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The Adventuress

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3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  756 ratings  ·  116 reviews
The author of the New York Times bestseller The Time Traveler’s Wife returns with another evocative “novel in pictures,” the much-anticipated follow-up to 2005’s The Three Incestuous Sisters. The Adventuress follows the dreamlike journey of an alchemist’s daughter. After she is kidnapped by a lascivious baron, she turns herself into a moth and flees to the garden of a char ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Abrams
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,210)
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Dan's Obsessions
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Chip
Strange book.

At best I can describe it as a fairy tale for adults. Reading it restores that feeling of "wtf" I would get while attempting to read way ahead of my ability as a child, into a strange world of monsters and unfathomable sadness... way beyond Jack and Jill.

But other that that sense of dislocation, I didn't bring anything forth with me when the book was finished. I even had to re-read it when someone asked how it ended; I couldn't remember. I suspect a week from now I won't remember a
...more
Nicole Mcdonald
Ok, so I’ve read this graphic novel probably more than ten times but I re-read it to my friend who was in town in January and it’s one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors so thought I would include it on this blog.

This graphic novel is strange and wonderful and the only tattoo I have is actually from this book; a picture of two women embracing who are topless but wearing long black skirts and long opera gloves. The tattoo represents self love, my astrological sign, Gemini, and als
...more
Courtney
After reading two novels by Niffenegger (Time Traveler's Wife which I loved at the end of my teens and Her Fearful Symmetry which amused and disturbed me in my 20s) I decided to see Niffenegger's art. I should also say that I saw an interview with Niffenegger and Steven King where Niffenegger was awkward and aloof while Steven King charmed the sun from the sky. I think the personality of the author matters, whether or not you like their writing...

Overall a choppy, odd graphic novel literally bui
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Jenn
Beautifully illustrated. She gives birth to a cat! How cool is that?!
Mo
Why is she topless? Such a dark & somber un-adventure.
Sam Quixote
A woman captured by an avaricious lord. A metamorphosis into a moth. A union with Napoleon. A cat born from a woman. A betrayal. A death. Spirit travelling.

This is basically the story of Audrey Niffenegger's picture story The Adventuress. Fascinating artwork strung together with single sentences or labels to construct something of a mystical fairy tale.

The story is second after the art as Niffenegger says in the afterword. She created the pictures as they came to her in a dream-like state and
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Sharon
I almost gave this two stars, because I felt uncultured to give it one. Moreover, it's not a failure--it's just not a story.

The art is quite lovely. But if you look at the definitions of the stars, it doesn't say "hated it," it says "did not like it," and I didn't really like it. I think, from the afterword, that this is a series of dreamy, interesting images that she worked on in art school. There is a kind of dreamy story around it, but it's not really about the story, the meaning, the languag
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Jukka
Apr 12, 2010 Jukka added it
Shelves: recent-reads
The Adventuress - Audrey Niffenegger

Absolutely haunting. The 'novel in pictures' (not to be confused with a 'graphic novel') is a really interesting and emotionally moving form, an adult 'children's picture book' (my description). I came to this book after 'reading' The Three Incestuous Sisters.

[Serendipity for me again after the image/text amalgam "Nadja" by André Breton which i just read and reviewed.:]

The discussion at the end of the book is informative describing her creative process which s
...more
Liza

So I checked this book out of the library at the same as Niffenegger's other illustrated novel The Three Incestuous Sisters. I read The Adventuress second, and I found myself flipping through it much faster than I had with the other visual novel. As Niffenegger explains in what amounts to The Afterword, she created this book in two years while she was studying art in Chicago. In comparison, it is clear that The Three Incestuous Sisters was a labor of love over the course of many, many years. The

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Lara Messersmith-Glavin
Audrey Niffenegger totally won me over with The Time Traveler's Wife:, and I've since been digging around for more work of hers that I can fall in love with. Her other picture book, The Three Incestuous Sisters:, did little for me. This, on the other hand, I thought was wonderful.

Stark and strange and nearly incomplete, this series of images is stitched together with the briefest thread of a story, at once haunting and oddly warm. The afterword explains that the book dates back to the mid-80s, w
...more
Putri
This is again a graphic by Miss Niffenegger. This was her first first book,it was written in 1980's she was a visual artist and just maade an amzingly incredible novel called the Time traveller's wife.

This graphic novel is a girl's adventure, she was a creation of the alchemist and she was taken away by the powerful Baron Von K and forced her to marry him, and she fled from the house and met the horesemen and the Napoleon bonaparte (yes indeed that was "the napoleon Bonaparte", then they fell in
...more
Tracy
The edition I read (Abrams, ISBN 081097052X) is physically lush. The spine is done up in something resembling green suede and the pages are thick like good cheese. I can see where some people might be turned off. I won't be sharing this story with kids under 14 because of the ambiguous "wedding night" scene. But, I liked the bizarre, dreamy, and inexplicable twists the story took (It reminded me of Robert Altman's "Three Women."). I don't know how she just up and left Maurice, but in both books ...more
Tortla
It offended my delicate sensibilities, but I still thought it was interesting. I really liked some of the pictures. Some of them didn't quite manage to be interesting to me, though. I appreciate the effort, anyway. I think it's an enjoyable enough read/skim/gander, but it's probably not worth actually spending money on. Or maybe it is, just so it can sit around your house and you can flip through it every now and again...Maybe it'd be a better gift (to receive) than something to actually buy (bu ...more
Joey
This was great and strange and can be read before your morning coffee. It combines the ornamental tableaux stylings of a silent film with the playfully creepy randomness of Edward Gorey. Definitely my favorite by Niffenegger so far. Worth at least one read, but more couldn't hurt.
Rebecca
Feb 23, 2008 Rebecca rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Allison
Recommended to Rebecca by: Evan
Evan told me to read this book; it is an adult book categorized as a "novel in pictures." It's even more interesting to me now that I am taking a printmaking class (the illustrations are aquatints and I'm learning that technique!).

The story itself is bizarre and surreal (woman gives birth to a cat) -- yet another interesting twist on visual storytelling (see also: The Arrival; Principles of Uncertainty; The Invention of Hugo Cabret). I haven't yet read "The Time Traveller's Wife," but if it's a
...more
Alyssa
I have read a few of her stories with images, and I think that I prefer her stories without images. When writing novels she seems to be more vivid and creative with the story itself.
SmarterLilac
Nine times out of ten I think graphic novels are entirely forgettable, but this one made me want to buy it. Spare, poetic, haunting. I love it.

I also loved Niffenegger's comments on the book's process of creation, which were included at the end. It surprised me that the whole thing was originally completed between 1983 and 1985, when the author was in art school. The style of The Adventuress feels entirely postmodern, and fits right in with the current taste. So...way ahead of its time?

Like a bl
...more
Hank
I read (or better looked at) this book after reading The Three Incentuous Sisters. Maybe that one prepared me for this one, since the artwork was similar in style. I actually enjoyed spending time (not much though) with this book. I spent more time searching the artwork for nuances and found it more satisifying than the previous one. I found the pictures during her wedding of the myriad sets of eyes particularly interesting (have you ever felt like everyone in the room was staring at you?) The s ...more
Cady
one of my favorite picture books for adults by an artist.
Emily
Deliciously creepy, and beautifully sad.
Claire-Rose
...What the heck did I just read???
Stephen
Ooooh, this is pretty. Sparse text, next to spare aquatint prints. Very nice. Something between Anke Feuchtenberger and Edward Gorey (perhaps like a comic written and drawn by the former, redrawn and packaged by the latter), but still with its own identity. An allegorical, dream-like story, with a female protagonist - I don't want to say more so as not to give too much away, but if that sounds at all appealing then I'd advise you to read this. I took it out from the library, but it's a book I'd ...more
Hilary
This book was bizarre, and ultimately unsatisfying. I fear, as I read more Niffennegger, that The Time Traveller's Wife really is the best thing she will ever write. It won't hurt you to read this book (it took me about 10 minutes), so if you like Niffennegger, I can recommend it.

The most unsettling thing about this book (and it was a very unsettling book) was the picture where she gave birth to a cat named Maurice. The greatest thing was the binding. The version I read had actual velvet on the
...more
Lori
I purchased this in NYC while attending Audrey's reading of Her Fearful Symmetry. Audrey is a visual artist as well as a fantastic author, and here we see the two mediums come together.

Illustrating the story with a unique art technique called Aquatints, Audrey introduces us to a woman created through Alchemy, and the trials and tribulations she endures.

Sometimes creepy and disturbing, always beautiful, her artwork grows in detail as the written words begin to diminish.. allowing the pictures
...more
Susan
A very strange tale, this is the first book by the woman who wrote one of my all time favorites -- The Time Travelers Wife. It's a series of illustrations she did in art school and pulled together into a story, of sorts. The adventuress is a young woman, created by her father, who wears a long skirt and long gloves and nothing else as she wanders in and out of trouble, changes form, becomes Napoleon's lover and gives birth to his cat. Simple, lovely art, minimal text, interesting experiment.
Serena
Audrey Niffenegger is very uneven. This a bizarre, even disturbing book. The illustrations are sketchy and unsettling, the story sexually unsettling. I can't be more specific, both because it's been awhile sice I read it, and because it left a bitter taste in my mouth that I didn't really want to explore.

However, The Time Traveler's Wife, and The Night Bookmobile, are among my favorite books. My most favorite books. Ms. Niffenegger remains an authorial enigma to me.
Kate
I originally checked this out for Readathon but never got around to it. It would have made a great, easy read for the late hours, since it reads like you're having a dream. While I didn't end up loving this as I do The Night Bookmobile (which I did read during Readathon), The Adventuress has some wonderful images- I especially like the cocoon and moth drawings. I still need to read a novel by Niffenegger and I look forward to more of her works.
Meredith
As with The Three Incestuous Sisters, this book was mainly artwork and not your typical book with a plot. But I am glad I read it, and along with 3IS it helped me to understand Niffenegger's macabre sensibilities that really didn't come through in Time Traveler's Wife, and so I wasn't taken by surprise at the tone and ending of Her Fearful Symmetry. Worth a read: order both of Niffenegger's illustrated novels from your library via Inter-Library Loan.
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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
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More about Audrey Niffenegger...
The Time Traveler's Wife Her Fearful Symmetry The Night Bookmobile Raven Girl The Three Incestuous Sisters

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“Her spirit flew out into the night
And the sky reached down
And drew her up,
And she was filled with light...

And she is happy.”
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