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Bloody Chester Paperback – July 3, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JT Petty is an American film director, author, and video game writer. He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Hilary Florido‘s self-published mini-comics have been listed in the 2009 and 2010 Best American Comics. She works as a storyboarder on The Cartoon Network's "The Regular Show."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: First Second; First Edition edition (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596431008
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596431003
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,096,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Bloody Chester was another library find that I honestly picked up because of the cover, and I'm so glad I did. Westerns are usually not a genre I'm ever interested in, but this one is much more than your typical Western plot. Chester Kate is hired to burn down an abandoned town that is supposedly cursed with a mysterious plague, but once he arrives and discovers that the town still has four inhabitants, the plot thickens.

This book doesn't have many totally positive reviews on Goodreads, which I don't understand at all. I completely loved this book; I loved the ending and the characters were all interesting and unique. The plot kept me thinking and I still keep thinking about what happened in this book. I have a lot more I want to say about what happens, but a good amount of that pertains to the ending and I don't want to spoil that (but if you do read this and want to talk about it, feel free to comment below or message me on any of my social media accounts listed below!).

My recommendation is obviously to pick up this book. It's a quick read and it will get you thinking, and it's enjoyable.

This review and others can also be found on my book blog: swimmingthroughliterature.wordpress.com.
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Format: Paperback
Bloody Chester is aptly named. Chester is beaten repeatedly in the first few pages of this entertaining western (and a few more times later in the story). He isn't much of a fighter. Chester is an unlikely candidate for the job of burning down the town of Whale, where something wicked has frightened off the workers who are laying track for the new Union Pacific route. After accepting the job, he encounters a couple of mutilated corpses on his way to the deserted town -- deserted except for Caroline, a priest, the priest's evil adopted son, and Caroline's father, who lives in a mine outside of town. Chester learns that the population of Whale has been wiped out by a plague caused by an Indian curse -- or perhaps there's another explanation. Of course, Caroline's residence in Whale presents a bit of a snag in Chester's plan to burn the town down, particularly after Chester grows fond of her.

The characters in Bloody Chester are surprisingly well-developed. Caroline's father is a crazy old coot, the priest's kid is a riot, and Chester is sort of an endearing born-to-lose antihero. Bloody Chester features gritty writing seasoned with moments of humor and clever plot twists. This is a smart, fun story.

The artwork is simple but appealing. I particularly like the vibrancy with which some panels are colored.

If I could, I would give Bloody Chester 4 1/2 stars.
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Format: Paperback
Bloody Chester is an atmospheric old Western graphic novel with a spooky set up and young anti-hero protagonist. The artwork is oddly cartoony, playing against the gritty and horror-filled story of a loser. This is not a story of redemption and the authors really buck cliches of the modern novel. I was reminded a lot of True Grit - no sappy ending, just the harsh realities of the American frontier.

Chester, nicknamed Bloody Chester, is a hapless young teen drunk and loser existing on the outskirts of the town he just blew into. Willing to let himself get beat silly as long as there is a meal and whiskey in it in the end, eventually he finds himself in jail and with a proposition. The railroad is coming to the neighboring ghost town and the sheriff wants it burned to the ground to ease a superstitious fear that would keep railroad slaves from working the area. Chester is given a shave, a gun, and some food and heads out to the town of Whale to set to his pyrotechnic work. But what he finds is a place full of death and superstition, disease and insanity. Where the craziest people of all are actually the sane ones. What he finds is coyote waits.

The author goes for the down and gritty - using graphic language, racist stereotypes, and the bitter ugliness of waking up with vomit on oneself. Chester is a thoroughly unlikeable character, weak, craven, and without conviction. But he's smart enough to do what he needs to in order to survive - and doing so is killing the boy each and every time. On the surface, this is a simple tale of mystery with a bit of horror and possibly supernatural thrown in. It's also a character study of how we fool ourselves and survival vs subsistence.
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Format: Paperback
Set somewhere in the Old West, Bloody Chester follows the story of Chester Kates, a ragged teenage waif who's always falling in and out of bar fights. After one particular scrape, a man from the railroad company plucks him from the gutter, gives him clothes, a gun, and a mission: burn the neighboring town of Whale to the ground to make way for the brand new rail-line. When he reaches the town in question, however, he finds plague victims littering the streets, and a dead man with a sign around his neck that reads: Coyote Waits. Three survivors are all that remain: Caroline, a young woman whose father has fled to the hills, Father Goodnight, the ailing town priest, and Potter, his dimwitted adopted son. Despite Chester's urgings, the three refuse to leave. Caroline is waiting for her father's return, and the priest, who has just come down with the "heathen plague," has quarantined himself and is determined to die alone for the betterment of mankind. As Chester continues his efforts to lead them to safety, he soon discovers the true horror of the plague's origin.

Bloody Chester isn't a terrible graphic novel, but when all is said and done, it's a pretty big disappointment. Petty employs some big themes, like the corruptness of Western men and the savagery of modern progress. He even goes so far as to suggest that the "heathen plague" is brought upon Whale by moral corruption, not actual disease--which, coupled with the Old West setting, is pretty cool at first. Unfortunately, the author abandons his exploration of these "big themes" in order to pursue a confusing series of convoluted plot twists that left me thinking, "I've read better." Much, much better. Recommended for Ages 16-18 for Language.
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