The River at Night

The River at Night

A man has trouble falling asleep and reflects on his life, marriage, and time itself

In The River at Night, Kevin Huizenga delves deep into consciousness. What begins as a simple, distracted conversation between husband and wife, Glenn and Wendy Ganges—him reading a library book and her working on her computer—becomes an exploration of being and the passage of time. As they head to bed, Wendy exhausted by a fussy editor and Glenn energized by his reading and no small amount of caffeine, the story begins to fracture.

The River at Night flashes back, first to satirize the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and then to examine the camaraderie of playing first-person shooter video games with work colleagues. Huizenga shifts focus to suggest ways to fall asleep as Glenn ponders what the passage of time feels like to geologists or productivity gurus. The story explores the simple pleasures of a marriage, like lying awake in bed next to a slumbering lover, along with the less cherished moments of disappointment or inadvertent betrayal of trust. Huizenga uses the cartoon medium like a symphony, establishing rhythms and introducing themes that he returns to, adding and subtracting events and thoughts, stretching and compressing time. A walk to the library becomes a meditation on how we understand time, as Huizenga shows the breadth of the comics medium in surprising ways. The River at Night is a modern formalist masterpiece as empathetic, inventive, and funny as anything ever written.

Title:The River at Night
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781770463745
Format Type:

    The River at Night Reviews

  • David Schaafsma

    I feel like I have been waiting for many years for this book to come out, and feared that like anyone might switch gears that Kevin Huizenga had just decided to do something else with his life. But oh...

  • Adam Stone

    Kevin Huizenga's work is just not for me. I find his concepts so incredibly dull that I can't enjoy his visual art, which is a shame, as he's quite talented.If you like it when someone really high, or...

  • Michelle

    I just did NOT click with this. This was a weird collection of vignettes about a character named Glenn Ganges. Glenn seems to have a hard time sleeping, so many of the “stories” follow his nightti...

  • Jess

    Huizenga’s long-in-process work takes place during a single, extended, sleepless night (imagine Winsor McCay meets James Joyce). The visual inventiveness, playfulness, and sheer artistry on display ...

  • Elizabeth A

    Well, color me perplexed. I read the GR blurb, and this comic sounded exactly like something I'd really like.It's not a novel, but musings on insomnia and other things that make up a life. There were ...

  • Kim

    on phenomenology of time & present & memory; repetitive/cyclical nature of mundanity; memory/history as intertextuality; parallel vs spiral (2d vs 1d) / eternity vs beginning & the end; geography -> t...

  • Charles Hatfield

    A mind-altering philosophical novel in the form of an insomniac's restless night, which becomes the pretext for reflections on life and time. Sleepless Glenn Ganges lies awake, his mind turning over a...

  • Becky Loader

    This is just not for me. Trying to fall asleep, the narrator enters into a vast rumination about life, the universe, and everything. Too rambling....

  • Helen

    A wonderful graphic novel, a tour de force really, consisting of the protagonist's (Glenn's) struggle to fall asleep - having had too much coffee - and the thoughts racing through his mind, as he can'...

  • Batmark

    Last night (a Thursday), I woke up around a quarter to 2 and couldn't get back to sleep. At 3:00 I finally slipped out of bed, sneaked into the basement, and searched my bookshelves for something to r...