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Through the Woods Paperback – July 15, 2014
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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*"A sure winner for any reader with a yen to become permanently terrified. Brilliant." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
"Emily Carroll's Through the Woods mesmerizes and inspires; a Victorian gothic playground haunted by Mary Shelley & Edward Gorey, awash in the dream-like haze of Odilon Redon, and composed with the poetic elegance of Ukiyo-e. I loved it." (Craig Thompson, three-time Eisner Award-winning author of BLANKETS)
"Through the Woods is a triumph, it's gorgeous, soft and bright, and it is dark, earthy and spin-chilling. [Emily Carroll] should be recognized as one of the best graphic storytellers out there." (Kate Beaton, author of HARK! A VAGRANT)
"Through the Woods will dazzle you, seduce you, amaze you, delight and frighten and enchant you. What a talent. What a voice." (Mark Siegel, author of SAILOR TWAIN, OR THE MERMAID IN THE HUDSON)
"This book is full of gorgeous, terrifying tales of mysterious wooded misadventures that creep right into your brain and seduce you." (Lucy Knisley, author of RELISH: MY LIFE IN THE KITCHEN)
"Stunning, magical. Hauntingly gothic...[Through the Woods] made me feel like a child again, reading grim fairy tales." (Jane Harris, author of THE OBSERVATIONS)
"Beautiful, beguiling, and thrillingly eerie." (Michael Faber, author of THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE)
"Through the Woods is an uncanny wonder. This haunting collection of visual stories, part Stephen King and part Edgar Allen Poe, is a special kind of quiet horror." (John Hendrix, winner of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles Best of Show Award.)
*"It is [Carroll’s] eerie illustrations—popping with bold color on black, glossy pages—that masterfully build terrifying tension and a keep-the-lights-on atmosphere." (Booklist, starred review)
*“Instead of the gratifying defeat of evil, the gothic stories often leave off unsettlingly with a twist of the knife, just at the moment some fresh horror beckons.”—Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
About the Author
Emily Carroll was born in London, Ontario, in June of 1983. In addition to the many short online comics found at her website, her work has been featured in numerous print anthologies. She currently lives with her wife Kate and their large orange cat in Stratford, Ontario.
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This book is a collection of five short horror stories, depicting different people from a very wide range of time periods, social statuses, and general walks of life coming face to face with supernatural horrors. Each of the stories, save for the fifth one, end on such an ambiguous note that the reader has to wonder if the protagonist of each story really encountered something terrible or if it was all in their own heads, which in my opinion makes for the best kind of horror. Engaging the reader by making them really think about what they just read/saw is something only the best stories are capable of. The aforementioned fifth short story contained in this collection is not as ambiguous as the other four, but it does end with a highly suspenseful cliffhanger, as all good horror should.
The art, as mentioned before, is very striking and beautiful, but it was the panel layout that truly caught my eye. I'm a sucker for unique panel layouts in comic books and graphic novels that challenge the reader to think outside of the box and follow the flow of the story more naturally, rather than the traditional stack of boxes that an overwhelming majority of stories in this medium employ. The second story contained in this book, "A Lady's Hands are Cold," particularly encapsulates this layout method in a truly beautiful way, and was the highlight of the book, in my eyes.
If I were to gripe about anything in this book, it would be that is was simply far too short and I wanted so much more. I highly, highly recommend that anyone who is a fan of the graphic novel medium, horror stories, and even the classic fairy tales as told by the Brothers Grimm pick up this volume and read the other online material from the creator. I know I'll be following Mrs. Carroll's work from now on.
If you’re Emily Carroll, you go with subtly complex simplicity, negative space, vivid colors, and fairy tales.
Emily Carroll is an artist who publishes many of her horror webcomics online. Only one of the stories in this collection — the masterful and near-legendary “His Face All Red” — is available on her website. The rest of the tales in this book are gloriously new and wonderfully diabolical.
We get “Our Neighbor’s House,” in which three young girls are left alone in a winter storm — until they encounter a strange man with a broad-brimmed hat and a full-face smile. We get “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold,” a ghostly variant of the Bluebeard legend. We get “My Friend Janna,” in which two friends dabble in spiritualism and discover something spectral and predatory. And we get “The Nesting Place,” in which a girl visits her brother and discovers that his wife is hiding a gruesome secret underneath her skin.
Carroll does an amazing job of creating stories that seem both timeless and ancient, and utterly new and shocking. I think my favorite story in this one is the first — “Our Neighbor’s House” — because it never shows you anything horrific and lets your imagination do all the heavy lifting — which I still think is Carroll’s greatest strength.
But that doesn’t mean the others aren’t all fantastic, too. “My Friend Janna” brings us subtle terrors we’re not even sure if we can see clearly and definitely can’t possibly understand. Is Janna being haunted at all? What’s the significance of the pulse inside the ghost? And “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold” is more gruesome but also a slower burn. The song sung throughout helps a story already rooted in the past feel even older, like it’s something pulled up from antiquity.
“The Nesting Place” is the tale that seems to break most of the rules one expects from Carroll’s work — it’s much more modern, there’s more dialogue, less omniscient narration, and the horrors are downright gory. But I loved the hell out of this one, too. The surreal shapeshifting monster in this story has horribly human motivations, and that makes the story more powerful and more frightening.
If you love horror, beautiful artwork, splendid little stories, and fears both subtle and shrieking, both chilling and gore-caked, you'll want to pick this one up.
this book contains multiple short story's with amazing art.
our neighbors house
a ladys hands are cold
his face all red
my friend janna
the nesting place
Warning: for those family members who think this mite be good for bed time story's to young kids. its NOT. although the style seems slightly cartoonish or "simple" like in most kids books. this will definitely give young kids nightmare. adults and teens iam sure will be unaffected. just a simple warning to parents who don't look deeply into what the book is about. iam sure, or at least i hope, this warning wont really be needed. =]