Monday, October 29, 2018

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 10/27/18

One book this week, from the Library. And it is...

The Prince and The Dressmaker, a new graphic novel this year from Jen Wang, creator of Koko Be Good and artist for the Cory Doctorow-written In Real Life. (And that reminds me, once again, how hard a graphic-novel-focused career must be -- if you put out one book every four years, much like a literary novelist does, it's got to be not only really good, but really lucky to hit the market at the right time.)

It's something of a fable, set in a Paris "at the dawn of the modern age" but in no specific year, with our central character the ahistorical Prince Sebastian, dashing and eligible and sixteen...and possessed of a central secret. Since the second central character is his dressmaker, it's not too hard to guess what that secret is -- but I understand that, in this book, it's primarily a case of dressing rather than being (or wanting to be, or turning into, or anything along those lines). That almost feels quaint, these days -- a story about someone wanting to pretend or playact rather than about someone becoming who they really are. But, then again, many more of us want to pretend to be different things than want to utterly transform ourselves.

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