THE ILIAD

An expertly crafted rendition and a welcome invitation to younger readers to immerse themselves in the ancient past.

“Sing to me, O Muse, of the rage of Achilles”: a rousing graphic rendition of Homer’s great epic.

It’s a blood-soaked poem of primeval war, one ostensibly fought over a certain daughter of Zeus who turned the wrong head—“Or possibly an apple, or a lot of gold, or control of trade routes”—that brought vast armies to the plains of Troy. In a fight personified by two heroes, Trojan Hector and Greek Achilles, there’s more than a little graphic violence here—but nothing other than what Homer himself described, as when Achilles’ spear finds Hector’s neck, followed by Achilles’ intemperate curse: “Your corpse goes to the dogs.” That’s not very sporting, and of course Achilles gets his comeuppance. Hinds allows that his version is not complete, but all the best bits are there, and he provides some helpful interpretive hints—identifying the principal helmeted Greek and Trojan warriors with subtle alphabetical designs on their breastplates, for instance. The best graphic panels are the ones that show the war’s vastness, with a two-page spread of those famed thousand ships crossing the Hellespont, another panel showing the Greek army spilling out onto the plain, “like the great flock of migrating birds that take wing in the meadows by the stream of Caÿster—as numerous as the leaves of a forest.” An author’s note and page-by-page notes provide further context.

An expertly crafted rendition and a welcome invitation to younger readers to immerse themselves in the ancient past. (map, bibliography) (Graphic adaptation. 10-adult)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8113-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

GUTS

THE TRUE STORIES BEHIND HATCHET AND THE BRIAN BOOKS

Paulsen recalls personal experiences that he incorporated into Hatchet (1987) and its three sequels, from savage attacks by moose and mosquitoes to watching helplessly as a heart-attack victim dies. As usual, his real adventures are every bit as vivid and hair-raising as those in his fiction, and he relates them with relish—discoursing on “The Fine Art of Wilderness Nutrition,” for instance: “Something that you would never consider eating, something completely repulsive and ugly and disgusting, something so gross it would make you vomit just looking at it, becomes absolutely delicious if you’re starving.” Specific examples follow, to prove that he knows whereof he writes. The author adds incidents from his Iditarod races, describes how he made, then learned to hunt with, bow and arrow, then closes with methods of cooking outdoors sans pots or pans. It’s a patchwork, but an entertaining one, and as likely to win him new fans as to answer questions from his old ones. (Autobiography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-385-32650-5

Page Count: 150

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

GOING SOLO

A delightfully captivating swatch of autobiography from the author of Kiss. Kiss, Switch Bitch and many others. Schoolboy Dahl wanted adventure. Classes bored him, there was work to be had in Africa, and war clouds loomed on the world's horizons. He finds himself with a trainee's job with Shell Oil of East Africa and winds up in what is now Tanzania. Then war comes in 1939 and Dahl's adventures truly begin. At the war's outbreak, Dahl volunteers for the RAF, signing on to be a fighter pilot. Wounded in the Libyan desert, he spends six months recuperating in a military hospital, then rejoins his unit in Greece, only to be driven back by the advancing Germans. On April 20, 1941, he goes head on against the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Athens. On-target bio installment with, one hopes, lots more of this engrossing life to come.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1986

ISBN: 0142413836

Page Count: 209

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1986

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