The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel
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The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel

3.3 3
by Isabel Greenberg
     
 

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A beautifully illustrated book of imaginary fables about Earth's early--and lost--history.

Before our history began, another--now forgotten--civilization thrived. The people who roamed Early Earth were much like us: curious, emotional, funny, ambitious, and vulnerable. In this series of illustrated and linked tales, Isabel Greenberg chroniclesSee more details below

Overview

A beautifully illustrated book of imaginary fables about Earth's early--and lost--history.

Before our history began, another--now forgotten--civilization thrived. The people who roamed Early Earth were much like us: curious, emotional, funny, ambitious, and vulnerable. In this series of illustrated and linked tales, Isabel Greenberg chronicles the explorations of a young man as he paddles from his home in the North Pole to the South Pole. There, he meets his true love, but their romance is ill-fated. Early Earth's unusual and finicky polarity means the lovers can never touch.

As intricate and richly imagined as the work of Chris Ware, and leavened with a dry wit that rivals Kate Beaton's in Hark! A Vagrant, Isabel Greenberg's debut will be a welcome addition to the thriving graphic novel genre.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
One of Time's Top 10 Fiction Books of 2013

One of National Public Radio's Great Reads of 2013

One of Slate's Best Books of 2013

One of Amazon's Top Ten Books of December 2013

A Top Ten Graphic Novel of 2013, Booklist."

It's a book about many things—love, snow, God, poisoned sausages...but mostly it's a celebration of storytelling itself. Strange and wry and funny and beautifully drawn." —-Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

Greenberg speaks of storytellers, but she's a great storyteller hself, and it's easy to be pulled into the worlds that she writes, housed neatly by tight drawings in a style that is bright enough to bring these worlds to life, and detached enough to feel a little otherworldly." —-Kate Beaton, author of Hark! A Vagrant"

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth is a delightful accordian of a book. This graphic novel casts a spell like that of Scheherazade—when you sit down with it, prepare to stay until the last page." —-Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child"

A loving homage to storytelling itself...Sewing her own sly humor, Greenberg deeply immerses readers in the themes and lessons of world mythology...Just as evocative is her art, which uses simple, childlike illustrations to channel the power of ancient cave paintings and archetypal images from our own imaginations. A unique, compelling standout." — Jesse Karp, Booklist"

This little gem of a graphic novel is... Part storybook, part allegory, part meditation on the need for mankind to tell stories, the book manages to encompass all of existence without ever feeling too big for its britches. Never has a story about the primordial world felt so cozy." - A.V. Club

"Hugely imaginative and sardonically funny" - Glen Weldon, author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography"

Ambitious and impressive enough as a feat of world-building, but it's a good deal more than that. From its gods and ghosts and monsters, a rich and palpably human tale emerges - a sad and unshowily beautiful love story that lands with an emotional impact you likely won't see coming." — National Public Radio"

Hands down the most accomplished and satisfying graphic novel of the year." —-Salon"

In all its trapdoored complexity, its stories within stories about stories, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth is a funny and touching celebration of the narrative species that we are." —- Slate"

It seems most years there is a singular graphic novel release that positions itself above the majority: Building Stories (Chris Ware) in 2012, Habibi (Craig Thompson) in 2011...I would suggest Isabel Greenberg's book could be that title this year." —- IGN"

Utterly charming...a graphic remaining of early Earth that is both a tribute and send-up of the folk tales we know." — The Buffalo News"

Graphic novel lovers will be enamored of Greenberg's breathtaking artwork and the vividness of her apparently boundless imagination. For fans of meta-fictions, her story twists around itself, creating new iterations of ongoing histories. This is mythmaking at its finest, as Greenberg melds ancient oral traditions with her own spectacular interpretations, neatly bringing it all together in the closing pages." — Shelf Awareness"

It's pieced together from bits of the Old Testament, a little Greek mythology, and some of this and that, told as a series of stories that nest and dovetail with one another in a way that is at once unpretentious and straightforward, but also complex, meaty, and ultimately very satisfying... the themes from these stories wrap around each other as a series of simple variations that build to a crescendo of marvelous richness." -Boing Boing"

A handsome volume with the intimacy and sweep of a modern fairy tale."—Chicago Tribune's Printers Row Journal"

An entrancing new graphic novel...Dreamy and thoughtful, yet also sharp and smart, this Encyclopedia conjures visions of an ancient world merely a hairsbreadth from our own." —Florida Weekly

"

When it was released at the very end of 2013, Isabel Greenberg's The Encyclopedia of Early Earth very quickly turned its author from a young cartoonist with a first book to one of the most acclaimed of her generation." - Comic Book Resources"

Greenberg's stunning graphic novel, her first, isn't an encylopedia at all but an intricately crafted mythology told from within a young man's grand adventure."—Booklist"

[The stories] are all wonderfully real and magical, otherworldly yet familiar."—Shelf Awareness Pro

Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-05
The debut graphic novel from author/illustrator Greenberg winkingly follows a master storyteller's journey through an ancient land of men, gods, magic and love. The story opens on a kayaking meet cute between two psuedo-Inuits who are held apart by an invisible, unknowable force. Undeterred, the soul mates marry and settle in for a long South Pole winter of just talking--no problem when the husband is a master storyteller from the far-off land of Nord. He recounts his mysterious origins as a babe in a basket among the reeds of Sky Lake, discovered by three distinct sisters who each wanted the boy for her own. A medicine man obliged by splitting the boy's soul in thirds, though a teensy bit escaped into the ether. The newly formed triplets lived disturbingly unbalanced, extreme lives until a rite of passage reunited them, cramming an overabundance of personality into a single boy--but giving him plenty of yarns to spin. Still, he longed for the missing part of his soul and set off across the frozen sea to find it. He journeyed to the savage woods of Britanitarka and the sprawling metropolis of Midgal Bavel, battled Cyclopes and sea monsters, navigated palace intrigue and blood feuds, surviving by his silver tongue and divine intervention. Along the way, the book depicts the larger history and culture of these ancient lands, particularly the common worship of the god Birdman and his ravens, Kid and Kiddo. Greenberg's flat, rich illustrations are gorgeous. Her simple, detailed lines contrast with a heavy, matte black, as strategic, restrained color breathes dioramic depth into the pages. The sheer number of tales and the deft paneling (particularly expressive during spell castings) keep the pace brisk and the thrill of discovery palpable. But an irreverent, contemporary tone runs throughout, and this, combined with the early-Earth mythology's tendency to closely resemble well-known stories (particularly from the Old Testament) without developing the significance of these similarities, undermines the book's grander ambitions, leaving the work wavering between epic and precious, style and substance, the best of Wes Anderson and the worst. A beautiful, promising work that doesn't quite coalesce.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316225823
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
12/24/2013
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
761,678
File size:
18 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

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