CAPTAIN MURDERER by Charles Dickens


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From The Uncommercial Traveller, a truncated but terrifying version of one of ""Nurse's Stories,"" a particularly gruesome version of ""Bluebeard"" in which the brides are chopped up and eaten as pies; none survive. Unlike Nurse, who ""never spared [Dickens] one word of it,"" the adaptor has chopped out a lot of the author's more difficult words, simplified the sentence structure, and eliminated those elaborate verbal embroideries so characteristic of Dickens. What remains is 90% Dickens' words but only 10% of his flavor, a story that's accessible enough for children too young for the original, but ultimately a cheat. The pen and watercolor illustrations are suitably macabre, but also humorous enough (Captain Murderer looks too much like one of Ungerer's Three Robbers to be taken seriously) to pull the punches of a narrative detailing cannibalism. The gore is verbal, not visual. Young horror fanciers should love this; purchasers will have to decide whether they want to make hacked Dickens available.

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 1986
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard