The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity (The Unwritten #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  10,906 ratings  ·  666 reviews
Tom Taylor's life was screwed from go. His father created the Tommy Taylor fantasy series, boy-wizard novels with popularity on par with Harry Potter. The problem is Dad modeled the fictional epic so closely to Tom's real life that fans are constantly comparing him to his counterpart, turning him into the lamest variety of Z-level celebrity. In the final novel, it's even i...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Vertigo
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Unwritten, Vol. 1, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Unwritten, Vol. 1

Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Best Graphic Novels
148th out of 1,693 books — 4,062 voters
The Unwritten, Vol. 1 by Mike CareyThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanFables, Vol. 1 by Bill WillinghamFables, Vol. 2 by Bill WillinghamThe Sandman, Vol. 4 by Neil Gaiman
Mythic Fiction Comics
1st out of 82 books — 20 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
So I discovered Mike Carey as a NOVELIST before Graphic Novelist, that's totally weird as he's known MUCH MORE in the venue of "Unwritten". SO glad I finally picked it up, Ooooh what I was missing! The Unwritten is an awesome, fun ride in surrealism and fandom and literature. I can't really explain it in detail, it's much better to just read it yourself, but if you're a comic lover RUN to get this. So fun!
I like the premise, but the development is slow -- 7 issues in, the reader has long been aware that Tom Taylor, the son of the writer of a bestselling series of fantasy novels, is in fact the novels' protagonist Tommy Taylor, come out of imagination to reality, and that the mysterious Lizzie Hexam is his best galpal Sue Silver, but Tom is still in denial and the plot movement is mostly spent on horror film slasher tropes, about which I could hardly care less. I do enjoy the bits of the fantasy n...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
It's been a good long while since I tried a new title from Vertigo. Fables was a massive disappointment. A dazzlingly simple, high-concept idea anyone could have had deserves a complex, layered treatment that everyone can only wish they'd thought of. Instead we get a less than fabulous soap opera and hackneyed The Two Towers-style building-to-the-big-fight plotlines. Y The Last Man was another potentially excellent title marred by an excessive reliance on violence as a plot engine, reducing its...more
The Holy Terror
An interesting concept, for sure. The protagonist, Tom Taylor, is the inspiration for his father's Harry Potter-like books. Every day he has to deal with the fact that people confuse him with his fictional counterpart and he just wants to live his own life (though admittedly he does capitulate on his father's books' popularity and the fame that comes with them at times.) Then fantasy starts to bleed into reality and Tom starts to question his childhood, his father, and all of the things he was t...more
First, I am a huge Carey fan. Second, I bought this on a whim. Third, the book is overrated, mainly due to an abundance of cliches. There were so many, I was barely able to close the book. The cliches kept coming to life, crawling from the pages, and forcing me to relive bad literature. At least I am happier than ever to not have read the Harry Potter series.

The Unwritten is supposed to be a mystery but the reader knows right from the start what is going on. Tommy Taylor is real and there's a s...more
What a weirdly wonderful idea. A fantasy character crossing into reality isn't exactly a new concept, I admit. It's classic wish fulfillment, after all. It's the execution of the concept here that makes it interesting. But it does seem to be developing kind of slowly. Tom Taylor isn't aware that he's fictional, and it's taking far, far longer than it did for me to come to the same conclusion. I know, I know, people in Dracula don't know that they're in Dracula. Maybe it feels slower than it is b...more
Ryan Mishap
I'm re-posting this because none of my friends, besides Tracy, have marked it as to read or sought it out. Don't miss out!

What if Harry Potter were based on the author's son? And then the author disappeared--it has been ten years. And the son hits the conventions for money and was tired of being called by the fictional character's name and then it turns out that his father may have stolen him from his real parents and even though events around the world are grim all anyone cares about is this fr...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
The Unwritten strikes me as being somehow 'impressive'. It's hard to clarify what I mean, but the idea of it and the execution was very well done. It delves into the very fruitful literary territory of metafiction, where reality and fiction intersect. I find I truly enjoy metafiction, probably because of being such a lifelong bookworm and having my head stuck in a book for most of that life (since I was four).

In the case of Tommy Taylor, it's a painful intersection. His father is a famous noveli...more
Feb 01, 2011 Teresa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Teresa by: rhea
Graphic novels, or comics, are not my primary reading medium, but I enjoyed this and look forward to the sequel. While there's a violent section in the middle that's not my thing (though I understand its purpose), there were enough literary references and literary geography (as the main character calls it) to more than keep my interest.

A back story that stretches back to the 19th century is clever and has me wondering what will happen next. The illustrations advance the story and unlike The Lea...more
Mitchel Broussard
One word: wow. I'm honestly having trouble organizing my thoughts on this one into a coherent review.

It's brilliant, fascinating, smart, and insanely cool.

The premise is far from simple, yet never overly confusing. Tom Taylor's dad wrote the most popular fantasy series of our time, surpassing even Harry Potter, and simply vanished without a trace. No note, no warning, no goodbye. His books chronicled the adventures of boy wizard Tommy Taylor, whom he modeled after his son, Tom.

Through a series...more
Sam Quixote
Ugh, I've tried three times to start this review properly and fairly by giving a summary of the plot and a fair critique of it and I can't do it. This book just sucks. Tom Taylor is boring, he's Daniel Radcliffe in another life living off of Harry Potter. There's a mysterious organisation which seems to say the places and stories in classic lit are real and meaningful.

Tom's pop, an unlikeable prig, made him memorise fictional locations in novels because one day he'll need them. I have a problem...more
Seriously, this new series is BRILLIANT.

I am totally loving this new trend in graphic novels of literary fantasy. The storyline is reminiscent of Fables by Bill Willingham or Jasper Ffords Thursday Next novels.

It is all about the life on Tom Taylor, who was the inspiration for the main character Tommy Taylor in his fathers 13 best selling novels that are suspiciously like Harry Potter both in plot and success across the world.

But all is not what it seems. Story and charcters from all genres an...more
Imagine the Harry Potter books had been based on the author's real-life son, also named Harry Potter. That's what Tom Taylor's life has been. Now that his father has "disappeared" - the public believes he committed suicide, but Tom refuses to say that he's dead - Tom must make a living using his alter ego, Tommy Taylor. When a reporter shows evidence that Tom might not be the real son of Wilson Taylor, but instead a child sold to the author by his Bosnian parents, the public begins thinking of T...more
A truly, truly awesome concept about authors being manipulated by some mysterious group to write stories that magically have an effect on the outside world. The main character, Tom, is the son of a missing world-famous children's author - or maybe he's actually Tommy Taylor, the main character from his dad's books, summoned to life by his dad's prose. The story has some familiar threads in it (I'm reminded of a certain Twilight Zone episode and Christopher Golden's Strangewood) but it feels fres...more
Jun 01, 2011 Miriam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy nerds
Recommended to Miriam by: Trin

So many allusions, so little space.
I picked this book up on a whim at Powell’s (I believe it had a “recommended” sign all it’s very own), based mainly on the lovely cover. It contains a twisted spoof of Harry Potter, and being a cynical yet devoted fan, I couldn’t resist. I’m also a sucker for anything that pushes the boundaries of reality and blurs the line between fact and fiction.

Some stories stay with you because they feel eerily real, despite impossible circumstance. The Unwritten is one of those stories. The fans' reactions...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fantasy Literature
The Unwritten by Mike Carey is one of the best current series being published right now. It is one of the few titles put out by Vertigo — DC's mature line of comics — that has kept Vertigo from losing its respected place in the world of comics. Vertgo was started by Karen Berger with Neil Gaiman's wonderful Sandman stories, and many of my favorite comics have come out with the Vertigo label on them. However, in recent years, Vertigo has lost its edge for the most part except for a few excellent...more
Corvus Elrod
Like all good stories, the Unwritten is about far more than it appears to be on the surface. And since the topic under consideration within its pages is the role stories play in our lives and our culture, we find ourselves one thousand steps down the basement staircase before we know what's happened.

Can't wait to continue the series!
Aug 13, 2012 Laurel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I am not certain that I can write a review this early in the series. I know that it's hooked me, that it has that extra magical "something" about it that compells you to stay up 'til the wee hours reading. And as soon as I can get my hands on the next few, I will happily fall into the rabbit hole!
David Edmonds
Imagine that you are Harry Potter. Not the character in the wildly popular book series, but actually a young man named Harry Potter who is the basis for the wildly popular, thirteen book series that your father wrote with the main character based on you. What do you think your life would be like?

That's basically how The Unwritten opens. Tom Taylor's dad has written an enormously popular series of books, very similar to the Harry Potter books, and based the main character of the series on his son...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tom Taylor's father was a famous children's author, who wrote a massively successful series of books featuring a young wizard named Tommy Taylor. It's kind of a cross between Harry Potter and the dilemma faced by a grown-up Christopher Robin.

Since his father's mysterious disappearance (and presumed death) Tom has been making the convention circuit, signing autographs and basically coasting on the continued success surrounding the Tommy Taylor books. This all changes when at a routine question an...more
Birthday present from Chris. Good book! 3.5 stars but I'm gonna save that fourth one for later. First 5 issues collected here.

The obvious centerpiece here are the issues set at the Villa Diodati estate (historically with connections to Mary Shelley and John Milton, plus this fictional author). A group of genre authors are having a retreat there, and things go pretty badly, but not before some cool things are said:

- "Horror is initially meant to heal, not to harm."
- "It takes a seismic effort to...more
This mini-review is really for both The Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity and The Unwritten Vol. 2: Inside Man.

So, I picked these up because some people had mentioned this is the graphic novel series for literature lovers. There is both meta-fiction and I had been promised all sorts of literary characters and references popping up. If I had just stopped with the first issue of Volume 1, I would have been sorely disappointed with those expectations. Yes, there is the start of...more
Mike Gross and Peter Carey are the masterminds behind the Vertigo series, "Lucifer" which was spin-off of "The Sandman" by Neil Gaiman, or that series Gross and Carey create a dense and wonderfully complex story that elaborated on the themes of sin and redemption, revenge and hope, creation and destruction...and with this opening volume of their new series, "The Unwritten" it looks like they are embarking on an even greater endeavor...on the surface it begins as a man's quest for self...more
Tom Taylor is the son of Wilson Taylor and the unwilling namesake of the protagonist in his dad's wildly popular 13-book fantasy series. The Tommy Taylor industry of movies, video games, and geek-ridden conventions is given an extra dash of drama by Wilson's having mysteriously disappeared years before, leaving a cynical Tom (who inherited none of his millions) to eke out a grubby living at paid appearances. But after an encounter with a mysterious woman inquiring into his past, the question of...more
Federiken Masters
Feb 10, 2011 Federiken Masters rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Todo el mundo, especialmente a Val.
Recommended to Federiken by: Bucletina al regalármelo
Había escuchado buenas críticas de este comic, pero por suerte siempre fueron lo suficientemente vagas como para dejarme sorprender por el contenido una vez que lo tuve en mis manos. Hoy finalmente le dediqué sus merecidísimas horas y enseguida me encontré maravillado tanto por el qué se cuenta como por los cómos y porqués. Y el viaje estuvo espectacular. Desde la primera página (pero potenciado a partir del segundo capítulo) hasta la 144, me vi atrapado por una historia que funciona a muchos ni...more
Fred Hudson
“Stories are the only things worth dying for.”

Tommy Taylor is not just a fictional kid of magic. He's modeled after the author's real son Tommy Taylor. Up until recently Tommy has had to live in the shadow of his fictional clone. Things begin getting strange when a woman approaches Tommy at a convention and suggests that his entire childhood and past is made up.

I first heard of this series from an article found on Relevant (here) and, as an English teacher and proponent of great storytelling, my...more
Jun 06, 2010 Sofia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Writers and passionate readers
Shelves: graphic-novels
Posted on my book blog.

Background: I will admit this right from the beginning: I got this book because of its cover. It's deceptively simple and quite brilliant. And the phrase that's pictured coming out (or going into) the book really piqued my interest: Stories are the only thing worth dying for. Food for thought.

Review: Wilson Taylor is the author of the most celebrated fantasy book series in the world. Surpassing even Harry Potter's popularity, the Tommy Taylor series follows the adventures...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • House of Mystery, Vol. 1: Room and Boredom
  • Fables, Vol. 14: Witches (Fables, #14)
  • Madame Xanadu, Vol. 1: Disenchanted
  • Chew, Vol. 3: Just Desserts
  • Daytripper
  • Sweet Tooth, Vol. 3: Animal Armies
  • American Vampire, Vol. 2
  • The Sixth Gun, Vol. 1: Cold Dead Fingers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
Mike Carey was born in Liverpool in 1959. He worked as a teacher for fifteen years, before starting to write comics. When he started to receive regular commissions from DC Comics, he gave up the day job.

Since then, he has worked for both DC and Marvel Comics, writing storyli...more
More about Mike Carey...
Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere Lucifer, Vol. 1: Devil in the Gateway (Lucifer, #1) The Devil You Know (Felix Castor, #1) The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man Ender's Shadow: Command School

Share This Book

“We make our own monsters, then fear them for what they show us about ourselves.” 53 likes
“You read any Greek myths, puppy? The one about the gorgon Medusa, particularly? I used to wonder what could be so terrible that you couldn't survive even looking at it.

Until I got a little older and I figured out the obvious answer.

More quotes…