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Gerard & Jacques Volume 2: (Yaoi) Paperback – 15 Nov 2007
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Top customer reviews
Gerard wants to humiliate Jacques, to make him realise that he might as well be a whore, because he's of no use--as an ex-aristocrat--for anything else. The boy surprises him by working hard around the house.
Jacques had my admiration for battling on with his chores, until it transpired that he'd learned to shoe horses after just being shown once. Hmmm. I'm not looking for a huge amount of realism in yaoi novels but this really annoyed me. I'm forced to admit that there are aspects of manga that I really don't like, such as the cartoony faces of surprise like this--I know there's probably a huge tradition behind this, and it's what the readers like and expect, but as a grown adult who has jumped from childhood comics to graphic novels with an interim of many decades, I can't acclimatise to it, and it pulls me from the more realistic drawings that the rest of the novel is drawn in.
I also don't like the words to describe the actions. If the pictures are drawn well enough, and they are, I don't need the words "JERK UP!" or "STARTLE!"to describe action.
There's no real story here, though, in volume one. It's a little plot, interspersed with backstory, mainly relating to Gerard who was married once.
I'm not enamoured of the homosexual image either - as expected Jacques, being the uke, is unwilling and resentful of his new master. He finds the advances distasteful but in secret he feels a sexual attraction growing - this is expected in the genre, I suppose. However as Gerard's backstory emerges we find that he was pretty much hetero, but was "lured into m/f/m" by his "evil wife." When the other man makes advances to Gerard on his own, Gerard rejects these advances calling them filthy.
The sex scenes are a little more explicit than I've seen in other yaoi-almost accurate cocks and such like.
There were interesting sections--discussions of politics, literature and philosophy - and I'd have liked a bit more politics and a bit more plot but then that's probably just me.
Volume 02 was marginally more interesting, but rather repetitive and dull in parts, whole pages of just the same expression, or so it seemed to me, and the plot jumped all over the place which made it very confusing.
I did like the drawing in the main (apart from the aforementioned funny faces) the period clothes were beautifully done, although I'm no expert, and there were touches of humour that really made me smile but all in all the whole angst angst he raped me no no no no oh maybe angst maybe i love him angst angst thing just wasn't for me. I just think I'm not a natural yaoi reader, I'm afraid.
It's easier to read than the first- for one thing, there is only one (short) flashback, as opposed to the first book where the flashbacks were all over the place and confusing to follow.
The sex is more explict than the first book- and there is a lot more! The perfect read if you're a yaoi fan looking for a fix!
By the by, I thoroughly recommend it.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This two part series takes place in pre-revolutionary France. Gerard finds Jacques in a male brothel. Jacques was born a aristocrat and was sold to pay off a debt. Gerald buys his freedom and Jacques finds himself employment as Gerald's servant. So begins their relationship.
After three years have passed, Jacques has become Gerald's secretary and is entrusted with an urgent message. Jacques returns to the brothel he once worked, only to be mistaken for a customer. In the same scene, we learn about Gerald's past and the secret behind the scar. To write a scene that jumps from the past to the present and back again requires quite a bit of skill. And the commentary on the differences between the classes is at the core of this story. This is why I admire Yoshinaga so much. She combines a tricky plot, with history, humor and pretty art.
I appreciate good art, and Yoshinaga's art is pleasing to the eye. There a delicacy to her lines and no wasted space. The emotions are perfectly expressed, she even gives us the natural pauses that happens in conversations. No words are spoken but the thoughts and moods of the characters are easily understood. This is a master work.
Jacques in the beginning of the story is aged around 16 - 17 years old (per the brothel's owner) so clearly Gerard is having nonconsensual sex with a minor. Of course, Jacques is more in to it by the end of their first (and only) sexual session although totally humiliated. Gerard pays off Jacques' debt to the brothel and he is set free. Imagine Gerard's surprise (and Jacques, too) when Jacques later appears unwittingly on Gerard's doorstep looking for work. Gerard hires him on as a houseboy thinking he will fail miserably at manual labor but Jacques is determined to earn his keep. It may appear I've given away the entire story but this is but a mere fraction of this volume as half of it goes further into Gerard's past with his former wife, her lover Viscount Raul du Amalric (who appears again in volume 2) and the climax to this volume, which I will not reveal here. Plus, most of this is actually stated on the back cover of the book.
The book is nicely put together (although my pages were out of order, printer's fault), well translated and the illustrations are nicely done. The drawing style of the characters is different from most and the characters appear very lean and rather boney, which I found to be a drawback. There are three sex scenes in total; the initial scene between the young Jacques and Gerard, a masturbation scene between a slightly older Jacques and Gerard, and then a later threesome, which you'll just have to buy the book to see who takes part (I can't give EVERYTHING away!). I think the plot is a good one and humorous at the same time. It is not always a given with yaoi that the plot will be good or unique for that matter so this was a nice change. If you are looking for hard core raunchy sex, this volume falls flat in my opinion due to how limited the sex is and that, outside of the first sex scene, it really isn't that graphic (contrary to what others have said but for a hard yaoi title, it simply isn't). That being said, I still think it is a worth while book for any yaoi fan's collection.
Character Design = B (unique but too boney)
Plot = A (definitely different and humorous as well)
Sexual Content = B (hard yaoi but minimal)
Illustrations/Book Design = A- (well done but not the best I've seen)
Translation = A+ (you would have thought this was originally in English)
Overall grade = A-
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