Friday, May 30, 2014

Nathan Sorry, Vol. 1 (2010) Rich Barrett

I originally had little to say about this title, but the more I thought about it, the more I had to say. Initially I didn't have a very high opinion of the book, but I found myself thinking about it more and more. Those are the titles I think you need to write about.

Nathan Sorry, Vol. 1 (J 2010) Rich Barrett (available online through ComiXology)

Nathan is an ordinary, unremarkable investment analyst who works at the World Trade Center. As the book opens, he’s missed a flight to New York just prior to 9/11. Some strange things happen (which I won’t go into) that allow Nathan to “start over” in a small town with a new identity. Ideally Nathan wants to go to another country and start completely over, but more weird things begin to happen. 

Nathan Sorry has some pretty good ideas, but I’m not sure they all work, at least not in this initial volume. There’s a fine line between a good mystery and a convoluted one, and Nathan Sorry is sometimes a bit too convoluted and unfocused. We’re not sure if the protagonist’s name is meant to suggest (a little too obviously) that he’s sorry he didn’t die on 9/11 and is trying to run from a general sense of guilt, or whether he’s just a sorry, cowardly individual. Or both.

One aspect of the story that’s interesting is one that I’ve rarely seen addressed in 9/11 fiction (which is not really a genre I have much of an interest in reading anyway): revenge and/or feelings of satisfaction at the death of one’s co-workers. This is a fine line and one that must be tread with the upmost of care, to be sure, and to give credit to Barrett, he handles it quite well. We see that Nathan worked with a lot of people who were not only jerks, but who would stab him in the back the first chance they got. Maybe Nathan does feel sorry for any sense of satisfaction he might have over the deaths of some of his coworkers. Some of them clearly would’ve stomped him down in a second in order to advance up the ladder. Maybe his sense of guilt in this sense is meant to drive the story and is the real impetus of Nathan’s actions. Although this is an uncomfortable topic, it's one I'd like to see explored further.   

So this first volume is both intriguing and frustrating. I’ll definitely check out the second volume and maybe beyond. You can find out more about Nathan Sorry at Barrett’s website.  


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