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A present from [personal profile] nineweaving.

This is a comics adaptation and modernization of Far From The Madding Crowd, which I have never read. It's interesting to try to guess which details are from the Hardy and which are new: a lamp signal in a window is from the book, I think, a death, a dog, a landscape; but the instantaneous cellular communications, the celebrity gossip mags, and the literary festival are new. I'm not sure at all about various letters and a couple of teenage girls.

Simmonds' art is crisp and clean, interspersed with text rather more than a usual comic. She's fond of interlocking time streams, flashbacks shown on three-quarters of the page which dwindle to a thought bubble in the head of the person remembering, letters, photos, montages of newspaper columns. And yet it feels very formal to me, very constrained, possibly because of the firmness of her line and the way the story keeps bending back to its own deep structure. The effect walks the line very well between tragedy and farce.

I enjoyed this, though it does not inspire deep enthusiasm due to being the sort of book one feels is actively trying to discourage deep feeling in general. It's well worth a look. I am vaguely considering reading the Hardy, though, honestly, I really hate Hardy.

Due to a death in the family, I'll be offline from now for a time ranging from a few days to possibly longer than a week. I'll still be reading books and writing them up longhand, so I'll post the writeups in bunches later on.


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