Sunday, January 06, 2013

Larson's adaptation a powerful and original work

4. A Wrinkle In Time, adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson

Larson's illustrated adaptation of Madeleine L'Engel's classic, A Wrinkle In Time, demonstrates the power of a graphic novel to clarify and to expand upon a written work.

I don't remember exactly when I first read L'Engel. It wasn't during high school, but later, I think, in my twenties.  My recollections of the book are limited, but I remember a difficult book and that I never entirely sorted out the complexities of the tesseract or how the characters moved through space and time.

Larson's graphic novel illuminates L'Engel writing in a way that the text alone did not, could not.

Readers can approach this book in two ways. Those who have read A Wrinkle In Time will find Larson's efforts a highly enjoyable read that provides new insight into L'Engel original.  Those approaching A Wrinkle In Time for the first time may well find that perusing the graphic novel first increases their appreciation later for the complexity of L'Engel's writing.

Larson's graphic novel is terrific; it is an adaptation that pays homage to the original work, but which stands alone as a work of great originality and power.

5. Winterkill by C.J. Box

Winterkill is the third book in Box's series on Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett.

It is a darker novel than its predecessors, but more powerful and compelling because of that.

Joe is embroiled in a murder investigation, a clash between government agencies and a motley collection of anti-government types, the loss of his foster daughter to her real mother and not one, but two, vicious snowstorms.

Box fashions these disparate elements into a gripping read that pits justice against the legal system and forces Joe to decide on which side of that line he stands.

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