Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch

This graphic novel tells the story of a fantasy writer who is invited on a sort of blind date by a couple of his friends while he is in London. His friends aren't crazy about the woman, but they have an obligation to entertain her, and they feel that their friend, the writer, will make things go more smoothly. His date, Miss Finch, turns out to be a rather distant, disapproving biogeologist who is more interested in her work than in socializing.

They end up going to a bizarre underground circus beneath the train tracks near Southwark Cathedral, where they move from room to room, watching bizarre performances depicted in lush colors and fantastical imagery. There is no doubt that something is going to happen to Miss Finch, and when the moment comes, it is fairly clear what is going to happen and why.

This was one of those graphic novels where the artwork outshines the story itself.  The story is mildly interesting, but the characters functioned more as vehicles for making the story happen rather than becoming actual people I came to care about. It works fairly well because the book is very short and can be read in a single sitting, so in the end it feels like a brief sojourn into dark, fantastical dream.

The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch by Neil Gaiman; illustrated by Michael Zulli (Dark Horse, 2008)

Also reviewed at:
Book Banter: "The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch is a strange story that makes one question what one is actually seeing, what is supposed reality and what is not."
Jenny's Books: "I wanted The Facts – that title is ridiculously long – I wanted the book to be creepy, and it was dull instead. Bah. Plus, I've read this Gaiman story before, with the theatre show. Several times. Better versions."

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