Monday, November 19, 2012

Pulp of the week - Wonderstruck

The beautiful Wonderstruck is written and illustrated by Brian Selznick in the same style as his brilliant The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Wonder Struck ties together museums, silent films, wolves, loneliness, and dioramas with charm, grace and heart.

The tales follows two stories - one in the 1920's and one that is contemporary. In the modern story a boy from Michigan travels to New York searching for the secrets of his past and his identity. He soon finds that a Wolf Diorama in the New York Natural History Museum holds to the key to his identity.

In the past, the daughter of a flapper is struggling with similar issues and soon the two stories seems locked on a collision course.

The prose is lovely and the story touching. The art is, like in Hugo, sublime. It is the intersection of the two and the placement of the art pages with the text that makes Selznick's work so wonderfully compelling. At times the tension is so tight that you blast through the art and soak in the images eager to see what that next page turn will bring. The control Selznick has with the pacing, by controlling the reader with the art when needed and the text to slow down, to add detail, is brilliant.

Selznick seems to pick topics that I love (natural history museums and the early days of cinema) so I am sure that adds to my joy, but I think it would be the rare reader that would not be charmed by Wonder Struck.

I'll give Wonder Struck a 9 out of 10. This is another brilliant book.

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