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Megillat Esther Paperback – August 4, 2005

12 customer reviews

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$18.32 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 19 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Waldman's Megillat Esther is a visual masterpiece . . . The richly detailed pages are dazzling . . . this is just the sort of independent, intelligent, nonapologetic work that JPS and entities like it should be promoting."—The Forward
(The Forward)

"Through text and art, Waldman feeds readers only the raw words, emotions, and actions of each of the characters, illustrated by Expressionist-inspired drawing."—Jerusalem Report
(Jerusalem Report)

"JT Waldman is a very talented young man who has provided an original translation, artwork, and calligraphy for Megillat Esther. In essence, he has written and illustrated an adult comic book version of this classic story. The artwork is stunning, revealing layers of meaning behind the text... This is a work of great creativity and originality."—Jewish Book World
(Jewish Book World)

"A bravura display of detail and technique."—Will Eisner
(Will Eisner)

"Waldman's book represents a new breed of biblical work: more than a simple illuminated manuscript, he provides a visually interpreted translation of Esther with commentary. To my knowledge, nothing like this has ever been created."—SBL Forum (Society of Biblical Literature)
(SBL Forum)

From the Publisher

Megillat Esther has received strong, positive reviews from the scholarly press, comic book publications and afficionados, and the Jewish media, including:

"Through exultant, grandiose images, Waldman has produced a true anomaly in comic book circles; a religious, scholarly graphic novel." - The Forward

"Through text and art, Waldman feeds readers only the raw words, emotions, and actions of each of the characters, illustrated by Expressionist-inspired drawing." - The Jerusalem Report

"JT Waldman is a very talented young man who has provided an original translation, artwork, and calligraphy for Megillat Esther. In essence, he has written and illustrated an adult comic book version of this classic story. The artwork is stunning, revealing layers of meaning behind the text... This is a work of great creativity and originality..." - Jewish Book World

"A bravura display of detail and technique..." - Will Eisner

"...Waldman's book represents a new breed of biblical work: more than a simple illuminated manuscript, he provides a visually interpreted translation of Esther with commentary. To my knowledge, nothing like this has ever been created." --SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) Forum

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: The Jewish Publication Society (August 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827607881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827607880
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Avi Flax on February 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really just wonderful - the art, the story, the concept, the imagination -- for an old comics fan this is an amazing modern interpretation of a book of the Hebrew Bible. I think it maintains the spirit of the original book - after all, the original Hebrew text is included and fully translated into English - and makes it come alive!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Silverstone VINE VOICE on April 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Book of Esther lends itself quite well to the graphic novel format. JT Waldman has done a brilliant job with arresting graphics and a translation that complements the images. Moreover, Waldman has included the original Hebrew text to give an even richer experience to this book. If that were not enough (Dayenu), there are rabbinic citations, a bibliography, side stories, and halfway through, the book flips over and you read the text in Hebrew fashion right to left. Although the tradition at Purim is to read the story with appropriate sound effects, this graphic novel approach is truly novel and beautifully brings the story alive adding another dimension to the characters and actions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fizzixman on April 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my husband as he was preparing a program for our Purim celebration in our shul. I waited too long to order so it came a couple of days late. He wasn't able to use it for his preparations this year but he LOVES the book and it's rich illustrations and interesting text. Tells the story of Esther in a very inovative way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 1.5 Trick Pony on July 31, 2012
Format: Unknown Binding
This is a really cool book, and is a great way to get your kids excited about the scriptures - great assigned reading for history or religion class too. I come from a Christian background so my language reflects that, but this book works equally for Christians, Jews, Muslims, and anyone who wants to read a cool historical story about a strong, clever, heroic woman who saved her people.

The Book of Esther (what Megillat Esther translates to, from Hebrew, I had to look it up) is one of those really cool, exciting stories from the Old Testament that just doesn't get enough attention, but has suspense, twists, and turns.

The illustrations are really cool, and meticulously done. They are bold, eye-catching black and white, with movement-filled angle changes and action scenes. There is a really cool twist partway through the book (not going to ruin it), which if you're teaching it in a class is a really good way to know if the kids actually read the material - one question pop quiz: what is the unusual feature halfway through the book? There is both Hebrew and English text throughout, so it feels really authentic.

So in short - great book, expertly illustrated, highly recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Farrar on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
A daring and imaginative interpretation of scripture in a graphic novel is JT Waldman's version of the Scroll of Esther, the story behind the Purim festival. The artist incorporates the Hebrew text into the art along with the English narration and text balloons. The drawing and composition run the gamut from horrific to voluptuous as befits a tale of Oriental court intrigue and near genocide. As the story nears its climax the reader must physically turn the story around and switch from reading left to right in English to right to left as in a Hebrew. Thus reinforcing the narrative, as the slaughter and humiliation Haman, the villain, plans for the Jews is instead visited upon him.

Interleaved with this rich spread are parallels to other Biblical tales, genealogical information, messianic speculations, and guest appearance by prominent prophets. Plus the appended to the end matter of the book are a bibliography, rabbinic citations, and other notes. This is a cup that runs over its brim with delights, wonders, and mysteries.
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Format: Paperback
Esther's story is set during the Babylonian Exile, when the nation of Israel was overrun, Jerusalem sacked, and the people taken into slavery. The Jews were scattered over the Babylonian empire and some of the king's men schemed to wipe them out. The king had his own scheme--get rid of his unsatisfactory queen Vashti by, in essence, holding a beauty contest. Esther, a humble Jewish woman, was one of the many brought to Shushan (the capital city) to be judged if she was beautiful enough to be queen. The king fell for her without knowing her nationality. When his adviser Haman leads the attempt to wipe out the Jews, Esther intervenes and turns the tables on him and his conspirators. The story has drama, comedy, and pathos in a fine mixture.

Artist and author JT Waldman makes a fine blend of the story's classical and timeless elements in this graphic novel. Shushan looks like an ancient capital city and the clothing has an ancient opulence evoking the BC era. Some scenes are practically straight out of a reality TV show and Waldman evokes those with a modern sensibility, giving the story a lightness and sense of fun that may not immediately come out when reading an unadorned translation. The Hebrew text is interwoven through the panels lending the work another touch of authenticity. The back of the book has a bibliography, explanatory notes (like "Megillat Esther" means "Scroll of Esther" in English), and some Rabbinic citations.

This book is an interesting, creative take on the text of Esther.
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