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The Merchant of Veniceby Gareth Hinds
Synopses & Reviews
With elegant, contemporary artwork and a faithful but succinct adaptation, this graphic novel casts a classic drama in a provocative new light.
Here is the tale of young Bassanio, who, to win the love of fair Portia, entangles his dearest friend, Antonio, in a dangerous bargain with the moneylender Shylock. Only Bassanio's heartfelt efforts — and a clever intervention by Portia — will save Antonio from paying Shylock a pound of flesh.
Moody and mesmerizing, this graphic novel adaptation of one of Shakespeare's more controversial plays boast a chic modern cast, high drama, and all the dark, familiar beauty of Venice.
"Fans of the play will find this an intriguing adaptation. Hinds sets his version in modern dress and dramatically edits the text to the basics while keeping the Shakespearean flavor of the dialogue (increasingly as the book goes on). The coloring in shades of slate blue and pale gray gives it an antique patina that's counterbalanced by the way Hinds leaves construction lines visible. That makes it feel like reading someone's unpolished sketchbook, as though the characters were observed, not created. It's always a benefit to see Shakespeare acted out, to make the universal situations clear to the modern viewer, and that benefit extends to the graphic medium, especially when the characters have a sense of motion, as here. Some aspects of the original are still discomforting; Hinds is faithful to the play in its treatment of the bloodthirsty, money-hungry Shylock, and some readers may be put off by the inclusion of lines such as 'you may be pleased to collect whatever usurious interest pleases your Jew heart.' An author's note encourages further research on that matter and clarifies some of Hinds's creative decisions." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Hinds's beautiful new offering now sets the standard that all others will strive to meet....Easily on a par with his stellar adaptation of Beowulf, it's a captivating, smartly executed work." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"[A] powerful visual showcase for Shakespeare's work..." Booklist
"[R]eaders looking for an accessible introduction to the plot, major characters, and themes of The Merchant of Venice will enjoy this visually appealing book." School Library Journal
Moody and mesmerizing, this graphic novel adaptation of one of the bard's more controversial plays boasts a chic modern cast, high drama, and all the dark, familiar beauty of Venice. Elegant artwork and succinct yet faithful adaptation cast a provocative new light on The Merchant of Venice.
About the Author
Gareth Hinds is the creator of Beowulf and other graphic novels based on classic works. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.
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