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The Three Incestuous Sisters

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  2,641 Ratings  ·  389 Reviews
The Three Incestuous Sisters is an evocative, illustrated book by the best-selling author of The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger. Reminiscent of the gothic style of Edward Gorey, Niffenegger's visually stunning narrative affirms her genius as a storyteller. These rich pages present the tale of three very different sisters: one who is beautiful, one who is smart, a ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Abrams
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Community Reviews

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Apr 09, 2007 sylvy rated it liked it
Because I was enthralled by Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife , this book immediately caught my eye whilst browsing at Page One, this funky suite of a bookshop at Vivocity (Singapore). I am not in the habit of paying a 50 or more for illustrated books although I don't mind buying them (the pittance that I collect every month for slaving at my job affords me but one paperback every month). So I got one of the staff to rip away the plastic and I read it there and then.

Themes of loneliness, l
Aug 03, 2007 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic_novels
I'm impressed with Niffenegger's flexibility--creating a picture book like this (what she refers to as a "visual novel") and then writing a novel like The Time Traveler's Wife. The illustrations remind me of Henry Darger's work (, for example) with the thin, fine lines that Niffenegger uses to outline the characters' bodies. I enjoyed the detail she incorporated to reveal the texture of things--the yarn-looking fur of a black cat and the gravelly backgroun ...more
Dec 23, 2007 Melody rated it did not like it
Seems unduly influenced by Edward Gorey. This story is obviously a labor of love, but it didn't work for me at all. Creepy, pointless, and boring.
Jan 18, 2008 Charissa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: freaks like me
Shelves: incest, graphic-novel
So, today is my birthday and my fans, Tracy and Amy have requested that I write a review of this demented book. I find it amusing that the directions for posting a review includes the phrase "What I learned from this book" (as if we're kindergarteners just back from summer vacation)... but in this case it's actually helpful...

One year ago at Christmas time I was shopping with my latest charming, psychotic, former crack dealer boyfriend... and suddenly the cover of this book loomed up at me from
Robert Beveridge
Audrey Niffenegger, The Three Incestuous Sisters (Abrams, 2005)

Niffenegger's afterword for this “visual novel” (as she calls it, to make it distinct from a graphic novel; I fail to see the difference) says that she originally started with a full story and illustrations, and pared away bits of story until she got to where it is now-- essentially illustrations and captions (very little of the text that accompanies the illustrations runs more than one sentence). Which begs the question: why stop th
Jun 08, 2008 Shannon rated it really liked it
Much better story than "The Adventuress". I thought the illustrations were more interesting, as well. I really enjoyed this, actually. It was a bit morbid in parts... but props to the author for managing to make a human fetus drawing look cute rather than creepy. Also.. I appreciate that it took her 14 years to make this.. but it seems kind of weird, since it only takes like.. 10 minutes to read/look at the pictures. It seems like her style of art (aquatone or something like that) is a bit more ...more
Aug 28, 2008 Juushika rated it liked it
Shelves: status-borrowed
The three sisters Clothilde, Ophile, and Bettine live together in peace until Bettine falls in love and conceives a child. Ophile's jealousy sparks tragedy, and Clothilde communes with the unborn baby, beginning a strange sort of family drama. Told in minimal prose with large, sparse line drawings, The Three Incestuous Sisters is an interesting concept with haunting execution, but it remains insubstantial. With so little prose, the story begs better or more complex drawings to bring the it to li ...more
Mar 13, 2016 Sara rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary
I've read "Time Travelers Wife" and completely fell in love with it. It's one of my all-time favorite books. So after reading it a couple times, I thought I would look into the other works by Audrey Niffenegger. I bought "The Three Incestuous Sisters" over the internet, so I wasn't able to have a glimpse at it before purchasing it (I don't think there was even a cover picture of the book). But when I received my package and opened it up, first thing I noticed was the size and the cover art. It's ...more
Apr 21, 2009 Rob rated it it was amazing
To say that I'm fascinated by the book is to put it mildly. I don't know why, since it has a very simple story line and the illustrations remind me of a first grader's doodling. I just am!
An analogy: Years ago we went to the Louvre and the Mona Lisa was on display at the time. There was a big crowd and when we were able to get close enough, there was a old gentleman in front. He stood out because he was neatly dressed in a suit and tie, while the others are typical tourists mostly in jeans and w
Nov 09, 2011 Ranee rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: the curious one
Nice to be a first born.

Classic tale of sibling rivalry set in grotesque art. Funny at times and mundane sometimes. The story hits me since I have 2 sisters (and definitely Adler would have a field day interpreting our personalities). Though, unlike the book , I think the dynamics of our sibling relationship is way, way much better than those in the book and my sisters agree with me, after all, all of us read this.

A quick read, better admired for it's graphic art than its storyline, The Three In
I sort of feel bad for rating this a two, because I know it took an INSANE amount of work to create this book (14 years worth by Niffenegger's reckoning), but honestly, it really was just okay.

Told mostly through pictures (painstakingly created but still only 'ehh' most of the time), the text in this book is really just a series of captions for the pictures. The story is loosely held together through that, and even though it is there -- and a rather disturbing story it is, too -- it never feels
Dec 07, 2009 Jeane rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
the word "incestuous" intrigued me. my inner perv expected something juicy to occur but i was disappointed. there wasn't actual incest, but incest where the sisters were able to get into each others' heads and make a mess of things. strange storyline and the illustrations creeped me out a bit. i was impressed that the author took her time to make all those etchings. a lot of work went into that. awesome.
Oct 11, 2010 Joanie rated it liked it
I didn't even know this book existed until I saw an add for Niffenegger's new "visual novel. " I was so happy that the library had it (especially after I read it-don't think I want to own it.) On first glance it looks like a children's picture book but don't be fooled -although not likely with a title like this I guess. As one would imagine, the story is really twisted. Most of it is told through the pictures which are created through a process so elaborate I can't even begin to wrap my brain ar ...more
Nov 05, 2010 Sweetp-1 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 04, 2011 Elsbeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ilikebooks
So, so good.

When you are done make sure to read the AFTERWORD because in this she explains that she created aquatints for the images. If you don't know anything about this printing process, you should know that it is incredibly involved and really interesting to watch someone create images in this way. If you have ever seen the movie "Goya's Ghosts" it shows Goya going through the process. Also you can probably youtube it.

That fact alone makes this "visual novel" that much more interesting.
Apr 06, 2011 Darth rated it it was ok
I read this in a few minutes at Hastings last night.
I let myself be dragged along while my girlfriend picked out a few movies to watch - although we have dozens of unwatched DVDs at home - somehow this trip was still needed?

Anyway, after a bit of digging through the movies, then trying without any luck to find a game to rent - I wandered to the books (gotta LOVE Hastings) and decided the 4 - 5 THOUSAND unread books I had at the house were enough for now.

I plopped in one of the end cap chairs and
Sam Quixote
Sep 19, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it
Three sisters who live alone in an isolated house on the edge of town have their lives disrupted when a handsome young man falls in love with one of the sisters. The pair escape to town when one sister becomes jealous of the couple to the point where she plots to break up the union and take the man for herself. Things go badly, deaths occur, and out of the mess emerges a winged green boy.

The book feels like a dream or a fairy tale. There's minimal text to accompany the large and beautiful drawi
Aug 16, 2012 Kristilyn rated it liked it
Oh, Audrey Niffinegger, I appreciate you branching out and trying different techniques and different genres of books, but can we try and stick to the same realm, please?

When I checked out Niffinegger's "labour of love" from the library, I received a weird look from the librarian. Luckily, I was also buying The Time Traveler's Wife, a well-loved book by Niffenegger, which I pointed out was also by the author, hoping that that explained my reading choice. The librarian only had one thing to say, "
Jan 27, 2013 Maryse rated it it was ok
Shelves: booksale-finds
I had been eyeing this book since Niffenegger became a household name among hipsters for her breakthrough novel. First thing that caught my attention were the weird drawings. Interesting, but the steep price turned me off

Maybe some other time

Several years and half of "The Time Traveller's wife later, I stumble upon this book again, this time on the sale bin. The gods must be smiling, methinks

I do not understand Audrey Niffenegger, which is code for I don't understand her work. The potential is t
Oct 12, 2013 Wayne added it
Recommends it for: someone i didn't like

Mmmmmm !!!.....and ALAS.

This book arouses my suspicions of the Arts.
Once artists were required to have skills.

As I said to Alfonso one evening at the conclusion of a Violin Concerto at a Sydney Symphony Concert,in the Concert Hall of Sydney's mythic Opera House:
"This is one place where you can't FAKE it."

This book has two levels of required skills - writing skills and drawing skills and perhaps colour skills.
So, three levels.

Mercifully it took me very little time to finish this book.

Mar 10, 2015 Sally906 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, graphic-book
I adored Niffenegger’s first book ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ and I gave it an A. I only wish I could have enjoyed this one even half as much. But I didn’t.

It was strange, creepy, weird. Three sisters live alone and two fall in love with the same man – but he only loves one of them and they conceive a child. There is tragedy and then an ending – a happy ending – well you will have to judge that for yourself. I just think it is weird – a sort of grown-up wanna be Grimm brothers sort of story witho
Mar 15, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
There was a strangeness to this story that I ultimately didn't 'get', but I was attracted to it rather than repelled. The narrative is very bare, just giving enough to fill in the details that the illustrations leave. The illustrations themselves were fabulous and rather reminiscent of Edward Gorey. I had no idea that the author was such a talented artist. An intriguing book, good for readers with eclectic taste.
Mar 16, 2015 Marianne rated it liked it
The Three Incestuous Sisters is the second “visual novel” by American author and artist, Audrey Niffenegger. The original books were hand printed: a limited edition of ten copies. The drawings are aquatints, featuring three sisters, Clothilde, Ophile and Bettine, who live by the sea. They all look quite similar but conveniently have different coloured hair. Two of them fall in love with the same man and jealousy leads to nasty consequences. The story is a little bizarre, but Niffenegger explains ...more
Jan 22, 2016 ke-sha rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This book was on something. Maybe

Or something I don't know.

Things happened in this book. Don't know really what to say. I mean it exists and I read it so...

I didn't hate the book. It had characters and a story... somewhat. It could have been clearer at times,there were just moments of

but overall I guess it was okay. I liked it well enough. I could see the potential. If only some things were more expanded on. That's really all I have to say. I'll give it a reread sometime in the future and
Aug 22, 2015 Holly rated it it was amazing
This will be one to visit again and again!
Jan 14, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, graphic-novels
This book was so-so for me. I liked the illustrations and I liked how it was creepy and weird but it wasn't creepy enough to be brilliant. It's obvious that Audrey Niffenegger thought about this book a lot (she even mentioned at the back that she spent years and years on it) but it didn't wow me. I think if you're going to call a book 'The Incestuous Sisters' you really have to go for it because otherwise it's kind of a letdown for the readers.

This book has very few words. Audrey Niffenegger le
Elizabeth A
Sep 07, 2015 Elizabeth A rated it liked it
Shelves: graphix, art, 2015
Think of this book as a picture book for adults.

Once upon a time there were three sisters: one beautiful, one smart, and one talented. And as with all fairy tales, they live happily together until a boy arrives. Then all hell breaks loose, and there is a whirlwind of love, jealousy, sabotage, revenge, and despair. Will women never learn? Sigh.

The text is very simple, but the art is quite wonderful and evocative. You could spend quite a long time simply looking at the art in this book and making
Feb 29, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I really liked this. I though the illustrations were beautiful. I loved the structure of the story, even though some parts were really jarring and unsettling. I'd consider buying my own copy, just to be able to reread it sometime and see what I missed before.
Aug 15, 2016 Mom2triplets04 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
This literally took me 10 minutes to read. The entire story is mostly told by pictures with so little text. I think it would have been better if there were more words. The artwork and story was a bit disturbing. Glad I was able to read this book via the library.
Jul 18, 2016 Frankie rated it did not like it
didn't like the drawings. Didn't like the story. Just not for me.
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Why is it titled this way? 6 117 Jan 01, 2014 03:43AM  
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Audrey Niffenegger (born June 13, 1963 in South Haven, Michigan) is a writer and artist. She is also a professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Columbia College Chicago.

Niffenegger's debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003), was a national bestseller. The Time Traveler's Wife is an unconventional love story that centers on a man with a strange genetic disorder that causes him to unpre
More about Audrey Niffenegger...

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“I make books because I love them as objects; because I want to put the pictures and the words together, because I want to tell a story.” 3 likes
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