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The Green Woman Paperback – November 1, 2011
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Sample Pages from The Green Woman
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From Publishers Weekly
First the good news: Bolton's painted artwork for veteran horror novelist Straub's first (co-written) graphic novel is as uncanny as it's supposed to be--richly textured, vertiginous, built around creepily mottled flesh tones and images whose terrors always seem to be bubbling up from their darkest hues. In places, his characters are so obviously drawn from photographs the book might as well be fumetti, but Bolton's feverish super-realism gives it a hallucinatory tone. Unfortunately, the story (by Straub and Easton, who's best known as an actor) is a straight-to-video erotic thriller with supernatural elements, alternately banal and incomprehensible. An addendum to Straub's 1988–1993 Blue Rose trilogy of prose novels, it involves serial killer œFee Bandolier reflecting on his formative experiences as his final destiny intertwines with that of a weary but sexually irresistible detective named Bob Steele. There's a lot of gruesome Vietnam imagery, a number of central-casting stereotypes, a modicum of purple prose, and several pretty young women in various states of undress and intactness. The book's jumbled chronology and conflation of heavy symbolism with actual plot points do it no favors. (Oct.) (c)
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Top Customer Reviews
Fans of Peter Straub's horror works, such as Ghost Story, as well as those of Michael Easton's graphic novel Soul Stealer series should find The Green Woman equally engrossing. One does not need to be familiar with either author's writings, however, to be swept up in this compelling, macabre, witty yet disturbing work. John Bolton's illustrations brilliantly capture the grime, gore, and eerie, mesmerizing beauty of the Green Woman's realm of madness. With its jarringly skewed perspectives and cinematic vistas of action-packed mayhem, Bolton thrusts the reader into the midst of the inferno.
Reading the book, I am reminded of Coppola's Apocalypse Now and that film's literary progenitor, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. As in that film and book, the Green Woman depicts the psychological journey into the abyss of the soul, the place where opposites such as light and dark, good and evil, blur, transforming the hero into the monster, while offering the choice of redemption to the one in search of the insane enigma. Can Bob Steele capture the Kurtz-like Fielding Bandolier, or will he himself be swallowed up in the darkness? Will the war within end up in victory or in damnation? Only the mirrored mirage into which both hero and monster look knows the answer to the purgatorial quest.
Also, the work is super short, not very skillfully drawn, or colored, in my opinion. This experience will definitely keep me from being a frequent customer; as well as the exorbitant shipping & handling fees which accumulate, if you order a number of items, totally negating any savings you may have achieved from the reasonable prices of the items, themselves.
However, I reserve my biggest disappointment for the rendering of Fee himself in this book. First of all, he would have to be in his 60s now, right? The art did not depict that. He looks to be the same age as Steele, which avoids what could have been a very interesting aspect of the story. Then, there were the ways in which the story diverged from the events depicted in The Throat. First of all, Fee is dead. There's really no getting around that one, and his crimes revealed to the world in a very public way. But even if he somehow managed to escape (impossible), Fee didn't kill his wife in Vietnam. It was John Ransom who did it, just another way in which Fee was victimized in his life (and by the original Bandolier copycat). His name, when he was a Millhaven cop, was Mike Hogan, not Frank Belknap (who was the Bandoliers' neighbor in Pigtown). These changes are aggravating to me because they were contrived in order to tell a story that is neither unique nor particularly revelatory about the character or the Millhaven universe.
If you were looking for something that was consistent with Straub's earlier works about Bandolier, this isn't it. I don't know WHAT this is. It's visually interesting but honestly, it's so contrived and divergent from his original works that I'm not sure why Straub even allowed it to be written. The Fee Bandolier story was done, and well done. This contributes nothing to the saga, and I'm not going to think of it as canon. In fact, I'm going to try not to think of it at all.