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Monk!: Thelonious, Pannonica, and the Friendship Behind a Musical Revolution
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Monk!: Thelonious, Pannonica, and the Friendship Behind a Musical Revolution

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  26 reviews
This vividly illustrated biography of jazz legend Thelonious Monk brings to life his relationship with the headstrong baroness who would become a life long friend and patron.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by First Second
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  119 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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Sassenach
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
A part le nom de ce musicien, je ne connaissais strictement rien ni de sa vie ni de son oeuvre. Du coup, j'ai appris plein de choses, j'ai beaucoup aimé les dessins et la façon d'aborder l'histoire et ensuite, je suis allée m'écouter une petite partie de son immense oeuvre :) Une lecture complète donc !
Kendall
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Wonderful graphic novel about Thelonius Monk during the jazz age. Amazing artwork! Read while listening to Thelonius Monk in the background. Perfect.
Erin
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fast and brilliant and dissonant and cool. Just like the man himself.
Holly McGhee
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Aside from the power and beauty of the illustrations and the authenticity of this story, its voice, its dialogue, its glimpse into a profound friendship, I highly, highly recommend this book for what it says about life, art, music, and finding your passion. One of my favorite quotes (and I shared many with my musician children): "A note can be small as a pin . . . or big as the world . . . it depends on your imagination!" Also: "The inside of the tune (the bridge) is the part that makes the outs ...more
Kevin Hodgson
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this as a review copy ... and it just floated to the top of my favorite book of the year. Wow. What an exploration of musical genius and creativity, and the use of the graphic storytelling is perfectly in tune (so to speak) with Monk's imagination of how music folds and unfolds. I'm going to pass this book along to my father -- a drummer, music teacher and lover of jazz -- and it may be his first graphic novel he will have read.
Smith
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
RIYL: Monk, Rothschilds.
Paul Spence
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Youssef Daoudi's Monk! is about as close to jazz music in literary form as you can get.

On the surface, this story is relatively simple - this is a biography of jazz genius, Thelonius Monk. But just as any life in general and the life of a black jazz musician in the 1940's-1960's decades is hardly simple, this book weaves a circuitous path to tell the story. Our narrators are Monk and Pannonica de Koenigswarter (a baroness who had been a long-time friend a patron to Monk) in other-worldly, often
...more
Becky B
A graphic novel biography of unconventional jazz musician Thelonius Monk and his friend and benefactor Pannonica (Nica) de Koenigswarter.

Daoudi gets major props for creativity and uniqueness in his illustrations. I’ve never seen a book illustrated anything like this. In the afterward he mentions being inspired by improvisation in jazz, and it shows. The book is primarily illustrated in bright emerald green with contrasts of brilliant fuscia, and occasional highlights of white and fluorescent col
...more
Daniel
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 5.0 of 5

Youssef Daoudi's Monk! is about as close to jazz music in literary form as you can get.

On the surface, this story is relatively simple - this is a biography of jazz genius, Thelonius Monk. But just as any life in general and the life of a black jazz musician in the 1940's-1960's decades is hardly simple, this book weaves a circuitous path to tell the story. Our narrators are Monk and Pannonica de Koenigswarter (a baroness
...more
Matt Sautman
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rick Horner
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I get to talk about two of my favorite things, graphic novels and jazz music. This take on the life of Thelonious Monk is an interesting treat. Monk was always off-kilter from what I heard before reading this, but the question becomes: did Monk only have made his unique and influential brand of jazz because of his off-kilter personality or was he able to do so in spite of it. Hard to say. The fact that he had not just his family but friends that would look out for him was a nice and sweet part o ...more
Bee Holmes
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully drawn and a great story about Thelonious Monk I cannot recommend this book enough for anyone who is a fan of the late great Monk. This follows mostly Monk but also Pannonica de Koenigswarter and how the two of them developed a friendship. The story is set up as the two of them telling each other stories in their older age, which works well for how the narrative is setup and developed. It mostly follows some key moments in Thelonious' and Pannonica's lives while also explaining a bit ...more
Mr. Allain
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a lover of all things revolutionary, I can't avoid the pull of Thelonious Monk - and seeing the rough edges of this unconventional hero softened by his loving relationship with an unlikely benefactor created a beautiful contrast. Thematically, this book also explored the mystery of unique genius - the notion that certain minds feel and process the world differently than those around them.

If friendship and art are forms of love, this book shows us why.

It also helps that this outing was a labor
...more
Ron
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
If you have an interest in jazz, Monk! may be just up your alley. Also, if you have an interest in 20th Century American music, you will find plenty of details to broaden your understanding of Thelonious Monk. But this recommendation comes with some serious reservations. The story line is great. The line art is interesting and eye-catching. But the color scheme causes severe eye strain. I am sorry black letters on blue or purple backgrounds may be stunning to view, but awful to read. So enjoy, b ...more
Adam Shields
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Short Thoughts: I am not a big graphic novel guy. But I really do appreciate how graphic novels can work in different ways from pure text. I know nothing about the actual life of Monk. But I have liked his music for a while. This was both facilitating to learn about the guy and to see music put into art.

The parts that were making the concepts of improvisation into art were so well done.

not really much more, but my blog post is at http://bookwi.se/monk/
Frederic
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent graphic novel, and the artwork really suits the subject. Seeing the role of Nica Rothschild de Koenigswarter -- not only in Monk's career but more generally in the community of jazz artists -- is particularly nice. I think it should appeal to those interested in jazz and already having some knowledge of Monk, but I'm not sure a reader not already familiar would be likely to be turned on to his music.
John
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
For those not versed in Monk's history, this is a fine, artistically done bio. I think it does a good job of prodding the reader to read more about him (PLEASE seek out Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an Original). I have to say . . . I wasn't terribly impressed with the artwork. I felt it got very samey-samey after a while. But hey—different strokes . . .
Bill
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was interesting particularly in the author's description of Monk's chords. It helped me to understand how little I understand jazz. It also helped me to see, in a general way, various famous jazz names as people rather than icons.
Matt Kelland
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, comics
I enjoyed it about as much as I enjoy Monk's music, which is to say, in places. It was good to read about the man, about whom I knew next to nothing, but the narrative was, like his music, all over the place, which I found, like his music, hard to get into.
Neven
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Cool art, interesting formal experiments in the comics medium, and a genuine love for the subject—but it has a hard time escaping the confines of biography storytelling, with its too-convenient compressions and cheesy incorporations of popular myths about Monk.
Harriett Milnes
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5+
A graphic biography of the great composer, pianist, and bandleader.
Harold M.
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good, a little thin on details but a fun story about a hip cat and his friend/patron.
Avigail
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting story and beautiful art.
Ben Chao
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read all 340 pages in one sitting
Mike Richards
rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2018
Josh Ryder
rated it it was ok
Feb 27, 2019
Geoff
rated it really liked it
Dec 25, 2018
Jonathan Pincek
rated it really liked it
Jun 16, 2019
Aaron Long
rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2018
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