Slaughter House-Five

Archaia: Boom!. Sept. 2020. 192p. ISBN 9781684156252. $24.95. Rated: Teen+. F
After becoming unstuck in time, Billy Pilgrim begins to experience all of the major moments in his life nonlinearly. One minute he’s a middle-aged optometrist, the next he might find himself recuperating after surviving a plane crash, or laboring in a prisoner of war camp in Germany toward the end of World War II or luxuriating with his lover and child in a zoo on the planet Tralfamadore. Throughout his life, Billy constantly encounters cruelty, hypocrisy, and pain; as the Tralfamadorian’s say, “So it goes.” In this brilliant adaptation of Vonnegut’s classic antiwar novel, North (How To Invent Everything) and Monteys (Solid State) retain Vonnegut’s playfully mordant and deeply compassionate voice and take full advantage of the opportunity to convey the novel’s fractured narrative visually.Minor characters’ backgrounds are depicted in short, three-panel comic strips, while sf stories written by Billy’s favorite author, Kilgore Trout, are rendered in the style of pulpy E.C. Comics tales of terror, the bustling majesty of Dresden, Germany’s pre-firebombing presented in a gorgeously detailed spread.
VERDICT Wih this work, North and Monteys have created the best, and most effective, graphic novel adaptation of a literary novel in recent memory.
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