Down the Mysterly River Paperback – Apr 2001
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Eisner-winning comics creator Willingham (the Fables series) makes his middle-grade debut with an action-packed and often touching novel...that explores the nature of characters and authorship…The end result is a stellar example of a novel working both as an adventure tale and as metafiction. (Starred review, Publishers Weekly on the works of Bill Willingham)
Willingham's Fables comics tapped into the deep fairy-tale structures in my psyche and never let go. Now, Down the Mysterly River finally delivers the same opportunity for younger readers. Lucky them! (Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother on the works of Bill Willingham) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Publisher
In his Heroes Wood, Bill Willingham has created an enchanting new land of magic and adventure that might lie just down the river from Toad Hall, down the road from Narnia, or over the hill from the Hundred Acre Wood. Willingham gives us deadly sword fights, narrow escapes, lethal traps, surprising betrayals, and all of the other necessary elements of a thrilling adventure tale. But at its heart this is also a mystery story, and if the four fugitives cant first solve the mystery of the Heroes Wood they may never live to reach sanctuary.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
And as you would expect from the author of the "Fables" series, it has a lot of talking animals, a resolute Boy Scout who discovers the darker side of the world, some genuinely spooky villains, and a metafictional twist that I honestly saw within the first few chapters. Willingham's powerful, atmospheric writing style and knack for clever whimsy are absolutely stunning.
Boy Scout detective Max "the Wolf" finds himself lost in a strange forest, with no memory of how he got there. Even stranger, he soon runs into talking animals -- warrior badger Banderbrock, mellow bear Walden, and the feral cat McTavish the Monster. Unsure how they got there, the little group travels down the "Mysterly" (named after McTavish's mispronunciation of "mystery") River.
But they are soon attacked by the Blue Cutters, an elite force of warriors whose blue swords are able to change the reality of anything they cut. And they have decided to "save" Max and his friends by making them "better." The little group's frantic attempts to escape the Cutters lead them on a journey across this "mysterly" land, encountering a water dragon, the Eggman, and the one responsible for bringing Max here...
The only real problem with "Down the Mysterly River" is that Willingham hints too heavily about the EPIC PLOT TWIST at the end, and thus I figured it out about two chapters in.Read more ›
I bought this book after reading Bill's comic series Fables, and I'm glad I did. If anyone enjoys this book, then you will enjoy Fables (or vice versa). The first 5 issues have been collecting into a trade paperback called Fables: Legends in Exile, which can also be found on amazon. Coincidently, this first story arc is a murder mystery.
It was worth every penny. It is a fun read. There is a ton of adventure and humor on every page. It's twisted in just the right way.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes ERB, Heinlein's juveniles, and just plain reading. A book for everyone in the family.