Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tuesday Reviews: Poe: Stories and Poems: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Gareth Hinds

Title: Poe: Stories and Poems: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Author: Gareth Hinds
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Format Read: Paperback
Rating: Three Stars

Description from Goodreads: In a thrilling adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's best-known works, acclaimed artist-adapter Gareth Hinds translates Poe's dark genius into graphic-novel format.

It is true that I am nervous. But why will you say that I am  mad?

In THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO, a man exacts revenge on a disloyal friend at carnival, luring him into catacombs below the city. In THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, a prince shielding himself from plague hosts a doomed party inside his abbey stronghold. A prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition, faced with a swinging blade and swarming rate, can't see his tormentors in THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, and in THE TELL-TALE HEART, a milky eye and a deafening heartbeat reveal the effects of conscience and creeping madness. 

Alongside these tales are visual interpretations of three poems, THE RAVEN, THE BELLS, and Poe's poignant elegy to lost love, ANNABEL LEE. The seven concise graphic narratives, keyed to thematic icons, amplify and honor the timeless legacy of a master of gothic horror.


I am not a fan of graphic novels. 

I've read my fair share of manga, I tried reading comics for a while (Captain America, wuuut), and I do own a few graphic novels that I've read, but I'm just not in love with them. 

See, there aren't enough words for me. In my opinion, we should leave the illustrations for children's books and those random black and white inserts in the classics and leave it at that. That said, graphic novels have blown UP in the last two years. Even my 11 year old cousin is reading graphics, but I've still yet to find one that piqued my interest.

That is, until I saw Poe.

I may not read a ton of classics, but I do have a strong appreciation for those authors, ESPECIALLY Edgar Allan Poe.

Most kids had THE RAVEN as required reading in middle school, if not high school. For us, it was seventh grade, and while 2/3 of my grade was memorizing THE RAVEN for a grade, the other 1/3 of us (who had the best English teacher e v e r) were reading and discussing the Tell-Tale Heart, which is my favorite of all of Poe's works. 

To this day, I've still never read THE RAVEN to the end.

But I noticed that TELL-TALE HEART was part of this graphic novel, so I picked it up.

Turns out, I love this graphic novel. The illustrations were AMAZING-- I was surprised at how realistic the pictures were, and how the expressions on their faces were so perfect, especially during scenes of horror.

My favorite part of this graphic novel, though, was the key. In the beginning of the novel, there are a set of symbols, and then on the title page for each work, you find some of them. It's basically a key for the thematic elements in each story, so for, like, stories with insanity, there will be a little straight jacket, and for stories with angels and/or demons, there's one angel wing and one demon wing. It was a fantastic element to add-- that little touch made for so much fun upon getting to the next story.

It was so interesting to reread these stories with such detailed and intricate illustrations; even if they were condensed versions of the stories and not the entire thing (more words! more words!)

In conclusion, it was good, but graphic novels still aren't my thing. However, if you have friends or family members who love graphic novels but don't like reading, this is the perfect gift for them! It's a great way to expose them to some of the classics (there are more of these than just Poe, ex: Grimm Fairy Tales) without making them have to read the entire novel!


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