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Monday, October 10, 2011

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffey Chaucer - Adapted by Seymore Chwast

Read for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

I’ll admit to enjoying this graphic novel adaptation purely for the front cover, and back and front inside covers, which portray the pilgrims in the Canterbury Tales as a crowd on motorcycles. If that kind of thing offends your sense, don’t pick up this adaptation.

This graphic novel manages to capture all of the Canterbury Tales in abbreviated form, with drawing and modern language. The only truly modern device is the motorcycles (which I’ll admit, I don’t see much reason for, even if they are fun) – everything else is straight out of the original. Well, minus the Middle English, and much summarized.

For that reason, this would make a good intro to the tales. It’s certainly not to the depth of the original stories, but captures a flavor of them, and the language is certainly more accessible. There’s a great undercurrent of humor as well. Really, this would be a great teaching tool with teenagers. I’m pretty sure I would have been motivated to dive a little deeper into the full length tales, had I read this when I was that age.

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