Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Thoughts - Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmenn

Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmeen, illustrations by Kerascoet
published 2/25/14
96 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

Kerascoët’s and Fabien Vehlmann’s unsettling and gorgeous anti-fairy tale is a searing condemnation of our vast capacity for evil writ tiny. Join princess Aurora and her friends as they journey to civilization's heart of darkness in a bleak allegory about surviving the human experience.  The sweet faces and bright leaves of Kerascoët’s delicate watercolors serve to highlight the evil that dwells beneath Vehlmann's story as pettiness, greed, and jealousy take over.  Beautiful Darkness is a harrowing look behind the routine politeness and meaningless kindness of civilized society.

My thoughts -

I don't think anything I've read for RIP this year has felt as perfect for the challenge as this slim graphic novel. This is Lord of the Flies in a fairy-tale world, it is eerie and creepy and unsettling and challenging. This is much less about the plot and much more about the layers of horror, unwrapping before the readers' eyes. This is a gorgeous piece of art, wrapped around a completely terrifying story.

Like all good graphic novels, there is much to uncover behind the first glance, and this is the type of story than can be read many times, with the reader finding something new upon each subsequent visit to this dark world. I know I'm being vague, but part of the impact of the story, for me, was not knowing very much about what I was getting into when I started. More than anything I've read in the past couple of months, this is the book that has stayed in my mind, lingering in my thoughts, popping up in my dreams. It's good, scary stuff. Recommended for readers who can deal with dark.

Finished - 10/22/14
Source - South side library
MPAA Rating - R. This is not for young kids. Scary stuff.
My rating - 4/5

And with this, I have completed

Hooray for me! My first year to complete my RIP challenge. It feels pretty good, I have to say! And now I'm looking for recommendations for next year - what perilous reads have you enjoyed this season?


bermudaonion said...

I love the cover so I bet that's a gorgeous graphic novel even if it is scary.

Literary Feline said...

Congratulations on completing the R.I.P. Challenge! This sounds like a good way to finish off the challenge too. Beautiful Darkness is a great title and it sounds like the perfect graphic novel for the challenge. It's been ages since I last read a graphic novel. I will have to keep my eye out for this one.

Aarti said...

Ooh, I love that you are back to blogging and bringing me notice of so many glorious books that I would not know otherwise! This looks so good - thank you!

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

Goooorgeous art! My lovely library has this on order and I will very much be checking it out when it becomes available.

Kristen M. said...

I don't think I've heard of this one but the cover and your description is definitely making me interested! I'll see if my library has it.

Aarti said...

I just read this! And I completely agree, so creepy. And hard to get out of your head. I feel like I probably missed so much additional cruel, thoughtless violence in the background of the panels, too.

Andi said...

SO gonna read it! I can see myself writing something on this for Panels if it has the same effect on me!