Fred Hudson's Reviews > The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity

The Unwritten, Vol. 1 by Mike Carey
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's review
Sep 05, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novels

“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 interest was piqued. After spending the summer reading up on one J.R.R. Tolkien and his thoughts on fairy tales (of which I highly recommend), I thought this was going to be a venerable goldmine of literary treasure.

I wasn't disappointed, but felt a little underwhelmed by the story. Did I build up my own anticipation for reading it? Perhaps, but it felt like the first arch was over almost as soon as it began. One shining moment was a companion piece in the back that follows Rudyard Kipling as he must deal with an Illuminati-type organization that will either make or break him. He gains popularity by writing pro-imperialistic propaganda and once he refuses to live under the Illuminati's might, his writing becomes still born. It isn't until his son dies that he's able to pick up the pen and begin crafting animal tales as a metaphor to his disenfranchisement. Along the way he has a few run ins with Mark Twain and not-so-directly with Oscar Wilde. I think you can now tell which part I enjoyed the most.

Great read and a good beginning to a promising tale. I do have the second volume and will read it as soon as I'm caught up with grading or just can't wait any longer--whichever comes first.
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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Barron The second volume is great.

What books by Tolkien did you read? I would be interested in reading his take on fairy tales.

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