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Puffin Graphics: Red Badge of Courage Paperback – May 19, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Series: Puffin Graphics
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; First Edition edition (May 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142404101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142404102
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This 1895 tale of young soldier Henry Fleming's initial experiences in combat during the Civil War still startles. Artist Vansant captures Fleming's uncertainty and fear quite well, sometimes through effectively understated facial expressions. Yet this adaptation oversimplifies Crane's portrayal of Fleming, ignoring or de-emphasizing the character's other failings: his egotism, his talent for self-justification and the "wild battle madness" underlying much of his later heroism. In Crane's book, Fleming is haunted by his desertion of the dying "tattered man"; in Vansant's version, Fleming forgets him. Though Crane's book is a landmark in realism, the author's symbolic writing turned Fleming's battlefield into a mythic realm. Vansant's conventionally realistic artwork, on the other hand, is more prosaic than Crane's brilliantly descriptive captions. This adaptation faithfully introduces the plot, characters and primary themes of Red Badge to readers unfamiliar with the original book without penetrating the full depths of Crane's masterwork. (May)
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About the Author

Stephen Crane (1871–1900) was active as a reporter around the world in addition to being an acclaimed novelist.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stephen Crane's classic story of the Civil War, "The Red Badge of Courage", is here translated into a graphic novel by artist Wayne Vansant. Vansant's simplified graphic delivery packs an emotional punch, even without some of the haunting details of the original story.

A youthful farm boy enlists in the Union Army early in the Civil War, in the expectation of the kind of glory found in his schoolboy readings. The closer he comes to combat with his regiment, the more his fear of the unknown and of the enemy dominates his thoughts. His first clash with the enemy will be a painful experience, imparting a life lesson in fear, humanity and humility.

Wayne Vansant does a good job turning a tough, even disturbing story into a graphic representation of war from the point of view of the infantry private. The seemingly meaningless marching to and fro, the confusion of battle, and the boredom of camp are all captured here. Some of the more subtle aspects of the original story translate less well, such as the youth's remorse at abandoning a wounded companion and his fit of battle madness later in the story.

The graphic novel "The Red Badge of Courage" is recommended as an introduction to Stephen Crane's story for the young reader that may prompt him or her to seek out the original.
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