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Three Shadows Paperback – Deckle Edge


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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159643239X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596432390
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Rarely has the succulent appeal of quiet country life been portrayed with such sensual skill as it is in Pedrosa's limpid graphic novel about a boy, his parents and the trio of hooded riders who watch them. Pedrosa adeptly establishes the mood of timeless bucolic idyll immediately, with his swirling, sometimes harshly etched, black-and-white renderings of the land cultivated by hulking farmer Louis; his wife, Lise; and their scampering boy, Joachim. The family's playful antics are overshadowed first by ruminative narration, then by three riders, who watch the family with unnerving patience from the foggy distance. A local witch tells Lise that the shadows have come for Joachim, after which Louis impetuously makes a run for it with his son, warned that he must treasure every moment with the boy. The resulting story is more Appointment in Samarra–style dream than chase, with Louis and Joachim floundering from one mysterious episode to the next, the implacable shadows following, as in a nightmare. French artist Pedrosa's background as a Disney animator is clearest in his exaggerated movements and facial expressions, but the story (inspired by the death of a close friend's young child) is a glorious and revelatory fable, beautiful in its grief. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

Country life is simple and sweet for young Joachim and his parents, Louis and Lise—filled with cozy winter nights, lazy summer days, and, always, the chores associated with running the orchards. One day three Shadows appear on the horizon, and everything changes. Louis and Lise know that these shadowy fates have come for Joachim. Determined to save the boy, Louis flees with Joachim, desperate to stay one step ahead of the deathly Shadows. Pedrosa’s intriguing, poignant fable unfolds beautifully in both words and pictures. The fluidity of the art reflects Pedrosa’s roots in animation, and the high-contrast shading effectively underscores the tension and emotion of the narrative. One brief instance of nonsexualized nudity should be noted, but that detracts not at all from this dark, well-crafted tale. Grades 9-12. --Tina Coleman

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Three Shadows is hands down one of the best graphic novels I have ever read.
Winslow
I don't usually purchase GN's (one read from the library is usually enough), but I bought and have read this story three times so far, finding more depth each time.
Amazon Customer
The art is amazing -- sweeping and impressionistic -- and perfectly compliments the story.
Saint Ends

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Every once in a while, among the sea of graphic novels flooding the market, one hits you right between the eyes. As the father of a young child (and son, no less) Three Shadows did just that. Using a real-life tragedy, Cyril Pedrosa successfully pours his emotions on the pages and takes the reader on a journey that runs the gamut of emotions. I don't usually purchase GN's (one read from the library is usually enough), but I bought and have read this story three times so far, finding more depth each time. It's unfortunate that the loss of a child can bring out such a touching work, but Pedrosa can rest assured that through that loss I have contemplated what it means to be a father and (I hope) it has made me a better one. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
It's not easy - hell, one can't even begin to describe it as `not easy' - to watch someone die. It's one of the most desperate situations for human beings. It strips you of any semblance of power, it makes you feel utterly and desperately helpless, it makes you feel small and inconsequential. All you can do is watch and feel the passage of time as meat and bone degrade and decompose before your eyes. Few of us escape this close encounter with death and they can be called the lucky ones. Cyril Pedrosa watched someone die. It was a child of a close friend of his and there was nothing he could do to stop or change that. Being human he was helpless. So he did what he did the best. He started to draw, he started to write. His humanity, that feeling of helplessness, despair and strange and dubious hope, fueled his creative outburst and "Three shadows" came into existence. It was a strange and bizarre trade-off; one child for one piece of Art. It wasn't a fair trade-off yet it was the best one we could get.

"Three shadows" is a beautiful little book. It was drawn in an expert hand, in fluid motion that invokes a feeling of animation. It almost looks like movement has stopped just for this book alone. Characters are alive and yet, with some fascinating and well placed twist of a pen, frozen in time - their quality and vividness almost timeless. Pedrosa tells a tale using a fairy-tale discourse. He borrows from Greek mythology (using Moiras' as a main plot device), he borrows from other traditions as well. This borrowing doesn't function as a spot-the-reference game. Its symbolism is an integral part of the narration, one that allows Pedrosa to abstract - to make a universal story from a singular experience. It's a simple yet touching story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on April 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Cyril Pedaroa is a former artist for Disney, but has since transferred his creative and artistic talents to the world of graphic novels. Three Shadows is a story of life, a family's love, grief, and death rolled into an all too short novel. A small farming family, father, mother, and their young son named Joaquim. They live an ideal life with all that they could ever need in their lives. Until the day Joaquim approaches his parents and tells them of the three shadows outside watching him. The father takes Joaquim and journeys in hopes of escaping the shadows. Joaquim's father is willing to do anything to protect his son, including giving up his own life.

In the end, all of the characters introduced in the novel, find that no matter how hard you try, you can't escape death. The story itself would appear to be a simple one, but the twists and turns of the lives portrayed make it a compelling story. Although the story is more father and son, the mother's love is evident by her sacrifice to allow father and son to undertake their journey. Both parents handle the situation as best as they know how and exemplify a family's love for one another. The story's overall message is that even in death, you can find hope, and that even though death may come, life will still go on.

What really sells the story and draws the reader in, are the illustrations. The illustrations in the novel are simple black and white line drawings, but through Pedrosa's use of lines they convey emotion and energy. Even without words, the drawings are able to convey joy, fear, grief, and love through the characters expressions and movements. The reader becomes not a mere witness to the story, but a participant, feeling a sense of the place, the time, and the people. The characters cease to be mere drawings on the page, but become real to the reader, as if we could meet them in real life.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jamie S. Rich on June 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book reminds me of the early work of Scott Morse, particularly SOULWIND, both in terms of some of the fantasy elements but also in the storytelling influences Cyril Pedrosa brings into his narrative. You will see shades of Disney, European comics, and traditional Japanese painting.

The story involves a family living on a remote farm in an imaginary country who one day see three horses and riders in the distance. Believing they have come for his son, the father tries to take the boy far away, hoping to outrun these dark harbingers. The plot is largely about the bonds of family and the strange people along their journey who run counter to their beliefs and their mission. At times, the structure meanders a bit, particularly in a side story near the end that actually follows the three shadows on a misadventure, but these are forgivable quirks. THREE SHADOWS is otherwise touching, vividily imagined, and beautifully drawn.
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