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El Iluminado: A Graphic Novel Hardcover – November 13, 2012
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Los Angeles Times, Jacket Copy
Regardless of your background, Stavans and Sheinkin’s graphic novel will illuminate you.... It will compel you to see the world through Jewish and immigrant eyes, and remind you that home isn’t a place, but a state of mind.”
"El Iluminado is a delightful surprise of a book.... A graphic novel turns out to be a great way to explore this religious history."
San Antonio Express-News
Combines history, spirituality and a murder mystery sprinkled with a touch of Spanglish.”
Secrets abound in El Iluminado.... [Stavans and Sheinkin] embroider the mystery with plenty of history and not a little wry humor, too.”
A death in the desert... missing documents... a stubborn priest... a persistent young woman grieving the loss of her cousin and trying to solve his death... Jewish symbols showing up in mysterious places... is this the plot of the latest Indiana Jones movie? Not quite, but maybe something even better. The new graphic novel by well-known literary critic Ilan Stavans and graphic novelist Steve Sheinkin packs a punch that is at once a gripping whodunit and a fascinating lesson on crypto-Jews in New Mexico... The story is fast-paced and fascinating, with a delightful blend of history and humor. Sheinkin’s illustrations are immediately recognizable to fans of his Rabbi Harvey series, and his choice of colors and attention to details result in a beautifully entertaining book that will surely become a classic.”
Jewish Book World
"[S]uspenseful and spine-tingling.... [I]t is a story stuffed with intrigue it will make you want to pay a little more attention to the past.... El Iluminado proves anything can be discovered."
Los Alamos Daily Post
El Iluminado is a page-turning whodunit that delivers a substantial history lesson in a clear, entertaining way.”
The Phoenix New Times, Jackalope Culture Blog
"Part murder mystery, part religious history, part identity quest, the graphic novel El Iluminado leaps across time and borders.... Stavans is one of the most prolific, best-known, and sometimes controversial scholars of Hispanic culture in the United States."
Pasatiempo (Santa Fe)
A suspenseful historical mystery in the form of a graphic novel. [El Iluminado is] enlivened by Stavans’s learning but also leavened by his wit, and drawn in a clear, fast-paced style by Steve Sheinkin.”
Rain Taxi Review of Books
Exquisite... there is a wonderful story to be learned.”
San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review
Another bold... experiment from an academic with impeccable credentials and a keen sense of the secrets we hold most dear.”
[A] humorous yet informative look at the history of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico.... El Iluminado is a quirky tale with enough conspiracy, church history and secret documents to fill a Dan B
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Top Customer Reviews
The fictional Stavans makes a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to be a guest lecturer and then hopefully take in an opera (a production of Life Is a Dream by Pedro Calderon de la Barca). But his plans are upset when he gets embroiled in a Da Vinci Code-like mystery involving modern Crypto-Jews. It begins with the death of a young man named Rolando. His cousin enlists Stavans' help to track down the real cause of his death (and the person or persons behind it).
That leads to even greater intrigue and mystery. Most of it is good fun, and Stavans (the real one) delights in spilling Santa Fe's wonderfully interesting secrets. It is, as he points out via a Jeopardy! question that plays in the background in a panel, the United States' oldest capital city...and that comes with a lot of history. Stavans takes great delight in mining it.
-- John Hogan
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great novel!!! I never thought it was going to be so insightful.Published 2 months ago by Oscar Mendoza
A wonderful read with lots of history in a fun manner.Published 4 months ago by Lindsay Gillenwater
Interesting approach but did not meet my expectations nor did it read particularly well.Published 10 months ago by Stephen A. Goodman
Fascinating book that explores New Mexico's mysteries about its hidden historyPublished 12 months ago by hlo
Though it was a little rough atound the edges, the book was in relatively good shape and I enjoyed it! It's made the rounds through the whole family! Thank youPublished on January 23, 2014 by LilySage
"For generations we have lived as Christians, but in our souls we have always been Jews."
I had no expectations when I opened this book. Read more
The first graphic novel that I've read. Conveyed a huge amount of information. The illustrations materially enhance the book. Read morePublished on May 21, 2013 by Steve
I wasn't expecting a book quite the way this one is presented. Would have preferred it in a different mode.Published on April 6, 2013 by Yvonne Stephan
The writing is great and the subject fascinating. Also love the illustrations. Not used to graphic novels, but this may change my mind.Published on March 19, 2013 by Marvin Kabakoff