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The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr Punch
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr Punch
Author: Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (Illustrator)
He threw the baby out of the window. Then he battered his wife to death. He killed a policeman who came to arrest him. He caused the hangman to be hanged in his place. He murdered a ghost, and outwitted the Devil himself.  He never died.  And Mister Punch still lives -- to travel up and down the countryside, amusing and delighting ...  more »

Mr. Punch tells the tale of a young boy's loss of innocence.  Spending a summer at his grandfather's failing seaside arcade, a troubled adolescent boy encounters a mysterious Punch and Judy man with a dark past, and a woman who makes her living playing a mermaid.  As their lives feverishly intertwine and their stories unfold, the violent puppet show triggers buried memories of the boy's family, and the boy is forced to confront his family's dark  secrets, the strange puppets and a nightmarish world of violence and betrayal and guilt.
ISBN-13: 9780747588443
ISBN-10: 0747588449
Publication Date: 10/16/2006
Pages: 96
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.

4.2 stars, based on 5 ratings
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 3
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This is another one of the older Neil Gaiman graphic novels I haven't ever read so I was eager to read it. It was an interesting story; McKean's artwork is dark and provoking.

This novel basically tells about a boy growing up. The Punch and Judy show plays a significant part in parts of his life, and at times his life seems to imitate the play.

This is a typical Neil Gaiman story; it is well told, a little eerie, and a bit creepy. I wasn't sure what to expect, but this is more the story of a boy growing up than anything else. The Punch and Judy play has influence throughout the boy's life. Dave McKean's artwork is fantastic like usual and serves to enforce the eerie creepiness that surrounds this story.

It is a very dark book with some occasionally dark implications, best for young adult or older. I found it to be an interesting read and I enjoyed it, but it isn't something that I would sit down and read again. I did like the way the Punch and Judy play was woven through out the boy's life and echoed in events that surrounded him.

Overall I am glad I picked this up and read it. It was an interesting, if somewhat disturbing read, there were parts I really liked and I enjoyed the artwork throughout. If you are a Gaiman fan and like dark, somewhat disturbing images that are a bit fanciful you may like this. It is kind of a coming of age story with Punch and Judy influences. Not Gaiman's strongest work, but interesting all the same.