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Madman's Drum: A Novel in Woodcuts by Lynd Ward Unknown Binding – 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B0041H5I4G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"God's Man" (1929) was Ward's first wordless, illustrated novel. It was a hard act to follow: masterfully illustrated, articulate, and thought provoking. "Mad Man's Drum" (1930) tops that remarkable achievement. In it, Ward shows even finer skills in his demanding medium, more evocative imagery, and more baffling turns of narration. The result isn't just a pointless puzzle, but a starting point for an exploration in thought, the kind that rewards the reader no matter where it leads.

The format is stark: one black and white image per page, for over 140 pages. The nature of woodcut, in the style used here, is that there are no greys. The black-and-white blacks are truly black, and whites blank white. Ward overcomes that with mastery of fine line, and with "gray" carefully modulated in their alternation. One scene, an optical effect of light streaming though a cathedral window, is simply mind-boggling.

Dover has printed these images beautifully in dense darks on heavy, opaque paper. Part of the reason that this book has been so long out of print may be that the technology for doing justice to Ward's images has only just matured enough to make books like this affordable. Don't assume that low price means inferior reproduction - Dover has created (or recreated) a book truly worth having.

//wiredweird
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Format: Paperback
I've only recently come across the work of Lynd Ward.
Originally published in 1930, Mad Man's drum is a true graphic novel, telling a story only through wordless woodcuts. [Rather than a collection of masquerading comic books bound between hard covers.]
Every page of this graphic novel is a lesson in woodcut technique.
I've always liked Dover books as publishers. Their books are well made and inexpensive. For 10 bucks or so, this one is a bargain tutorial for any wood-be woodcut artist.
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Format: Paperback
This is a novel in wood cuts. It is a history of a family in the slave trade. You will be captivated by this story (remember,there are no printed words) each time you carefully go thru it again and again, page by page.
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Format: Paperback
Lynd Ward's Mad Man's Drum is a graphic novel in the truest sense of the word; told through the use of 128 woodcut prints, and using no written text, Ward tells a story of obsession and the tragedy that can be a result of succumbing to that obsession.

Given that there is no text, the reader must rely on the imagery and symbolism that is presented in each woodcut; therefore, I believe that each reader may take something different from the story. Perhaps I am not the person for this story, but it took me several "readings" to feel that I was beginning to come to an understanding of what was happening, and I still don't believe that I have a true grasp on all of the nuances of the story. This is why that I feel a true review of the story would almost be impossible for me to write.

Mad Man's Drum was Lynd Ward's second graphic novel, and is an amazing piece of art; however, given that the drawings are all in black and white and limited with the amount of detail woodcut prints can offer, I found it difficult to follow the characters and what was happening in each frame. While the basic principle is easy to understand, I felt the subtle nuances of the story are lost somewhere in the telling. I give it three stars for the complexity of the project alone. Perhaps someone with a better understanding of the psychological symbolism and imagery would be better suited to this book.
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