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King Lear : a play by William Shakespeare /

"When an old and jaded king sets out to divide his realm among his three daughters, demanding proof of their devotion in words, he instead divides his family. So begins a bitter struggle that eats away at the kingdom-- and the old man's sanity-- in this timeless tale of pride and defiance" -- from d...

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Main Author: Hinds, Gareth, 1971-
Other Authors: Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2009
Edition: 1st ed.
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Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Having kicked off the recent outpouring of graphic-format Beowulf adaptations, Hinds now contributes to the similarly enthusiastic flood of graphic-format Shakespeare adaptations with an excellent rendition of one of the bard's great tragedies. Using splash pages that open up the settings, washes of otherworldly colors, grotesquely expressive faces right out of William Blake, and figural work much improved from his previous effort, Hinds occasionally attains a visual poetry that marked the painful betrayals, the epic scope of the battles,  and Lear's seething madness. Even abridged (with helpful endnotes about many of the excised passages), the story and language here can seem intimidatingly dense, but the artwork  keeps the exposition moving, and comic-book sound effects ( thwok! ) and expletives ( unh . . . ) paradoxically add a gritty realism. The most effective parts of the book are the dramatic ones, and most memorable are the grisly eye-plucking scene, a supernaturally eerie storm scene, and two cracking good sword duels. For powerful drama with quality art, this adaptation is the one to choose.--Karp, Jesse Copyright 2008 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

From an artist known for his vivid graphic-novel reworkings of Beowulf (2007) and The Merchant of Venice (2008) comes this nuanced adaptation of King Lear. Employing a range of artistic styles that convey dramatic mood, the artist begins the play almost as a fairy tale, featuring bright, softly washed drawings. Once Cordelia is cast out and things sour, the images become darker and more compact. As the king descends into madness, the art becomes downright menacing, with Lear appearing as a jagged, ghostly figure drawn with white pencil on a dark background. These visual cues assist to a degree in deciphering the meaning of the Shakespearean language. Much of the text of the play remains intact, though in the backmatter Hinds dissects page by page what changes were made and why, offering scholarly interpretations that are both insightful and cleanly summative. The story doesn't leap from page, but this is a remarkably rendered and worthwhile treatment of the tragedy. (Graphic drama. 13 up) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.