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Novel Bunch – November Reads

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Novel Bunch – November 2021 – Theme – Graphic Novel vs Novel

What is a novel? A novel is a well-written fictional work, written to fascinate and entertain the readers with a story.

What is a graphic novel (GN)? A graphic novel is a format, not a genre. Graphic novels can be fiction, non-fiction, history, fantasy, or anything in-between. Graphic novels are like comic books because they use sequential art to tell a story. Unlike comic books, graphic novels are generally stand-alone stories with more complex plots.

What is a Manga? Manga are Japanese comic books or graphic novels with a twist, serialised in newspapers and magazines. Originating in Japan, Manga now has fans across the globe. Manga is immersive storytelling through pictures, were images rule supreme. Don’t forget to read the instructions and character descriptions at the “beginning” of the book to be able to fully immerse yourself into the story.

Elaine’s review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Elaine explained that both books are pretty much the same. The first page of the GN is the same as the novel and the rest of it pretty much follows the novel. She explains that once you understand the “how to” read a GN it makes sense. The different bubbles have different meaning. The GN draws the reader in a different way with its graphics. She didn’t dislike the GN, but it wouldn’t be something she would make a habit of reading. She was happy for the book club to introduce her to this genre.

About the author: Jane Austin born December 16th, 1775, and died at 41 on July 18, 1817, was known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security. Pride and Prejudice was Austen’s most popular novel, earning nearly two million five-star reviews on Goodreads and selling over 20 million copies since its publication in 1813.

About the book: Jane Austen called this brilliant work “her own darling child” and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, “as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England. The GN is comic version of Jane Austen’s famous novel, Pride and Prejudice. Original book consists of 61 chapters and the GN book covers Chapter 1 to 4.

Darlene’s review: Anne Frank’s Diary by Anne Frank and GN by Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, by Ari Folman (adapter), David Polonsky (Illustrator) and Anne Frank (Original text)

Darlene was a reluctant GN reader but did finish the book. She found it was written in a simplified language and would be more for a younger audience. She found it awkward reading about such a serious subject in a cartoon type book and found that the book was a little humorous. She did say that the graphics were very well done.

About the author: Ari Folman is an Israeli film director, screenwriter, animator, and film score composer. His depiction is the only graphic novelization of Anne Frank’s diary that has been authorized by the Anne Frank Foundation and that uses text from the diary. The hope is that it will introduce a new generation of young readers to this classic of Holocaust literature.

About the book: Hiding from the Nazis in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building in Amsterdam, a thirteen-year-old girl named Anne Frank became a writer.  The now famous diary of her private life and thoughts reveals only part of Anne’s story, however.  This book completes the portrait of this remarkable and talented young author before her death. The GN’s adaptation of Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl into a graphic version for a young readership, maintains the integrity and power of the original work.

Mike’s review: Maxim Ride by James Patterson,

Mike found the graphic novels to be for a younger crowd. He found the graphic novel hard to read as he is a habitual reader and is used to having more description. He slugged through it but is most likely not something he will take on again.

About the author: James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author and most trusted storyteller. He has created more enduring fictional characters than any other novelist writing today, with his Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club to name a few. He has sold over 380 million books worldwide and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. In addition to writing the thriller novels for which he is best known, Patterson also writes fiction for young readers of all ages, including the Max Einstein series, produced in partnership with the Albert Einstein Estate. He is also the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on the New York Times adult and children’s bestseller lists.

About the book: The novel Maximum Ride is a series of 10 books to date. The story is about Six kids with no families, no homes and are running for their lives. Max Ride and her best friends have the ability to fly, but that’s just the beginning of their amazing powers. Unfortunately, they have no idea where their powers come from, who’s hunting them, why they are different from other humans and if they’re meant to save mankind… or destroy it. The graphic novel or in this case the Manga had great character designs and was distinctly Japanese. As for the plotline, it is the same the only difference is the way it is broken down.

Marylin’s review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare,

Marylin had a hard time following the GN. She had to stop and read the novel to be able to go back and understand the GN.

About the author: Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.”

About the book: In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

Rhonda’s book review: Emma by Jane Austen,

“Whether we look at today’s social trends, or those of Emma’s era in nineteenth century England, young people will crave to be accepted, to belong, and to be loved by their peers and their families. I thought I might not be able to engage enthusiastically in this exercise of comparison, and I was surprised that I did gain a clearer understanding of the classic novel by immersing myself in the Manga graphic book.”

About the author: Jane Austin Born in 1775 in Hampshire, England to an Anglican minister and his wife, Jane Austen began her writing career at the age of eleven. Her first novel, Sense and Sensibility was published in 1811 followed by Pride and Prejudice in 1813 and Mansfield Park in 1814. She published her novels anonymously BY A LADY, so she did not receive much fame during her lifetime despite having a respectable following. Emma was first published in 1815 as she turned forty years of age. She never completed her fifth novel, The Brothers, as she died in 1817. The novel was completed by another author and published in 1925 under the title Sandition.

About the book: Emma Woodhouse is one of Austen’s most captivating and vivid characters. Beautiful, spoilt, vain and irrepressibly witty, Emma organizes the lives of the inhabitants of her sleepy little village and plays matchmaker with devastating effect.

Trudy’s book review: McBeth by William Shakespeare, GN adapted by Nancy Butler and illustrated by Janet Lee.

Trudy found she missed the dialogue of the novel. She didn’t feel that the novel and GN were interpreting the same story. Trudy compared the GN to a movie. It’s all about imaginary that is chosen for you. A novel is created in your head. She felt it was difficult to follow.

About the author: William Shakespeare was born in 1564 was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet. His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

About the book: In McBeth after learning he was destined to be King, the Scottish nobleman usurps the throne from King Duncan at the behest of his wife. McBeth, now king, becomes paranoid and worries even close friends are trying to steal the throne from him. His newfound anxieties and fear work against him as he does all he can to maintain himself upon the throne. McBeth is one of the most well-known plays by the great playwright William Shakespeare.


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