Graphic Novels Challenge – Mail Order Bride

This is a review that has been long in the making.  I’ve tried writing it several time but to no avail.  So it’s not due to lake of trying that this hasn’t been done yet, it’s that bad case of writers block I’ve been having.  I hope it’s gone now and posts will be happening more regularly.

Mail Order Bride was one of the best graphic novels I read for the graphic novels challenge.  The simplicity of the images on the page and the basic story and minimal dialogue really kept the story moving.  I found myself drawn into many of the details on the page.  The images were simple in that they were black and white and only had what was need to help move the story forward.

As one may guess the story is about a North American that gets a bride from Asia (Korea to be specific).  The problem that arises in this particular tale is that both have a different prospective on the relationship and each had a different hope for the outcome.  Monty Wheeler is looking for a stereotypical Asian woman to be his wife, he wants a woman that will do everything for him; his cooking and cleaning and be ready for his every beck and call.  His mail order bride is looking for a way out of her cultural heritage and ends up feeling the same restraints she had in her native country.

I really enjoyed reading this and the Korean cultural aspects were of great interest to me as I was there when I read this graphic novel.  I haven’t done any research on Mark Kalesniko so I don’t know what other work he has done but this has definitely piqued my interest and I’d been really interested to find more of his work.  If it’s as good as this one it would be devoured in a few hours.

Since I’ve read this book I’ve wondered how much of this is autobiographical which has somehow seeped into my sub-conscious and I think have begun wondering the same thing when I read other novels, particularly classics.  I wonder if that’s something that is normal, do any of you wonder how much or which parts of a novel are biographical while you read them?


Weekly Geeks #6 – Missed Reviews Part 1

Alright, as I mentioned in an earlier post this week I said I wanted to use this week to catch up on reviews. This is last weeks task for Weekly Geeks, as I’m sure you all know already, but I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to do some reviews that I haven’t yet done. I will be doing these reviews individually, like I do all my reviews, I want to give each book is due. It is important to give each book the time it deserves and that is why I’m not about to group a bunch of books together in a single post, the books I have time to review will be reviewed individually. There are two books in particular that I want to review so I’ll start with one today and get to another at another date.

On the other hand I don’t think I’ll be getting this weeks (7) Weekly Geeks done as I don’t have a functioning camera right now. I left a vital cord in Korea so I won’t be able to put photos on my camera. If I can borrow a camera from someone I’ll do it but I’m not really expecting that to happen right now.

The first review I wanted to do was for The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn. This was a book that I wanted to read for an extremely long time, I already know what the scarlet letter was, but I never got around to it. I finally downloaded a mp3 audio-book and listened to it while still in Korea. There is something about listening to classics because they were written to be heard. I really enjoyed listening to the book on my new iPod touch.

I’m sure you all the story so I wont give you a synopsis of the book. There were a few things that I really loved about this book. The first was the glimpse into the past that it gives us. The concept of being forced to wear a letter on your clothing that identifies you as a criminal. Everyone in the two would know of the crime committed just because of that bright scarlet letter. The second aspect of the book I loved was how courageous Hester Prynne is. She could have tried to cover up her letter or move into seclusion because of it but she continued to be a functioning member of society.

The only downside that I found, and it could have been because I was listening to the book and not actually reading it, was that there was too much verbal diarrea. The copious amount of verbiage used instead of getting right to the point. It was easy to miss the point of what the author was trying to get across because of the amount of words used. And I find that that happens in many classics, at least the ones that I read. But this is not something that should discourage anyone from reading the book because the story is fascinating.

I’ll be publishing a review of Mail Order Bride by Mark Kalesniko. Also as a reminder to all reads of That’s the Book you can send an email to if you have reviewed this or anything else that I’ve reviewed on this site and I’ll post a link at the end of the post for others to see what you’ve said.

Christina from book-a-rama sent me this link: