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The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity

(The Unwritten #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  19,815 ratings  ·  1,075 reviews
Tom Taylor's life was screwed from go. His father created the Tommy Taylor fantasy series, boy-wizard novels with popularity on par with Harry Potter. The problem is Dad modeled the fictional epic so closely to Tom's real life that fans are constantly comparing him to his counterpart, turning him into the lamest variety of Z-level celebrity. In the final novel, it's even i ...more
Paperback, Trade, 144 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Vertigo
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Paul Park No, the Tommy Taylor here is someone whose father wrote books using his name - rather as if the Harry Potter books had been written by someone whose o…moreNo, the Tommy Taylor here is someone whose father wrote books using his name - rather as if the Harry Potter books had been written by someone whose own son was called Harry Potter, as A A Milne did with Christopher Robin.(less)

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 ·  19,815 ratings  ·  1,075 reviews

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Jeff's review was what got me interested in read this one. Normally, his reviews are subpar & waaay off, but you know what they say about stopped clocks and all...


So, I thought this was pretty good, but I think it may depend on what you're into, individual taste and all, as to whether or not you end up liking The Bogus Identity.
Well, this is basically about what it would be like if the Harry Potter books were somehow a real thing, and Harry somehow kinda-sorta ended up in our world...
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I loved this graphic novel! I love how it was written and put together. I love the story and the graphics! I’m going to share a ton of them! Why in the hell I sat here an hour putting these pics together is beyond me! People don’t give two sh*ts 😂🤣 pics in no order

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
Tom Taylor is the son of Wilson Taylor, creator of a series of books about a boy wizard, named Tommy Taylor.

Wilson disappeared years ago and left poor Tom, not only with an identity crisis (Is he really a wizard like the character?), but also trolling comic book conventions in order to make a living.

Things start to unravel when a question of Tom’s true parentage is brought to light.

Enter a secret organization who over the centuries has influenced the course of literature.

Now you’ve got two majo
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been meaning to read this one for a long while. I'll read pretty much anything Mike Carey writes at this point, as he's responsible for some of my favorite comic series, most notably Lucifer.

This series is very meta. It's a story about stories. It's about how stories and reality interact.

And I don't mean in a Mirror and/or Lamp sort of way. The premise is that some few rare stories become bigger, more solid, more mythic than others? What if they became real in a way?

It's a cool concept. Y
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it
It was an interesting concept for a graphic novel series. However it was a little bit difficult for me to get entirely engrossed in this story, especially at the beginning. Also I loved the art. All in all, I liked it and I will keep reading this graphic novel series because I believe that it has potentials to get better.
I have to say that this is a unique story. I think I'm going to like this, although, it did end on a very bloody note. I didn't think it was horror, but it might be in the horror genre.

Tommy is like a preacher's kid. His father has written very famous books and they have the same name as Tommy and it drives him crazy that people think they are the same person. But, are they the same person??? We don't know.

This volume that starts this story out only stacks questions upon questions with few answ
Dec 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
So I discovered Mike Carey as a NOVELIST before Graphic Novelist, that's totally weird as he's known MUCH MORE in the venue of "Unwritten". SO glad I finally picked it up, Ooooh what I was missing! The Unwritten is an awesome, fun ride in surrealism and fandom and literature. I can't really explain it in detail, it's much better to just read it yourself, but if you're a comic lover RUN to get this. So fun!
Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Gregsamsa by: Mir
3.4 stars

Despite the sort of "cutting-edge" reputation graphic novels have, they are terribly old fashioned. Even graphic meta-novels that demonstrate an awareness of the conventions are terribly conventional. It seems strange to me that such a new(-ish) genre with so many creative possibilities and opportunities for invention remains so straightjacketed by formal constraints and genre expectations. But, like the 19th century novel, these have their purposes and pleasures.

I never would have thou
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I really enjoyed this! The art is a bit of an older style, but the story is really interesting. I’m loving that authors shape reality and that there is a Harry Potter knock off story in here. I’m definitely going to read the second volume!
An interesting concept, for sure. The protagonist, Tom Taylor, is the inspiration for his father's Harry Potter-like books. Every day he has to deal with the fact that people confuse him with his fictional counterpart and he just wants to live his own life (though admittedly he does capitulate on his father's books' popularity and the fame that comes with them at times.) Then fantasy starts to bleed into reality and Tom starts to question his childhood, his father, and all of the things he was t ...more
Sam Quixote
Apr 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
Ugh, I've tried three times to start this review properly and fairly by giving a summary of the plot and a fair critique of it and I can't do it. This book just sucks. Tom Taylor is boring, he's Daniel Radcliffe in another life living off of Harry Potter. There's a mysterious organisation which seems to say the places and stories in classic lit are real and meaningful.

Tom's pop, an unlikeable prig, made him memorise fictional locations in novels because one day he'll need them. I have a problem
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Delightfully literary and historical, fantasy meets meta in a strange commentary on Harry Potter and literary tropes.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
It's been a good long while since I tried a new title from Vertigo. Fables was a massive disappointment. A dazzlingly simple, high-concept idea anyone could have had deserves a complex, layered treatment that everyone can only wish they'd thought of. Instead we get a less than fabulous soap opera and hackneyed The Two Towers-style building-to-the-big-fight plotlines. Y The Last Man was another potentially excellent title marred by an excessive reliance on violence as a plot engine, reducing its ...more
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it
I like the premise, but the development is slow -- 7 issues in, the reader has long been aware that Tom Taylor, the son of the writer of a bestselling series of fantasy novels, is in fact the novels' protagonist Tommy Taylor, come out of imagination to reality, and that the mysterious Lizzie Hexam is his best galpal Sue Silver, but Tom is still in denial and the plot movement is mostly spent on horror film slasher tropes, about which I could hardly care less. I do enjoy the bits of the fantasy n ...more
GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)

I have already read the first few volumes of this series back in the day when they were first published. However, that was when I wasn't using Goodreads to its fullest potential and just slapped a star rating on it and called it a day!

I use Goodreads differently now and since this series is going to be wrapping up this year I figured it was time to dive back into this story and start back at the beginning and give it the Goodreads attention that it deserves.

This first volume is fantastic! More o
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
First, I am a huge Carey fan. Second, I bought this on a whim. Third, the book is overrated, mainly due to an abundance of cliches. There were so many, I was barely able to close the book. The cliches kept coming to life, crawling from the pages, and forcing me to relive bad literature. At least I am happier than ever to not have read the Harry Potter series.

The Unwritten is supposed to be a mystery but the reader knows right from the start what is going on. Tommy Taylor is real and there's a s
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, comics
What a weirdly wonderful idea. A fantasy character crossing into reality isn't exactly a new concept, I admit. It's classic wish fulfillment, after all. It's the execution of the concept here that makes it interesting. But it does seem to be developing kind of slowly. Tom Taylor isn't aware that he's fictional, and it's taking far, far longer than it did for me to come to the same conclusion. I know, I know, people in Dracula don't know that they're in Dracula. Maybe it feels slower than it is b ...more
December 2015: Ughhhh, I need to write a review of this but I don't wanna. Oh, I'm feeling so whiny today. But it's hard! Writing a review of this is hard! It's too smart and I have too much to say! WAHHHH.

I said in my original review that I might come back later and give this five stars, and indeed that has happened. I've only read through Vol. 6, but that's enough to know how much stuff this was setting up, how much was going on under the surface that I didn't even realize the first time I rea
Aug 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Around 3.5 stars.

Tom's father created the wonderful "Tommy Taylor" novels (think Harry Potter) and he based the main character on Tom: Same name, same features... the resemblance between him and the character is so uncanny that Tom has spent his whole life explaining strangers that he is NOT the character in his father's novels.

But of course, he actually is.

The intro to this volume is really good. The premise is interesting and I really like the representation of the love/hate of the public an
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
The Unwritten strikes me as being somehow 'impressive'. It's hard to clarify what I mean, but the idea of it and the execution was very well done. It delves into the very fruitful literary territory of metafiction, where reality and fiction intersect. I find I truly enjoy metafiction, probably because of being such a lifelong bookworm and having my head stuck in a book for most of that life (since I was four).

In the case of Tommy Taylor, it's a painful intersection. His father is a famous noveli
Jan 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
A truly, truly awesome concept about authors being manipulated by some mysterious group to write stories that magically have an effect on the outside world. The main character, Tom, is the son of a missing world-famous children's author - or maybe he's actually Tommy Taylor, the main character from his dad's books, summoned to life by his dad's prose. The story has some familiar threads in it (I'm reminded of a certain Twilight Zone episode and Christopher Golden's Strangewood) but it feels fres ...more
Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy nerds
Recommended to Mir by: Trin

So many allusions, so little space.
Ryan Mishap
Dec 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
I'm re-posting this because none of my friends, besides Tracy, have marked it as to read or sought it out. Don't miss out!

What if Harry Potter were based on the author's son? And then the author disappeared--it has been ten years. And the son hits the conventions for money and was tired of being called by the fictional character's name and then it turns out that his father may have stolen him from his real parents and even though events around the world are grim all anyone cares about is this fr
Apr 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
This one was lost on me. I am sure it had deeper meaning with all it's correlation to Harry Potter, but I found myself not caring.
Nuno R.
This review will not have intended spoilers, but still it regards my on-going reading of the series (so far I'm in volume 6). Please be advised.

It remained in my reading list for a long time, for some reason it did not seem appealing. At this distance, I think I confused it with stories like "The Wicked + The Divine" that focus on fame/celebrity status and (to my sensibility) have no real insight about it. This does touch, in some points, in what being world wide famous could be about but, besid
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites-books
Ohh my this graphic novel was so good for me, I know not every reader loves this book and I totally understand why. But I absolutely love and enjoy everything about it. This graphic novel was another Litsy recommendation that a friend of my rec on Litsy, that I had too give it a shot. Since I am in a graphic novel binge right now I wanted to give it a shot. And I am so glad and happy that I did, now I don't want to go into any details about this amazing graphic novel without getting too spoiler. ...more
Jan 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Teresa by: rhea
Graphic novels, or comics, are not my primary reading medium, but I enjoyed this and look forward to the sequel. While there's a violent section in the middle that's not my thing (though I understand its purpose), there were enough literary references and literary geography (as the main character calls it) to more than keep my interest.

A back story that stretches back to the 19th century is clever and has me wondering what will happen next. The illustrations advance the story and unlike The Lea
Liz B
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A long time ago I read American Gods because (I think) Anansi Boys was recommended by Eloisa James, romance novelist/ Shakespeare scholar. And that superlative reading experience introduced me to the Sandman graphic novels. Until then I think I had been completely unaware that comic books did anything other than superheroes, Donald Duck, and Archie. So I liked Sandman but couldn't afford to buy it back then, and FYI, it is never available in used bookstores. (And I wasn't much of a library user ...more
Ok, I'm gonna try to get out a really quick review because I want to go on and read volume 2! I really enjoyed this and the only reason it got 4 stars instead of 5 is because I don't often give the first volume in a graphic novel series 5 stars since it's generally just a lot of scene setting. The basic concept is like 'what if Harry Potter actually got transported to our world as a child and JK Rowling raised him but lied and said he was her son' ...but also throw in a lot of other cool meta st ...more
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
A surprising blend of Jasper Fforde, Bill Willingham and JK Rowling. A high concept comic that I look forward to reading more of.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
Mike Carey was born in Liverpool in 1959. He worked as a teacher for fifteen years, before starting to write comics. When he started to receive regular commissions from DC Comics, he gave up the day job.

Since then, he has worked for both DC and Marvel Comics, writing storyli

Other books in the series

The Unwritten (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 3: Dead Man's Knock
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 4: Leviathan
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 5: On to Genesis
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 6: Tommy Taylor and the War of Words
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 7: The Wound
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 8: Orpheus in the Underworld
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 9: The Unwritten Fables
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 10: War Stories
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 11: Apocalypse

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