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Peter and Max

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Peter and Max

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Unmissable, especially for lovers of fairytale revampings and extrapolations." - Booklist

"Dark, fast-paced, moving and entertaining, with a few surprises along the way." - Publishers Weekly

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly
Understanding Willingham's new novel (the first from comics house Vertigo) doesn't require knowledge of the comic it's based upon, but it certainly helps; Fables follows a population of fairy tale characters seeking shelter in our world after their enchanted lands were conquered. Familiar figures like Snow White, Rose Red, the Beast and Belle, the Big Bad Wolf (a human PI in the “mundane” world) and others fill out a cast led by Peter Piper and his brother, Max. Sibling rivalry, magical flutes and, yes, pickled peppers factor in the clever, adventurous plot that sees Peter pursuing Bo Peep. Fans will find all the charm and in-jokes of the Fables universe intact; like Neil Gaiman, another acclaimed comic book author, Willingham writes without the help of thought bubbles and keeps everything clear enough that readers new to the series won't be confused for long. Though it toys with notions of mythology and its origins, this work still keeps true to the spirit of the Brothers Grimm: dark, fast-paced, moving and entertaining, with a few surprises along the way. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Adult/High School—Willingham's "Fables," a comic book series that brings characters from myths, folk stories, and tall tales into the present day, steps into the world of prose with a charming stand-alone fantasy novel. The story begins in modern Fabletown, a magical village hidden in New York City where many of the immortal Fables now live. Peter Piper—the same Peter who picked a peck of pickled peppers and challenged the great wolf—is warned that his evil brother Max, aka the Pied Piper, has been causing problems out in the world. Peter heads for Hamelin, Germany, to challenge him and put a stop to his dark ways for good. A series of flashbacks then take things back to medieval times and set the stage for the final conflict. Fantasy readers new to "Fables" will get a nice taste of Willingham's rich and satisfying world while fans of the comics will find themselves treated to cameo appearances by popular characters like Bigby (aka the Big Bad Wolf), the Beast, and Peter's wife, Bo Peep. Leialoha's black-and-white drawings smartly enhance the fairy-tale feel of the story. Those willing to dig past the slow start required to explain the extensive background of the author's inventive world will find an action-packed adventure built around two absolutely captivating characters.—Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401225377
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Series: Fables Series
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 259,897
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 11.22 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Willingham never fought a desperate and losing battle in a good cause, never contributed to society in a meaningful way, and hasn’t lived a life of adventure, but he’s had a few moments of near adventure. At some point in his life Bill learned how to get paid for telling scurrilous lies to good people, and he’s been doing it ever since. He lives in the wild and frosty woods of Minnesota with a dog and a cat he hasn’t met yet.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 5, 2011

    Great Extension

    I think this story was a great extension to Fables we don't know much about from the graphic novels. I truly enjoyed the story which was full of all the dark side of the Fable world that I love already. I am looking forward to more novels of the like. If you have not read the Vertigo comic/graphic novel series, you might not as enjoy this book as much as I did.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    a great first for Vertigo, hopefully not the last

    first off let me just say that after reading this book, i'm sorely tempted to read it again right now. the writing has this magical lure that brings you right in, letting you really invest in the story and the characters.

    now, you don't need to be familiar with the Fables graphic novel to enjoy Peter & Max but i think it's good to know the gist of it...
    you'll be acquainted with many of the characters that fill it's pages (Snow White, Bigby the big bad wolf and Prince Charming to name a few). they're the characters from childhood bedtime stories, fairy tales, Disney movies, even poems and nursery rhymes. the premise of Fables is that all of these characters truly existed in some world or other but fled to ours seeking sanctuary from the evil ruler they've come to know as the Adversary.

    with that being said, this book tells the story of two brothers: Peter and Max Piper (figured out who they are yet?). the synopsis is pretty much on the nose except not really espionage-y. the bulk of story takes place during the past which has a medieval/renaissance feel to it + magic. the rest of the story takes place in our present modern world + magic. the writing is very light and easy to read but the content is a bit dark at times so i only suggest this to teens and older but oddly enough, it makes you feel like a little kid again. i loved it.

    as a side note, you can read a preview of the first and second chapters of Peter & Max on the DC/Vertigo website. and for those who have read & enjoyed this book but aren't familiar with Fables, i implore you to check them out. volume 01 is a good place to start but the 1001 Nights of Snowfall is really good too since they're a collection of short stand-alone stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic tale!

    Bill Willingham does an amazing job with his Fables properties. Here he shows that he can do a prose novel just as well, if not better, than his work with comics. Honestly, his stories would fit both mediums quite well. The author gives us the tale of two brothers, Peter and Max, and how their lives take drastically different paths. Willingham does a fantastic job of creating environments that seem real whether they are real or not. Fans of the Fables comics should absolutely read this but if you’ve never read any of them previously I can’t imagine you still not enjoying this as its easy to follow. Overall, its just a fantastic read.

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  • Posted February 19, 2013

    A great read. Couldn't put it down. I would recommend reading so

    A great read. Couldn't put it down. I would recommend reading some of the Fables comics first, though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Great Fairytale For Adults!

    Wonderfully written!!!! Love the Fables series so this was a no brainer to read. Absolutely loved it, couldnt put it down. Even my husband, who usually reads war novels, military historues, and murder mysteries loved this book. It helps to have some knowledgs of the Fables series, my husband had a few questions while reading it, but i was able to give him the info and fill in the blanks. I know most people feel grafic novels or comic books are for kids or geeks, but if you enjoyed this novel you may want to at least give the first collection a try. They are very well written but i cautioon, NOT FOR CHILDREN. Bill Willingham has written a few childrens books. Again this is a great read and i very much look forward to his next novel about the Fables cast.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2011

    An excellent look at the Fables Universe

    This is a great read. The only negative I have to say about it is that the chapters can occassionally feel unconnected. Regardless: well worth a look!

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    would you like the back-story on a favorite fairy tale?

    Peter of pumpkin-eater & Max of Pied-piper fame are "real". This story explains how and why. Covers Bo Peep too.... I like the fairy stories so I enjoyed this. It lacks some depth that I suspect would be covered by the drawings in a graphic novel. Overall, I liked it & will look for more. Not a good book for a book club.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    is it good

    .

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    You favorite Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes all grown up, but still magical.

    I have been a fan of Bill Willingham's work since I first read his mini-series that were spin-offs from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic book series. His current long running series Fables is a great read in re-imagining the world(s) of your favorite childhood nursery rhymes and stories into modern day and tales beyond "happily ever after".

    Based on the lives of the Piper brothers, Peter and Max (hence the title of the book), it does a good job of weaving the modern tale with the beginning of their rivalry. The tale begins in the modern world, but quickly flashes back to show how the events of an invading army and the gift of a precious family heirloom serve to send the borthers from friendly rivals with some teen-angst rivalry into deadly enemies and their tales of survival.

    If you have read the Fables books, some aspects of the story are familiar, but you don't have to have read any of them to enjoy this book. If you are, this book doesn't directly tie in with any of the events of the book so far so doesn't have to be read in any particular order with the comics.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Willingham does it again

    As someone who just recently got to reading Willingham's acclaimed "Fables" comic series, I have to admit that I devoured this book. Not only is the trademark wit, drama, and characterization present, but it also demonstrates Willingham's ability to weave just as beautiful a story with only words.

    For those readers familiar with the story of the refugee Fables, the book is laced with references to the series set in contemporary times, but also helps fill in some of the background for a few of the characters during the period the Homelands were occupied by the Adversary's forces--including appearances by Bigby Wolf and Frau Totenkinder.

    For those readers not familiar, this is still a good book that delves into a rich plot of childhood lost, sibling rivalry, childhood love, and not surrendering to one's fate.

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    Posted January 17, 2012

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    Posted January 30, 2010

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    Posted October 21, 2009

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    Posted October 15, 2009

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    Posted May 8, 2010

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews

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