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The Dark Man: An Illustrated Poem

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I'll preface this by saying, as I often have, that I'm not a bi

    I'll preface this by saying, as I often have, that I'm not a big reader of poetry. This is an appropriately moody and disturbing piece given what we know King would do with The Dark Man, Randall Flagg, in books like The Stand. But it's also not the greatest, most affecting poem King has written over the years. I think the attention it's garnering right now is due more to the fact that it is previously unpublished King work from early in his career, and that stuff is always fun to discover. What really makes this book work are the absolutely distinct full page illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne. I'm not as familiar with Chadbourne's work as I probably should be, but man does he know how to set the mood, how to tease detailed images out of just a few lines (or even one line) of text. I've read the book through twice before writing this short review, and flipped to random pages several more times, just trying to absorb the art, and I see something new each time I look at a page. Some little line detail, some shape that my eyes hadn't focused on before. Chadbourne's work is what makes this a four star book for me -- knowing I'll be back to look at the art again in a month or a year and that I'll still see something I hadn't noticed before.

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