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Novel or long prose poem?,
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This review is from: Holy Grail, Holy Grail: Quest East, Quest West (Paperback)
I went through Holy Grail, Holy Grail: Quest East, Quest West at a snail's pace, because, as a writer, reading each scene carefully was like going through a hidden instruction manual on how to create scene, structure, texture and movement. I kept reading because the novel comes off as a visual poem, a blood-history of man and his desires (with quite a bit of the history of Japan thrown in), a high-class manga that one should read as much for its poetic value as for its condemnation of the politics of power, of men who have traded their spiritual wealth for dirt. To me the book could have just as easily been named something like The Grail Trilogy, since Corseri starts in Merlin's magical Britain, then transports his hero, Lancelot (facilitated by Merlin!) to tribal, warring Yamato. This is the land, imbued at that time with the powers of the kami, the gods in all things (derived from Shinto), that was later to become Japan. Shift then to Heian-kyo, a little later in Japanese history, the ancient capital of Kyoto. Then in the last section, Lancelot finds himself in the strangest place of all, modern-day Atlanta, transformed into the final battlefield between the forces of good and evil that have been propelling him through time and different bodies throughout the book in search of the grail. It is a book of beauty, tragic love and horrific violence that propels the reader toward its end. My only complaint is that this highly visual novel has not yet been made into a film so that I can see how well its poetic heart can be captured.