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The Unwritten (Vol. 1) : Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity Paperback – 26 Mar 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (26 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848565771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848565777
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 0.5 x 25.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 967,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'packed with recherche trivia and literary psychogeography....fans of Neil Gaiman and Jonathan Carroll will be right at home here: if the rest of the series lives up to this cliffhanging first volume it will be very good indeed' --The Telegraph

'just as truth and fiction, fascinatingly collide with intriguing postmodern results...Mike Carey climaxes his first page-turning volume with a discursive chapter on an imagined political conspiracy surrounding Rudyard Kipling' --The Metro

"A wish-I'd-thought-of-it premise, beautifully executed. Highly recommended for anyone who thinks that fantasy can do more than just help you escape the real world" --Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, TV's LOST)

About the Author

Mike Carey is the writer of Elektra, Fantastic Four, Inferno, My Faith in Frankie and the smash-hit Lucifer. He is currently writing X-Men and Wetworks. Peter Gross has contributed artwork to The Sandman, The Books of Magic: Summonings, and The Books of Magic: Reckonings.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By E. A. Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 May 2011
If you crossed "Fables" with a Christopher Nolan movie (plus a dash of "Harry Potter" and Christopher Robin), you might get something like "Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity."

Mike Carey crafts a weird and hypnotic fantasy tale where the lines between fantasy and reality turn out to be rather... fluid. There's some graphic gore, shimmering fantastical moments, and a suitably sinister gang of villains -- and Carey keeps bending your brain with the uncertainty of just what is going on with Tom.

Years ago, Wilson Taylor wrote a bestselling series of books about Tommy Taylor, a young wizard based on (and named after) his young son. Now Tom Taylor is a jaded adult who hates how the books have overshadowed his life, although he makes a living off of convention appearances and book signings.

Then a mysterious fan called Lizzy Hexam publicly casts doubt on the existence of Tom Taylor, leading to a firestorm of hatred; but after Tom is kidnapped and almost killed by a crazed fan, that hatred turns to messianic worship as people start believing he IS the boy wizard. In the meantime, Tom has begun to wonder if the rumors have any validity, and starts hunting for clues.

So he retreats to the Villa Diodati along with Lizzy, where a group of mystery or horror writers have also gathered. However, a deadly enemy is approaching the villa with the intention of destroying Tom. And as Tom tries to unravel the secrets of his past, he discovers that the world may be more magical than he thought.

"Unwritten Volume 1" only scratches the surface of Tom's half-imagined world, which leaves you guessing furiously about what the heck is going on. Is Tom a real person or some kind of fantasy construct? Who is Pullman and why does he want to kill Tom?
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Ugh, I've tried three times to start this review properly and fairly by giving a summary of the plot and a fair critique of it and I can't do it. This book just sucks. Tom Taylor is boring, he's Daniel Radcliffe in another life living off of Harry Potter. There's a mysterious organisation which seems to say the places and stories in classic lit are real and meaningful.

Tom's pop, an unlikeable prig, made him memorise fictional locations in novels because one day he'll need them. I have a problem with this as Tom hasn't actually read any of these novels he just knows the locations where they take place. Why not read them for goodness sake, that's the point of novels. But of course dull old Tom hasn't read them, his imagination remains undeveloped so most of his actions are predictable.

He goes to the Villa Diodati (students of literature will notice a lot of famous locales in this book) where he apparently grew up, a bad guy shows up and hunts down some dreary writers.

Peter Gross's artwork is terrible, the characters barely have expressions, most of the panels are unimpressive and scratchy at best. Not one panel jumped out at me, they were all as bland as the others.

I can't write anymore, it's too dispiriting. This joyless, unimaginative dirge of a comic book hasn't got any good characters, any great concept that's worth pursuing, the artwork is utterly crap, frankly "Unwritten" should have stayed just that - unwritten. God knows how it's a "New York Times Bestseller", I suppose anything that whiffs of Harry Potter makes it to the top.
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I will admit this right from the beginning: I got this book because of its cover. It's deceptively simple and quite brilliant. And the phrase that's pictured coming out (or going into) the book really piqued my interest: Stories are the only thing worth dying for. Food for thought.

Wilson Taylor is the author of the most celebrated fantasy book series in the world. Surpassing even Harry Potter's popularity, the Tommy Taylor series follows the adventures of a boy wizard, his friends Sue and Peter, and a magical flying cat as they battle an evil vampire called Count Ambrosio (the similarity to Harry Potter's storyline is evident). The author's son, Tom Taylor, is believed by fans to be the model for his father's stories, and when Wilson Taylor disappears, his son tries to cash in on his father's legacy in any way he can. However, he is haunted by abandonment issues and resentment at being looked at only as a fictional character. When doubts are raised about his past, and whether or not he is truly the son of the missing author, Tom Taylor is thrust into a lot more trouble than he could conceive.

I liked the story, the premise is interesting, and all the literary references make this a true pleasure for any book lover. I had a few problems with the execution - for example, I thought that the story evolved quite slowly, with the main character not figuring out things that are made quite obvious to the reader. I guess this is fairly true to reality - after all, if you were in the main character's shoes, just how easily would you believe you were actually a character made flesh, or that all the literary mumble-jumbo your father taught you would be useful to battle enemies you're not even aware of?
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