Saturday, November 10, 2012

Despeyroux, Denise. Dark Graphic Tales by Edgar Allen Poe.

Despeyroux, Denise.     Dark Graphic Tales by Edgar Allen Poe.    Enslow      96p $25.26  978-0-7660-4086-1       ms/hs Series: Dark Graphic Novels (Enslow)  VG-BN           Graphic novel    

The essential elements of the creepy nature of Poe’s tales are retained in text and darkly illustrated with attention to background detail.  The tales include The Gold Bug, The Fall of the House of Usher and The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether.      This is an English translation of a book originally published in Spanish in 2009.  The illustrations are indeed dark in color as well as tone, and there is great attention to detail regarding the interiors of houses and things found in the countryside.  The inmates of an asylum in the lesser-known tale of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether are deftly drawn.  The collection is suitable for students in upper-elementary school as well as older students, who will be drawn into telling of these early horror stories.  This is a perfect book to share on a camping trip under the stars or read by flashlight at home on a night when the electric power fails.  It is just spooky enough to thrill but not enough to give younger readers nightmares.  Some American readers may bristle at the use of words such as idiot and moron in the Gold Bug.  The author keeps the text faithful to the broad context of the original tale, thus bringing the stories into contemporary times and a new generation of readers.   

The series Dark Graphic Novels contains three books, featuring stories by Poe, stories by Shelley, and a collection of many horror stories by various authors.  The graphic-novel format features text that is faithful to the original stories and illustrations that are dark in color and mood, increasing the sense of impending dread.   It is strongly recommended for school libraries to introduce students to classic horror stories and novels in an easy-to-read graphic-novel format.   --  Lois McNicol

Macabre – Fiction, Ghost stories, Short stories        

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