Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a panelist.
I have never read a Bone book in my life before this. I actually have reading the series as one of my goals for next year. Fortunately, Tall Tales is a collection of short stories that happen before the events of the Bone series making them entirely readable for someone who hasn't a clue about the series itself.
The book, which calls itself a "Companion" to the series is set in the here and now as Smiley and Bartleby take the Bone Scouts camping. As they sit around the campfire, Smiley tells some rather Tall Tales about the early days. One involves Fone Bone and Phoney Bone in the days before Thorn was Queen and the rest are about Big Johnson Bone's early adventures. There are a total of four stories with a segue back at camp connecting them. The first three are indeed short stories, while the fourth one takes up almost the entire book with the main tale of Johnson Bone's adventure of how he subdued the terror of the rat creatures.
I absolutely loved this and cannot wait to read the other books now that I've had this sampling. Not having read Bone previously did not hamper my enjoyment of Tall Tales one iota and in fact I can recommend it as a way to check and see if you'll enjoy the humour of Bone, which is hilarious. I was snorting out loud as I read which is not something I do often, believe me! Completely entertaining, hilariously funny and a sure-fire winner for any comic reader.
on May 19, 2011
First of all, this is not strictly in continuity with the regular Bone series, and no, it's not drawn by Jeff Smith; and those are likely the biggest drawbacks to the book.
If you're a Bone purist, you may not like it, but then, it's probably not for you anyway. The book is clearly aimed at a new readership, especially those who are a bit younger, and to those who are just looking for a fun time in Jeff Smith's sandbox. And that's what Tall Tales delivers.
It is an excellent introduction to the world of Bone, and is full of characteristic humour and wit that typifies the regular series (although I would have to admit, not quite as funny or quirky as what Smith writes.
If you're looking for something to point at your 10 year old to get them reading anything, this is a high recommendation. Likewise if you're older (even mature)and just looking for a relaxed story without too much angst, where you know the good guys will win in the end but want a fun ride to get there; pick up teh book and give it a shot. Well worth the value!