Goliath by Tom Gauld


   Goliath by Tom Gauld, Drawn & Quarterly, 2017. 9781770462991

Format: Paperback

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Graphic novel/bible story

What did you like about the book? In this wry, clever take on the David and Goliath story, Goliath is a pacifist admin guy, stuck in a war that’s just a job to him. Because of his great size, he is chosen by a captain of the Philistines to be the front man in a ruse to trick the Israelites into revealing their position. Gauld’s spare, stick figures, in black and brown, are surprisingly affecting in their simplicity. The art conjures the ancient desert setting, and together with the modern argot of the dialogue, makes the plight of the biblical bad guy Goliath into a morality exercise. You laugh, and then you pause in grief for the tragedy of war.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The spare, almost childlike art may not appeal to all; but Goliath‘s simplicity belies its deeply affecting message.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Offer this to mature readers of graphic fiction, especially those who like adaptations of classic literature.

Who should buy this book? High schools and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Teen or adult graphic novels

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, it’s a quick read, and Gauld is an author to watch. In fact, he did a New Yorker Magazine cover earlier this month!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: December 16, 2017

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