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Two Generals Hardcover – October 26, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771019580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771019586
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,517,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Our top pick this Remembrance Day, not for its novel mix of format and subject but for its stunning success in bringing home the real foot soldier's experience..."
Toronto Star
"Profoundly moving..."
"Two Generals is a compelling portrait of two Canadian officers during the Second World War, with an extreme attention to detail in the dress, troop movements and battles, and especially their day-to-day endearing success..."
National Post

Praise for Northwest Passage:
"A . . . swashbuckler of a comic-book tale." 
Toronto Star

"[A] thrilling historical adventure." 
Publishers Weekly

"[A] rich, suspenseful, action-packed story (with some fascinating historical details)."

"Scott Chantler [has a] knack for suspense." 
Entertainment Weekly

About the Author

SCOTT CHANTLER is an acclaimed graphic novelist and illustrator who has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Joe Shuster and the Doug Wright Awards for Canadian cartooning excellence. He is the author of Northwest Passage, a multi-volume graphic narrative set in 1755 colonial Canada, and the artist of graphic novels including Days Like This, Scandalous, and Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen. He is also a popular commercial illustrator whose clients include McDonald's, Reebok, Macy's, the Toronto Star, the National Post, and Maclean's.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 6 customer reviews
Let's start with the book.
Nicola Mansfield
The story is fascinating, touching, tragic, and humorous, and often made me think of the short tales my Grandad would relate about the war.
Scott Chantler has a clear, crisp style that suits this type of story well.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patrick_Adams on January 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My wife bought me a copy of the World War 2 graphic novel "Two Generals" for Christmas, the story of two Canadian officers who take part in the battle for Normandy following the D-Day landings. For half an hour I was oblivious to the screams and shouts of my two kids as I read this book, choking back the tears. I had no family at Normandy and am not prone to emotional outbursts so I can only conclude that this is simply an excellent story, heart-breakingly well told.

My wife was cross with me for leaving her to look after two screaming children, so I just passed the book to her and watched her react in the same way that I had.

The author's impressive research is noticeable on every page. The front cover for example shows St Giles Church, Stokes Poges, with the ivy and bushes as they were in the 1940s not as they are now. It stands up well to a re-read, with subtleties noticed that I missed the first time.

If Herge had written for adults, he would have come up with something like this!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By on August 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
War stories are complicated and difficult to tell, which makes comics the perfect medium for telling them: The creator can show not only the characters and their actions but also their surroundings, the details of military life, maps of battles and strategy, and the carnage that comes with war, all without breaking the narrative with blocks of description. Scott Chantler uses the medium to its fullest in an unusual sort of war story: His grandfather's experiences in the D-Day invasion as a lieutenant in the Canadian Highland Light Infantry. The story is drawn largely from the diary of Chantler's grandfather, Law Chantler, and the letters of his best friend, Jack Chrysler. In keeping with the source material, the book itself is designed to look like a diary, complete with elastic-loop bookmark.

The book is divided into two parts. The first is mostly taken up with the period before the invasion, when Law Chantler and Jack Chrysler were going through training in England. This part of the book is mostly light-hearted, chronicling the two men's experiences in a new country and the trials they face in their training, but there a few moments that foreshadow what is to come, as when Chantler and Chrysler witness a bus accident in which a woman is killed. As the day draws near, the unit begins training with live ammunition (which means real casualties), and they are issued collapsible bicycles for use in the invasion. Important dignitaries, including the King of England, come to wish them well, and then--after a false start--they board ships and learn that they are indeed going to be part of the invasion of Normandy.

Part Two is the story of the invasion itself. Chantler's unit hits the beach but then stalls and can move no further.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jamie S. Rich on July 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Very few comics have made me cry. This is one of them. The last handful of pages are masterful, as Scott Chantler reframes a scene we've visited several times before in the book, giving it new resonance and tying the whole narrative together in a way that packs real power. It's a brilliant example of thoughtful storytelling, emotional without being manipulative. But then, there isn't a pen stroke in this comic that isn't perfectly planned. TWO GENERALS should be given to all prospective cartoonists as a tutorial on how to visually tell tales. Adhering to a strict layout based on a nine-panel grid, Chantler frequently relies on silence and small details to relate change, movement, and outward expression of inner thought and feeling. His pin-point eyes tell more about a character's internal conflict than most other comics artists manage when rendering a complete face. Also, his sparse use of color avoids gimmickry and instead conveys an added layer of meaning. The portentous use of the dark wine color that also adorns the cover of this handsomely designed graphic novel alerts us to deaths to come, like a more serious employment of the Star Trek red shirt. Except here, under the grim specter of war, any man is as expendable as any other.

TWO GENERALS is based in large part on the diaries of the author's grandfather, a lieutenant in the Canadian army in World War II. Chantler's approach is, in some ways, "just the facts, ma'am," avoiding mawkish sentimentality; yet, he is not scared of nostalgia, humor, or genuine human connection. The comic also manages to honor the brave fighters without cheerleading or propaganda, in much the same way another visual medium, television, payed tribute to the soldiers in the miniseries BAND OF BROTHERS and THE PACIFIC. I'm considering putting TWO GENERALS on the same shelf as those DVD sets, even if it would fly in the face of my compulsive filing system. Someone get this novel in the hands of Tom Hanks, stat.
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More About the Author

Scott Chantler is the Joe Shuster Award-winning cartoonist of the graphic novels TWO GENERALS, NORTHWEST PASSAGE, and the THREE THIEVES series. He is also a popular commercial illustrator whose clients have included McDonald's, Reebok, Macy's, Rogers, The New York Daily News, The National Post, The Toronto Star, and Maclean's. When he's not doing either of those things, he teaches Writing for Graphic Novels at Max the Mutt Animation School in Toronto.

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