Marsha's Reviews > The Peerless Prodigies of P.T. Barnum

The Peerless Prodigies of P.T. Barnum by Jillian Lerner
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May 15, 12

bookshelves: graphic-novel, non-fiction, history, science, romance, owned-books
Read from May 14 to 15, 2012 — I own a copy

This short graphic novel of one enterprising man’s brush with the sly entrepreneur P.T. Barnum looks itself almost like an old-time daguerreotype, replete with stark imagery, sharply cut illustrations and the chiaroscuro of juxtaposed shadow and light. The use of black and white is remarkably well suited to this tale of the emerging world of photography and the spirit of those who sought to use it for their own ends. The story focuses on spectacle, showmanship, science, business, opportunism and the never-ending hunt for fame, glory and money that attends those eager to make their way in the world. The changing spirit of the times, the uneasy balance between the Old World and the New, the shifting place of women in the business place and the yearning for something new, different, original burst from the pages with such urgency, it is easy to forget the lack of color.

This is a remarkably brilliant illumination and peek into a bygone era that shows one of the greatest showmen of all times and the people inspired by him.
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