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David Copperfield

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Ah, poor Charles Dickens! He was the Steven King of his day and his books are now considered the most onerous of required reading assignments. Barrons's Graphic Classics series, in an attempt to present Dickens' immortal classics David Copperfield and Great Expectations to new readers, has given us an illustrated, bare-bones version of the plot of both these works. The question is—what's the point? Gone from these stripped versions are the larger-than-life, vivid characters; the compelling moral and social questions; and the brilliantly complex plot that kept a generation of readers on tenterhooks waiting for the next installment of the serialized novels. That is bad enough, but the illustrations, although competent, are generically bland and fail to portray the liveliness of the characters. The unforgettable Uriah Heep in David Copperfield, for example, is now just a colorless villain. Each title does, however, include useful information on the life of Dickens and a literary history of each title. Re-workings of classic works of literature can be very successful if rendered in a unique and distinctive way. Witness the work of Gareth Hinds, who has re-interpreted Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (Candlewick, 2008/VOYA June 2008) or Will Eisner, author of a rendition of Cervantes' Don Quixote (NBM, 2003)—to name just two. Even if teen readers are not inspired to tackle the original classics, these works exist on their own literary merit. It is doubtful that any reader who picks up either one of these Dickens' illustrated titles will be inspired to go further. Which brings us back to the original question—what's the point? (Graphic Classics) Reviewer: Jan Chapman

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307947178
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 1/10/2012
Series: Vintage Classics Series
Pages: 880