Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
My self-imposed BLOGAPALOOZA continues with POST #2...which is actually more like a FOUR IN ONE! Well sometimes things are best presented together for the overall effect and that certainly fits the situation here.
Today, we're diving into a new series from Canterbury Classics that's taking tales of old, and giving them a modernization in both the story and the delivery. What's that? You don't do fairy tale redos? Well, I'm going to recommend you hold judgment until the end because I was pretty surprised myself with a few of them. At first glance, there's no doubt you'll recognize the titles, I mean who wouldn't...they are classic stories...but that second glance will reveal the first of the "changes"...the delivery or format. That's right, they are GRAPHIC NOVELS and while that's not completely novel, the artwork certainly is, and though I'm not one generally drawn to this particular genre, I did find some of it rather appealing. Now, for that second surprise...
A third glance at these titles, albeit only noticeable if you actually open them so consider me your virtual page turner there, reveals the story changes themselves. Now, don't get your pants in a bind...they didn't take liberties per se, though those they do are openly acknowledged and begged pardon for, but they may not completely be the tales you're familiar with. How so? Well,the opening to each (which was totally a BONUS!) reveals the history of the original story and how things have been changed or represented differently from the first publication. For example, did YOU know Belle apparently had SIBLINGS? Or that the Beast's curse was a tad different than simple vanity? Or how about that Maurice was actually WELCOME to the castle and created his own mess with a warned against blunder? Yeah...now you see what I'm getting at. The books take us through the story as it changed throughout history, and then allow us to indulge in this modernization with full color illustrations depicting the journeys along the way.
Though I did indulge in all four tales, I admit...I had favorites...
Beauty and the Beast (978-1-68412-099-4) was certainly one of them. Though once again, I was surprised by the differences to the story as I remember it, this version was quite the read! I loved Belle's fierceness and determination, though she still retained her bookish nature and loving heart. I also enjoyed the curious nature of the castle in which they live (which was not simply filled with enchanted talking servants!) and the horrible evil that lived side by side in the shadows. ~shudders~ It was definitely different than the Disney versions many of us know, but equally memorable!
The Snow Queen (978-1-68412-102-1) was next up on the favorite list. Though this was a tale I was only vaguely familiar with in its entirety, I was able to see so many other stories that were influenced by this original as I read. Gerda was one special girl and Kay was lucky to have her on his side because there are not many that would go through so much with so little promise of a happy end. Also, can I just say I really liked the reindeer? He was a bright spot for me despite the terrible circumstances in which he meets Gerda, and believe me with the evil start to the story along with the Queen herself, you REALLY needed a bright spot!
The Hound of the Baskervilles ( 978-1-68412-100-7) would be third on the list....despite the fact that I was most familiar with this one (I even had a kiddie book version of it as a kid!). It might have been the familiarity that had it sink to third, but I think it was also the illustrations. While well penned and certainly depicting the scenes as they came, they just didn't sit as well with me. Cie la vie, the story IS just as amazing as it's always been though, so certainly no love lost there, and it makes a great way to introduce another generation to the story they may be reluctant to divulge in classic lit.
The Call of Cthulhu (978-1-68412-101-4) unfortunately...didn't exactly make my list. I know, I know...fans of the author's work will probably want my head for this, but keep in mind, though I know OF his works, I've never READ his works, so my opinion on this story is purely from this version. Now, I had a coworker see I was reading it, got a little curious, and picked it up for a glance. According to them (they ARE a fan of the author's work), while it captured the basics of the story, and the artwork was interesting, it didn't really do the work justice on the whole. Hmm...might be a case of the book just simply doesn't translate well into this particular format...it happens, but in any case, it would still certainly serve the purpose of getting a reluctant reader interested in discovering MORE. As for this reader, maybe one day...just not today.
Special thanks to Casey at Media Masters Publicity for the chance to read and share these new works with you as well as the copies for review. (THANKS!) For more information on these titles, the series, or Canterbury Classics other editions, feel free to click through the links provided above. The Dark Tales series is available now, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!