Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two-Three sentence book reviews!

Post Office by Charles Bukowski from Ecco: This is a great novel full of depravity, self -induced misery and true originality! I've known guys like the main character and Bukowski's Henry Chinaski rings true. After you read this, you'll never, ever, look at your mailman the same again.

Slow Storm by by Danica Novgorodoff from First Second: Novgorodoff is a real talent; with this book she proves the saying that there are NO RULES when it comes to graphic novels. Excellent line work and beyond excellent watercolor washes bring this story of an encounter between a female firefighter and an illegal immigrant to life. Go buy this!

Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation by Ray Bradbury & Tim Hamilton from Hill and Wang: I LOVE Fahrenheit 451 and Ray Bradbury; and Tim Hamilton's art in this version is exceptional. But this adaptation only left me wondering, "What's the point of this?" This just didn't work for me at all, and I feel like Hamilton's talents would be better suited working on original ideas as opposed to adaptations.

Bourbon Island 1730 by by Lewis Trondheim and Olivier Appollodorus from First Second: When I started to read this tale of pirates, slaves, colonial powers & ornithologists(!) set in the Indian Ocean, I was initially bored. By the time I had finished a quarter of the graphic novel I couldn't put it down. The artwork is black & white and would probably benefit from the addition of color, but I can see why the publisher avoided that option due to some of the more mature themes in the book; Trondheim's art style is very whimsical and could easily fool someone into thinking that the book would be appropriate for younger children.

Cat Burglar Black by Richard Sala from First Second: In what seems like the first installment of a series, a young girl trained as a master thief stumbles across a family mystery. This seems like an excellent read for young girls due to Sala's lighthearted art and Nacy Drew-ish story. I may buy this for my nieces!


Marie said...

I feel the same way about Fahrenheit 451. I have a review copy from Macmillan and I'm really struggling to get through it.

John A. Walsh said...

Marie—At first I thought my feeling on the Fahrenheit 451 adaption came from a general dislike of adaptations...but then I realized that I loved Cooke's adaptation of Parker: The Hunter...so...

For the most part, I do think that doing original stories is the way to go with graphic novels. I can't wait for someone to produce a work with the weight and importance of something like The Grapes of Wrath!