Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reader's Diary #571- Robert Louis Stevenson, Adapted by Alan Grant and Illustrated by Cam Kennedy: Kidnapped

Over at the Graphic Novels Challenge blog, people have signed up to read more graphic novels this year. Offering many levels of commitment (3, 4-10, 10+), it's a great place for those who are just graphic novels curious or for those who are genuine fanatics. I joined last year, again this year, and am probably somewhere in between. I really liked the idea of a mini-challenge they ran in January: to read a graphic novel interpretation of a classic, so when I was at the library and came across Alan Grant and Cam Kennedy's version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped, I knew I just had to grab it.

However, I haven't read the original and now I'm not sure if I'd made the right choice. I enjoyed it well enough; Kennedy's artwork was great and his sketchy traditional action comics style fit the fast paced adventure. Likewise, I enjoyed the Grant's fast paced version of Stevenson's book. At first it even seemed ludicrously fast, jumping from one peril right into another and I began to worry that none of the pieces would connect-- though fortunately it all came together in the end. But now I question whether or not Stevenson's original book was as energetic. It's certainly portrayed as a plot driven book, but what if Stevenson's was more character driven? It shouldn't matter, I guess, if I enjoyed Grant and Kennedy's take, but I feel almost as if I cheated, like I read a Reader's Digest Condensed Version. The other problem is that I'm less likely to go back and check. I mean, I already know the gist of the story at least, it's hard to find motivation in that. From now on, if I read a graphic novel interpretation, I'm going to read the original beforehand.


arcona said...

Even if you've read the graphic novel, I'm encouraging you to read the original. RLS is a good writer whose style survives the passage of time - Kidnapped was my first RLS book and made me a fan. Knowing the story does not take away from the book.

John Mutford said...

I'm sure I will eventually, but I'm more likely to read his other stuff first now.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I remember our teacher reading Kidnapped to us in elementary school and it was ripping enough to keep us rivetted. But I really don't recall too much about it so perhaps I should read the graphic novel.