may-care Edi who veers from being her spunky, funny best friend in the world to an out-of-control lunatic with no consideration for anything but her own whims and desires. Universally considered one of the very finest examples of the new breed of graphic novels coming from Europe, Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life won the 2011 Angouleme “Revelation” prize, and Fantagraphics is proud to bring it to English speaking readers.


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Back in 1984, a rebellious,17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive,and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece. Miraculously Back in 1984, a rebellious,17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive,and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece. Miraculously combining a perfect memory for both emotional and physical detail with the sometimes painful lucidity two and half decades’ distance have brought to her understanding of the events, Lust meticulously shows the who, where, when, and how (specifically, how an often penniless young girl can survive for months on the road) of a sometimes dangerous and sometimes exhilarating journey. Particularly haunting is her portrait of her fellow traveler, the gangly, promiscuous devil-may-care Edi who veers from being her spunky, funny best friend in the world to an out-of-control lunatic with no consideration for anything but her own whims and desires. Universally considered one of the very finest examples of the new breed of graphic novels coming from Europe, Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life won the 2011 Angouleme “Revelation” prize, and Fantagraphics is proud to bring it to English speaking readers.

30 review for Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Jackson

    ***1/2 stars. This starts out as a slightly dull memoir of a teenage punk runaway and the squatting scene in Europe, but the story steadily grows stranger and more compelling as Ulli and a female friend head south from Vienna into the heart of Sicily. The book is well observed throughout and there a few beatific moments where the story dilates beyond the consciousness of the narrator. But what will stick with me are Ulli's numerous encounters with Italian men who willfully refuse to understand t ***1/2 stars. This starts out as a slightly dull memoir of a teenage punk runaway and the squatting scene in Europe, but the story steadily grows stranger and more compelling as Ulli and a female friend head south from Vienna into the heart of Sicily. The book is well observed throughout and there a few beatific moments where the story dilates beyond the consciousness of the narrator. But what will stick with me are Ulli's numerous encounters with Italian men who willfully refuse to understand the word "no." She's one of the few women openly walking the streets in small Sicilian towns and as a foreigner she's viewed as a prostitute by males of all ages and backgrounds. Her Italian boyfriend refuses to help when his buddy rapes her one evening in his bedroom. Her female friend tries to pimp her out to make a few bucks. And so on. The book downplays these horrific scenes as part of a larger quest for self knowledge, but they still paint a convincing and convicting portrait of an entire culture in the grip of psychosis.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Penelope

    This book pretty much wraps up everything I love in a good graphic memoir. It's raw, intense, not afraid to be really long (so many graphic memoirs cut themselves short), and captures so many small memorable moments. The characters are well developed, the story is interesting and takes unexpected turns. Coming of age, punk, feminism--it's all in there. I also really love Ulli Lust's illustration style; it matches the content of her story perfectly.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Licha

    3.5 stars Sometimes I feel like I'm getting old and have lost my sense of adventure. I had a hard time concentrating on the first half of the story. Ulli is a 17 yr. old punk girl from Austria with no ambitions or goals in life. She meets another girl, Edi, who convinces Ulli into backpacking it across the border into Italy. They leave with nothing but a sleeping bag and the clothes on their back, which for Edi consists of a sleeveless shirt and short shorts. Ulli at least thinks to bring an extr 3.5 stars Sometimes I feel like I'm getting old and have lost my sense of adventure. I had a hard time concentrating on the first half of the story. Ulli is a 17 yr. old punk girl from Austria with no ambitions or goals in life. She meets another girl, Edi, who convinces Ulli into backpacking it across the border into Italy. They leave with nothing but a sleeping bag and the clothes on their back, which for Edi consists of a sleeveless shirt and short shorts. Ulli at least thinks to bring an extra pair of underwear. I point this out because this is where my sense of adventure and lack of concentration came into play. I couldn't stop thinking every few pages how these girls must reek. They don't shower, change, and have sex. Lots of sex with no showering. I couldn't get the ick factor away from my head for a long portion of the book. I really wasn't feeling either of these girls from the start of the book. So these girls are basically homeless in Italy. They learn to beg for food and money real soon. They sleep wherever a group will welcome them or wherever men take them. Edi, being promiscuous, sleeps with every man she meets, while Ulli often gets groped against her will, begged for sex, and sometimes talked into sex because it's easier to just get these men off her back if she consents. This becomes a cycle of self abuse in order to survive the streets of Italy. It becomes harder and harder to read everytime Ulli is "mentally raped" as men ogle her and undress her with their eyes as she walks through the street. They solicit her, offer her a place to sleep, a plate of food is she will just have sex with them. I felt Ulli's pain everytime she screamed that all she wanted was to be left alone, to be able to sleep without waking up in the middle of the night only to find someone feeling her up. At one point she is raped but decides to become the rapist's girlfriend because at least that way no one else will try to touch her. It paints such a sad picture. How do you ever trust a man's intentions if that's all you are to them, a sex object? At some point, Edi and Ulli become separated. Ulli is completely on her own even when she joins up with other homeless people. It was depressing to see this neverending downward spiral of despair. The only times I felt happy for Ulli was when she managed to see historical places in Italy. Ulli reunites with Edi again but Edi has become a prostitute and a heroin addict. While Ulli has been a good and loyal friend to Edi, Edi shows Ulli the opposite. She leaves Ulli alone with four men who are looking at her with wolf eyes waiting to devour her. Ulli has come to the fork in the road. She must decide whether to continue with her journey alone or with Edi, or go home to her parents. She must also come to terms that her friendship with Edi has run its course. Prepared not to like this at first, Ulli finally won me over by the end of the book. She stood strong and fought back but I also couldn't help feeling sad at the fact that some of her innocence was robbed from her by the end of the book. In her ending page, Ulli apologizes to her parents for having put them through the pain and worry of not knowing her whereabouts during the time she spent in Italy. It felt good knowing that Ulli did not take for granted the lesson life had to show her.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    When a graphic memoir is mentioned twice on your podcast, it’s a good idea to read it (161 and 198)! I needed a change in my reading so downloaded this graphic memoir from Hoopla that also counts for Women in Translation month. Ulli is living the punk life and it is a hard life. She sneaks into Italy and finds food and shelter where she can (she really shouldn’t have gone to Sicily!) and damn the man etc. The art is often monochromatic, mostly a dirty green, and captures the emotions and unwashed When a graphic memoir is mentioned twice on your podcast, it’s a good idea to read it (161 and 198)! I needed a change in my reading so downloaded this graphic memoir from Hoopla that also counts for Women in Translation month. Ulli is living the punk life and it is a hard life. She sneaks into Italy and finds food and shelter where she can (she really shouldn’t have gone to Sicily!) and damn the man etc. The art is often monochromatic, mostly a dirty green, and captures the emotions and unwashed hair very well. I couldn’t put it down while I followed her tumultuous journey. CW for rape, sexual assault, drugs.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This book is a no-holds-barred memoir of an Austrian teen (Lust) who hitchhikes from Vienna all around Italy. Mid-1980s setting, punk lifestyle with lots of sex, drugs, and too many questionable decisions to count 😮 Thankfully Lust made it back alive. Not sure if I can recommend it, but it is undoubtedly one of the boldest books I've read this year. *Women in Translation 2018

  6. 5 out of 5

    G.

    Brilliantly told, heartfelt and searching, this epic tale explores the life of a wanderer looking for adventure only to find more than she bargained for. Perfectly captures the Euro punk scene and Italy in the 80s, Ulli Lust's story is both hilarious and harrowing, touching and repelling-- a rare feat. A highly sexual look at a woman's worth in men's eyes, exploring the fine line between rape, desire, and what shit women have to put up with in that part of the world. Not a rosy look at the past Brilliantly told, heartfelt and searching, this epic tale explores the life of a wanderer looking for adventure only to find more than she bargained for. Perfectly captures the Euro punk scene and Italy in the 80s, Ulli Lust's story is both hilarious and harrowing, touching and repelling-- a rare feat. A highly sexual look at a woman's worth in men's eyes, exploring the fine line between rape, desire, and what shit women have to put up with in that part of the world. Not a rosy look at the past by any means, she explores her own flaws in ways most people would never dare.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Nothing surprising here, though I read it with a certain sort of familiarity, and some enjoyment of sorts... two (sort of) punk teenagers go on the road from Germany to Sicily, without ANY money, partying... what bad things can happen?! The drawing is sketchy, perfect for the tale and the kind of journal-style telling.... not much insight is gained along the way, really.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Raina

    OMG this cover. Good job, whoever published this first. I was already in love before I'd ever held the book in my hands, just based on that gorgeous cover (and title). And when it came in on hold at my local library, I was startled at how chunky it is. A paperback book with over 400 pages and a fecking gorgeous cover. le sigh. I saved it and I saved it and I saved it, and finally grabbed it when I needed an indulgence. And, oh - wow. It's the true memoir of Lust's (as far as I know, that's her rea OMG this cover. Good job, whoever published this first. I was already in love before I'd ever held the book in my hands, just based on that gorgeous cover (and title). And when it came in on hold at my local library, I was startled at how chunky it is. A paperback book with over 400 pages and a fecking gorgeous cover. le sigh. I saved it and I saved it and I saved it, and finally grabbed it when I needed an indulgence. And, oh - wow. It's the true memoir of Lust's (as far as I know, that's her real name) adventure traveling under the radar, without papers, from Austria and all over Italy. Without any kind of savings or legit anything, she sleeps in parks and squats, panhandles, and ::TRIGGER WARNING:: gets raped a lot. But seriously. That was the most startling thing about this story. She pulls no punches about all the sexual assault she suffered during this time in her life. She and her traveling companion can't afford hotels and restaurants and accept a lot of offers of crashpads and meals from strange men who approach them. Sometimes the young women (they're in their late teens) are actively seeking out sex work, but most of the time the sexual attention is vastly unwelcome (at least on Lust's part). (view spoiler)[ One thing that made an impression on me about this story is that Ulli doesn't label anything that's happening to her as "rape," until quite far into the story. And when she does, it really fucks her up. (hide spoiler)] It's a hard story to read. It's pretty much every parent's nightmare. But I believe it is honest. Which is my personal bottom line. Maybe it's a portrait of a particular time and place, but in many ways it has a lot to teach universally as well. About women, and victimhood, and sex, and traveling, and gender, and homelessness and Europe. There's even a little bit of Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book in the spirit of this thing. Lust's drawing style is a little more, let's say, clumsy than most - black and white with touches of green. There are chapters, and she includes some nice extra matter - photos and journal pages and such - at the end. The story is easy to follow on the panel shapes and sizes she chooses, and she does a nice job of indicating poignant moments by giving them slower pacing or a full-page panel. Kim Thompson does a great job of translating, as the dialog rocks along comfortably. The lettering varies quite a lot, as sometimes scribbles indicate speech Lust doesn't understand, and sometimes Thompson could leave the text as written when it was meant to be in an unfamiliar language (or occasionally English). It was sometimes distracting when I was trying to figure out if I should attempt to read the writing or if it was scribbles, but I suspect that if the whole thing was in Lust's script, it would flow flawlessly. Honestly, it was a hard book to read, and not as enrapturing as I'd hoped. I'd probably rate it four stars for my own enjoyment, but I gotta bump it up to five because it's such a massive achievement. It's an important story, and I respect Lust's point of view. And, for those who can handle a lot of triggering content, this book will be a worthy read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emmaj

    Well told story, art feels like its from a journal she kept to record her life then but in a perfect "supports the story" kind of way. But I didn't relate. At all. I wish I could use the "I'm old" excuse, but honestly, I never did relate. Even when I was 17. I never understood people who said "I want to see REAL life!" All of life is real. I guess they really mean "I want something different" or "I want to know if everyone lives lives like my parents do" But again, I never felt like that. I could see Well told story, art feels like its from a journal she kept to record her life then but in a perfect "supports the story" kind of way. But I didn't relate. At all. I wish I could use the "I'm old" excuse, but honestly, I never did relate. Even when I was 17. I never understood people who said "I want to see REAL life!" All of life is real. I guess they really mean "I want something different" or "I want to know if everyone lives lives like my parents do" But again, I never felt like that. I could see already that there were options for me and my parents weren't the only one. Also, I didn't get the difference between all the coerced sex she had and the one time she categorizes as rape. Almost all of her encounters seemed like rape to me. She is indifferent to the sex and often uses sex to get food and lodging and money. She lets herself be convinced. While I see hints of her feminist self and growing identity, I wish there was a little more expository writing explaining her inner dialog. Why is it okay to attach yourself to a guy for protection in exchange for sex here, but not there? Did you understand the different cultural expectations in Italy vs. Austria? Or did you see them to be two sides to the same sexist coin? Still, I'd recommend it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    This was very dark. The narrator was only 17 and she had the option to go home at any time but kept putting herself in dangerous situations instead. It wasn't the decision that I would have made but she felt tied to the punk lifestyle and the awfulness that came with it. After the multiple abusive "friends" she encountered, I just wanted Ulli to go home to her family. What a terrifying coming-of-age journey through deprivation, drugs, and sex. I was cheering for her the whole trip but couldn't r This was very dark. The narrator was only 17 and she had the option to go home at any time but kept putting herself in dangerous situations instead. It wasn't the decision that I would have made but she felt tied to the punk lifestyle and the awfulness that came with it. After the multiple abusive "friends" she encountered, I just wanted Ulli to go home to her family. What a terrifying coming-of-age journey through deprivation, drugs, and sex. I was cheering for her the whole trip but couldn't really understand her need to take it to the extreme level that she did. She was lucky to make it out alive.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karyl

    WOW. Ulli Lust is lucky to be alive, was my first reaction to this graphic memoir. At the age of 16, she's bored with life in Vienna, so she decides on a whim to travel to Italy with a new friend of hers called Edi. With no money, and very little to their name, they dodge border police and finally make their way into their desired country. There, they beg, borrow, and steal to feed themselves and make their way deeper into the country. Eventually, Ulli gets fed up with not only the way she's obj WOW. Ulli Lust is lucky to be alive, was my first reaction to this graphic memoir. At the age of 16, she's bored with life in Vienna, so she decides on a whim to travel to Italy with a new friend of hers called Edi. With no money, and very little to their name, they dodge border police and finally make their way into their desired country. There, they beg, borrow, and steal to feed themselves and make their way deeper into the country. Eventually, Ulli gets fed up with not only the way she's objectified by the Italian men but by her one-sided friendship with Edi, and decides to head back home to her parents in Austria. But truly, it is a shock that Ulli survives long enough to go home again. Not only is she raped by her acquaintances, but she also shoots heroin under peer pressures and finds herself on the wrong side of the Mafia by refusing to sleep with one of the local bigwigs. And she does all this at the tender age of 17. No wonder her parents were livid when she finally makes her way back home. Another reviewer mentioned that she didn't enjoy the memoir because she couldn't relate, that she didn't ever want to run away from home or EXPERIENCE LIFE (in all caps) like Ulli did. But when I read a memoir of someone who climbed Mt Everest, I don't find a lack of enjoyment because I have no desire to climb mountains myself. It's all in looking at another person's experience and taking away the meaning behind the experience, in this case, Ulli's developing feminism from becoming fed up by all the "mind rape" she experienced in Italy, the fact that she was nothing more than a sexual organ meant to satisfy the Italian men. Highly recommended, but it does contain quite a bit of adult material.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dakota Morgan

    This graphic memoir is long, exhausting, filled with questionable characters making terrible decisions...and is absolutely fascinating in the way that a train wreck is hard to look away from. As a 17 year old, Ulli decides to take a quick, illegal jaunt across the Austrian border into Italy to spend the summer with her new best pal, Edi. The two quickly realize that it's pretty tough to live well in Italy when you don't have money, a place to stay, or a change of clothes. Fortunately, they're ful This graphic memoir is long, exhausting, filled with questionable characters making terrible decisions...and is absolutely fascinating in the way that a train wreck is hard to look away from. As a 17 year old, Ulli decides to take a quick, illegal jaunt across the Austrian border into Italy to spend the summer with her new best pal, Edi. The two quickly realize that it's pretty tough to live well in Italy when you don't have money, a place to stay, or a change of clothes. Fortunately, they're fully willing to panhandle and live in public parks with other young drug addicts who all seem to be super well-adjusted. If you read this very, very graphic memoir, do not expect things to suddenly turn around for Ulli and for her to see the light and realize, "oh, it's definitely time to go home." Full disclosure: there's a lot of rape in this book. It's not fun to read. It's very true to life, very unsettling, very hard to reconcile. You want to root for Ulli as a character, but she absolutely insists on making all of the worst decisions. But, like I said, it's also hard to look away. I marveled at the afterword, which was essentially Ulli apologizing to her parents for putting them through this missing persons case. I just hope that she learned her lesson by the time she wrote this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Corto Maltese

    Funny, that I read this in english. The book was reduced at my local bookstore (to a mere 7 Euro). I glanced over the backcover and liked what I saw enough to risk the 7 Bucks. At home I realized, the author was from my city and wrote the novel originally in german, my mothers language. Not only that, but with a lot of austrian slang too as I realized when reading the faksimile of her notes at the end. Still, that didn't bother me at all. I devoured this documentary of her teenaged trip to Italy. N Funny, that I read this in english. The book was reduced at my local bookstore (to a mere 7 Euro). I glanced over the backcover and liked what I saw enough to risk the 7 Bucks. At home I realized, the author was from my city and wrote the novel originally in german, my mothers language. Not only that, but with a lot of austrian slang too as I realized when reading the faksimile of her notes at the end. Still, that didn't bother me at all. I devoured this documentary of her teenaged trip to Italy. Not only because it's well written and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Not only because this is one of the best comic-autobiographies I read up to now, but also because I could relate quite a bit, having taken a similiar trip three years after the author at the age of 18(only I went to greece and am male, so I didn't live through the abuse parts). I really congratulate Ulli Lust for her portrayal of the "freak culture" which I also learned to know on my 7-month trip to greece and turkey. Also awkward situations at foreign police stations and them bitching because of some knife rang more than a bell with me. Last but not least the youthful punk-attitude which we obviously shared ... 1000 reasons for me to love the hell out of this novel.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    Trigger warning: sexual assault. The pervasive rape culture shown in this memoir is really heartbreaking. It takes place in 1984, but I wonder how much things have changed (Italy still has a reputation for being full of Casanovas)... Many reviews mention how foolish it was for penniless punk 17 year old Ulli & her friend Edi to hitchhike from Vienna to Sicily and live on the streets, or that they resorted to prostitution sometimes when looking for a meal or a place to stay... but that sounds lik Trigger warning: sexual assault. The pervasive rape culture shown in this memoir is really heartbreaking. It takes place in 1984, but I wonder how much things have changed (Italy still has a reputation for being full of Casanovas)... Many reviews mention how foolish it was for penniless punk 17 year old Ulli & her friend Edi to hitchhike from Vienna to Sicily and live on the streets, or that they resorted to prostitution sometimes when looking for a meal or a place to stay... but that sounds like victim blaming to me. :( Aside from the sexual content and the issue of consent, there were many other themes - friendships formed on the road, betrayal, the line between drug use and addiction, the shame of begging, honor in the mafia, the punk worldview and search for new experiences... My only complaint is that I think Lust could have set the scene more succinctly, but the momentum of the book picked up. The art style was mostly loose sketches, but sometimes explosive - it reminded me a lot of punk music. The REVENGE page is burned into my mind! Other pages contained peaceful landscapes - I was glad for Ulli that she was able to see some beautiful places, even at the cost of her innocence.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ísabel

    Very intense (true) account of two punk girls hitchhike from Vienna to Sicily in the 1980s with lots of not really too casual sex - another excellent graphic novel of this edition. -- What I found missing to give it more points is some reflection in the telling, as it is, it is incredibly direct - like you were inside her mind at the time. That's on the one hand definitely a strength, otoh, idk... I definitely don't want her to dismiss/devalue her lifestyle at that time - I guess what I want is Very intense (true) account of two punk girls hitchhike from Vienna to Sicily in the 1980s with lots of not really too casual sex - another excellent graphic novel of this edition. -- What I found missing to give it more points is some reflection in the telling, as it is, it is incredibly direct - like you were inside her mind at the time. That's on the one hand definitely a strength, otoh, idk... I definitely don't want her to dismiss/devalue her lifestyle at that time - I guess what I want is (her acknowledgement of) the possibility of the same wildness/intensity of experience without the same agonies. But life has no restart/retry options, so suffering stays inevitable. Hm. EDIT/PS: I learned a lot, I think: about being Punk, being female, also about being a (male,natch) mafioso (all of those in their way terribly, sadly, restricted)- about the incredible suppression of women and the even more incredible acceptance of the fact< at least, at that point, at that time, at that place. Perhaps I can rephrase that better, later.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    3.5 stars. I had trouble connecting with and liking two white, angsty teen girls choosing to be homeless and reckless with their lives while scaring the living crap out of their parents. I'm officially old I guess and I'm fine with that. However I have a deep sympathy for the girls in terms of the sexual harassment and sexual assault they put up with in Italy. It became very difficult to read hundreds of pages of Lust putting up with sexual harassment. It just reminds me of everyday existence as 3.5 stars. I had trouble connecting with and liking two white, angsty teen girls choosing to be homeless and reckless with their lives while scaring the living crap out of their parents. I'm officially old I guess and I'm fine with that. However I have a deep sympathy for the girls in terms of the sexual harassment and sexual assault they put up with in Italy. It became very difficult to read hundreds of pages of Lust putting up with sexual harassment. It just reminds me of everyday existence as a woman in any part of the world. Uggghhh.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Seems like I've been saying this a lot lately, but I think I would have enjoyed this more when I was younger. In all honesty, I read a little over half, but I got fed up with her making the same mistakes over and over and OVER again and skimmed the rest. I'm not sure that I missed much. I'm sorry she went through what she did, and I hope she found better friends later in life. I've never been to Italy, but this definitely reinforces all the worst stories about how Italian men behave.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex Kudera

    450 pages and about 400 of them include Italian men unable to comprehend that "no" means "no". . . which makes it a somewhat repetitive graphic memoir in which the narrator suffers the conflicts of female teenager v. male gaze, men, mafia, authorities, parents, heroin, and worse.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Here's my review of this book from tcj.com: http://www.tcj.com/reviews/today-is-t... The gist of it: this comes highly recommended. Here's my review of this book from tcj.com: http://www.tcj.com/reviews/today-is-t... The gist of it: this comes highly recommended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Garden

    Holy cow what an undertaking. P damn good.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    Seemingly innocuous memoir, that slowly morphs into being a brutal and sometimes shocking portrait of oppressive patriarchy, something you'd hope we left behind in the '80s, but I'm sure we haven't.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ann Litz

    Alternately exhilharating and devastating, "Last Day" is 450+ graphic-novel pages easily read in a day. It's the height of European punk in 1984, and an Austrian teenager embarks on a backpacking/hitchhiking expedition to Italy, with no passport and no money, as a declaration of her independence and sexual freedom. But, mostly due to her being perceived only as a sex object, the free spirit repeatedly faces dependence and degradation. Her companion Edi, who in features and personality resembles M Alternately exhilharating and devastating, "Last Day" is 450+ graphic-novel pages easily read in a day. It's the height of European punk in 1984, and an Austrian teenager embarks on a backpacking/hitchhiking expedition to Italy, with no passport and no money, as a declaration of her independence and sexual freedom. But, mostly due to her being perceived only as a sex object, the free spirit repeatedly faces dependence and degradation. Her companion Edi, who in features and personality resembles Mister Mxyzptlk, skates on the surface even through the world of organized crime in oblivion. At times "Last Day" is reminiscent of "Into the Wild," with "Last Day's" version of "Alexander Supertramp" tempting would-be pilgrims with Rome's Spanish Steps instead of the Alaskan wilderness. The art is spartan but effective, in an olive-and-black pallette evocative of American currency, which is appropriate considering what Ulli and Edi must do for food and shelter without money. Certain images, such as the protagonist blissfully swimming through the Italian crowds and the water and animal imagery associated with sex, are unforgettable. The art and text speak to us women who came of age in the late '80s.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deepa Nirmal

    I found this memoir both fascinating and deeply disturbing. Ulli Lust was only 17 years old when she rebelliously leaves Vienna to go to Italy. No money, no passport. I was conflicted with many emotions reading this book. On the one hand, she’s a child. On the other, she does understand that her body is her currency, and yet she is dismayed that every man she meets expects sex for buying her dinner or giving her shelter. Reading this in 2019 I couldn’t help but reflect on my own innocence when I I found this memoir both fascinating and deeply disturbing. Ulli Lust was only 17 years old when she rebelliously leaves Vienna to go to Italy. No money, no passport. I was conflicted with many emotions reading this book. On the one hand, she’s a child. On the other, she does understand that her body is her currency, and yet she is dismayed that every man she meets expects sex for buying her dinner or giving her shelter. Reading this in 2019 I couldn’t help but reflect on my own innocence when I was 17, and the fact that I have a daughter, whom I would want to shelter at all costs from the experiences Ulli had. Also, that 35 years later, a 17 year old girl retracing Ulli’s path would have a very similar experience...depressing to think about indeed. I applaud Ms. Lust’s courage sharing her experiences. And I do recommend this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    Two punk rock German girls travel to Italy with no money or passports. One of the best autobiographic comics I've ever read. Since it's been written more recently than the mid '80s, we know at least one of them survives the experience, but it still gets harrowing in spots. Lust has an engaging drawing style, reminiscent of Mary Fleener but less stylized. Despite the massive size of this book, it's a fairly quick read. Good stuff!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn

    I have a penchant for gritty autobiographical graphic novels. This is the story of a teenage girl hitchhiking her way through Italy in 1984 and this book pulls no punches when it comes to the punk scene, drugs and sex. As a warning for any potential readers, there are many depictions of sexual assault throughout the book. I recommend this book to fans of Phoebe Gloeckner's "The Diary of a Teenage Girl."

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Drrmrmrr

    I think 3 1/2 stars is more appropriate. Everyone wants to be older, every child wants to be an adult, but to push yourself into these situations seems so scary to me. Forcing yourself to grow up in a new place and you don't want to go home and feel like you failed. I dunno, this was well done but as I'm growing out of my rebellious phase I'm not seeking out those narratives anymore.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aamil Syed

    Beautifully honest and jarring coming of age story that prepares you for this unlivable world. Trigger Warning: Rape.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Celil

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9pbM... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9pbM...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Titus Bird

    This comic's premise – graphic memoir about the author's teenage journey of discovery around Italy – is not one that especially appeals to me. I probably never would've read it, if not for the fact that I'm interested in checking out any German-language comic that gets international acclaim. Ulli Lust is of particular interest to me because she's from Austria, where I currently live. The first 50-odd pages are interesting as an insight into Vienna's 1980s punk subculture, but that's it. After tha This comic's premise – graphic memoir about the author's teenage journey of discovery around Italy – is not one that especially appeals to me. I probably never would've read it, if not for the fact that I'm interested in checking out any German-language comic that gets international acclaim. Ulli Lust is of particular interest to me because she's from Austria, where I currently live. The first 50-odd pages are interesting as an insight into Vienna's 1980s punk subculture, but that's it. After that, things pick up as Lust hits the road and the comic is infused with the thrill of adventure, freedom and youth. Unfortunately, my interest wanes as it becomes increasingly apparent that Lust's journey (or at least this comic) is first and foremost about one thing: sex. Of course, sex is an important subject; my objection doesn't come from a place of prudishness. However, (at least in the work's first half) Lust fails to make her sex life interesting. Moreover, it's disappointing to me that there isn't more focus on other aspects of the journey – such as the people she met, how she learnt Italian, or the practicalities of survival without any money. These things are addressed, but mostly only as a backdrop for Lust's sexual exploits. Things get progressively darker as the story goes on, and there's a particularly dark turn around the midway mark, which lends the work more emotional resonance. The book's second half is also more interesting than the first thanks to an increased feminist focus, as well as insight provided into 1980s mafia-run Sicily. Perhaps my biggest problem with this comic is that 17-year-old Lust is so damn irresponsible. Time and again, she makes terrible decisions – often just moments after having bad experiences. I would like to admire her lust for life (no pun intended), but it's not really possible when the negative consequences of her actions are made so readily apparent. Not only is she irresponsible, but she's also very selfish, and is driven by a boring, narrow idea of rebellion that I'm sure would have seemed no less immature to me at 17 than it does now. Moreover, there's little sense that she evolves or matures though her journey. By the story's end she may be a little harder and less naïve, but I can't really say she's become any more responsible. The comic is drawn in a rough, punky style that suits the story, but mostly doesn't do much for me aesthetically. In general as I read, I found myself only cursorily taking in the images to the extent necessary to see what was happening. That said, the drawings are very expressive, and there are a handful of pages that are quite beautiful. Overall, this comic isn't bad. The story being told is in itself remarkable enough to maintain the reader's interest. Plus the comic addresses some very important themes and is at times quite emotionally affecting. Nonetheless, it didn't resonate with me much, particularly due to a lack of interesting characters.

  30. 4 out of 5

    André Habet

    I got into this comic memoir more and more as it went on. I don't know how Lust went about composing it, but her cartooning gets bolder as we get further into her trip in Italy. This book is a great testament to that Nora Ephron quote 'everything is copy' and it makes me sad I didn't start keeping better notes at a younger age, albeit my teen years were largely preoccupied with sharing mixtapes and playing Star Fox 64 a million times through, which is not nearly as riveting for an audience as Lu I got into this comic memoir more and more as it went on. I don't know how Lust went about composing it, but her cartooning gets bolder as we get further into her trip in Italy. This book is a great testament to that Nora Ephron quote 'everything is copy' and it makes me sad I didn't start keeping better notes at a younger age, albeit my teen years were largely preoccupied with sharing mixtapes and playing Star Fox 64 a million times through, which is not nearly as riveting for an audience as Lust's life at 17.

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