Book of Pages is not quite like any other book and it didn’t fit easily into any single category. Consequently, it appealed to different readers for different reasons. Some bookshops put it with the novels, others thought it was science fiction. Amazon.co.uk started with Humour then changed to Society, Politics & Philosophy. Borders put it alongside their graphic novels and Blackwell’s decided it must be cult writing . . . Of course, they were all correct.
Amazon.co.uk’s Editor’s Choice — chosen as one of the favourite Comics & Graphic Novels from the year 2000.
[In 2010, British publisher Vintage Classics asked 100 prominent authors, celebrities, and Orange Prize officials to recommend one book to pass on to a new generation of readers:]
What’s Your Inheritance Classic and Why?
Naomi Alderman: I think I would press a book into the hands of the next generation called Book of Pages by David Whiteland. It’s a Buddhist comic book about modern technology and our relationship with it. It’s not as esoteric as that makes it sound! It’s sweet and funny and fascinating — a little monk Jiriki comes to the big city and is surprised and puzzled by how the people in the city seem to be working for their technology rather than the other way round. He wonders what effect this technology has on their relationship with themselves and their environment. I love technology but it’s important to be mindful about how we use it. This book was published 10 years ago  and it’s only become more relevant since... I think the generation that come after us will need it even more!
On each page a short text containing the wisdom of Whiteland is surmounted by grainy, ink pictures crammed with telling details silently damning the modern world and its dependence on silicon gimcrackery.
. . .the author presents his tale with a deliciously melancholic optimism . . .
For a first book, it doesn’t lack ambition. All the more remarkable is that it is both easy and enjoyable to read. It comments on modern society, but does so in the ironic tone of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Whether you see it as a simple story, or a literary version of the Rubik’s Cube, it’s often hard not to laugh out loud at how genuinely funny the writing in Book of Pages is.
. . . Book of Pages is a beautiful and utterly enchanting work to which you will undoubtedly return.
. . . The art is crisp and cartoonish with a great ‘underground’ feel to it, simple lines that recall some of the great newspaper strip artists, but occasionally letting rip with expansive cityscapes or attention to detail that betray some 2000 AD or Euro comics influence.
. . . This book is refreshing, different, thought-provoking and innovative. Recommended? What do you think?
Imagine if Spike Milligan and the Dalai Lama combined to rewrite the classic 70’s TV serial Kung Fu, and you’re getting close . . . Whiteland’s text is irreverent, thought-provoking and regularly hits the heights of satirical humour. At worst, Book of Pages is set to become a cult classic, at best it could just be the first must-have book of the new millennium: either way it’s a really enjoyable tale.
. . . a book that almost defies any conventional format . . . It should be required reading for lovers of science fiction or creative flights of fancy.
. . . a brilliant new modern fable . . .
The format here is fabulous . . . cartoons and a narrative/comment that makes this a pleasure to read and re-read. Destined to be one of those books that everyone will claim to have read.