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Tamara Drewe

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,395 ratings  ·  262 reviews
Tamara Drewe has transformed herself. Plastic surgery, a different wardrobe, a smouldering look, have given her confidence and a new and thrilling power to attract, which she uses recklessly. Often just for the fun of it.

People are drawn to Tamara Drewe, male and female. In the remote village where her late mother lived Tamara arrives to clear up the house. Here she become
Hardcover, 136 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Jonathan Cape
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ilse by: Hanneke
‘Among these heavy yeomen a feminine figure glided, the single one of her sex that the room contained. Se was prettily and even daintily dressed. She moved between them as a chaise between carts, was heard after them as a romance after sermons, was felt among them like a breeze among furnaces. It had required a little determination – far more than she had at first imagined – to take up a position here, for at her first entry the lumbering dialogues had ceased, nearly every face had been towards ...more
fulfilling book riot's 2018 read harder challenge task #4: a comic written and drawn by the same person

(although i could also count it for #15: a one-sitting book or #18: a comic that isn’t published by marvel, dc, or image.)

extra points given to me, by me, for choosing a book that i have owned for more than a year.

review to come.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, graphic
Where I got the book: my bookshelf.

I'm not sure how well known Posy Simmonds is over here in the US; I've been collecting her adult graphic work since the 1980s when she had a much-loved comic strip in The Guardian. Tamara Drewe is a full-length graphic novel that deals, as Simmonds' work very often does, with the English literary life and the coveted status symbols of the country weekend cottage and, in the case of Gemma Bovery , the "little place in France."

Here literature and country life
MJ Nicholls
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am on a graphic novel kick this weekend, but don’t worry, I have a week of Grossmith, Dostoevksy and Nicola Barker lined up, so normal service will be resumed. This one is known mostly in the UK and was serialised in The Guardian, then turned into a movie with the brilliant Roger Allam and Tamsin Greig. Being a parochial, very English piece gives it little international appeal but it is spiky and witty in a BBC Radio 4 sort of way. The movie irons out several crinkles in the original, such as ...more
Jan 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Posy Simmonds' graphic novel, originally serialised in the Guardian's Review supplement, follows the chain of events that unfolds when the eponymous Tamara Drewe - a former wallflower who, via plastic surgery and increased confidence, has transformed herself into a stunning and much-desired woman - returns to her parents' country home. There, her life fatefully intersects with a number of local residents, most significantly the inhabitants of a nearby literary retreat; its married owners, Nichol ...more
This must be one of the first graphic novels I ever read. Hearing that it was an adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, one of my favorite novels, was enough to attract me. During the years that I worked at King’s College London, I took full advantage of Lambeth Library’s extensive graphic novel collection and would pick up big piles of all sorts of books on my lunch breaks – I got a gentle ribbing from library staff nearly every time I showed up. Anyway, this is all backstory ...more
Feb 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Strong examination of rural life suffers from the blurb description "that rare graphic novel for adults". I am unfamiliar with the literary precedents of Thomas Hardy so I cannot examine the novel on that level, nor can I see how it could adequately be translated to a film (admittedly Gemma Arterton is the perfect fit for the title role).

A mixture of first person narrative, newspaper articles and comic sections, Tamara Drewe encapsulates a year in the lives of three narrators, their relationship
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Highly unusual! Simmonds has taken Far From the Madding Crowd and turned into an illustrated novel (graphic novel? multimedia novel?) about a writer's retreat in the English countryside, and the nearby village, which are all thrown into uproar at the arrival of prodigal daughter Tamara Drewe, along with her new nose, new boyfriend, and new career as a writer. Excellent artwork combines with a story that takes several unexpected turns to make this a truly immersive read. ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really liked this second book based loosely on a Great Novel. Gemma Bovary was terrific, based on Madame Bovary, obviously, and this is more loosely based on Tomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, updating it with a feminist twist, satirizing academics and the artist/writers crowd. Simmonds is, I take it, less known here in the states than abroad, but she should be better known here. She is a deft artist and smart and funny and a good observer of the contemporary scene. Tom Wolfe writes a rav ...more
Hannah Garden
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, april-2019
I haven’t read Far From the Madding Crowd, and didn’t know going in that this book is sort of about that book, or around it, or whatever, so maybe someday I will and then I’ll reread this and love it even more, but I don’t need to, because man, what a book.
I love the unusual layout and I love the swimming back and forth between narrators and I love Beth so much with her devotion and pragmatism and grief and bravery.
Really a great read.
Jason Pettus
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

As the graphic novel gets older and older as an artistic format, it of course continues to become more and more diverse and interesting as well, and with there being with each passing year more and more types of full-length image-based narrative tales out there for all of us to enjoy; take for example Bri
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
I'm one of those people who likes to read the book before I see the movie, but I did it differently this time. I didn't even know there was a book. I saw the movie, of the same name, on DVD and found out about the book by watching some of the bonus features. The book is a graphic novel, and was available at my library, so I thought "why not?" It only took me a couple of evenings to read it, even though I had to wait until after my kids were in bed to do so.

Tamara Drewe is a woman who moves back
Feb 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
I've never read Far From the Madding Crowd, which this comic is loosely based on, so I'll have to respond on the merits of it on its own. The characters are well-drawn and the plot well-crafted. I will say, even though Tamara Drewe seems like she's supposed to be the main character (hence the title), in many ways she is the least developed. This lack of development seems intentional to enhance the tension, but since so much of the plot centers on her, her shallowness can be distracting. Like a l ...more
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Loved it. Could not put it down. It is cosy and charming and almost painful to read due to how incredibly well observed and realised it is. It is as if Posy Simmonds has managed to go to a typical English village, distil and bottle the essence and feel of life there, add in her own dashes of drama and intrigue and the product is this graphic novel. From the angry locals who hate outsiders for turning their once functional farmland into 'extortionate real estate', to the bored teenagers who const ...more
For a Thomas Hardy novel, “Far From the Madding Crowd” is a lighthearted romp: though it’s full of darkness and death, at least the two main characters, shepherd Gabriel Oak and independent beauty Bathsheba Everdene, remain alive and wed at the denouement. Posy Simmonds’ bang-up graphic novel “Tamara Drewe,” a riff on “Madding,” is far funnier and less bleak than its inspiration, but she doesn’t shy away from modern takes on Hardy’s themes of jealousy, unintended consequences, and the ennui of r ...more
Nov 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book was about how men make women objects, and how women feel pressurised by men and other women to conform to their expectations. This was made abundantly clear to me by the daughter of the main character, who appeared every now and again, and, in the guise of explaining to her mother her PhD, explicitly stated the themes of the book.
I think this book would have been stronger if we had some grasp on the main character. She appears quite late in the work--as do the novels two other more in
Lars Guthrie
May 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A groundbreaking marriage of novel and comic book. Really a lot going on here, more than in most graphic novels. Seamless segues from text to comic book panels and back again, and it all works in this meeting of murder mystery and comedy of modern manners. Posey places her story in a rural English retreat for writers, which allows for a fascinating intermingling of glitterai from the literary and pop worlds with regular folks as well as teenage working class chuffers. All the levels you'd expect ...more
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'd almost give this 5 stars. Picked it up in the library on a whim, knowing nothing about Simmonds, and was very impressed. It's not laid out like a traditional paneled comic, and there's rather a lot of text, but the narration by different characters (serif v sans-serif, which is clever) really adds something and her delicate art is lovely. Those two things would be enough, but she's thrown in a smart and twisty story of affairs and death and nosiness. There are some choices I'm not sure are r ...more
Jun 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alexis by: The Guardian, UK
combined with reading this piece in New York Magazine (, I fell into a long running contemplation of (in)fidelity, self-esteem, trust, and marriage in general.

If you are really attached to your huffing habit you might want to avoid reading this graphic novel- not graphic in that way but still. I read and enjoyed Simmonds' Gemma Bovary about a year ago or more. I enjoyed this one more although the discovery of Simmonds' work then was more of a joy as it w
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing read. Funny, entertaining, tragic, cynical. You smell the country and you hear the British accent - with cows in the background. In the beginning, I felt a bit skeptical towards the non-classical form of the book, half-written and half-drawn, but this allowed for more details, more feelings, and also an additional kind of humour to be inserted in the story. And the story itself is great! (made me think of Louise Rennison's "Georgia Nicholson", for older readers). ...more
Gary Butler
Oct 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
74th book read in 2017.

Number 632 out of 638 on my all time book list.

One of the most boring books I have ever opened.
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first graphic novel by Posy Simmonds.
Interesting, well written, excellent graphics.
Enjoyed very much!
Robert Beveridge
Posy Simmonds, Tamara Drewe (Mariner, 2008)

If Henry James had lived long enough to get himself into the graphic novel movement, and embrace the more explicit nature of today's plotlines, I can easily see him having written something along the lines of Tamara Drewe, Posy Simmonds' easy, slightly seedy comedy of manners set in the British countryside.

Loosely based on Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd, Tamara Drewe is the story of a rural town in Britain divided into upstairs (a posh writers' comm
Dec 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2010
Apparently they are making a movie out of this book? I will probably go see it even though it will likely be terrible. I picked the book up because it was on a Flashlight Worthy list of Best Graphic Novels about Women and you know how I love women, right?

Anyway, on to the book. This is the story of a pretty, young newspaper journalist who shakes up the small British town where she grew up when she returns to her family's home. The action takes place over the course of a year at a writers retrea
Monthly Book Group
Simmonds loosely follows the plot of “Far from the Madding Crowd” in this beautifully illustrated graphic novel, but her sensibility is very different. She is a social satirist rather than a tragedian, an Austen rather than a Hardy. Many of her funniest moments – and she is deliciously funny - are when she mischievously contrasted what happened in 1874 with what happened in 2006.

The Valentine is a good example. Bathsheba had sent a “gorgeously illuminated” Valentine card to Boldwood, with a wax
'Tamara Drewe' seemed like a shoo-in for my book club. There are several of us that are graphic novel enthusiasts, and we're all feminists. And we were all underwhelmed.

I chose to read 'Tamara Drewe' upon seeing that it was based on 'Far From a Madding Crowd'. Every time I read a Thomas Hardy book, which isn't as often as I should, I finish the book dazzled by his prose and insight into humanity. The urgency that he imbues into the the life of his characters, the sympathy with which he writes of
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating soap opera of sorts. Beth runs a writer's retreat in the British countryside, while her husband, a mildly successful mystery novelist, bangs out novel after novel in the garden shed. Their world is bucolic on the surface, but Nick's philandering ways often put a crimp in things. It all comes to a head when Tamara Drewe, a journalist, moves into the family farm next door. Tamara was not terribly good looking once upon a time, but she's recently had a nose job and is using he ...more
Mar 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Beautiful to look at, though a fairly unlikeable story. This is the bit where I admit I've never read 'Far From The Madding Crowd', only cheated with the summary on Wikipedia (and in summary, it reads like a year's worth of 'McLeod's Daughters' condensed, sheep bloat and all). It was a bit hard to find a character to warm to in this lot, but I felt for Casey, maybe because I'd be the sidekick who looks less than great in jeans and who is too anxious to inhale computer cleaner, too. The others se ...more
I re-read this recently when I realized they'd made a movie of it.

Can't say I see the movie *working*--at least, not in the masterful way Simmonds's combination of prose, speech bubbles and utterly gorgeous illustration work. It'll be interesting to see if the film deals as evenhandedly with all characters--as with all Posy Simmonds's people, no one is ever entirely innocent or entirely unlikeable. The book's title could easily be given to any of the other viewpoint characters--there are half a
Sped through this in two sittings. Fun, large pages with fun, simple illustrations and many large chunks of text. I enjoyed how Simmonds layered the chunks of text and the illustrations on each other, so that in some cases, you could read and look interchangably. And when that's not the case, the flow is usually very easy to follow.
The illustrations remind me of the work of Stephen Cartwright, who did a lot of Usborne books. But maybe that's just me. Definitely adult, with lots of intrigue cause
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Rosemary Elizabeth "Posy" Simmonds MBE is a British newspaper cartoonist and writer and illustrator of both children's books and graphic novels. She is best known for her long association with The Guardian, for which she has drawn the series Gemma Bovery (2000) and Tamara Drewe (2005–06), both later published as books. Her style gently satirises the English middle classes and in particular those o ...more

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