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Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity Paperback – January 12, 2010

Book 1 of 24 in the Unwritten Series

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Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity + The Unwritten Vol. 2: Inside Man + The Unwritten Vol. 3: Dead Man's Knock
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Product Details

  • Series: Unwritten (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (January 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401225659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401225650
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A taut thriller that slyly plays off the real-world mania for imaginary ones like that of Harry Potter, Carey's new series undercuts the mythology of such all-pervasive media-hyped creations while at the same time hinting at a brilliantly imagined one of its own. Tom Taylor is the son of Wilson Taylor and the unwilling namesake of the protagonist in his dad's wildly popular 13-book fantasy series. The Tommy Taylor cottage industry of movies, video games, and geek-ridden conventions is given an extra dash of drama by Wilson's having mysteriously disappeared years before, leaving a cynical Tom (who inherited none of his millions) to eke out a grubby living at paid appearances. Carey's story (solidly illustrated by Gross) picks up speed fast when Tom realizes some elements of Wilson's stories might not be made up. By the time the first story is done, Carey has not only created a brisk and addictive story, sketched with crafty allusions to classic literature, but also neatly subverted the celebrity-worship manias of fantasy fandom and questioned the very nature of storytelling itself. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

Tom Taylor makes a respectable celebrity living as the presumed former model for the boy hero of his father Wilson’s 13 fantasy novels, which enjoy a Harry Potterish fandom. He’d as soon not be so identified with the character, though, especially when fans insist he must still possess his fictional doppelgänger’s magic. When it’s announced that he isn’t Wilson Taylor’s biological child, after all, any relief he might get is complicated by having to dodge lynch mobs of former worshipers. Then, when he survives, unscathed, a would-be murder-by-bomb, the tables of his public identity resume their original setting. So he absconds to the Villa Diodati in Switzerland, where Mary Shelley dreamed up Frankenstein and he lived until his father’s disappearance when Tom was 12. Thereafter, things get very interesting, indeed. Appending an explanatory flashback featuring Rudyard Kipling, scripter Carey and artist Gross confidently launch The Unwritten with a first arc that boasts the most breathtaking gut-punch ending since that of The Fugue (2008), the dumbfounding first arc of Michael Alan Nelson’s unpredictable Fall of Cthulhu. --Ray Olson

Customer Reviews

Illustrations fit the story and the drawing style is very engaging.
A.J. Hills
Mike Carey creates a world and fantasy world that is full of horrors, villains, and magic that the main character Tom Taylor has to endure throughout the story.
Just a gamer
A very good issue that builds the atmosphere of the comic, while straying from the main story a lot.
Enrique Treviño and Yuliia Glushchenko

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Sean Curley on January 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Mike Carey is one of the many British comic writers to make his name at DC's Vertigo imprint. Carey began his North American writing career with his famous "Lucifer" series (a spinoff of Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman"), as well as a run on the longrunning "John Constantine, Hellblazer". Subsequently he's spent some time at Marvel Comics, most prominently with a lengthy period on "X-Men", which has met with quite a bit of fan acclaim. Now he returns to Vertigo with his next big indie project, "The Unwritten", which revisits a passel of familiar Vertigo themes and should prove very popular among literary enthusiasts. This trade paperback collections issue 1-5 of the series. Some spoilers follow.

Our protagonist is Tom Taylor, the now-adult son of the famous author Wilson Taylor; much like A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, Wilson integrated his son into his writing, making him the hero of a thirteen-volume fantasy series that (the series helpfully tells us) is popular enough to make Harry Potter look like, ah, I guess the hero of "Eragon" by comparison. The now-adult Tom makes a living at fan conventions and the like, while his father vanished without a trace years before. At least, that's what Tom believes. But after an encounter with a mysterious woman inquiring into his past, the question of exactly what Tom is comes to the fore. This kicks off a strange and as-yet-largely-unexplained journey into conspiracy and metafiction.

In comparison to past Vertigo series, one can very easily see many similarities with "The Sandman", which was also very much concerned with the nature of story and the interactions between fiction and reality.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm probably grading this slightly on the curve because it gets so much better as it goes along. And, as they say, the plot thickens. The first few issues introduce us to Tommy Taylor and his sad little life. As a child he was the model for a series of kid's novels about Tommy Taylor, boy wizard, who was aided by two friends who bear a sharp resemblance to Ron and Hermione and a flying cat. There is even a Voldemort equivalent, the evil vampire Count Ambrosio. At first, you think that the Harry Potter resemblance is pretty much all there is going to be to the book, but the plot, as they say, quickly thickens. The heart of the story is not wizards and vampires, but the act of writing and the role of stories in our lives. As of the most recent issue (I write this shortly after having read Issue No. 9) it isn't clear what all the threads are leading to, but we know that there is a centuries old conspiracy connected to great writing. The key will certainly turn out to be Tommy's map of places where great fictional events took place, but the identity of the mysterious organization behind it has yet to be revealed or all of their purposes determined.

This marvelous series is still in its early stages and is going to be with us for a while. If you haven't started reading this, you need to. It is going to be another great series in the best Vertigo tradition.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Sandoval on July 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm absolutely new to comic books. I'm much more of a canon-lit lover. However, I've been seeking out graphic novels lately for my students (I'm an upper elementary special ed teacher, always on the lookout for anything that will get my kiddos interested in books, reading, and writing...

This is actually the first comic book (excuse me if I'm using the wrong lingo) that specifically called to me. I can't put my finger on why, and even now, just flipping through, I can't figure out what attracted me to it. Maybe the title? Something 'unwritten?' Does that mean it has not yet been written? Or words are being undone? It intrigued me.

Now that I've read it, I'm hooked. I love the way the author has brought in literature, the authors that we've all had to read for school. I love the literary GPS stuff. I love the historical background. All of it makes for very good reading, and I'm very impressed.

I've just gotten Volume 2. And I can't wait to read it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on January 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
The team from Lucifer team up in this new, slightly post-modern fantasy. Tom Taylor lives in the shadow of his missing father - but even more in the shadow of "Tommy Taylor", his father's Potter-esque fictional creation.

As things start to get a bit weird (serial killers, death threats, magical tattoos...), Tom Taylor starts out on a quest to figure out what's really going on. He doesn't get too far in this first collection, but the set-up is very intriguing.

A bit of Fables (what with the "power of stories" shtick) and a bit of The Magicians (with its combination of angst and fantasy). The lead characters are, so far, slightly forgettable - with the absent father being the most appealing of the lot. However, the story is great - and the occasional creative segue to "Tommy Taylor books" (or Rudyard Kipling's diary) is incredibly well done. Carey and Gross should settle in for a long and fascinating run. One to keep following.
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More About the Author

Mike Carey got into writing through comic books, where his horror/fantasy series Lucifer garnered numerous international awards and was nominated for five Eisners. From there he moved into novels and screenplays, while still maintaining a presence in the comics world (he is currently writing two of Marvel's flagship titles, X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four). His movie Frost Flowers, an erotic ghost story, is currently in production with Hadaly/Bluestar Pictures. He lives in London, England, about as far as you can get from the centre of the city and still have access to the London Underground train network. His wife, Linda, writes fantasy for young readers under the pseudonym A.J. Lake. They have three children and an implausibly beautiful cat.

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Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity
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