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Comments for The Cardboard Valise
The Cardboard Valise: 03/31/15
The Cardboard Valise by Ben Katchor comes beautifully packaged with its own cardboard handles. When unfolded, the book itself resembles a valise.
Inside is the story of an island chain of nations, popular with tourists. The main island is known for its ruins of a giant complex of restrooms. Imagine if all that was left of California's tourist industry were the remains of its Caltrans built rest stop toilets.
The story opens with a man taking a trip to this remote island and having more of an experience than he expected. Through his journey it is revealed how much this island is an artifice put on to please the misconceptions of the tourists.
There's not much in the way of a linear plot. It's more a collection of comic strip vignettes that provide commentary on the tourist trade in third world nations.