Down the Mysterly River (Anglais)
|Neuf à partir de||Occasion à partir de|
Aucun appareil Kindle n'est requis. Téléchargez l'une des applis Kindle gratuites et commencez à lire les livres Kindle sur votre smartphone, tablette ou ordinateur.
Pour obtenir l'appli gratuite, saisissez votre adresse e-mail ou numéro de téléphone mobile.
Détails sur le produit
En savoir plus sur l'auteur
Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Thus begins the adventures of Max the Wolf, not a wolf at all, as the author clarifies at the beginning of this book, but an earnest, resourceful young Boy Scout, who is prepared for every eventuality and always carries in his pockets his Lost Kit -"a dozen strike-anywhere matches, a candle, a roll of fishing line with two hooks, a few bandages in sterile wrappings, and a needle and thread," with a length of twine wrapped tightly around the outside of the watertight package- and trusty Boy Scout knife.
The story Willingham narrates is utterly charming. I use the word "charming" in both senses: what happens in this small scale odyssey is both charming to read and seems, somehow, to have come about through some kind of magical charm, certainly not through any form of ordinary Boy Scout logic. Max finds himself in a forest where the animals, even a tree, talk back to him, and he has no memory how he got there. He gains companions: a badger who boasts a lot but is ferocious in battle, a brown bear who is easily distracted by the prospect of food of any kind, and a foul-tempered old tomcat with one eye missing, raggle-taggle fur and scars decorating his body. Pursuing them are the Blue Cutters, equipped with magical swords that do terrible things to the creatures they are used on.
There are a few early passages in the book that struck this reviewer as just on the edge of being cute, perhaps imitative of Tolkien's The Hobbit. But these (minor) blemishes quickly disappear and the narrative builds momentum. What is left is a wholly engrossing story, filled with adventure and with a cast of heroes you come to cheer for. A wholly unanticipated ending wraps everything up with a twist.
This is the first children's book written by award-winning graphic novelist Bill Willingham and it's a clear winner. Mark Buckingham's pen and ink drawings add to the book's charm, especially his drawing of McTavish the Monster, the cranky old tomcat who's always looking for a fight. I hope I get the chance to meet Max again. Preferably soon.
I bought this book after reading Bill's comic series Fables, and I'm glad I did. If anyone enjoys this book, then you will enjoy Fables (or vice versa). The first 5 issues have been collecting into a trade paperback called Fables: Legends in Exile, which can also be found on amazon. Coincidently, this first story arc is a murder mystery.
This is a fairly standard adventure tale, with a couple of added perks: it has a nicely crafted fantasy element, and a metafictional twist that felt a bit clumsy but is still extremely clever. The talking animals are by far the best characters; I'd read an entire book about McTavish. Once I was able to dismiss the ham-fisted political overtones in the villains, I found them chilling and fascinating. The story is put together well, and the ending is extraordinarily moving and satisfying. Things get surprisingly violent during the action scenes, considering the juvenile and light-hearted tone of the rest of the book, but Willingham obviously does this on purpose. After all, the whole point of the story is the resourcefulness of a determined boy in the face of the unknown, and the spiritual dangers of Bowdlerizing. Besides, what is a good adventure yarn without some blood, guts, and danger?
But that leads in to the biggest problem I had with the book, which is Willingham's tendency to over-explain. He trusts his young readers with the content and the message, but he doesn't seem to trust that they will pick up the subtext, and thus he places unnecessary elaboration all over the narration. Besides being thematically inconsistent, it tends to bone the pace of the book. The story is solid and exciting, and the writing level is simple and perfectly age-appropriate, so I wish the telling was slimmed down a little bit in favor of the showing.
Overall, though, this was a quick, fun read. It's a sure bet for kids and younger teens who like mystery and fantasy, especially if they've already got a taste for anthropomorphic animal heroes.