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Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities (Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens) Hardcover – 2 Mar 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (2 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810984237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810984233
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jason Shiga won the Eisner award in 2003 for talent deserving of wider recognition. In 2008, his graphic novel "Bookhunter" was also nominated for an Eisner. He lives in Oakland, California."

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By OrganicGreen VINE VOICE on 18 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Others have posted about what the book is about & how it works so I will post about my particular situation which might help you decide whether to choose this book.

My son who is 7 loves reading this book. He likes to try out all the different option and see how far he can navigate to the pages to the end of the book. I feel that this book is allowing my son to read & re-read and therefore practise his reading skills. There are only certain books that he loves reading and the graphics and the interative part of this books keeps my son engaged.

The writing is in proper case (lowercase & capitals for start of sentence etc) rather than all uppercase. I found that most comics books are all in uppercase & my son finds them very hard to read. This he can read.
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This book certainly helps him to read more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Robinson VINE VOICE on 24 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Other reviews have explained what this book is and how it works, and how physically it's different to other books - and it is physically very, very different - so I'll concentrate on the entertainment value.

It has been suggested there are 3,856 story possibilities, but only one of them (or at most a handful) will lead you to the end of the story. This is, I believe, a monumental error. Ultimately it makes what could have been a really interesting experiment in fiction, into a rather tiresome and repetitive bore.

It is extremely difficult to get through the first few stages of the story, and it's pretty much impossible to bookmark your path and be able to get back to a particular point you know to be key - the key points are normally many page turns behind you by the time you realise they were key.

The fact the author engaged the use of a super-computer and based his narrative on a flowchart doesn't surprise me: as a software developer I can see evidence of what is frustrating to so many people in software design here in a book! The author who is very close to the story and who knows the "right path", has made it nearly impossible for somebody to pick this up and be able to achieve their objective. I believe what we have here is the fiction comic version of a badly designed piece of software.

If you're prepared to persevere I am sure it's rewarding, but after an hour I had to put it down with the hope I'd come back and re-visit it when I had forgotten the early stages which I had had to revisit over and over again constantly. I am sure I'll come back to it as an adult fan of interesting fictional devices (and of comics), but I'm not sure I would be willing to just hand this over to a youngster and hope it would keep them engaged or entertained for more than half an hour.

It's technically brilliant in many ways, but it needs more paths through it to get to the end objective in an easier way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By elmsyrup on 14 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As others have mentioned, this graphic novel follows a young boy's adventures with a set of inventions, and you get to choose what path he takes.

Some of the concepts presented in this book are quite interesting: entropy, causality, whether you can prevent the future from happening. I think the way the ideas are explained is clear enough for a reasonably bright 8 year old without patronising them, and will give them some food for thought.

The production is high quality, with quirky, well-drawn pictures, bright colours and sturdy glossy pages. The author has clearly taken a lot of time and care over it. It will withstand sticky hands and multiple readings. The layout, with tabs and tubes leading to different pages, is original and involving, though we found it hard to follow the paths at times- best to keep your finger running along the line.

The book is well-executed, but at the same time it's very difficult to get past the first few outcomes. Because every decision involves a new page it is difficult to retrace your steps, so if you want to try to get to some of the intriguing pages you flick past, you have to keep going back to the beginning again and again. And even then, different decisions seem to come up with the same result. It almost seems the author is having a bit of a private joke with himself, making some of the outcomes almost impossible to get to. For many children, they will get bored and frustrated before they have exhausted much more than a fraction of the story possibilities. That's a shame, because this is a really nice idea which has got a lot of potential.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. J. Bacon VINE VOICE on 13 July 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This masterpiece is accused of being flawed as the book doesn't always let you get to some of the most interesting outcomes very easily, but then again is that necessarily a flaw? as with any video game some the greatest rewards are found within the challenge of reaching them or playing the game again to find out something new. it is hard to avoid the 'reveal,' as if you were to just flick your way through the pages you can seem of the gems this book has in store but I urge you to play your way through in order to reach them in the appropriate manner. The challenge & indeed reward after all is to be found in the journey rather than the mere outcome.

It harks back as a concept to adventure role play novels that one would read as a child, however this is not a book for the young as some of the concepts, language and subject matter are a little large, not in terms of unsuitable content but rather conceptually speaking. Indeed the handling of the book as a whole would suit anyone 12 and onwards but the appreciation is really for adult readers.

I highly recommend this book - the artistry matches the content and it sits proudly among my collection of graphic novels.
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