Laura Roberts's Reviews > The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch

The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Apr 11, 2012

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bookshelves: graphic-novel, creepy-as-hell, fiction, 2012
Read in April, 2012

I bought this graphic novel as a birthday present for my husband, who rediscovered it in a book about some of the greatest graphic novels of all time. He remembered reading it when he was younger, and liked the visual style.

This morning I gave it a read. While I've read some of Neil Gaiman's other stuff (Coraline, American Gods, Stardust, etc.) and knew it was going to be creepy, I wasn't quite prepared for exactly HOW creepy it was. I mean, the Punch and Judy thing is disturbing in and of itself, but the way that none of the characters seemed to be able to properly remember anything about their own relatives (or were simply lying about everything) made it doubly disturbing. Who wouldn't be able to remember if someone in their family fell down the stairs or was thrown out the window? Who wouldn't be able to differentiate between their uncle or their grandfather having a twin?

Anyway, it was a bizarre story that in some ways went nowhere. Told through the eyes of a child, you don't get much in the way of an ending (stupid children and their stupid inability to follow a plot!), but what you do get will leave you thinking "These dudes are some messed-up mofos."

If you're into that kind of thing, you'll love it. If not so much, then skip it.

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