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Posted June 13, 2007
Alice In Sunderland: An Entertainment
To call this heavy tome a graphic novel may be stretching it. This biography on Lewis Carroll, the 19th-century author of i Alice's Adventures In Wonderland /i , and its sequel i Through The Looking Glass /i , is so packed with information that it seems more like an encyclopedia. Fortunately, it does not read like one. Talbot painstakingly explores the connection between Carroll and Sunderland, a city west of London, where Carroll spent much time visiting his nieces. The narrative becomes part-travel guide, part-screenplay, part-fairytale, all fun. Where fact and fiction blur, Talbot works in Carrollian experts to give their take on the truth. He does not shy away from controversial subjects either, such as allegations of Carroll's paedophilia. Non-fans may find the book a bit intimidating, though, as even literature scholars will likely have to re-read the story a few times to take everything in. Comic lovers will enjoy spotting the different and distinct artwork inspired by different artists. From Herge's Tintin-like cartoons to Alex Ross' photo-realistic paintwork, every style is a marker for different scenes. My only complaint - tipping the scales at almost 4kg, the book is literally a hefty read.
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