From Publishers Weekly
Understanding Willingham's new novel (the first from comics house Vertigo) doesn't require knowledge of the comic it's based upon, but it certainly helps; Fables
follows a population of fairy tale characters seeking shelter in our world after their enchanted lands were conquered. Familiar figures like Snow White, Rose Red, the Beast and Belle, the Big Bad Wolf (a human PI in the mundane world) and others fill out a cast led by Peter Piper and his brother, Max. Sibling rivalry, magical flutes and, yes, pickled peppers factor in the clever, adventurous plot that sees Peter pursuing Bo Peep. Fans will find all the charm and in-jokes of the Fables
universe intact; like Neil Gaiman, another acclaimed comic book author, Willingham writes without the help of thought bubbles and keeps everything clear enough that readers new to the series won't be confused for long. Though it toys with notions of mythology and its origins, this work still keeps true to the spirit of the Brothers Grimm: dark, fast-paced, moving and entertaining, with a few surprises along the way. (Oct.)
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up–The Fables, a group of folk and fairytale characters, are living as a community in New York after being chased out of their previous lands by an evil conqueror. Some of their story has been told through a series of award-winning graphic novels, but Bill Willingham has written this tale as a novel (Vertigo, 2009) that can stand alone. An author's note introduces the audiobook, providing backstory to help those new to the series. The cast of characters includes many recognizable figures: Snow White, the (former) Big Bad Wolf, Rose Red, Peter Piper and his brother Max (The Pied Piper), Bo Peep who is married to Peter, and others. Through wonderful pacing, flashbacks, and clever references to the well-known tales of these characters' former lives, listeners are transported to a world where the storybook fables become real. Wil Wheaton does a wonderful job in timing the drama, humor, and tragedy of this complex tale, only missing the mark with the slow-paced delivery of Bigby Wolf's lines. Be aware that this is not a Disney-esque vision of the world. The characters curse when appropriate, the sex life of Peter and Bo is called into question, and violence is not sugar-coated. The intense conflict between Peter and Max harkens back to the gritty fairytales of old where blood is shed, evil exists, and things are not always as they seem.Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA
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--This text refers to the
Audio CD edition.