Friday, October 29, 2010

The Exile by Diana Gabaldon...

...An Outlander graphic novel with illustrations by Hoang Nguyen; "experience Jamie's side of the story."
Graphic novels are a really popular current trend in the book world; they are essentially literary comic books. I had never read a graphic novel until this one. We have Jane Eyre, The Odyssey, and Maus I and II (hallmarks of this genre) at school, but none have ever appealed to me until now.
If you've been keeping up with this blog, then you know that my friend Susan Strasinger and I have been reading The Outlander series together (just started The Fiery Cross today!). I was at a vendor fair yesterday when I received a graphic novel flier. Lo and behold, Diana Gabaldon and her new graphic novels were featured. I tried to request this from the public library, but it was waiting to be ordered. Nothing would do but to go to Barnes & Noble last night to buy my own copy to complete my Outlander set.
This story is told from Murtaugh's point of view with an eye for Jamie's experiences. One of the things Susan and I really admire about Gabaldon is her use of point of view as an interesting element (difficult to accomplish!). There were some times while reading this graphic novel when some secret was revealed (that Claire had not known when she told the story in the first Outlander novel), I found myself thinking, "What? That so did not happen." Then I would realize that this is not a work of fan fiction; it is a work by Gabaldon. These new things are things she may have always known had happened since she created the world.
I enjoyed this, but I think it is because it relates to something I already enjoy. I am not sure this genre is for me on a regular basis. On the flip side, I can see how some students who begin with a graphic novel might progress to the original novel later. In fact, in the notes at the end, Diana Gabaldon tells readers that the graphic novel only covers the first 1/3 of the novel; I hope this leads someone to read the novels because they are so enjoyable!
Gabaldon began writing comic books before progressing to other genres. This seemed a natural leap for her. (I still can't wait for a movie or, even better, a mini-series about each book!)

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