Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson

I can define my love of reading by certain periods in my life with certain books. I have numerous "first reading" experiences. The first book I remember falling in love with was Harold and the Purple Crayon. I read it over and over again getting lost in the world that Harold created with his crayon. In sixth grade, I read Misery by Stephen King and it was my first "adult" novel and that sealed the deal for me when it came to novels. I have so many vivid memories of reading that book. In eighth grade I discovered Anne Rice's Vampire series and fell in love with series for the first time and I think those were the books that truly hooked me for good when it came to the fantastic, the horror, the macabre. But it was in fourth grade that I read Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time for the first time and it was an experience that to this day I haven't had a comparable experience.

It was the first "long book" that I had read. It was the first fantasy novel that I had read and it truly took me away and brought me to another world and I can remember laying in my bed and forgetting that I was there because I was so enraptured in the world that L'Engle had created. It was so vivid in my head as Meg and her brother left this world that we knew in search of her father and battled a dark force that threatened to overtake our world. I was transfixed.

It was with trepidation that I picked up Hope Larson's graphic novel adaptation of the novel. You see, I have these visions still in my head of what A Wrinkle in Time should look like. I can still picture the cover of the version I read. I didn't want to see a graphic novel adaptation and have it all be ruined. But if this novel is safe in anyone's hands, it's Hope Larson's.

Larson did an absolutely beautiful job of capturing this novel and translating it into a comic form. There were certain scenes that brought absolute tears to my eyes because they were just exactly what I had pictured 21 years ago (yikes!) when I first read this book. Particularly the scenes when Mrs. Whatsit transforms into a winged being and takes the kids on a ride. It was perfect.

Larson shows that she has a deep appreciation here for A Wrinkle in Time and for Madeline L'Engle's work as she sticks true to the source story, only shortening it to make it work as a graphic novel, but never making it feel as if the story itself has been shortened. All of the emotion, the magic, the sorrow and the joy is still there. And if anything, she's added another depth to the story with the graphic element.

If you've never read A Wrinkle in Time, I still recommend that you read the original because it's just such a special book. But if you have, this is a must read. And even if you haven't and have some sort of mental block against it (I know I have books like that), this would be a really great way to experience the story. I can't tell you how much I loved this book and how much I truly appreciate Larson's hard work and effort put into it.


Debi said...

I can't tell you how happy it made me to read this! I've been tempted to bring this one home from the library every time I've seen it there, but I just worried so much that it wouldn't live up to the original book. You know, as much as I adore graphic novels, adaptations are the one area I tend to shy away from. Silly of me, I suppose. But I am quite happy about the fact that you can give this one your stamp of approval. Guessing it will be coming home with me next time. :)

Jeane said...

I always worry this about film adaptations of my favorite books, that they'll just spoil it for me. I still haven't seen the Hobbit, not sure if it can live up to the vivid images my own brain painted over the five or more times I read that book as a kid... but this! sounds like it works- so I'm going to give it a try based on your rec.

DesLily said...

you are so lucky that you had the chances to read such books at a young age and have them influence you! the last teacher I had like that was 4th grade but like you, I will always remember her

Bookfool said...

Yep, I have a mental block about that, all right. And, like Jeane, I'm not a big fan of books made into movies.

anenduringromantic said...

Ah, always been in love with A Wrinkle in Time, even though I've never been much of a fan of graphic novels. I think I'll make an exception in this case, though!