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Goliath Hardcover – February 28, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770460659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770460652
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.6 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Goliath:
"In [Gauld's] version, Goliath is no bloodthirsty caricature, but a crack penpusher for the Philistine army who is forced into facing down the Israelite army by an unscrupulous superior. Stranded on the frontline with his young shield bearer for company, the main part of the story is about loneliness and losing control of your own destiny, with the muted brown palette reflecting the bleak situation Goliath inexplicably finds himself in."–It's Nice That
 
"Gauld’s stylistic toolkit—clean lines, simple shapes, and crosshatching so thick it’s nearly fabric—makes it all a pleasure to behold. He mines comedic gold from deadpan reaction shots so well timed you could set a watch by them and, weirder still, some tragic oomph for the hapless sucker."–Booklist
 
"Satan, as we know, has had all the best tunes and much of the best literature since Milton's Paradise Lost (1666). [Goliath is] a graphic novel by the acclaimed cartoonist Tom Gauld, the story of David and Goliath as seen from Goliath's side of the Valley of Elah."–The Independent
 
"Tom Gauld's tragic, darkly funny retelling of David and Goliath from Goliath's perspective. Gauld's work is always quietly powerful and emotionally grabbing."–Boing Boing

About the Author

Tom Gauld lives in London. His comics frequently appear in The Guardian, and his illustrations have appeared in The New York Times. He has designed a number of book covers.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on March 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Goliath is a graphic novel of the story of David and Goliath, told from Goliath's point of view. I loved it, and I loved sharing it with my children (ages 10 and 12).

This is a sturdy book, with drawings and type that feel like a bit of a throwback to my untutored eye. Stylistically, especially in the sparse landscapes, I'm reminded of Edward Gorey, whose work I know mostly from watching Mystery! on PBS as a child. Gauld's work has the same "cross hatch" style, which makes simple drawings seem quite complex. Goliath is done in three colors: black, white, and brown. The landscape, with boulders, hills, and a few scraggly leafless trees, is quite barren.

The focus of Goliath is not on action, and indeed, there is almost no action until the final frames. It's the character of Goliath, the novelty of getting the giant's back story, and the questions it raises about point of view and truth, that propel the book. I was very impressed with Gauld's ability to convey so much story through minimal text and stripped down illustrations.

That said, despite the somber tone, there are moments of wry humor in Goliath, especially in the bureaucratic muddle that is the Philistine army, and in Goliath's relationship with his shield-bearer, an eager, naive boy whose pointed questions reveal the absurdity of Goliath's situation. My one criticism of the book would be that on one or two occasions the humor veers into "cutesy" territory.

You have to watch for the small things in Goliath. In the opening pages, Goliath has gone down to the river for a drink. He absentmindedly picks up a rock. He looks at it, and lets it go. The "plop" it makes as it reenters the river is barely noticed by Goliath, but it's a strong dose of foreshadowing for the reader.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kristoffersen on April 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What do we know about Goliath of Gath? Not that much if you'd asked Scottish cartoonist Tom Gauld, and with his new graphic novel, Goliath, from Drawn & Quarterly, he attempts to expand a bit on the story of this giant. Those familiar with the Bible story of Goliath will know him as a ruthless pagan, hell bent on blood, conquer, and challenging one to meet him on the battle field. Well we all know how that story ended, but Gauld isn't satisfied, and in this graphic novel he goes on a quest to explore the more human side of the giant who fell by stone.

The first task Gauld sets to is stripping away the religious aspect of the story. The only mentions of it are quotations from the Bible that set up certain portions in the story. As this epic opens, we're introduced to our giant; more gentle than menace, Goliath spends his day doing administrative paper work and hardly seems the warrior type. In fact, as the story opens, Goliath is changing shifts so that he can do more paperwork.

Soon, Goliath finds himself at the center of ending the conflict between the Philistines and Israel. He's measured for armor, given a shield bearer, and sent on a quest to challenge one Israeli warrior, brave enough to take him on. He announces himself day by day, the reluctant warrior even considers abandoning his post at one point, until that fateful day when his opponent shows up and ends it in one fell swoop.

Gauld's interpretation of history's most ruthless giant is heartbreaking and sympathetic, and in doing so restores Goliath to a more human status. He also slaps scripture in the face by having him fall backwards as he dies (In the Bible he falls forward, making for some dispute.). But it's the human aspect of Goliath's demise that really makes this story engaging; a misunderstood man a midst those that seek to use him for purposes that are unbecoming of him and that ultimately cost him his life. Grab a hanky, you'll be in for some water works.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rambseigh on December 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tom Gauld's single panel comics are as fantastic as this book is mediocre. He seems to be playing with a Christopher Ware type of storytelling, where the panels aren't a slave to the plot, but are convey other aspects of the story in a more meaningful way. The problem is Ware's panels always feel purposeful, whereas too many of Gauld's feel arbitrary or redundant. Probably, why Gauld can't pull off the effect he's going for is that his story and characters are way too thin. I really wish Gauld had spent more time fleshing out the story. His comics are great because he can find the absurdity in our chaotic, modern lives. Starting with such a simple story, that isn't complex, let alone chaotic, gives Gauld nothing to aim for. He is a David without a Goliath.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By chris reilly on July 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All I can say is Tom Gauld is brilliant. If you liked his You're Jidtst Jealous of My Jetpack collection you will love Goliath.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jordan worley on June 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a really great comic. My only complaint is that I devoured it in one sitting and I'll need to wait a week or so and go back and read it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Morica on April 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is easily one of the best Comics of 2012. Tom Gauld is a stone cold master, and this book continues to prove it. If you are wondering if this is worth buying, yes, goddammit.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jeff on March 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
an amazing book, as an artist and graphic designer this book is very inspiring, the art is simple, elegant and full of emotion. I wish I could get bigger screen prints of my favorite panels. I couldn't recommend this more.
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