Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Three Shadows Paperback – Deckle Edge, April 1, 2008
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Rarely has the succulent appeal of quiet country life been portrayed with such sensual skill as it is in Pedrosa's limpid graphic novel about a boy, his parents and the trio of hooded riders who watch them. Pedrosa adeptly establishes the mood of timeless bucolic idyll immediately, with his swirling, sometimes harshly etched, black-and-white renderings of the land cultivated by hulking farmer Louis; his wife, Lise; and their scampering boy, Joachim. The family's playful antics are overshadowed first by ruminative narration, then by three riders, who watch the family with unnerving patience from the foggy distance. A local witch tells Lise that the shadows have come for Joachim, after which Louis impetuously makes a run for it with his son, warned that he must treasure every moment with the boy. The resulting story is more Appointment in Samarra–style dream than chase, with Louis and Joachim floundering from one mysterious episode to the next, the implacable shadows following, as in a nightmare. French artist Pedrosa's background as a Disney animator is clearest in his exaggerated movements and facial expressions, but the story (inspired by the death of a close friend's young child) is a glorious and revelatory fable, beautiful in its grief. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Country life is simple and sweet for young Joachim and his parents, Louis and Lise—filled with cozy winter nights, lazy summer days, and, always, the chores associated with running the orchards. One day three Shadows appear on the horizon, and everything changes. Louis and Lise know that these shadowy fates have come for Joachim. Determined to save the boy, Louis flees with Joachim, desperate to stay one step ahead of the deathly Shadows. Pedrosa’s intriguing, poignant fable unfolds beautifully in both words and pictures. The fluidity of the art reflects Pedrosa’s roots in animation, and the high-contrast shading effectively underscores the tension and emotion of the narrative. One brief instance of nonsexualized nudity should be noted, but that detracts not at all from this dark, well-crafted tale. Grades 9-12. --Tina Coleman
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
"Three shadows" is a beautiful little book. It was drawn in an expert hand, in fluid motion that invokes a feeling of animation. It almost looks like movement has stopped just for this book alone. Characters are alive and yet, with some fascinating and well placed twist of a pen, frozen in time - their quality and vividness almost timeless. Pedrosa tells a tale using a fairy-tale discourse. He borrows from Greek mythology (using Moiras' as a main plot device), he borrows from other traditions as well. This borrowing doesn't function as a spot-the-reference game. Its symbolism is an integral part of the narration, one that allows Pedrosa to abstract - to make a universal story from a singular experience. It's a simple yet touching story. One that deals with loss, with coping, with parents protecting their children, with letting-go and with savoring every moment on Earth as if it is the last one. We've seen this story before. It was told numerous times but every time it appears anew, told in a slightly different way. It may not be new but it reminds us of important truths and one can't deny the power with which it was written this time. Pedrosa seeks catharsis - he needs to vent himself from emotions but at the same time he needs to feel them again. By doing so, his drawing becomes so powerful that emotions become almost palpable, swallowing the reader - pulling him in.
Yet, there are no cheap shots. There is no pathos or melodrama present. "Three shadows" are skillfully done and very smart. There are wild flights of fancy towards the end which almost look like they came from some other book. There are bits of bizarre humor every now and then and small imperfections scattered around. One learns to ignore them soon enough. In the end, when you close the final page, you're left all alone in a room with a bag full of feelings and thoughts that you try to avoid. Yet there is complacency there as well. In a strange and roundabout manner you feel good. You just witnessed an extraordinary hommage to life, to people, to love to human condition in itself. And that is what Art does. It takes something horrible and transforms it into something beautiful. It may not heal the wounds but it gives us strength to carry on.
In the end, all of the characters introduced in the novel, find that no matter how hard you try, you can't escape death. The story itself would appear to be a simple one, but the twists and turns of the lives portrayed make it a compelling story. Although the story is more father and son, the mother's love is evident by her sacrifice to allow father and son to undertake their journey. Both parents handle the situation as best as they know how and exemplify a family's love for one another. The story's overall message is that even in death, you can find hope, and that even though death may come, life will still go on.
What really sells the story and draws the reader in, are the illustrations. The illustrations in the novel are simple black and white line drawings, but through Pedrosa's use of lines they convey emotion and energy. Even without words, the drawings are able to convey joy, fear, grief, and love through the characters expressions and movements. The reader becomes not a mere witness to the story, but a participant, feeling a sense of the place, the time, and the people. The characters cease to be mere drawings on the page, but become real to the reader, as if we could meet them in real life.
If I had only 4 words to describe it they would be; Mythic. Epic. Tragic. Fantastic.
Cyril's gorgeously diverse art style reminds me of Disney aesthetic mixed with Asian calligraphy (excellent brushwork) and old folk-fantasy. Coming from an animation background, the work is loose and inspiring with plenty of great character design. I enjoyed the moments of silence sprinkled throughout, (i.e. initially as the family lives out their peaceful lives.) Also Cyril's depiction of atmosphere is spot on.
The story is also quite unique, and features some unusual plot twists, moments of humor, triumph and tragedy. You get a sense the author was familiar with the experiences of the characters, yet he allowed them to express themselves honestly.
Definitely a worthwhile work. I'd read anything from Mr. Pedrosa any day.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You may cry reading this book if you go with the story deep enough.
Must have Graphic Novel !