“Tamara Drewe” by Posy Simmonds

Date finished: 23rd May 2012

This book is a graphic novel that I’d heard a lot about, and I’d even seen the recent film adaptation, but had never read the book. I’ve always had the impression that graphic novels were sci-fi, fantasy or thriller/noir style books, and they’ve never interested me, but I’d read an article about this book and was intrigued.

I have to say, it was a fantastic reading experience, although I can’t deny, it did feel like I was ten years old again, reading the comic strips in my teenage magazines and albums. The difference was that this was a grown up reading experience. Sprinkled through the pictures (are they called comic strips in this format?) are bits of text telling a bit more of the story from a particular characters point of view. I’m not sure if my experience wasn’t actually better having seen the film, as I knew where the story was going, and it made it easier to follow the pictures and text in the right order, something I’d been concerned about, as sometimes the layouts aren’t in a strict linear fashion, depending on where the text it placed. The film version is actually incredibly close to the book, but one of the characters storylines ends in a completely different way, something I’m sure was done to help sell it to its demographic and please the studio, but gives a much grittier, realistic plot in the book.

As an alternative to the traditional novel, I thought it was very entertaining and a very satisfying reading experience.

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