White Pine Wednesdays: The Outside Circle

Howdy peeps XD

Today, I will completely disappoint Paul (nothing really funny here, sorry) and post a “boring” review. Whilst it may not be the most “rainbows and sunshine” of reviews, this book still shines a light – on some of Canada’s more shaded issues.
My sixth review will be over the very first graphic novel nominee this year (the very first and very only, actually).


The Outside Circle

I was slightly worried about this book because it seemed to take after the styles of american comic books. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the art: it was easy to look at (and not too bright/crowded). The layout was also very simple and logical: I greatly appreciated the style and obvious effort put into it.

Furthermore, the style actually added to the narrative rather than detract from it. In case you haven’t read the summary, this books is about the struggles of Aboriginals in Canada.

If I had to pick a phrase to describe the subject in one phrase, I would choose the term “infinite loop”.

An infinite loop is a term used in programming to describe a clause with no exit loop. Often errors on the part of the programmer, infinite loops are frustrating (and as their name implies, often impossible to exit from). The only way to exit the infinite loop created is to press the debugger stop – or to close the program.

This idea describes the never ending series of unfortunate events – ones that seem inescapable. Cause after cause leads to an effect: and that effect causes something else: and that effect affects even more.
In a developed country such as Canada, it is saddening (and maddening) that some aboriginal groups still live in third-world situations today. It is upsetting, to see how much certain groups have gone through, only to die off in other ways.

Land Stolen.


Cultural Genocide.

The 60’s scoop.

Residential Schools.

Sexual Abuse.

Family Separation.


The list goes on and on: this environment has led to an aboriginal suicide rate higher than the national levels. Problems with drugs and alcohol. Violence. Gangs. And the cycle only continues.

There’s no other way to describe it but shameful. Here are the peoples that originally helped the first settlers – but they were robbed, slayed, and to rub salt in their wounds today, they still have a lower standard of living than the rest of Canada. And Native American “Mascots”/teams?

Not cool.

I’ll stop ranting here (because that physics textbook is calling my name), but while this book speaks of the repercussions, it also starts the healing process. In essence, it’s the rediscovery of heritage, the breaking of shackles. It’s sad, scary, and realistic.

But it was 100% worth reading.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.


3 thoughts on “White Pine Wednesdays: The Outside Circle

  1. Paul @ The Galaxial Word says:

    I’M SO GLAD YOU ENJOYED THIS BOOK AND I totally get you when you say that you liked how the art wasn’t too crowded. One of the major attraction points of manga books, for me, is the simplicity of the art, and the way you can flick past a few of the pages and not feel guilty that you’re not fawning over the immense detail in the background or the incredibly intricate detail.

    And also, this review was fantastical and amazing as usual and was completely unboring 😛


  2. hiraethforthepages says:

    Another book to add to my TBR? YES. I acutely never have read a graphic novel but I want to badly 🙂 I have one awaiting on my shelf and I’ll get to it soon, this will probably be one of my firsts! EXCELLENT REVIEW 😀


  3. Alex says:

    Ah, graphic novels. I have to try reading one, though I read plenty of manga. This one sounds good! And that art is so gorgeous!
    Great review!


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