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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The creation of the Graphic Novel and some of the best stories you will ever read., 24 July 2008
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This review is from: The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (Will Eisner Library) (Hardcover)
It's hard to get too enthusiastic about Will Eisner because even the most manic extremes of devotionalism towards the great man seem entirely appropriate. Although not the father of comic books he was, by his own words, 'present at it's birth'. However he did father the graphic novel and the his first of many, A Contract With God, is contained in this volume along with A Life Force and Dropsie Avenue.
Perhaps contraversially I prefer the latter two volumes to A Contract With God, which tends to recieve the most praise of Eisner's mature work simply because it was so groundbreakingly original when it first appeared. However for my money the other two stories contain more sophisticated storytelling (especially Dropsie Avenue, which is reminiscent of Gabriel-Garcia Marquez' One-hundred Years of Solitude in that the protagonist is the location and the human actors are relegated to almost supporting characters). This fact is perhaps unsuprising when you consider that when Eisner was creating A Contract with God he had been away from Graphic Storytelling for over two decades, therefore it is tempting to see the A Contract with God as a warm up for future achievements as well as a still remarkable read in its own right.
Technically the writing is sublime, Eisner imitates speech and accent with poignant simplicity, and the art perfectly contributes to the drama in Eisner's own inimitable cartoony, yet often ugly and gritty, style.
Why buy the hardback? For one it's currently a bargain (at least compared to when I bought it) and for two each of the graphic novels contained is short enough to read in one sitting and indeed I would recommend this as the ideal way to experience them. The hardback containing the three graphic novels will proabably stop you feeling cheated by the brevity of the stories.
All in all I can't recommend this volume enough, I have lent it to many friends who were suprised that graphic storytelling could be so sophisticated and adult. If you find you like this then you should certainly check out the other two Will Eisner Omnibuses, both of which are of similar and/or superior quality.
These stories stand up with the best of literature and it's a great shame that more people aren't yet aware of them.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Materpiece Masterpiece Masterpiece, 11 Dec 2008
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J. M. Salinas (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (Will Eisner Library) (Hardcover)
How brilliant this is I cannot begind to describe. Suffice to say, with this work Eisner spawned a whole genre. Perhaps it's true the graphic novel already existed prior to A Contract With God, it just so happens that A Contract With God was that brilliant.

However, in spite of A Contract bearing the title for this compiled work, in my opinion, it's the wekeast link of the collection. Whereas the first "book" merely depicts several life scenes of Depression New York, Life on Dropsie Avenue actually takes you on a voyage through the years, from the Dutch Settlements of a primeval New York, through the construction of the underground, the arrival of Italians, Jews, Spanish and the general degeneration of the neighbourhood.

Social class, race, religion, all mix in this tale of real life social progression, jealousies, blackmail, cultural clashes, mafia, hoodlums, gangsters and politicians.

The trilogy really does feel like a novel and reads like a novel, recurring characters, side plots, heroes, villains and a bittersweet ending.

And the best bit? They'll never make a movie out of this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 7 Sep 2010
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This review is from: The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (Will Eisner Library) (Hardcover)
First of all i will mention the binding and the quality of the paper of this book. I don't know about you but i truly value books of exceptional quality. It feels in your hand like a $200 book! Amazing just amazing.
Second, Will Eisner truly is an amazing illustrator and storyteller. You will find this book very rewarding. 544 pages long filled with magnificent material. His inspiration is his own childhood. It's almost autobiographical. The stories are very vivid.

Highly recommended
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Masterpiece, 10 Oct 2009
This review is from: The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (Will Eisner Library) (Hardcover)
I've heard people talk about this as if it were the Odissey or Iliad of graphic novels. Believe the hype. It's that. I bought the hardback edition, and didn't regret at all the money I had to spend. This is the absolute masterpiece of graphic novel, and one of the most passionate books on America that I have ever read. Eisner proved that you can tell a deep, complex, epic tale with sequential images and words, and that you could address adult issues and feelings with a form that had always been treated as kids' entertainment. It tells the story of a place, which is the archetypal NYC neighbourhood, and by telling that story he tells us the history of the States 1900-today. It's a commanding triptich which added a lot to my understanding of US civilization and culture. A must-read for every comics buff, but also for any thinking reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Comic art work, 19 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (Will Eisner Library) (Hardcover)
One of the best comic authors in its best with the full stories about New York back in the 20th century.
A masterpiece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Right format in every way, 12 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (Will Eisner Library) (Hardcover)
He was the best in many ways - a format of his own. His style of storytelling is one of a kind, and should be valued highly by anyone a fan of the sequential art form. Therefore, it is only fitting to present this work in a format that shows it the proper respect. Beautiful book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, if uneven, 4 Nov 2013
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Ms. C. Rochlitz "car" (London. UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (Will Eisner Library) (Hardcover)
Great book by an original author, about the passing of time, the plans and the incidents that collide to shape families lives.
The drawings are evocative and beautiful, and you can read this book as quickly or as slowly as you want.
Especially pertinent for immigrants, as their stories are told, and they might find the format of drawings and words an easier read, if english is not their mother tongue.
The first story is outstanding, and the other two are in my opinion good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 20 Jun 2012
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Joao Mascarenhas (Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (Will Eisner Library) (Hardcover)
I had heard about Will Eisner but never had the chance to read him. I'm totally into his art now. I've read 4 books now and can already say he was a genious. This book has 2 great stories and 1 that I found it's heaven - Dropsie Avenue. Dropsie is just one of the best stories I've ever read, I don't know why anyone used it for a movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good!, 9 Jan 2012
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This review is from: The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (Will Eisner Library) (Hardcover)
Thank you very much for your book! Parcel arrived very quickly. Excellent quality of service! I'll still order from you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Contract with God trilogy, 26 May 2011
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P. A. Nethercott (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (Will Eisner Library) (Hardcover)
This is a classic. The characters can be easily identified as real people although portrayed in cartoon style- exagerated but emotions amplified by this. I found this book illustrates in an understandable media the complexities of a multi cultural society which is America. A realy expert blend of comedy and tragedy that can be read at many levels.
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