Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
This 1895 tale of young soldier Henry Fleming's initial experiences in combat during the Civil War still startles. Artist Vansant captures Fleming's uncertainty and fear quite well, sometimes through effectively understated facial expressions. Yet this adaptation oversimplifies Crane's portrayal of Fleming, ignoring or de-emphasizing the character's other failings: his egotism, his talent for self-justification and the "wild battle madness" underlying much of his later heroism. In Crane's book, Fleming is haunted by his desertion of the dying "tattered man"; in Vansant's version, Fleming forgets him. Though Crane's book is a landmark in realism, the author's symbolic writing turned Fleming's battlefield into a mythic realm. Vansant's conventionally realistic artwork, on the other hand, is more prosaic than Crane's brilliantly descriptive captions. This adaptation faithfully introduces the plot, characters and primary themes of Red Badge to readers unfamiliar with the original book without penetrating the full depths of Crane's masterwork. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-7-These adaptations retain some of the authors' original phrases, but the stories are so severely cut that what remain are mildly embellished plot outlines. Last of the Mohicans immediately draws readers into the adventure but bogs down as it bounces from escape to capture and back again. James Fenimore Cooper's voice is lost and the narrative is reduced to plot elements alone. There is no explanation that Hawkeye is the prototype frontiersman, a character who reappears in American literature and culture. Red Badge of Courage is more successful, reflecting as it does some of Stephen Crane's original writing. It retains details of Henry's development from a boy who romanticizes war through his fear not only of battle but also of his own mettle. There are no notes describing why the novella is a classic or that its depiction of war from a soldier's point of view was groundbreaking. The frequent full- and half-page illustrations are rendered in black and white and are stilted. There are no maps, and no explanation of either war. Students will not be well served by these publications.-Kathryn Kosiorek, formerly at Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
Crane's masterwork--a frequent high school English class assignment--describes the experiences of young Union soldier Henry Fleming during the Civil War. This edition is handsomely produced, with uncut pages and twelve often mist-shrouded color illustrations that lend a haunting quality to the story. From HORN BOOK Fall 2003, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.