My new obsession with graphic novels has begun in full force. I've had brief flings with them before as it were but never a steady thing, not wantingMy new obsession with graphic novels has begun in full force. I've had brief flings with them before as it were but never a steady thing, not wanting to jinx it but I think I may have found my type and this book started it off.
As it says above it all starts with a postman falling in love with a raven, he has taste though she's not just any old raven she's the raven princess. Before anyone goes but wait, wait, that's some bestiality stuff going on there, please stop. This is Audrey Niffenegger going riiiiiiiight back to the oldest school in fairy tales there is. Grimm style. This is when magic and love was so highly believed in that there is nothing wrong in this. It works. Hopefully if you can get past this you can see the truly stunning story that is to come.
The Story- It itself is written in the classic format and carries it off so well you could easily believe that it was truly a lost Russian tale. It's dark twist and deception for such a short story is unexpected and a good surprise.
The Illustrations- For a graphic novel this is obviously key, getting the right pictures to flow with the words is a tricky task though. Get it wrong and it jars leaving you like the author is telling two separate books but get it right and it adds so much more to the words that the author can establish more of a link to the reader I feel. They can visually show the world they wish you to see as opposed to one you create, making the whole thing more personal I believe. The fact that Audrey Niffenegger illustrated this book as well really interested me, it completely cut out the middle man. What went on inside the authors head was there on the page. I loved it, took such enjoyment in witnessing the inner imagination of someone elses mind.
The Overall- A beautiful wandering in an authors mind...... ...more
What a totally charming, heatwarming tale which proves that you don't need guns death to make an adventure. This is a lovely change for somone who seeWhat a totally charming, heatwarming tale which proves that you don't need guns death to make an adventure. This is a lovely change for somone who seems to only find these things in adventure novels nowadays..... (yes, I'm a tad cynical about adventure books).
It has lesbian balloonists, moustached artists and many many more great characters who you can't help but adore because of how well they're written. But Barnaby Brocket's family are the best literary family I have ever come across, strange and definitely normal but brilliant because they were so horrible and yet totally plausible. To be fair to the kids of said family they were the exceptions of the "horrible" since by some second miracle they turned out to be alright.
Oliver Jeffers' illustrations need a mention because they're divine. They encapture exactly what I was picturing mentally but at the same time
The fable-like narrative mixed with the modern setting and characters makes me feel that this is a modern fairy tale which I'm going to recommend to any and every person to read. Just because I love it that much.
But what I totally love most about this book though is that it celebrates breaking out of normality and expanding your imagination to the fullest. All this whilst revelling in others who do the same.
I had no idea that Denmark was called Hitler's canary, I didn't even realise how the Nazi's treated Danish people until this book. I, of course, knewI had no idea that Denmark was called Hitler's canary, I didn't even realise how the Nazi's treated Danish people until this book. I, of course, knew about the Holocaust and the monstrous things that happened during that time but I had no idea that for such a small and normally peaceful country, they put up such a big resistance and evacuated THAT many jews.
This book was aimed at children as an adventure story but I beleive that unless you know and understand the context of this book you won't be able to get the full message of the book. The illustrations and general language, combined with the main character choice was screaming children's book however the message was strangely more adult and her mothers illness due to the cuts on her legs is quite graphic for a kid. I would've been very interested in the story from the mother's point of view, it would've been much more interesting....
A sweet book that let itself down by giving everyone a happy ending really, when that obviously wasn't the case in the war. I didn't approve of that but then again I can never see a childrens book being relevant or understood by children. I also disapprove of "wartime adventure" it wasn't an adventure!!! I really don't like it but that's just me...
Something about this book has stayed with me though, in the "Program Notes" I saw that the children wrote and drew pictures on the walls of their cells. To try and lighten up themselves and others most probaly but now we know that they were there. They left a mark therefore won't be forgotton, a desire I think a lot of people hold today no matter how they make their mark.