Andrea'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
Jun 30, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: read-2011, comix
Read in June, 2011

There's this plot device that pops up in fantasy here and there that specifically focuses on stories about story-telling. Unwritten's plot revolves around a grown man, Tom Taylor, who is famous for being the inspiration behind the beloved Potter-esque Tommy Taylor books, written by his father. It becomes clear pretty early on that a lot more is going on, and Tom likely is Tommy, or at least is capable of having some fantastical adventures of his own.

Behind the scenes exists a shadowy organization that appears to exert control on authors and what stories are told. Basically taking the idea of the power of words and stories and making them tangible. A character flat out says at one point that stories are the only thing worth dying for, so it's not like these are nuanced themes.

It's not Unwritten's fault, but this plot device can be a bit frustrating. I know stories are powerful, that is why I read. Why would I read a book about how awesome books are instead of, y'know, picking up an actual awesome book? Stories about story-telling often feature a made-up book that is always described as being a perfect mastery of the art. I'm always left wondering would I now rather be reading that book? I mean, people are holding press conferences concerning Tommy Taylor! Press conferences about a book!

There's the requisite scattering of literary references throughout, which are always fun, but par for the course in these sorts of books. Honestly the Tommy Taylor plot is interesting, I wish it could be told without constantly calling attention to itself.

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