Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Free Country: A Tale of The Children's Crusade by Neil Gaiman

I remember reading about the Pied Piper.  He agrees to rid the village of their rats for so many coins.  Once he's done it, they reneg on the deal, telling him they don't have that much money.  So he takes their children.  The version I read said they went into the side of a mountain and never returned.  This book has a slightly different version of the tale.

Vertigo and Edelweiss allowed me to read this graphic novel for review (thank you).  It is being published today, so you grab a copy now.

Neil does the introduction the story and tells you how the authors and illustrators got involved.  There's a combination of various stories and artwork here and they all fit well.

When children disappear, they go to "Free Country".  No adult interference, no school, no required bedtime or morning time.  What more could a child want?  

The problem is that everyone here is not nice.  Someone has big plans for the children, big plans they won't like.

I found bits and pieces of this story confusing.  You almost have to let go of logic and go with the flow.  There are a couple of ghosts, a big jack rabbit (reminiscent of Alice), strange beings from other worlds, and more.  The story floats from present to past to in between.  All you can do is hold on to your seat and keep reading.  It all comes together at the end.

This was an interesting story that made me look at graphic novels differently.  They say less but mean more.

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