Friday 2 February 2018

Book Review: The Man Who Laughs by Hugo, Hine & Stafford

Title: The Man Who Laughs
Author: Victor Hugo, David Hine, Mark Stafford
Publisher: SelfMade Hero
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 167
Format: Paperback
Genre: Graphic Novel
Source: Bought Copy

The Man Who Laughs (first published in 1869) is Victor Hugo’s scathing indictment of the injustice and inequality within Britain’s political system. It is the story of Gwynplaine, the two-year-old heir to a rebel lord, who is abducted upon the orders of a vindictive monarch, and whose face is mutilated into a permanent grisly grin, then abandoned. After years of living in poverty, Gwynplaine is reintroduced to the aristocratic life and resolves to become the voice of the voiceless—whether he is heard or not. Author David Hine and artist Mark Stafford introduce Hugo’s classic to a new generation of fans in this graphic-novel adaptation of abduction, mutilation, loss, and prejudice. (Goodreads Synopsis)

I am not a huge graphic novel reader. However, after seeing the musical The Grinning Man in London last month, I have become obsessed with Gwynplaine's story and am trying to read and watch all its incarnations. This graphic novel is an excellent adaptation of the story that keeps all the key elements I loved in the show. The artwork is super, and it really captures the mood of the piece. Definitely one to check out if you like graphic novels and/or enjoy adaptations of classic stories.

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