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Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness Paperback – 1 Oct 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 221 pages
  • Publisher: ABRAMS (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810984636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810984639
  • Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 2.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,434,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Reinhard Kleist is a multi-award-winning graphic novel author and artist. His previous books include "Havanna, Lovecraft, "and "Amerika. "He lives in Berlin.


Customer Reviews

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By Paul Price TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my first experience of a graphic novel and wow what a place to start. The German author has won awards in his homeland for his fine artistic endeavour. From a boy growing up and coming to terms with his brothers death on a government subsidised cotton farm through to the infamous Fulsom Prison Blues and on to his latter years and his close relationship with Rik Rubens that saw the American releases. The book has only 3 chapters and I had read it in one quite short sitting thanks to the very nature of a book filled with finely illustrated drawings. Some pages have no words at all and its amazingly refreshing and thrilling to be able to "read" the pictures instead. Indeed my 7 year old son recognised the song Ghost Riders In The Sky from one drawing. The author does a fantastic job at planting songs in your mind as your reading. This isnt an indepth read of a mans great life yet gives a clear picture of all his lifes milestones. Certainly one to keep and return to from time to time if only to appreciate the finely sketched drawings. A must have for any true fan.
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Format: Paperback
A well-written biography of Cash starting with his childhood and ending with him in a studio in the woods recording his last album. Concentrates on the Folsom Prison concert as the pinnacle of the realisation of his dreams and tells a side story of Glen Sherley the man in Folsom who sent a song to Johnny. The book tells the story we're all pretty familiar with since the movie with Joaquin Phoenix but Cash's character is examined from various viewpoints including both his wives and various performers he worked with who both agreed and disagreed with his worldviews such as Carl Perkins and Bob Dylan. The art is in black and white and appropriately stark. The characters all look enough like who they are supposed to, to be recognisable but I was more keen on June Carter's depiction than Johnny's. A cool device I liked was every so often one of Johnny's songs would be told graphically with Johnny as the lead character. This really showed how much of a storyteller Cash was and why his songs are so mesmerising. I really enjoyed the book. Cash was treated with respect while examining all aspects of his life: the drugs, addictions, affairs, recovery, and deep Christian faith. Even though he had a dark life and was a troubled man, the book manages to have you singing along when it features his songs. Well worth reading if you are a fan of Johnny Cash.
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Format: Paperback
It may not be the first comicbook version to tell Johnny Cash's life, but it is without a doubt it is the very best.

I agree with the Washington Post's review "...a graphic novel is perhaps the ideal medium for Cash's biography, not only because it allows for revealing imaginative digressions, but because Cash has become something of a superhero, with a built-in origin story and a great costume (all black, of course).

Aside from Elvis and the Beatles, Cash is perhaps the most popular and respected pop artist of the 20th century, although his catalog is arguably much more substantial and his backstory much more compelling. However, his myth constantly threatens to eclipse the man himself, and I See a Darkness finds little of the real man behind the legend. But perhaps this is not necessarily a bad development: Cash may be six years dead, but the Man in Black is alive and still kicking."

Couldn't have said t better myself. This isn't the real Cash, but it is Cash as hero.
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