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The Plucker: An Illustrated Novel: An Illustrated Novel by Brom Paperback – 1 Mar 2011
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About the Author
Brom is the world-renowned illustrator whose vision has graced a wide range of fantasy and sci-fi fiction, games, and film, including Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow. He is also the author of Devil's Rose. Brom has been active in the 3-D world as well, with a line of Brom fetish toys from Fewture and a series of bronzes from the Franklin Mint.
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Top customer reviews
There's something compulsive about this tale of the toys' love for the little boy who breathes life into them, even when they have been forgotten and relegated to the realms of Underbed. There's magic; a battle between good and evil; and a heroic journey involved as the toys fight for their boy. I would dearly love to see this adapted for the big screen by Tim Burton - Johnny Depp would be wonderful as jack, and Christina Ricci perfectly suited to Angel, and Tim Burton's Gothic touch would be perfectly suited to portray this deeply satisfying story.
This is so stunning that I'm going to have to get hold of The Devil's Rose, as if the few pictures I've seen on the website are anything to go by, it promises to be every bit as exquisite as this.
'Pain. It could feel pain. Pain racked its entire body. And it was good to feel the pain. Good to feel anything other than the endless darkness. IT also felt hate. But this wasnt new. It had sat in that dool for over two centuries with hate its only companion. But mostly it felt hunger, a deep, ravenous clawing in its stomach. And there were so many sweet smells coming form the little boys room. So it waited for the night, waited for the little boy to fall asleep, waited for the toys to come out and play.'
This is a wicked book with great story and pictures in brilliant detail, it is a bit like a darker side of Toy Story the film. With a new scary monster hidden under the bed.
'The Plucker' is a haphazard collection of short paragraphs and frequent simple sentences that leaves the whole reading experience very stilted, with little sense of flow. However, Brom does break out into beautiful and apparently random bouts of linguistic genius, where the plot moves along smoothly and truly engages me as a reader.
Personally, if you are new to Brom then I would not recommend this book, but rather 'Child Thief' or 'Krampus: The Yule Lord'. (I've not yet read 'The Devil's Rose', so I can't make an opinion on it.) However, I suppose if you don't want to be disappointed by the lack of writing skill in 'The Plucker', it may be worth starting with this one and moving your way up to the more recent and drastically better books.
I think I can claim that Brom is a great artist. His paintings, whether digital or with pencil or paint, are wonderfully dark, detailed and vivid. There is nothing I can say with regard to his art work but 'it's beautiful'. I wish I could say the same of his writing.
The problem with Brom's stories is that the whole of the tale may be nice, but there are too many little things that don't make sense. In the Child Thief it was, amongst other things, the main character, who was a good for nothing moron. I think he died, but I can't even remember because I couldn't care a fig. In The Plucker, Jack, the main character, is nice enough, but he swears. Am I a prude? No. But why on earth would a Jack-in-the-box say things like 'what the hell' and 'Jesus'? The book explains that the toys have the personality their owner gives them, but that still doesn't make any sense. What's worse, is that the African Idol, who has been locked up for hundreds of years and is a malevolent heathen spirit, also swears using Christian cursings. Again, I don't mind swearing, not even in a children's book. I do mind that those using said profanities have no reason to use them or should be unfamiliar with them.
Another problem I had, was the Aliveness of the dolls. One moment they are toys. The other moment they are alive. As in, they have flesh and blood. Later, the book specifies that at night, the toys take on the shape as Thomas, their owner, sees them, and when they die they revert back to their original plastic, stuffing and rags state. But the story is very inconsistent on this part. A Hula doll is said to have 'a soft belly'. As far as I know Hula dolls are made of hard plastic and don't have stuffing. Also, later on, Jack bleeds, and the Plucker is surprised he's made of flesh and blood. So what is it, Brom? Are they totally Toy Story and are made of plastic but with feelings, or do they actually turn into flesh and blood beings when the hour of magic has come?
Finally, Brom still hasn't been cured of his 'it's cool to kill things' vibe. Without spoiling too much I can say that a lot of folks, dolls and people, die. Violently, painfully, messily and graphically, and you know, I actually think the book would have been better if there'd been a bit more moderation. Just because you are the author and you want to write a horror story for kids or young adults, doesn't mean that it gets better the more you slaughter.
So as a whole, the Plucker is an OK book. It's entertaining, quite exciting and the art is gorgeous. But this is NOT for kids under 10, and if you are nitpicky like me, you'll be bothered by the inconsistencies and the unending, sordid and unnecessary violence.
Overall this is a very touching book that fully utilizes Brom's excellent art and his maddening imagination. A great read and a real treasure to own.
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