The Plucker: An Illustrated Novel

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Overview

The Plucker, now updated with new art and an afterword from world-renowned dark fantasy artist Brom, is a window into a world where fairy-tale tradition collides with vileness and depravity, love and heroism, suffering and sacrifice. In this shadowy land of make-believe, Jack and his box are stuck beneath the bed with the dust, spiders, and other castaway toys, and forced to face a bitter truth: Children grow up, and toys are left behind. Jack thinks this is the worst fate that can befall a toy. But when the ...

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Overview

The Plucker, now updated with new art and an afterword from world-renowned dark fantasy artist Brom, is a window into a world where fairy-tale tradition collides with vileness and depravity, love and heroism, suffering and sacrifice. In this shadowy land of make-believe, Jack and his box are stuck beneath the bed with the dust, spiders, and other castaway toys, and forced to face a bitter truth: Children grow up, and toys are left behind. Jack thinks this is the worst fate that can befall a toy. But when the Plucker, a malevolent spirit, is set loose upon the world of make-believe, Jack is thrust into the unlikely role of defending Thomas, the very child who abandoned him, and learns that there are worse ends for a toy than abandonment. As desperation mounts, Jack is thrown together with Thomas’s other toys—Monkey, the Nutcracker, and the ethereally beautiful porcelain doll Snow Angel—as they struggle to rise above their simple roles as playthings and save the boy they love.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
From renowned dark fantasy artist Brom -- who could quite possibly be the love child of Walt Disney and H. P. Lovecraft -- comes The Plucker, a visually spectacular illustrated adult novel that mixes fairy-tale sensibilities with the nightmarish realm of horror.

In the summer of 1942, Thomas is an average American boy who loves his toys -- especially the ones his father (a naval captain) brings back from exotic ports of call. But when his dad returns with a strange spirit warden from Africa, he unknowingly sets in motion a drama that could imprison his son's soul forever. Trapped inside the spirit warden is the Plucker, a malevolent creature bent on stealing Tom's essence by destroying his toys, all of which contain a little bit of the boy's "gusto." Once Tom's spirit is emptied from his body, the Plucker can take over his flesh and wreak havoc in the corporeal world. But standing in the Plucker's way is Jack, an old jack-in-the-box recently discarded to the shadowy world of the Underbed. Armed with only a sword and a poison-tipped needle, Jack and his surviving friends -- Monkey, the wooden Nutcracker, a Native American doll named Little Bird, and the porcelain Snow Angel -- must somehow defeat the Plucker and its terrifying army of Foulthings in order to save the boy they love.

Fans of popular illustrated works like Doug Chiang and Orson Scott Card's Robota and The Runes of Elfland by Brian Froud and Ari Berk, which blend dazzling artwork with science fiction and fantasy narratives, need only pick up this truly stunning masterwork to appreciate Brom's dark genius. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
In The Plucker, an illustrated novel by Brom, Jack and his box must defend Thomas, the boy who owns him, from the evil spirit that afflicts the world of make-believe. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-If the Velveteen Rabbit had a satanic bent, it would have much in common with the Plucker, the spirit doll that young Thomas's father brings him from Africa in 1942. In Brom's fevered imagination, the love and imaginative play with which children imbue their toys-their "gusto," as he terms it-can be sucked out and turned to evil purposes, destroying the soul of the child and enlivening creatures too horrible to contemplate. It is up to Thomas's old Jack-in-the-box to prevent the boy from such vitiation. Aided by the herbal and hoodoo wisdom of Mabelle, Thomas's stalwart old nurse, and a few other plucky cast-off toys, Jack challenges the monstrous Foulthings spawned by the Plucker and vanquishes its malevolence. Brom's descriptive powers are revealed equally in his prose and his illustrations. The paintings are so detailed and so layered that they yield their secrets further the more closely they are examined. Poring over them is an exercise in fascinated revulsion. Almost every page-from the opening, "What the hell?" to the resolution-contains abominations calculated to stir up nightmares. Despite its bittersweet, triumphant ending-Thomas is saved, but Mabelle is killed-this book will stir discomfort everywhere it goes. Brom is surely aware of this, as he is photographed on the dust jacket, poised to consume an eviscerated teddy bear with an oversize fork and spoon. Not everyone will be amused, and not everyone should be exposed to this macabre tour de force.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810957923
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/2/2005
  • Edition description: Illustrate
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 9.52 (w) x 11.56 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Brom is the world-renowned illustrator whose vision has graced a wide range of fantasy and sci-fi fiction, games, and films, including Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    best horrifying fairytale

    best horrifying fairytale

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book

    This book takes you away on a dark exciting adventure. What do toys do when your not around? They come to life what else? what happends when a evil being is broght in the form of a doll? find out as you follow jack (a misfit jack in the box)as he transforms to save the ones he loves. This book wont dissapoint.

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  • Posted April 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I'm impressed

    This book was extraordinary - I've always known Brom was a talented artist but come to find out he is a great author as well. If you love weird ass books and stories, The Plucker is defiantly something for you to read. <BR/>Loved this book and look forward to more of Brom's illustrated novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2008

    A reviewer

    I borrowed this book from a friend who thought I might be interested in it. So I said, 'Yeah, I'll read it', half- heartedly. But once I got into the book, I could hardly put it down and the pages flew. The artwork was amazing and the writing and story also had depth and lots of character. I would recommend this book to any reader who likes horror-esque books, or just books which are an interesting read. As one reviewer said, it was definitely a short book. I think Brom could have did an even more amazing job in a longer book, but I am nonetheless happy with what he did with the shortness of the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    I really enjoyed reading this book. The illustrations enhanced the experience. I could not put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2006

    AMAZING!

    The book was great. I was fascinated with the cover. And I read the other reveiws and I knew I had to buy the book. Its kind of short. But the illustration is excellent. And the story is great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2005

    A Delightfully Dark Yet Triumphant Tale, Newbery Quality

    On a cold and rainy Saturday I bought this book on a whim, based on the lusciously gorgeous illustrations and the profoundly enticing writing - it fit the mood of the day perfectly. Only two other artists have such a rich and delightfully wicked combined creativity Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, whose movie Mirrormask I had just seen! Brom has sewn together a magical tale of heroism and Love that will send you longingly into the toy chest hoping to revive the life in those precious objects of youthful imagination. Just as you wonder if there are doors in the backs of wardrobes or if the white rabbit could lead you off into Wonderland, Brom sheds new dark on the goings on in the 'Underbed'. Perhaps one way of looking at this story is to say: the Nutcracker is sugarplum and cotton candy, Plucker is a perfectly decedent rich dark hand dipped imported chocolate truffle. If I could I would give it a Newbery Award. I would have devoured this story as a child and as an adult did it in one day. I would recommend it as a 'read with' to those whose children liked Coriline (Neil Gaiman), Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll), Keys to the Kingdom series (Garth Nix) and any good supernatural tale. For basically a lover of Halloween. For adults it's a great read for fans of Ray Bradbury, Hideyuki Kikuchi, Neil Gaiman, & early Stephan King.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2009

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