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Booth Paperback – March 30, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—The life of notorious John Wilkes Booth receives a striking adaptation. The tagline—"Actor, Lover, Idealist…Assassin"—summarizes the book's approach. The text follows Booth's life, starting with his early years as he strove to make his own way in the world, to his success as an actor, his doomed romances, his increasing role in the anti-abolitionist underground, and finally to the physically broken fugitive he became. The great trick that the book pulls off is managing to create empathy for Booth, despite his flaws and crimes. Along the way, readers receive glimpses of Lincoln-era American life, from the ornate estates of the upper class, to the bawdy taverns of the under classes. The artwork by French artist Tanitoc is looser in style than most North American readers will be used to, but the bold and strategic color palette is compelling. Due to the artistic style and the relatively small size of the overall work, characters' faces are sometimes hard to distinguish, although color is often used to differentiate them.—Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, Canada
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

President Lincoln’s assassin had a complicated psychology and deep-dyed allegiance to the Confederate cause. Historian Colbert has scripted an engaging and insight-provoking portrait of John Wilkes Booth from youth through his demise, exploring his relationships with women of high and low esteem, competition with his brother both on- and offstage, and the cloak-and-dagger conspiracies that were part of nineteenth-century spy circles. Graphic-novelist and scholar Tanitoc’s luminous full-color art shows details of landscape, architecture, dress, and posture; his people’s faces are rarely beautiful but show finely tuned individuality. This is an engaging read for literary graphic-novel fans and also for historical-fiction readers just beginning to get acquainted with the graphic-novel format. --Francisca Goldsmith

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: First Second; First Edition edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596431253
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596431256
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,753,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alex C. Telander on October 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
C. C. Colbert has been an American history teacher and has published over twenty books on the subject. Acknowledging the changing times, he has now written an in-depth graphic novel on John Wilkes Booth, illustrated by the French bande desinée (graphic novel) artist, Tanitoc. In his author's note, Colbert admits it is historical fiction, but tells the reader he did the research and is keeping it as accurate as possible. The art style has a grainy, sketchy look, making it seem like something old and dated, while the faces look realistic. At times the storyline gets a little convoluted, and the reader may loose their way - especially when many of the men's faces look very similar - the overall story of Booth's siding with the Confederacy and the plot and assassination of Lincoln are well understood. The book even goes further, covering the eventual capture and execution of Booth and his co-assassins, as well as exploring his romantic relationships, and his secret dealings. Booth is another fun and interesting graphic novel about an important person in American history that is both accurately written and well illustrated.

Originally written on March 19th 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

Originally published in the Sacramento Book Review.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lasiuta on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Exactly who was John Wilkies Booth?
History would tell us plainly that he was Abraham Lincoln's assassin, and that he was part of a conspiracy, and one of a family of actors.
C.C. Colbert and Tanitoc shed light on a man who was seemingly more complex than previously known. Msr Colbert, after exhaustive research, has created an exhilarating narrative that shows the evolution of a revolutionary. As he states in his after comments, he was able to deviate from the `facts' and imagine what might have been. If he were alive today, Johnny Booth would have been just another protestor lining up to take verbal shots at Bush, then later Obama, and right alongside Oberman. What is titillating about the entire book is the political machinations that we would today call `Al Qaida' .
For a first time graphic novelist prompted on by his family, the effort is outstanding. The art, while seemingly crude (perhaps it's the brush heavy style) matches the narrative.

In the book, we encounter the Booth family of actors, brother, father, and brother. We meet his `women', Ella and Lucy. We meet the shadow conspiracy along with Mrs Surratt, Davy, Dr Mudd, and a diverse supporting cast caught up in post civil war/election-inauguration furor.
I can just imagine what a book on Louis Riel by C.C. Colbert would be like.
Tim Lasiuta
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book listed under my search for children's biographies. When it arrived I was disappointed to find it is in comic book format, but figured I must have overlooked the description. My nine year old was to use this as a source text for a research essay. Thankfully I flipped through it first and found NUDITY. Seriously??? This is a former library edition and sure enough, there's a little sticker on the binding that says "adult graphic." Maybe don't list this as a children's book anymore, eh?
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