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Only Words Paperback – July 11, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

... a short, intense study on the powerful lure of the forbidden. And with the multiple layers of wrongness come stronger desire and more serious fallout -- political, religious, and ethnic on top of the usual homosexuality taboo... potent stuff. There's sex, yes, but it's part and parcel of these characters' trajectories. Kudos all around. ---Prospero's Manga

For me, this was a hard-to-take and very personal tale that touched on many global issues with a needful light touch. It could easily have been turned into a massive political statement but it didn't attempt to do so. It remained for me a story of two young men caught up in circumstances they are completely unable to change. It has had the same visceral punch for me as films such as Se7en and I know for a fact that Only Words will stay with me for a long long time. I m very pleased that this was my first foray into this genre. --Speak Its Name

There is so much good in this release that it's hard to find just one thing to point out that s truly exemplary. [...] This to me, is OEL (Original English Language) manga done right. --Boys Next Door

About the Author

Tina Anderson is an accomplished author of gay fiction and comics; her works have been published Class Comics, Yaoi Press, and Dramaqueen. Writing credits include the series Roulette, currently serialized the American yaoi anthology magazine RUSH, and the historical gay drama Only Words, her first full-length graphic novel published in 2007 by Iris Print.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 131 pages
  • Publisher: Iris Print (July 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979466717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979466717
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,018,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Wow. This isn't what I expected. I'd seen other Nazi yaoi from Japan, and it's mostly stupid, unrealistic, and it looks like its just the same old sex story, but with hot Nazis in well drawn uniforms--or if there is no sex, it's some unrealistic drama that's best seen on a ladies soap opera with lots of ellipses and little sense, but hot Nazi's in well drawn uniforms.

Not this book. Only Words actually has a story, and while it's not an earth-shattering deep one, it's something of a page turner, and I couldn't put it down. It doesn't feel like the kind of story that is formulated as an Excuse to have a sexual relationship between two men. I picked this up a convention, and the book is in great condition, though the print seems a bit dark on some pages, and I think there might be pages missing because it just abruptly ends after the artist `freetalk', with a blank page, and some publisher information. Given writer Anderson's reputation to love to hear herself talk, (world's largest Ego, really) I can't believe she didn't write notes for this book. The art is very interesting, and the artist isn't afraid of using black, in fact, Ms. Monaco seems to be a master of it, and her character designs are refreshingly unique and interesting. You're not going to find breath-taking bishounen in this one; you're going to find guys you might know. Another plus, in my opinion.

I don't want to spoil the story, but I can't help but share some of it. It takes place on a border town in Poland at the start of the war, and we meet this young man named Koby, who would've been a priest, had it not been for the German invasion. He attends school with many German youth, most notable, young men in the Hitler Jugen.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This almost hurt to read but when you understand that the era it's set in is during World War II it's understandable. I wanted to cradle the little priest and felt bad that he was always picked on and wanted to beat down the bullies and the sex was intense and it seemed like it was borderline rape if not rape itself. Despite the story being difficult to swallow, it's told in a way that is intense and aching and very well done. A smooth reading that envelopes you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For such a quick read, what stood out about this manga was how much was gotten across in so short a time. Generally shorter mangas have that rushed feeling about them and I end up having difficulties caring about the characters at all. With Only Words, this was not the case.

Every incident has meaning behind it, building up this story of a student named Koby, who from the start seems to be one of the few who has survived the Nazi occupation with a good soul still intact. He refuses to see others bullied---regardless of how outnumbered he is---and ends up in a situation that leads to his acquaintance with the Hitler Youth, Oskar.

This isn't much by way of romance if that's what you're searching for. It's more about Koby trying to cope with his feelings, trying to understand his interest in Oskar, and attempting to make a life when everything he was counting on before has been destroyed.

The ending is not a happy one, and I'm sure it would put off many readers. Recommended, however, for those looking for something more historically-based, and who like their yaoi with more substance and little to no fluff.

Only Words does lose a few points with me, mostly for length (too short) and artwork that wasn't much to my taste. The characters are definitely male-looking, which will please some, but I found it to be a little too blunt to be anything of a favorite. The backgrounds, however, are detailed and relay the story well. This problem is mostly subjective, and I think regardless of whether or not you find the art appealing, it's still very much worth the read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The lead of Only Words is Koby, a seminary student who lives his life honestly and quietly within the confines of society in Nazi-inhabited Poland. Affecting his life in a way that will forever stay with him is Oskar, a Nazi soldier, and between them is arranged a seductively dangerous encounter.

Koby is a somber character and, for the little readers get a glimpse, is a bit of a masochist, his personal sexual attentions on Oskar. The whole story carries along at a pace that suits Koby's personality, slow and steady, but sharply changes in contrast by appearances of Oskar, whose page-time is brief, but notable, in Koby's life (for which this book is only a small part of). Panels are laid out evenly and more sparse compared to most, with only about 2-4 panels per page. Honestly, it was nice to read it that way when compared to some graphic novels that suffer from an abundance of clutter.

As both a warning and point of interest, those looking for romance won't find it here, so don't let the tender cover fool you. What passes between the characters is lust, if anything, but fluffy love it most certainly is not. No complaints from me however, because the cold, harsh reality of it felt like a refreshing change from the usual unrealistic, forced romantics of many other stories. A little more dark and depressing than some may expect but thankfully not in a way that takes any time to wallow in itself.

With the end set up as it was, and the brief though impacting interactions that will no doubt have a lasting effect on Koby, I would love to see the story taken further since I felt this book worked to set up a great potential follow-up. By the time I'd finished the book, I'd really got the feeling that it was more of a prequel than a standalone.
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