Seeing is Believing: Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein

I wish I had this experience more often: I opened a package with some finished samples of new books, started flipping through one and a couple hours later discovered I had inhaled a whole book.  Gris Grimly is a multi-talented illustrator who has many children’s books under his belt, including Neil Gaiman’s The Dangerous Alphabet. He’s directed short films and a music video–and Guillermo del Toro is working on an animated adaptation of Grimly’s Pinocchio.

I’d heard of his illustrated adaptations of Poe but never checked them out. That will probably change now that I’ve read his Frankenstein. It’s a fabulous, dark, romantic marriage of the original text and Grimly’s art. When we were selling in, I noted that this is an abridgment of the text. Now that I have the book in my hands, I don’t know if that’s quite the right word. Nor do I know that that “illustration” is the right word for what Grimly brings to the story. Like Brian Selznick, he moves the plot in pictures and the “abridgments” don’t necessarily represent parts of the story dropping out–rather text and picture takes turns telling the story.

As much as I love selling books with electronic materials, sometimes you have to hold a book in your hands to get the full effect. There’s a spread of this book below. But I think your experience of the book will be a hundred times more powerful when you hold it your hands.

Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein (9780061862977) by Mary Shelley, Gris Grimly. $24.99 hardcover. 8/27/13 on sale.

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