Tamara Drewe
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Tamara Drewe

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,055 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Tamara Drewe has transformed herself. Plastic surgery, a different wardrobe, a smouldering look, have given her confidence and a new and thrilling power to attract, which she uses recklessly. Often just for the fun of it.

People are drawn to Tamara Drewe, male and female. In the remote village where her late mother lived Tamara arrives to clear up the house. Here she become...more
Hardcover, 136 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Jonathan Cape (first published 2007)
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Jane
Where I got the book: my bookshelf.

I'm not sure how well known Posy Simmonds is over here in the US; I've been collecting her adult graphic work since the 1980s when she had a much-loved comic strip in The Guardian. Tamara Drewe is a full-length graphic novel that deals, as Simmonds' work very often does, with the English literary life and the coveted status symbols of the country weekend cottage and, in the case of Gemma Bovery , the "little place in France."

Here literature and country life ove...more
MJ Nicholls
I am on a graphic novel kick this weekend, but don’t worry, I have a week of Grossmith, Dostoevksy and Nicola Barker lined up, so normal service will be resumed. This one is known mostly in the UK and was serialised in The Guardian, then turned into a movie with the brilliant Roger Allam and Tamsin Greig. Being a parochial, very English piece gives it little international appeal but it is spiky and witty in a BBC Radio 4 sort of way. The movie irons out several crinkles in the original, such as...more
Marissa
I've never read Far From the Madding Crowd, which this comic is loosely based on, so I'll have to respond on the merits of it on its own. The characters are well-drawn and the plot well-crafted. I will say, even though Tamara Drewe seems like she's supposed to be the main character (hence the title), in many ways she is the least developed. This lack of development seems intentional to enhance the tension, but since so much of the plot centers on her, her shallowness can be distracting. Like a l...more
Alex
Strong examination of rural life suffers from the blurb description "that rare graphic novel for adults". I am unfamiliar with the literary precedents of Thomas Hardy so I cannot examine the novel on that level, nor can I see how it could adequately be translated to a film (admittedly Gemma Arterton is the perfect fit for the title role).

A mixture of first person narrative, newspaper articles and comic sections, Tamara Drewe encapsulates a year in the lives of three narrators, their relationship...more
Anna
For a Thomas Hardy novel, “Far From the Madding Crowd” is a lighthearted romp: though it’s full of darkness and death, at least the two main characters, shepherd Gabriel Oak and independent beauty Bathsheba Everdene, remain alive and wed at the denouement. Posy Simmonds’ bang-up graphic novel “Tamara Drewe,” a riff on “Madding,” is far funnier and less bleak than its inspiration, but she doesn’t shy away from modern takes on Hardy’s themes of jealousy, unintended consequences, and the ennui of r...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

As the graphic novel gets older and older as an artistic format, it of course continues to become more and more diverse and interesting as well, and with there being with each passing year more and more types of full-length image-based narrative tales out there for all of us to enjoy; take for example Bri...more
Hillary
I'd almost give this 5 stars. Picked it up in the library on a whim, knowing nothing about Simmonds, and was very impressed. It's not laid out like a traditional paneled comic, and there's rather a lot of text, but the narration by different characters (serif v sans-serif, which is clever) really adds something and her delicate art is lovely. Those two things would be enough, but she's thrown in a smart and twisty story of affairs and death and nosiness. There are some choices I'm not sure are r...more
Alexis
Jun 05, 2008 Alexis rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Alexis by: The Guardian, UK
combined with reading this piece in New York Magazine (http://nymag.com/relationships/sex/47...), I fell into a long running contemplation of (in)fidelity, self-esteem, trust, and marriage in general.

If you are really attached to your huffing habit you might want to avoid reading this graphic novel- not graphic in that way but still. I read and enjoyed Simmonds' Gemma Bovary about a year ago or more. I enjoyed this one more although the discovery of Simmonds' work then was more of a joy as it w
...more
Garrett Zecker
An interesting approach to Thomas Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd (http://books.google.com/books?id=Fj_6...), this graphic novel is a wordy but beautiful expression of the culture and relationships of the middle-aged writer's workshop circle. When Ms. Drewe appears at her childhood farmstead whose environment and principality as a whole is being replaced with old money city-dwellers, she shakes up the small writer's community near the home in showing up with a nose job and a glamorous lifesty...more
Maggie
I'm one of those people who likes to read the book before I see the movie, but I did it differently this time. I didn't even know there was a book. I saw the movie, of the same name, on DVD and found out about the book by watching some of the bonus features. The book is a graphic novel, and was available at my library, so I thought "why not?" It only took me a couple of evenings to read it, even though I had to wait until after my kids were in bed to do so.

Tamara Drewe is a woman who moves back...more
Anna
Loved it. Could not put it down. It is cosy and charming and almost painful to read due to how incredibly well observed and realised it is. It is as if Posy Simmonds has managed to go to a typical English village, distil and bottle the essence and feel of life there, add in her own dashes of drama and intrigue and the product is this graphic novel. From the angry locals who hate outsiders for turning their once functional farmland into 'extortionate real estate', to the bored teenagers who const...more
Monthly Book Group
Simmonds loosely follows the plot of “Far from the Madding Crowd” in this beautifully illustrated graphic novel, but her sensibility is very different. She is a social satirist rather than a tragedian, an Austen rather than a Hardy. Many of her funniest moments – and she is deliciously funny - are when she mischievously contrasted what happened in 1874 with what happened in 2006.

The Valentine is a good example. Bathsheba had sent a “gorgeously illuminated” Valentine card to Boldwood, with a wax...more
Ariella
This book was about how men make women objects, and how women feel pressurised by men and other women to conform to their expectations. This was made abundantly clear to me by the daughter of the main character, who appeared every now and again, and, in the guise of explaining to her mother her PhD, explicitly stated the themes of the book.
I think this book would have been stronger if we had some grasp on the main character. She appears quite late in the work--as do the novels two other more in...more
Kirsten
This is a fascinating soap opera of sorts. Beth runs a writer's retreat in the British countryside, while her husband, a mildly successful mystery novelist, bangs out novel after novel in the garden shed. Their world is bucolic on the surface, but Nick's philandering ways often put a crimp in things. It all comes to a head when Tamara Drewe, a journalist, moves into the family farm next door. Tamara was not terribly good looking once upon a time, but she's recently had a nose job and is using he...more
Robert Beveridge
Posy Simmonds, Tamara Drewe (Mariner, 2008)

If Henry James had lived long enough to get himself into the graphic novel movement, and embrace the more explicit nature of today's plotlines, I can easily see him having written something along the lines of Tamara Drewe, Posy Simmonds' easy, slightly seedy comedy of manners set in the British countryside.

Loosely based on Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd, Tamara Drewe is the story of a rural town in Britain divided into upstairs (a posh writers' comm...more
jess
Apparently they are making a movie out of this book? I will probably go see it even though it will likely be terrible. I picked the book up because it was on a Flashlight Worthy list of Best Graphic Novels about Women and you know how I love women, right?

Anyway, on to the book. This is the story of a pretty, young newspaper journalist who shakes up the small British town where she grew up when she returns to her family's home. The action takes place over the course of a year at a writers retrea...more
Blair
Posy Simmonds' graphic novel, originally serialised in the Guardian's Review supplement, follows the chain of events that unfolds when the eponymous Tamara Drewe - a former wallflower who, via plastic surgery and increased confidence, has transformed herself into a stunning and much-desired woman - returns to her parents' country home. There, her life fatefully intersects with a number of local residents, most significantly the inhabitants of a nearby literary retreat; its married owners, Nichol...more
Danielle
Beautiful to look at, though a fairly unlikeable story. This is the bit where I admit I've never read 'Far From The Madding Crowd', only cheated with the summary on Wikipedia (and in summary, it reads like a year's worth of 'McLeod's Daughters' condensed, sheep bloat and all). It was a bit hard to find a character to warm to in this lot, but I felt for Casey, maybe because I'd be the sidekick who looks less than great in jeans and who is too anxious to inhale computer cleaner, too. The others se...more
Lars Guthrie
A groundbreaking marriage of novel and comic book. Really a lot going on here, more than in most graphic novels. Seamless segues from text to comic book panels and back again, and it all works in this meeting of murder mystery and comedy of modern manners. Posey places her story in a rural English retreat for writers, which allows for a fascinating intermingling of glitterai from the literary and pop worlds with regular folks as well as teenage working class chuffers. All the levels you'd expect...more
Jacobi
This book was really well done, and probably the first time I've ever read a graphic novel with prose that I didn't mind reading.

This follows a bunch of desperate, sad, depressing, and pathetic characters at some writers retreat whom are all impacted by this Tamara Drewe woman. Sounds like a good time right? Well, the characters are all well realized, and it's interesting following the slices of their life that Simmonds exposes us to, even if none of the people are especially likable.

Posy Simm...more
Andrea
I really enjoyed "Tamara Drewe"! First, the illustrations are wonderful -- the scenery and colors are delicate and finely drawn, and the expressiveness of the faces of the characters helps to enhance and develop the story. There is a very well realized coordination of text and picture, where each element builds upon the other and produces something greater than the whole. Also, Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite authors, so the resonance with his "Far From the Madding Crowd" was especially pleas...more
Johanna
Tamara Drewe presents a rare and insightful look into human nature. From jealousy to triumph this book illustrates some of mankind’s poorer judgements. The novel follows a group of writers at a retreat as well as the owners and staff at the retreat. Overall it is a mundane scene with an undercurrent of marital discord. However, things are significantly shaken-up when the charismatic and slightly enigmatic Tamara Drewe returns to her mother’s cottage mere miles from the writers’ retreat. The plot...more
Lizalou
I could read this again and again and again. Funny, witty and cheeky satire of a writer's retreat in a countryside village.
Crystal Johnson
I read this in one day, in one sitting.

A big cast of characters but all are different enough that you won't get confused. If you like graphic novels minus the superhero and reading books about books, then this may be perfect for you.

A group of writers (well known and not so well known) work at a quiet writer's retreat (a bed and breakfast basically) in England. All the characters' lives get intertwined at the end in (mostly) unexpected ways, something I wish more writers would do.

The author is...more
Poonam
Inspired by Far from Madding Crowd, it is story of Tamara Drewe with three suitors of different kinds and circumstances.

I saw the movie Tamara Drewe, which was cute. Yet in the special features of DVD, I saw screenshots from the book and I wanted the book too. Art is lovely and remarkably several of movie's characters look just as their graphic novel avatar.

Set in Dover? in England, around a idyllic, quiet writer's retreat, it is also coming-of-age story of not one, but two women. ;) Graphic no...more
Janee Trasler
The perfect blend of art and text. Sometimes, an inbalance can pull me out of a graphic novel; didn't happen once here.
Christina Wilder
Sep 15, 2012 Christina Wilder marked it as to-read
The movie was great, so now I have to read this.
Aabha sharma
I love Posy Simmonds because of "literary life" which made me laugh out loud. Not that I'm the sort of person who would hesitate to laugh out loud at books. What can I say, I'm easy to please. I really enjoyed reading this book too, even though some of the end parts seemed to tie in together just for the sake of a 'neat'' ending. You know WRITERS we notice when you do that! But it was still pretty good which is why I recommended it to my husband who blandly asked, "does it have any sex?" We'll y...more
Aneurin
A bucolic tale full of warmth and humanity. A complete gem, that I wasn't looking forward to finishing. Probably the best book I've read all year. The story was both addicting and endearing, and is probably the quintessential novel for the generation that has to "be something".
A cleverly written book, that adapted perfectly to film.

The character of Tamara Drewe is very much a modern woman, and her character goes through a total transformation from the beginning of the novel to the end (no I'm...more
Valeriane
Premier roman graphique, et découverte de cet auteur! Une très chouette découverte.
Intriguée par le livre, motivée par le film... je me suis lancée dans cette lecture fin de 2010. Bon, ok je l'avais un peu mis de côté, mais ce n'était certainement pas par déplaisir.
Un cadre verdoyant, une résidence d'auteurs, une femme dévouée à sa ferme et à sa mission de "muse", un jardinier, un auteur imbu de lui-même, deux ados en crise, le coin est plutôt calme (trop aux goûts des jeunettes), jusqu'au jour...more
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