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Bronx Kill HC (Vertigo Crime) Hardcover – March 23, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Vertigo Crime
  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401211550
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401211554
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,730,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Just because a story seems familiar doesn't mean it can't still grip you by the collar and haul you right along with it, no questions asked. So it is with Milligan's taut little cop-family gothic, where the solution to the story's central mystery is perfectly obvious well before its reveal, but there is no attendant diminution in one's enjoyment of the plot. Martin is a weak-kneed writer from a long line of New York cops whose most recent novel has been excoriated for being self-indulgently pretentious. Desperate for real-life material, he embarks on a lengthy research trip to Ireland. Not long after he's back, his (weirdly understanding) wife disappears. That's when the old family skeletons rattling around in the closet start making their presence known. Romberger's overly sketchy art keeps the story minimal, and Milligan's prose frequently veers toward the overheated (my family's labyrinthine past is full of ghosts), particularly as Martin's new novel starts mirroring the present. But this is prime pulp, with clockwork timing and mood to spare. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up Following the fledgling success of his first book, Martin Keane is now suffering from writer's block. His wife, Erin, encourages him to explore his family's rich Irish heritage for a source of inspiration. This puts him back in contact with his estranged father, a policeman, further complicating their relationship. He eventually decides to take a four-month sabbatical to Ireland in order to research his new book. When he gets back, all appears well until Erin disappears. Where did she go? Is she alive? As Martin races to find the truth, he uncovers family secrets long buried in a place called the Bronx Kill. This title attempts to integrate a few pages of prose interspersed within a mostly graphic-novel format unfortunately, it doesn't work. The art has an almost dirty quality to it, appearing to be made up of mostly incomplete sketches. The characters, especially Martin, often have exaggerated facial expressions that make the horror of the story seem almost cartoonish in nature. The prose, which serves as a story-within-a-story, ultimately makes the tale more confusing since the graphic-novel portion already contains haphazard flashbacks of Martin's ancestors. The book's unfinished and scattered elements ultimately make it hard for readers to enjoy. Ryan Donovan, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

As a prose short story or novella this might have worked, as a graphic novel...not so much.
Justin G.
The writing in the "story within a story" sections is maybe a bit pretentious-but then I think it's supposed to be-that's just how the protagonist writes/is.
WolfPup
I called it generic but generic isn't a slam on the book - just something that says I really didn't like where it went.
TorridlyBoredShopper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daddy Shawn on March 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The story of "Bronx Kill" starts strong, then kind of slows to a crawl but ends with a punch. I enjoyed the writing but the pace was uneven. The dialogue is good for the most part; it's not excellent but acceptable. A lot of the lines come out forced, stilted. The ending was a good twist, but by the time it was revealed I had figured it out. But I wasn't looking for a shocking ending so "Bronx Kill" finished fine for me. I did have a big problem with the main character, sad to say but he annoyed me so much that I wasn't upset to see him get beaten to a pulp. Hard to feel much for the jerk except disdain.

The art does what it's supposed to. It's not going to floor you, I doubt anyone will see the interior art and say "Got to pick up." But it serves the story okay, so it works. If good art is a must for you, then I'd suggest you search out a page or two first to see if this is something you'd be able to finish.

I really haven't enjoyed the Vertigo Crime series as much as I was hoping but maybe my expectations were too high. I would say that "Bronx Kill" is probably one of the better titles so far. If you are a fan of the crime genre comics then I'd recommend reading Bronx Kill. If you're new the scene then you might want to check out something like Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke first.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Michael Wilson on February 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Bronx Kill is the first truly successful entry in Vertigo's new manga-style crime series imprint, Vertigo Crime. This is most likely due to the fact that unlike the first two attempts, penned by popular novelists Ian Rankin and Jason Starr, the writing duties have been handed over to veteran comic book author Peter Milligan.

At first, Milligan seems like an odd choice for a crime story series, considering his notoriety for offbeat comic titles such as Shade the Changing Man and Animal Man. But he also has a lengthy history of strong storytelling with a dark edge, and he knows how to utilize the comic format to achieve the greatest possible effect. These are the skills that shine through in The Bronx Kill, and make it an engrossing (dare I say riveting?) read.

Most notable is Milligan's deft handling of the story-within-a-story device, in this case featured as the excerpts of the novel that main character Martin Keane is working on; a novel with themes and obstacles that mirror events in his own life. This kind of device can feel cheap and gimmicky when used improperly, as can when writers make their main characters authors, but with Milligan this is never a concern. While some might remark that the manuscript excerpts scattered throughout the graphic novel read more like a short story than a full-length historical crime novel, consideration for the time and space constraints of the comic format make this less a flaw in writing than a necessity of design.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shala Kerrigan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I wasn't really expecting to like this enough to give it 5 stars even though I enjoy Milligan's work.
As the blurb says, Martin is a novelist working hard on a new book that's different from what he's written in the past after the complete critical failure of his second novel. He's spent his whole life trying to escape his family and the expectations of his father and the legacy of being in a long line of cops.
He marries and his wife develops a strong interest in his family history, the same one he's trying to forget. He doesn't understand her fascination with it, but it does bring up new questions for him. Why did his grandmother leave when her son, Martin's father was just a baby? Then Erin disappears. Suddenly Martin is in a situation where he needs help from the cop father he's mostly tried to avoid.
The story is interspersed with snippits of the book that Martin is working on which offer a look into his mind and how he's interpreting emotionally the questions and answers. It all works well together and flowed together more smoothly than I would have expected. The art is gritty and suits the story.
It is Vertigo so it is dark and more appropriate for mature readers because of language and adult situations. I won't let my daughter read it but I am recommending it to my husband.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MJS on March 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
(This is the first graphic novel I've read in a long time so take my thoughts on it with a giant grain of salt.) If you remembered and loved the great film noir movies of the 40s and 50s then this noir heavy story will appeal to you. The story of a writer (a wimpy one, in my opinion) whose life is haunted by his uneasy relationship with his cop father and the story of his great-grandfather's unsolved murder on the shores of the Bronx Kill. The mystery isn't all that much of a mystery but this is more about atmosphere than whodunit. The characters are types rather than fleshed out believable people.

The art is minimalist, to be kind. If your standard of graphic novel art is, say, Neil Gaiman's Sandman then you're likely to be disappointed in this book. To me it felt more like the storyboard for a proposed movie than then illustrations of the of a graphic novel. The angles of view were more important than the details or expressions.

All in all, this is a somewhat entertaining book that neither transcends the genre nor represents the best of it. For film noir and some graphic novel fans.
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