Another book review blog?!?

Yes because people ask "Have you read anything good lately?" And I have. From a class ...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tamara Drewe - Alternate Format, graphic novel

Author: Posy Simmonds
Title: Tamara Drewe
Production/Bibliographic Information: graphic novel, Posy Simmonds (creator)
No of pages: 134 pages
Publication date: 2008 (U.S.) 2007 (U.K.)
Part of a Series: Not part of series
Book tie-in: Yes, loosely inspired by Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd

Subject Heading(s):
  • Accidental death
  • Great Britain – Social life
  • Retreats
  • Columnists and customs
  • Social classes
  • Drug abuse
  • Infidelity
  • Stalking victims
  • Extramarital relations
  • Man woman relationships
  • Teenage girls
  • Farms
  • Middle-age
  • Troubled marriages
  • Graphic novels
  • Midlife crises
  • Writers

Plot Summary: Tamara Drewe has recently renovated her life and gone from being shy and bookish to becoming an irresistible, sexy gossip columnist.  She returns to her childhood home following the death of her mother and reacquaints herself with her neighbors, Beth and Nicholas Hardiman, who operate a nearby farm as a writer’s retreat.  The semi-famous Tamara attracts the attention of all of the locals, including Nicholas, an inveterate philanderer, Andy, Beth’s handyman, and two local teenage girls.  The story weaves their lives together until the characters are inextricably bound at the conclusion. 

Appeal: The main appeal of this graphic novel is likely the almost soap opera feel of all the tangled relationships as the leisurely-paced story unfolds.  The frame of the British countryside writer’s retreat and village is also appealing, as is the author’s skillful use of British dialogue.  There is also a good deal of character development in this novel.  This graphic novel does contain sexual themes, nudity, and occasional strong language and is recommended for adults.

Features: Uses a combination of sequential art, prose narrative, and fake newspaper columns and headlines to tell the story.  The detailed illustrations are also an interesting mix of color and shades of gray, sometimes mixed together on the same page. 

Prizes or Awards:
2008 Booklist Editors’ Choice – Adult Fiction for Young Adults

Similar Works:
  • Ghost World by Daniel Clowes – introspective graphic novel dealing with the relationship between two teenage girls as they graduate from high school and enter the adult world.
  • Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy – the novel that Tamara Drewe is loosely based upon.
  • Cheat by Christine Norrie – graphic novel that deals with the marital issues and infidelity of two couples, issues that are also featured in Tamara Drewe.

Reviewer’s Name: Jennifer Lehner

Tamara Drewe

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