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The Tarot Cafe, Vol. 1 Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: TokyoPop (March 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595325557
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595325556
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,464,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Park (Les Bijoux) presents a new series that is part fantasy, part horror and entirely intriguing. Pamela reads fortunes at the Tarot Café, helping a series of supernatural beings process lost loves, karmic traps and other mysteries. Her cafe attracts a vampire who meets—and betrays—his one true love over and over again; a puppet master whose greatest creation has fallen in love with him; a cat who changes into a person for love of his mistress; and a fairy trapped in the body of a young girl. The volume combines clear artwork with amusing dialogue and heartfelt situations; each chapter comes off as a fairy tale or fable, and is pleasingly imaginative as such. But it's difficult to engage with the book at times, because Pamela's own character is such a mystery. Her conversations with her clients and others in the lulls between stories are intriguing and deserve to be extended in upcoming volumes. Park's artwork is stellar, whether she is using b&w contrast to illuminate the horror of a vampire's appearance or crafting scenes that represent a story's emotional center. Already a bestseller in Korea, this series should be popular in the U.S. as well, particularly among tween girls, for its creativity and fantastic elements. (Mar. 30)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–This book consists of four episodes, the last of which is less compelling than the first three. Tarot-card reader Pamela has the ability to read supernatural beings, and each segment tells of a problem that the tarot reading helps to solve. In the first, a wish-fulfilling cat must make the ultimate choice for love. Next, a vampire needs help coming to terms with his past. A fairy has to help a human in order to lift a curse in the third, and, in the last, an alchemist discovers true feelings where he least expects them. Each episode is a story in itself, but the final episode doesn't come to a satisfying conclusion. The black-and-white manga-style illustrations are clear and expressive and fully complement the text, and the tarot cards are interestingly drawn. As each one is turned over, its meaning is explained. The stories are mostly about adults, but they will appeal to older teens as they move quickly and are engrossing. Suitable for public libraries or high schools.–Ronnie Gordon, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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At the same time, Pamela's interesting history is slowly unveiled.
Pumibel
Also, the story of the alchemist and the jester was a very good one that continues into volume two.
Calix Vincent
The author, Sang-Sun Park, has a very unique art style, somewhat goth.
Zoe Valentine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tami on March 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Something that can annoy me a lot is a manga that takes a long time to actually get into the story because its hung up on a really long intro. Well, in Tarot Cafe, the alternative seems to be...no intro whatsoever. You jump right into the first story, without hearing a shred of backstory on the main character, Pamela. And surprisingly, it worked-because Pamela is only a medium stringing all the stories together, which are all slightly ethreal, and have a gently painful lesson in each.

If you read the blurb, the stories certainly sound unique. And they are, though I think they have a greater depth potential than what the author ended up using. Like I said before, Pamela shows up briefly in each tale, but ultimately everything that the characters do are based on their own personal tragedy. I liked all of them, because each is a different take on love, and though every romance isn't resolved the way the central character wished it would, you see that there is always room to be happy, as sad as getting there was. It's too heartbreaking to be a romance, but Tarot Cafe has love around every corner, and it chides you to not get carried away in a fantasy of "Happy ever after"

The artwork is by a remarkable artist, who also illustrated Les Bijoux. It is often praised for its beautiful pictures but critisized for a sub-par story. Park Sun Sang did not write the story for that manghwa, but I think she did for this one. I'm impressed, because the quality of plot and dialogue has multplied ten fold. I love Les Bijoux, but I have to admit that its textural contents were a league away from the level of the artist brilliance. Of course in Tarot cafe, the pictures don't look quite as nice as Les Bijoux- there's far less toning, and the people just aren't as "beautiful" anymore. But they're still impressive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Calix Vincent on August 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I absolutely love this manhwa series. The characters are original and every page is beautifully drawn and put together very well. Park has a unique style that most can't help but be drawn to.

The Tarot Café, owned by Pamela, gets quite a few strange visitors, and as Pamela reads their pasts, presents, and futures, their stories flow on the pages. Many of the stories were heart-wrenching, like the first one, that of the wish-fulfilling cat. Also, the story of the alchemist and the jester was a very good one that continues into volume two.

The Tarot Café is a fresh read, if you're looking for something new. Park Sang-Sun provides sumptuous artwork as well as great and straightforward stories to go along with them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A&M Junkie on June 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
When I first picked up this book I took one look at the drawing style and layout of the pictures and put it back on the shelf. I eventually bought the first volume only because I loved Park's other series - Ark Angels

I then read it and was literally blown away. Park's illustrations are the most beautiful I have seen since the Angel Sanctuary series, a mixture of gothic and art nouveau. The detail that she puts in is amazing. Every picture is stylised and lovingly crafted.

The first volume is made up of short stories like Pet Shop of Horrors as described through tarot card readings. Each story is a lesson is love - full of anguish, emotion, sacrifice. For those who have read Loveless, you may love the first story about a cat demon. All characters are beautiful and sexy, but Park shows that beauty on the outside is not always reflected inside. Park pulls of the difficult task of introducing new characters in her short stories and making us care for them.

Each volume gets better and better as it goes on. The second volume concentrates on the story of a werewolf boy and starts to explain the mysterious background of the tarot card reader Pamela. Volume three concentrates on a sultan who has fallen in love with his servant and Pamela's own story. The fourth explains Pamela's connection with Belus. It also has the story of a step daughter confined to an attic by her wicked step mother and the tale of a musician who has promised his soul to a sprite. With so many gorgeous guys this is definitely a manwha for girls to read. However, how much you enjoy it will depend on how much you enjoy shonen-ai. If you love it like me then you too will be addicted to this series as Park creates imaginative and heart-wrending shonen-ai stories as well as many other types of love stories.

I loved this and hope you do to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kaleidocherry VINE VOICE on February 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book based on a recommendation from Tokyopop. The contents are all short stories based on Pamela's card readings for customers...she reads the cards, and then the story shows what happens to the customer afterwards and how it related to the card reading. So there's no real joy of getting to know a character. There's too little, too shallow, of Pamela herself and her male friend whose name I already forget. And all the characters - though beautifully-drawn - are very androgynous-looking, with thickly-done, dark shadowed eyes, lipstick, etc. The only way I could tell whether a character was a man or not was to (a) see if he was referred to as a "he" or (b) see if he was drawn shirtless at any point. It was too confusing and too shallow, so I won't be sticking with this series.
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