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The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (A Contract With God, A Life Force, Dropsie Avenue) Hardcover – Illustrated, December 17, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 105 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Famed innovator Eisner showed the creators of modern comics what a potentially rich medium they were working with. In particular, he used the term "graphic novel" to sell A Contract with God (1978), a collection of interrelated comics stories about residents in a Jewish tenement section of New York. He returned to that territory in A Life Force (1988), showing one man's uncertain progress, and in Dropsie Avenue (1995), an historical panorama of the whole neighborhood. Printed together for the first time in this volume, the works reinforce each other beautifully. Eisner's virtuoso art always has been admired, but his writing sometimes has been disparaged as thin and sentimental. Over the span of these three books, though, emotions jostle and balance each other; sometimes the stories seem upbeat, sometimes fatalistic. The characters frequently are defeated in the short term but always yearning for more than their surroundings offer. In any case, Eisner's illustrations are superb: water drenches a man walking alone at night in a thunderstorm; a fat housewife athletically performs a "heart attack" right after her husband has collapsed with a real one; aerial cityscapes expand; and every possible expression flickers over the characters' faces. This is an important, wonderful book. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Comics veteran Eisner launched a second career with A Contract with God (1978), one that eclipsed his pioneering 1940s work featuring the masked crimefighter the Spirit and led the way for the contemporary graphic novel. Two further Depression-era books set on the same fictitious street in the Bronx followed. In the wake of Eisner's recent death, the three are here gathered into a single volume. Contract consists of four vignettes, each focusing on a resident of 55 Dropsie Avenue. More ambitious, A Life Force (1983) details the intertwining lives of a handful of the tenement's inhabitants. Dropsie Avenue (1995) portrays the neighborhood's history from 1870, when British immigrants displaced Dutch--descended farmers, to its improbable rebirth from the ruins of the Bronx at the close of the twentieth century. By this point, Eisner's drawing style, always slightly cartoonish, had become even looser and more exaggerated, while his storytelling remained masterful. Along with his other late-life graphic novels, also slated for collection, the trilogy compellingly if melodramatically portrays New York Jewish life. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • Item Weight : 2.55 pounds
  • Hardcover : 528 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0393061051
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0393061055
  • Product Dimensions : 7.3 x 1.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; Illustrated Edition (December 17, 2005)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 105 ratings