Everyone with even a bit of knowledge of the works of Charles Dickens knows of the iconic phrase I used as the title to my review. Along with the opening sentences of "A Tale of Two Cities" it is ingrained in the mind of Dickens readers.
Having said that, how many people have actually read the novel upon which it was based? These days, probably not a lot, and I am one of those people who haven't read it. This latest graphic novel from Papercutz more than adequately makes up for that lack on my part.
This edition is compiled from collecting the contents of 5 graphic novels, and placing them in one book, rather like what is being done with Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series. We get the full idea behind the work, particularly how the poor are treated and regarded by those more fortunate, and the hardships and sorrow that they live with every day.
Oliver is a plucky young man, who goes in and out of good and bad situations, and interacts with people in both of those areas. The artistry is uniformly excellent, but the back of the book cautions that some scenes of violence may be too intense for younger readers. Having completed the work, I can understand that caution. This is a grim book, with some extremely unsavory characters, and also some who are kind and sympathetic.
As most of Dickens' plots, things turn out all right for the hero in the end, and the plot is tied up nicely. Papercutz is doing a great favor to those of us who enjoy classical literature, in making new editions to complement older works available to modern readers who may not have time to plow through the numerous pages of the original works, but can spare a few hours to read the book in a graphic fashion. May they continue to do this for a long time!
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About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka (frankiethek)
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
Loïc Dauvillier was born in Cambrai, France in 1971. In 1996, he helped to found Editions Charette where he worked with Jean-Luc Loyer. In 2004, Dauvillier began work for Editions Delcourt with his adaptation of “Oliver Twist,” after which CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED DELUXE writer Jean David Morvan (“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”) hired him to adapt “Around the World in 80 Days.”
Olivier Deloye is a French comics artist whose work includes 22 titles for Multimedia Press along with art for MMAmagazine, KOT Illustrations, and Bluedot.