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|Print List Price:||£75.00|
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Joe Golem and the Drowning City: An Illustrated Novel Kindle Edition
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Bigger in size, slipcased, signed and with an additional short story (The Copper Girl) this is a real treat for fans of both the genre and of great fiction presented really well. If you're not too sure, go for the standard edition, but if you're a fan pay the extra and upgrade to this version!
Mike Mignola's Hellboy comics are really good, and if you haven't read them you should. But what makes them good is the artwork. Mignola beautifully captures the character of Hellboy. But if you chose any of the stories and attempted to write it as a novel it would be pretty banal.
And this is the problem with Joe Golem and the Drowning City - it reads like an attempt to reproduce a Hellboy (Joe Golem is basically Hellboy) story as a novel. Actually it does this pretty well. While reading the novel I could picture in my mind what it would look like as a Hellboy comic - obviously Mignola's illustrations help with this. And this is why I suggest you might want to read the novel. As an attempt to imitate a comic strip it works pretty well (though possibly it wouldn't work as well if you hadn't read the Hellboy comics) and that makes it quite an interesting experiment.
But the problem remains that it's a basic, predictable and really rather banal story, and as a novel it's a very poor one. As a (very) young adult novel it might work, but to any experienced SF reader it will fell derivative and predictable. The only good point is that it's so simple it's a quick and effortless read. I read it at a single sitting in a bit under three hours.
All this sounds a bit mean, and you might be wondering why I ended up giving the book four stars. Well even given my criticisms above I did enjoy it and I suspect most people will find it an entertaining read, and that's why I gave it four stars. But I'm not sure I would spend my hard earned cash on it (I got my copy from the library). I understand that Mignola and Golden are planning to write a comic book series with Joe Golem, and I think that could be excellent and I'm looking forward to it.
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