Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Jabberwocky



'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, 
Did gyre and gymble in the wabe: 
All mimsy were the borogroves, 
And the mome raths outgrabe.

You know the poem, but do you know the story behind it?  The story of Tjaden, a brave young man; Elora, his sweetheart; and, of course, the monstrous... Jabberwocky.

Entertainment: 

I've always loved that epitome of delightful nonsense, Jabberwocky.  It's one of my very favorite poems.  I was thrilled to discover an entire novel about it!

I thought Coleman put a wonderful spin on the poem - never straying too far from the wording of the poem but at the same time giving it new life and new meaning.  I've never read a book based on a poem before, so I don't really have any standard of comparison - but I loved, loved, loved Jabberwocky (the novel).

Plot: 

Admittedly, it's hard to have a surprising or exciting plot when the poem has spoiled the ending for your whole audience.  Still, I thought it could have been a bit more interesting than it was, as in and of itself the plot came off as rather average.

Characters: 

Tjaden was fabulous.  He was brave and all that, like you'd expect from a hero, but he was also modest and determined and had lots of other admirable traits.  He was easy to cheer for!  Elora and the other side characters were also well written, and the villain was believable and easy to dislike.

Writing: 

On the one hand, there was a slightly awkward sense to the writing.  Some of the sentence phrasing and things like that - well, it just didn't flow as smoothly as it could have.  That said, it was overall pretty well written.  Plus, there was some really great wordplay in there.  And Coleman used the odd words from the poem in creative and fun ways.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

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