This is a very funny picture book about Darth Vader raising young Luke Skywalker, as a single father. Most of Vader's lines are pulled directly from t...moreThis is a very funny picture book about Darth Vader raising young Luke Skywalker, as a single father. Most of Vader's lines are pulled directly from the movies as are many of the situations, such as Luke playing in the trash compactor. From the author note, the concept for the book came from the humorous idea of Vader and Luke spending Father's Day together. The author has since explored Vader's fatherhood further with the creation of Vader's Little Princess, which I've only skimmed. But, based on that skimming, I would probably rate it at five stars.(less)
I didn't actually enjoy the original version of New Spring, so I'm not sure why I wanted to read the graphic novel other than for a masochistic need f...moreI didn't actually enjoy the original version of New Spring, so I'm not sure why I wanted to read the graphic novel other than for a masochistic need for thoroughness. From page one, the graphic novel adaptation promised no improvement but looked like it was provisioning up to be worse than the original.
The graphic novel adaptation poses similar challenges to that of a movie adaptation. The form relies on visuals and dialogue, with little opportunity for direct exposition. The New Spring graphic novel completely ignores that reality, giving us huge swaths of narrative, expository text explaining the scenes presented to the reader in each spread. In this medium, for the most part, I think the graphics should explain themselves. Yes, sometimes you miss out on a little nuance (especially depending on how long you spend looking at each illustration). But no one picks up a graphic novel expecting to read the Bible.
Suffice it to say, I skimmed a lot. Some things I did enjoy included the depictions of young Moiraine and Siuan, and some of the intricate and lovely dress details. I could not tell the Borderlandian men apart very well and relied mostly on the context of their dialogue to determine who was saying what.
One most peculiar thing was the illustration quality, which changed about two-thirds of the way through the story into a sloppy, un-detailed mess. I'm not sure if several different artists did illustrations for different segments of the book or perhaps that Jordan didn't live to quality control through the entire production, so the publisher just let things slide once he wasn't looking over their shoulders anymore? But Moiraine at the end of the book looked nothing like Moiraine at the beginning, which was odd considering the very specific and rather nit-picky emails from Jordan about character appearances, included in the graphic novel end notes.(less)
This fourth volume of the graphic novel adaptation of The Eye of the World begins with the groups separated after their harried flight from Shadar Log...moreThis fourth volume of the graphic novel adaptation of The Eye of the World begins with the groups separated after their harried flight from Shadar Logoth and ends...in just about the same place, only the groups are a bit nearer to arriving in Caemlyn. That summary kind of sums up the dragging pace of this installment. It's a part of the book that I've always found odd, too. And it might have benefited from some abbreviation in the graphic novel form. Art was better in this volume than in the third. But the whole thing still didn't give me the excitement and eagerness that I was left with after the first two installments.(less)
This third volume in the graphic novel adaptation of The Eye of the World begins with the group's entrance into the fallen city of Shadar Logoth and e...moreThis third volume in the graphic novel adaptation of The Eye of the World begins with the group's entrance into the fallen city of Shadar Logoth and ends with their separation after fleeing the city--Perrin and Egwene across the river and into the company of Elyas; Rand, Mat, and Thom meanwhile hitching a ride on a river boat.
Although one could say that a lot happens in this installment, I actually felt like the pacing fell dramatically away and I didn't breeze through this one so easily. Something about the art, too, seemed less consistent and engaging. Almost as if a new artist had taken over-- though I know from the masthead that this wasn't the case--the characters didn't look consistently the same from page to page.
I enjoyed this graphic novel adaptation of The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time Book 1) quite a bit more than I expected to after my disappointment wit...moreI enjoyed this graphic novel adaptation of The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time Book 1) quite a bit more than I expected to after my disappointment with the New Spring graphic novel. The only frustrating thing is that they are being produced so slowly. I would love to "reread" the series (up to where I left off) in this new form, but despite publication of the first graphic novel volume back in 2011, there are still only four published volumes, and that's still only covering part of the first book in the series. Thought you waited long for the original series? It seems it will be decades upon decades before the graphic novel series is complete (if ever). Too bad. But I'll still enjoy reading the four that are out so far.(less)
Truth be told, I have never actually read Shakespeare's Hamlet all the way through, making it difficult to review Card's adaptation without being able...moreTruth be told, I have never actually read Shakespeare's Hamlet all the way through, making it difficult to review Card's adaptation without being able to compare and contrast with the original. So I'll just stick to a brief summary for now and I've got Hamlet in my queue for a more thorough review later on.
Hamlet's Father is essentially Hamlet but with one twist that I suppose is aimed at making us see the entire story in a new light (big hint: it has to do with his father). The problem for me was that the "twist" was heavily telegraphed from nearly the very beginning of the story so came as no shocking revelation when finally revealed at the end. Making this a pretty dull and pointless tale.(less)
This is the unfinished original version of Beagle's The Last Unicorn. Set in the 20th century, the unicorn leaves her forest in search of her people a...moreThis is the unfinished original version of Beagle's The Last Unicorn. Set in the 20th century, the unicorn leaves her forest in search of her people and discovers the world quite changed in the many centuries that have past her by unnoticed. The roads are paved in black, hard and unyielding. The air is thick with smog. And even the virgins seem quite a bit less virginal than in her memories of old. Rather than Schmendrick the Magician, the unicorn's traveling companion is a two-headed demon recently expelled from the underworld by his fellows. He now carries a demonic coal with him, in hopes of founding his own hell.
As you can see from the summary above, this version is quite interesting in its own way. But, as Beagle says himself in his afterword to the unfinished piece, the story lacked direction. It grows progressively less interesting as more words fill the page without anything actually happening. I definitely had to call on willpower to get through this one. Beagle writes, "No matter how snappy the dialogue, how darkly evocative the atmosphere, if you listen closely enough you can definitely make out the sound of tap-dancing. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, so I was stalling...to cover lack of focus and uncertainty of direction."
Overall, a quick and (for the most part) interesting read, if you're a big The Last Unicorn fan. This book is a special edition with only 1,000 copies made. I had to get mine through inter-library loan.(less)
This is a graphic novel adaptation of Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn. The illustrations are quite lovely, and it's fun to see another (different f...moreThis is a graphic novel adaptation of Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn. The illustrations are quite lovely, and it's fun to see another (different from the movie's) conception of the characters. But I found myself wishing that Peter Gillis, who did the text adaptation, had stuck more closely to the screenplay than the book. He used too much descriptive text for things that I thought could have been conveyed through the illustrations. I found the transition between scenes and the passage of time in the story often quite jarring. The adaptation stuck to the words of the book but lost much of its spirit. Through the choice of what dialogue was used in this version and what wasn't, and the lack of using the illustrations to convey things unspoken, I felt that all the books themes--love and loss, the hero and the journey, age and mortality--were lost. Even the part where Lir and Lady Amalthea fall in love felt glossed over and rushed.
Obviously, despite these shortcomings, I still immensely enjoyed this adaptation and will definitely read it again some time--next time focusing more on the illustrations and less on the text.(less)
All in all, a disappointing read. Meyer stayed essentially on the surface of emotion and gave readers only a very shallow insider view of how a newbor...moreAll in all, a disappointing read. Meyer stayed essentially on the surface of emotion and gave readers only a very shallow insider view of how a newborn vampire might think and feel. Once again, she relied on the crutch of the first person point of view to help her readers feel closer to her protagonist, instead of developing this closeness naturally through strong prose, while never taking advantages of the unique opportunities that the first person POV allows.(less)
I made the mistake of trying to read another series companion book, with little success. (My first attempt was another by Lois Gresh, about Philip Pul...moreI made the mistake of trying to read another series companion book, with little success. (My first attempt was another by Lois Gresh, about Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.) This time, I made it through about thirty-five pages of Gresh's Twilight Companion and felt like I had actually grown dumber through my reading of it--probably because it seems to have been written for a second grade reading level. I pick these "unauthorized guides" up, expecting to learn something new and interesting about the series itself, expecting them to carry an analytical slant. Instead, I learned that Gresh has relatives with similar names to the relatives of the Twilight heroine Bella Swan. And that Gresh lives in a town comparable in size and podunkery to Forks, WA, where Twilight et al. take place. And that, because of these similarities to Bella, Gresh is highly indignant that she, too, didn't meet a paranormal, vampire dreamboat ready to sweep her off her feet. Gee, thanks for sharing! Incredibly silly but also incredibly condescending to her readers, or...just dumbed down to the extreme. I also gleaned, from the first thirty-five pages, that every girl should hold out for a boy with a "nice personality" like Edward's. Nice personality? And what exactly does that mean, Lois Gresh? As far as I can recall, all Stephenie Meyer's leading men (and Edward in particular) tend to be overbearing control-freaks who sometimes engage in emotional blackmail to get their way. I'm not knocking these guys; I just wish Gresh would get real. Even Edward isn't perfect--and no, it's not just because he drinks blood. (less)
If you are a fan of Jane Austen's original Pride and Prejudice, you may enjoy reading this version, adorned with a little undead fun. Seth Grahame-Smi...moreIf you are a fan of Jane Austen's original Pride and Prejudice, you may enjoy reading this version, adorned with a little undead fun. Seth Grahame-Smith retains much of Austen's original language and all of her well-recognized style in his rediscovering of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy's measured fall into love. I won't give away the details of added premise, which is most of the fun of this new telling. I first began the novel while riding the bus, standing room only. But despite cramped and uncomfortable quarters, I found myself laughing out loud as I read each additional tidbit that further defined the newly revised premise of Grahame-Smith's reimagining. A read of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is essentially a read of the original, but with much silliness thrown in. (I wasn't able to do a text versus text analysis of PPZ against the original, unfortunately, because my copy is packed away in a box somewhere.) But Grahame-Smith's additions aren't essential enough to the plot to keep the new content fresh and delighting throughout, so he eventually resorts to blatant shock value--which is funny in its own way.
For anyone who enjoyed reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is worth reading once. For anyone who's not much of a classics reader or Jane Austen fan, there's probably not enough zombie to keep modern readers interested.(less)
I wasn't as excited about this Maguire novel as with his previous works. It was mostly just odd and he didn't add the intriguing new spin to the fairy...moreI wasn't as excited about this Maguire novel as with his previous works. It was mostly just odd and he didn't add the intriguing new spin to the fairy tale that he usually does. The dwarves are made of mud? I don't think so.(less)
These stories are much more kid-oriented and not as enjoyable as an adult reader. I was a little disappointed. I also found Dumbledore's commentary a...moreThese stories are much more kid-oriented and not as enjoyable as an adult reader. I was a little disappointed. I also found Dumbledore's commentary a bit long winded. Perhaps I would not have been so annoyed with it if it had been in a smaller print, as you would normally find in an actual critical edition of a book. But because it is meant as a children's book and thus printed in a very large font, Dumbledore's commentary takes up more space in the book than the actual stories (or so it seemed). Of course, the proceeds for book sales are going to a worthwhile charity, so that's a plus. Final ruling: more of a chore to read and won't be much remembered.(less)
Mention of Captain Ahab's wife takes up all of a paragraph or two in Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." Naslund has taken those few meager details of a lo...moreMention of Captain Ahab's wife takes up all of a paragraph or two in Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." Naslund has taken those few meager details of a lonely girl left behind and spun them into a wonderful novel.(less)