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The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man (The Unwritten #2)

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  5,979 ratings  ·  322 reviews
In this volume, Tom arrives at Donostia prison in Southern France and falls into the orbit of another story: The Song of Roland. Unfortunately for Tom, it's a story that ends with a massacre. .Tom discovers the true meaning of "out of the frying pan" after his escape from Donostia jail takes him to Stuttgart in 1940, a ghost city inhabited by the master liar of the Third R ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published August 17th 2010 by Vertigo
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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
7th out of 83 books — 23 voters
The Complete Persepolis by Marjane SatrapiAnya's Ghost by Vera BrosgolAmerican Born Chinese by Gene Luen YangBatman by Frank MillerBatman, Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder
Graphic Novels for High School Students
17th out of 111 books — 14 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Patrick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Teresa
May 25, 2014 Teresa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Teresa by: rhea
This installment started off as a 3, but picked up considerably by the middle, turning it into a 4 for me. The questions of the nature of narrative in our lives, the (un)truthfulness of stories and whether the veracity or lack thereof makes a difference (using the The Song of Roland as a reference point), and the effect on the work itself when it's been 'tortured' into its opposite by those who twist it into something it isn't for their own purposes all elevate this story.

The last few pages con
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Scott (GrilledCheeseSamurai)

Right. So, in this volume we have:

A typical prison tale.
Frankenstein.
Children that can't differentiate fantasy from fiction.
Rocket launchers.
Nazi stormtroopers.
A foul mouthed bunny rabbit.

And this is all just pretty much scratching the surface.

I really enjoyed the whole 'power of the story' message that gets hammered home over and over again in this one. There is power in words - there is power in a story.

This seems to very much be the backbone of what is happening in this series thus far.
...more
Sesana
The first few issues are a bit of a slog. Tom is now in prison, after being framed for a mass murder. And really, I just wanted to get those over with. Once he escapes, into a ghostly reality built around a book that's been twisted, the story picks up considerably. This is the sort of thing that I'd been hoping to see from Unwritten, thoughtful metafiction. The last issue is a sort of side story, about a man trapped inside a Beatrix Potter-like animal world, as a rabbit. It can be very funny, an ...more
Laurel
Aug 27, 2012 Laurel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
The people who wrote this series are mad geniuses! If this series keeps up this level of writing, it should become one of the greatest series ever written. It's an astonishingly good story!
Kate
Tom Taylor, found alone at the scene of a massacre at the Villa Diodati, is shipped off to prison in France. The prison warden's two children are intense fans of the Tommy Taylor books and the warden plots to off Tommy to spare them from seeing their fallen idol. Tom begins having visions straight out of "La Chanson de Roland," and with the help of his cellmate Savoy (a reporter) and Lizzie Hexam, they escape the prison using a magic doorknob straight out of the Tommy Taylor books. They end up i ...more
Tyler Hill
This started out a little slow to for me, partially because it has been probably a year since I'd read the first volume (and needed to re-familiarize myself with the characters and concepts), and partially because it just gets more interesting and effective as the story moves along.

With this series, Carey's developed the perfect way to balance commenting on the nature and power of "the story" while also weaving a powerful narrative himself. He's managing to have his cake and write about it too.
...more
Steven
Superior to the first volume as Carey begins to reveal the full extent of his vision and the story moves along at pace.
Felicia
The next installment of Unwritten deepens the mystery and becomes MORE intriguing as the motivation of the players in #1 get a bit clearer. The mechanics of reality inside this world get more interesting and I just can't wait for the next one! Definitely darker and more subversive than I expected, this series is just soo good!
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Eh, it's safe to say that I didn't like Inside Man as much as the first volume in this series. I still enjoy the idea, because metafiction is very fascinating to this avid reader. I just had too many moments of trying to figure out what where the writer is going with this book. I feel that this volume lacked the clarity I could see in the first book.

As before, the artwork is lovely. I liked the use of mixed media and textures to convey the story. The layout includes illustrated representations
...more
Michael Barron
Tommy Taylor is a boy wizard and hero in a billion-dollar fantasy series.
Tom Taylor is the son of the author and has spent his life living in the shadow of his fantasy counterpart.
After a series of bizarre and deadly events, Tom realizes that there is more of a connection between him and Tommy than just their names.

By far one of the best written and freshest comic book series to come along in years. Think Y: The Last Man meets Sandman.

It did take me a bit to get used to Tom. At first he comes
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Angela
The second collection of The Unwritten takes a while to get rolling. The entire first arc, to be exact. You would think that having our intrepid hero accused of murder most foul and imprisoned would be a bit more exciting but, in the end, I spent most of these issues waiting for something to happen. All we are really given is a couple of breadcrumbs, a child with an unhealthy imagination and the feeling that something else should be going on.

The Inside Man arc concludes with a bang, though, and
...more
Thomas
This post/review is going to be chock full of spoilers, and is really written for those people who have already read the first two collections. For that reason, I want to sum up my overall view and suggestion of The Unwritten now, so if you’re the kind of reader who doesn’t like to know too much about a story, you can still get something out of this post:

If you didn’t like the first collection because you felt like it was more promise than substance, then read the second collection before you gi
...more
Cathy
The intro was really interesting and helpful but also made me think that maybe I'm not smart enough to really understand this series. But it sure made me want to try.

There was something really beautiful about Tom finding and helping Jud Süss find redemption from the canker Goebbels and the Nazis turned it into. It was a great example of the real power of stories.

The story at the end about Willowbank Wood was really twisted.

The cover and occasional full page artwork is really beautiful. The style
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Eilonwy

I'm not sure how to review comic books -- it's not like a single volume has a beginning and an end, exactly. But wow, this series is dark and twisted, but also amazing and creative and brilliant. I can't guess what's going to happen in Volume 3.
JK
I love that this is all about the power of storytelling over reality; stories shape the world. I liked the artwork; in particular the mixed way of construing the media in different formats to enable the story to be told. Although the Tommy Taylor series is hugely akin to Harry Potter, this allows the reader to understand the obsession surrounding Tom and his father's work. Carey seems to have a vein of satire running through his commentary on the public's obsession with these novels, and althoug ...more
Juliet
This volume takes on the trope of a guy reporting on Tom-don't-call-me-Tommy's activities. That came across as a little bit too much handholding; I was being told things that I could see happening in the illustrations. But then the reason for the narration was revealed, that this was a journalist reporting everything to the public. I understand that Carey et al wanted this to be a surprise, but it wouldn't have taken away very much to reveal this fact to the reader but not to our hero, and then ...more
Badet
Tom Taylor's story is finally unraveling, but instead of answers, we only get more questions and our main hero is even more reluctant to go through with his story ... But it's not like he has any other choice.

Though not as action-y as the first volume you'd be happy to know that most of the comic tackle the purity of stories (well at least, I know I am.). As a devout bibliophile, I have often thought that reading stories can make any life better, that reading, in itself is a therapeutic way of d
...more
Thomas Hettich
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bellish
I have a lot of time for Mike Carey after The Steel Seraglio and this second volume of Unwritten didn't disappoint. The intriguing aspects of the first volume are fleshed out with a couple of rewarding explorations of literature of the past, and the main Tommy Taylor plot allows investment from the reader. Carey manages to make the goings on mysterious without the frustration (attendant on a lesser writer attempting this) of feeling that events come to pass without rhyme or reason.

There are som
...more
Bry
Wow this was dark. Like SUPER DARK. And I loved it. The premise is unique. The characters interesting. The plot twisted. But dark.

So many more questions were brought up in this volume, and some questions answered but not as many as I had hoped.

Seriously this series might even be better than the Fables series. I cannot wait for my library to get the next installment in so I can keep reading.
Nick Kives
During the reading of this (at least the first half), I was kind of bored with it. What made me like the first volume seemed to be missing. It is actually there though, but instead of classic authors, this more centers around a single book. Jud Süß, or Jew Süss, and about the book and the movie that followed.
Brent Soderstrum
Well I have completed Volume 2 of my graphic novel experiment. I am still waiting for the story to kick in. Patience....

In "Inside Man" Tom Taylor ends up in prison at Villa Diodati in Geneva, Switzerland. There he meets Savoy, a prisoner who is on assignment as a reporter to cover Tom. Lizzie Hexam, his stalker, also gets herself thrown into prison.

After escaping the gang ends up in Strutgart, Germany face to face with Joseph Goebbels. The gang uses the magical doorknob to transport to new area
...more
pax
Carey or his editors should have been more careful with the German translations (and perhaps the French ones, but I don't speak French). But the fact that he dares to use foreign languages in a comic? Yeah! And the story, oh the story; I've been terribly apprehensive when I realized that Jud Süß is part of it, but it has actually been handled superbly. And Gross's art! - the book spines in the first volume and now the consistent scratched drawing on the beds in the prison. Little details, but oh ...more
Jennifer Adams
I love a book that I want to read with a computer close by so that I can look up references that are just outside my reach. I Think Mike Carey is brilliant!
Jennifer
Really enjoyed the second round of this graphic novel series.

Rather than focusing on the secret literary cabal, this one targeted the power of story and how it can change people's perceptions - using the propaganda of the Nazis as an example, including Goebbels' actual film "Jud Suss."

The plot is complex - Tom Taylor is slowly discovering who he is (most likely answer - a book character brought to actual life by an author who is now missing), as he spends time in jail for the series of murders h
...more
Mike
Unfortunately, though the story is really well-thought-through, and the plots are suitably mysterious without being too murky, it's starting to feel like a chore to read.

I enjoy that the protagonist feels really authentic to me - I can easily imagine acting like him in his shoes. However the rest of the characters, despite Carey's best efforts, aren't quite there. I don't know exactly what's missing - the warden is conflicted and has a decent home life but he seems capricious at work. The fellow
...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Myles
In Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity Tom Taylor's life changes dramatically. He goes from being a coat-tails riding literary namesake to being a possible new messiah to child wizard loving children and internet geeks everywhere and suspected murderer. He might also be a fraud and there might have been some magic in his father's books after all.

Tom is extradited to France for trial and is placed in the Donostia prison. He must escape and figure out the powers that are available to him with the
...more
Lizzie
I've actually read through issue 15, the most recent released to date, but this collection will cap at 12. I really like several things about the next issues, though, so I look forward to reviewing upcoming volumes. More stars!

This volume mostly deals with Tom's ordeal in prison after the events of the first book, and where he begins to go after it's destroyed. He still doesn't have a plan really, or any idea why terrible things are following him and how much to trust the new capabilities he's p
...more
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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
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More about Mike Carey...

Other Books in the Series

The Unwritten (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 3: Dead Man's Knock
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 4: Leviathan
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 5: On to Genesis
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 6: Tommy Taylor and the War of Words
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 7: The Wound
  • The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Ship That Sank Twice
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 8: Orpheus in the Underworld
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 9: The Unwritten Fables
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 10: War Stories
Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity The Devil You Know (Felix Castor, #1) Lucifer, Vol. 1: Devil in the Gateway Ender's Shadow: Command School

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“When a book is read an irrevocable thing happens — a murder, followed by an imposture. The story in the mind murders the story on the page, and takes its place.” 15 likes
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