Shoplifter by Michael Cho
Story? Nope. No plot at all.
Character-driven? Well, almost, as the graphic novel ended too abruptly for me to know the character real well.
So no story and not much character development and yet Michael Cho’s “Shoplifter” spoke to me. Now, before anyone thinks I have a roomful of klepto stuff, “Shoplifter” is not about shoplifting per se. It presents a slice of life in the person of Corrina, a young woman, who’s become disillusioned about her life after college. (How many of us had not found ourselves in that situation?)
Like most English grads, she dreams of becoming a novelist but she knows she has to earn a living first so she gets a copywriting job to transition herself. Five years on, she finds herself transitioning into a life of enabling capitalists to make more money and the only way she enjoys the best that life could offer is through “some kind of screen.” Hence perhaps the reason for her lifting magazines from a kind shopkeeper. Take whatever she can, steal back what life has been denying her—until she is confronted.
As mentioned early, the story (or non-story) ends abruptly which is too bad. I would have wanted to see what happens to Corrina in the next chapter of her life. I can’t pose the questions left hanging in my mind here as that might spoil it for those who have yet to be lifted by Cho’s honest portrayal of dealing with this thing we call life.
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