Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Unwritten, Vol. 3: Dead Man's Knock” as Want to Read:
The Unwritten, Vol. 3: Dead Man's Knock
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Unwritten, Vol. 3: Dead Man's Knock

(The Unwritten #3)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,809 ratings  ·  330 reviews
The third volume of the critically acclaimed New York Times best selling new series from the Eisner-nominated creative team of Mike Carey and Peter Gross!

The fictional adventures of Tommy Taylor are the biggest publishing sensation of the still-young century. And now, years after the last volume, Tommy’s creator Wilson Taylor, long missing and believed dead, is unleashing
Paperback, Trade, 160 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Vertigo
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Unwritten, Vol. 3, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Unwritten, Vol. 3

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,809 ratings  ·  330 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
One cool thing about this volume is that you get a few answers.


I mean, not all of the answers, but enough to make you want to keep going with this title. I had a few a few suspicions that it was nice to get confirmation on, and there were some things that I didn't see coming at all. Good stuff!


Like most everyone else, I was really impressed with the issue that was a Choose Your Own Adventure of Lizzie's origin story. I thought it was neat that you don't get a definitive answer, because it looks
Tim The Enchanter
May 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I can't finish this. The series had promise and was quite ingenious in the way classic literature was incorporated into the story. Ultimately, the series suffered from schizophrenia and failed to be coherent. I could not follow the convoluted storyline and lost interest.
December 2015: The Unwritten continues with a volume that makes the weird and fictional even more indistinguishable from reality.

Several things are happening all at once here. Tom, Lizzie and Savoy have reappeared in London after their jaunt in "Jud Suss", only three months have gone by in the real world for their mere hours spent in "Jud Suss". Tom is presumed dead in the fire at Donostia prison, and the world is abuzz with the imminent publication of the fourteenth and final Tommy Taylor nove
Ed Erwin
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, fantasy
Continues to be fun!
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, fantasy
I think I like the direction this seems to be going in now. Many of the plot threads from the previous volume have been wrapped up, or seem to have been wrapped up, with some new ones to keep momentum up. The Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style of Lizzie's origin was cool, clever, and a good reflection of what was going on in her own head. But I always did love Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books. It was easy enough for me to explore every path, because there's a lot of overlapping. Trying to read it st ...more
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Teresa by: rhea
Despite the Our Mutual Friend (one of my favorite books) connection, I didn't like this installment nearly as much as the first two. That's probably because I never cared for the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books (my youngest brother read some of them), which is the well-done 'gimmick' in the middle of this book. I didn't follow the directions, but read the pages straight through, just as I was instructed not to do, but doing otherwise would've driven me batty. There's also one big unanswered qu ...more
GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, vertigo

This 3rd volume is where the story really starts to take off! Don't get me wrong - the first two volumes were chock full of 'HELL YEAH,' but it's in this third arc where, as the reader, you discover that you have to be alert and pay attention to what's going on. This story is smart. You can't be dumb.

Also...CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!! What? Awesome! I loved how we finally got the goods on Lizzie Hexam and it was presented to us as a Which Way book. Lotta fun to read - but brutal on my physical T
This series continues to be really great, but this volume gets, let's say a 3.5 rounded down to a 3 for two reasons that, while annoying to me, might have no bearing on your enjoyment whatsoever.

The first is that one of the issues is a choose your own adventure style book about Lizzie's past. I am psyched that we got an issue all about Lizzie, but I hate choose your own adventure and also it just does NOT work when I'm reading this digitally. I cannot flip to page 50 then back to page 9 t
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I preferred this to the last volume. I am still undecided whether I like this series as a whole. Good and bad. I love the literary nods and the concept of metafiction. How can I not as such a bibliophile? I find the imagination of this series infectious, but there is a lot of meanness with the storyline and the characters.

I feel a lot of sympathy for both Tom and Lizzie. They are both being manipulated by grand masters at the game. Lizzie is both better off in that she has more understanding of
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
More 3.5 for me. The Lizzie chapter was really cool and creative.
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
The ingenuity and skill of this series continues to boggle my mind. Are you a reader? Read it. Read it. Read it.

a quote from the intro, by Steven Hall:

Most people don't have the first idea about the true power of stories. I'm sure you know this. I'm sure you do, because you're a reader - you're reading this book right now. You're bound to know a thing or two about it.

Maybe you're the woman on the train who doesn't ever let the raised eyebrows of grey-looking office workers put her off her comic
C.J. Nelson
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
The “Choose You Own Adventure” portion of this book alone made it worth reading.
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It starts out a confusing read - lots of secondary characters to keep track of/remember from the previous volumes, and sideways references to happenings/literary devices that I'm sure I'm not following. This series begs a re-read all at once.

I truly enjoyed the choose-your-own-adventure story in the middle. Not only does it give you a taste of where Lizzie's head must be, but also plays out her origin in a fun and Memento-like way. Re-reading the story non-linearly was an extra bonus, and the ta
Apr 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
The whole Tom/Tommy Taylor story appears on the surface to be a riff off of J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter. The whole story is much more than that, and writer Mike Carey (of the Felix Catsor novels) is beginning to tread deeper into the realm of metafiction. As in the impact of stories on our lives. We finally meet Wilson, Tom's father, and we do get some explanation as to why Tom and the Tommy Taylor books are important. While much is left unresolved this remains a fulfilling read.
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
So good! I wish more people read graphic novels - they're willing to experiment and expand the boundaries of fiction in such extraordinary ways. I can't wait o see where the story will travel to next!
Liz B
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite of the series so far, and while I was reading I revisited some scenes in vols. 1 & 2. Now that I understand what is going on (well, I understand it much more clearly, anyway), a few key scenes made a lot more sense.

This one was a solid 4.5 stars, and I'm really looking forward to reading volume 4. I'm taking a break from the series, though, with a light contemporary romance. It's great, but it's very, very dark.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is kids' stuff but very good. I dig it. Tommy Taylor is a great hero, and the author uses literature as the highest power Taylor's world. Recommended for literary- types everywhere.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Still pretty good run on this series, found out some more information, actually met Wilson, loved the 'surprise' about his book. Interesting use of story-telling with Lizzie's section of the volume.
Baylie P
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another good Unwritten volume! These comics are super fun and I’m loving all the cliches and homage to past authors and stories. I think it’s well executed and pokes fun without really poking fun?
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Volume 3 continues referencing literature and finally gives a tiny exposure to the unwritten.

This volume is stronger than the second with Tommy coming to terms with his legacy, importance of stories in our lives and slowly discovering the value of friendship.
This isn't Harry Potter for the adults. Its far darker, a lot messier and not as entertaining, unfortunately.
Emma Craven
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars!

By far my favorite Unwritten volume. From the introduction to the last page I was very much attached to the story. Not as heart wrenching as the last one but still my sympathy was needed for Lizzie. I don't know what to think about Wilson and the path he has created for his "characters". Was what he did to Lizzie / for Lizzie the right decision? The "choose your own adventure" part was fantastic. What a great way to switch things up and get the reader even more involved in the story. I
Scott Lee
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another fun volume, a lot of time spent on Lizzie Hexam/Jane Waxman, but never at the expense of the overall plotline. There is a choose your own adventure style issue which gives Lizzie's background and surprisingly it wasn't a mess. Perhaps I should have had more confidence in Carey and Gross, but I have to admit that I couldn't see how it would work without either offering almost no choices, or resulting in such widely divergent stories that it would be really annoying as a reader. Instead th ...more
Ryan Mishap
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Anybody on Goodreads obviously cares about stories, whether they provide an alternate world for your brain to reside in for awhile, tell you about a historical event or educate you about how to fix a toilet, illuminate people's experiences in beautiful, brutal, or uplifting ways, or just provide an hour or two of amusement. Stories matter, whether people get them from books or not, but reading and the writing of stories has its own power.

The Unwritten knows this deeply, this obvious truth that w
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
This collection concentrates on the main plot around Tom(my) Taylor unfortunately without actually moving forward a lot. We do not learn anything new (at least nothing really important) about either Tom(my) Taylor's identity and past or the workings of the cabal. Yes, we do get to see some interesting rituals and we do learn something about Lizzie. But where the other collections featured outstanding single issue story-arcs that helped flesh-out the fictional universe, these are sadly missing he ...more
Callie Rose Tyler
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I think this one might be the best so far, it had a nice even pace and was a lot less wordy than previous books. One of the issues is a 'choose your own ending'type of format that was entertaining but a little deceptive since there are really only 2 endings and one of them is ridiculously short and would leave the reader confused, I'm assuming the author expects that if you get the crappy short ending you go back. So really it's more of a choose the middle of the story, either way it was cool.

May 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This installment definitely stretched my mind a bit. A lot of questions are answered - sort of - but it done so cryptically I am still totally confused as to what is happening overall. I just had to put aside this confusion and keep reading. If I tried to figure it out to far I just got even more confused. So at this point I am going on faith that eventually I understand it all!

What made this volume insanely awesome though was that one chapter was a "pick your own story" scenario. At the end of
***Dave Hill
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: illustrated
Something happened with this series after the first dozen issues -- it went, somehow, from a fascinating exploration of the relationship between fiction and reality (personified by the Harry Pottereseque Tommy Taylor) and became just another weird, magical, deadly, but not wildly original Vertigo series.

It's not bad, mind you. Carey can definitley write, and Peter Gross does his usual fine workman's job on the art. But the story's gotten too busy, too many parties involved, too much bloody actio
[Name Redacted]
This volume is BRILLIANT! The fake "Tommy Taylor" novel which forms a major plot point now is as truly, deeply terrible as the characters say it is. In the actual story, it is said to include "charmless steals from Rowling, Gaiman, Wynne Jones and Uncle Tom Cobley"; the excerpts of the novel we are given contain HILARIOUSLY unsubtle references and tropes lifted from Moorcock, Pullman (also the name of a brutal, charmless character in the actual story!), Baum, and Tolkien! Even "Star Wars, Episod ...more
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I used to read this comic in single issues, but finally gave up around issue 11 or 12. Right about the time that things finally kicked into high gear and got interesting... Seriously, this is finally starting to come together and become quite the page-turner. The "choose-your-own-adventure" origin for Lizzie Hexam is something that must be seen to be believed--the complexity involved in putting something like that together for a monthly comic boggles my mind. And Tom finally gets to confront his ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Fables, Vol. 15: Rose Red
  • Northlanders, Vol. 3: Blood in the Snow
  • Sweet Tooth, Volume 3: Animal Armies
  • House of Mystery, Volume 3: The Space Between
  • Scalped, Vol. 4: The Gravel in Your Guts (Scalped, #4)
See similar books…
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 12 books)
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man
  • 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: Tommy Taylor and the Ship That Sank Twice
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 9: The Unwritten Fables
  • The Unwritten, Vol. 10: War Stories
“It's a sad fact that most people can't even spot a story when they see one. Most people don't know that stories aren't confined by the covers of books or by half-hour slots on TV. The world is made of stories. The world is driven by stories. When a sunburned-friend tells you about their holiday, it's not a straight list of everything that happened to them - it's a story, an anecdote with a plot, a beginning, a middle and an end. Each one of their holiday snaps is a story too. When you're making a decision, and you imagine the possible outcomes - what are you doing if not telling yourself a story? History is a story. Society is a story. Countries are stories. Your plans are stories. Your desires are stories. Your own memories are stories - narratives selected, trimmed and packaged by the hidden machinery in your mind. Human beings are story engines. We have to be - to understand stories is to understand the world.” 1 likes
“Without a story there is no meaning.
And the nature of the meaning depends on the nature of the story.
To understand this is to understand the true power of stories.
And so, to control the stories, to be the one doing the telling...
Well now, wouldn't that be quite a thing...?”
More quotes…