Love as a Foreign Language Book 4

Finally, some movement! And it was a surprise, too, although not completely unexpected.

Love as a Foreign Language Book 4 cover
Love as a Foreign
Language Book 4
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But first, a variety of scenes showing the creative team’s facility with different approaches to humor. The book opens with Joel complaining about irony: he loves comics; he’s living in Korea, a country with comic shops and libraries everywhere; and he still can’t read the language, so it’s a constant reminder of how badly he fits in. This chapter is punctuated with slapstick mock violence and a farcical series of repetitions.

The main thread of this volume begins with Joel being snubbed by the object of his crush. Through the next three chapters, he pines and moans to his friends. My favorite was when they go out drinking, and Joel bursts into song, in a scene choreographed like an old-fashioned musical, complete with lyrics.

Kim has a real facility with how people move, exaggerating enough to get the point across and capture the humor without descending into caricature or grotesquery. Even when doing something outrageous, the characters have believable anatomy underneath their motions.

Finally, Joel gains an explanation (of his crush’s behavior) and a revelation (of an unexpected nature, but only to him; he’s been as blind as those more physically stricken). I was about to give up on this series, but that’s just the right cliffhanger at just the right time to keep me interested.

I’ve previously commented on earlier volumes.

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