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Sailor Twain: Or: The Mermaid in the Hudson…

Sailor Twain: Or: The Mermaid in the Hudson (edition 2012)

by Mark Siegel

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2153654,204 (3.82)28
Title:Sailor Twain: Or: The Mermaid in the Hudson
Authors:Mark Siegel
Info:First Second (2012), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Graphic novel/memoir and cartoons

Work details

Sailor Twain: Or: The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel

  1. 10
    Habibi by Craig Thompson (MarcusH)
    MarcusH: Similar artwork and storytelling
  2. 10
    Blankets by Craig Thompson (MarcusH)
    MarcusH: Similar storytelling and artwork

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English (36)  French (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
A really brilliant graphic novel, Sailor, Twain is set on a steamboat in the Hudson River in the late 1800s. It plays off the mythology of the Hudson River valley from Washington Irving, steamboat/river tales from Mark Twain, and a little Moby Dick, all fused together into a dark tale that centers around the captain of the steamboat and a mermaid trapped in the Hudson River. The black-and-white drawings are brilliant, the plot is interesting and moves along at a good pace, and the overall impression is powerful. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

SAILOR TWAIN is a sensuous experience, from the rough paper petting the finger tips to the soft, blurred images seducing the reader into it’s world. After the first, mysterious chapter, it was Captain Twain himself that was my anchor. Solid, loyal, hardworking… and so obviously drifting closer and closer to a maelstrom of seduction and magic.

It was just that haunting mix of romance and mythology that made SAILOR TWAIN impossible to put down. The every day disappointments and losses of life were all the more piercing in their grief against a backdrop of supernatural dangers and creatures. Despite the simplicity of the illustrations, I felt entirely immersed in Captain Twain’s world; I felt his dedication and lost dreams, his fascination and creative fire. Siegel spins a seductive tale that had me second guessing what a happy ending could even look like, amidst the trade offs and complex longings of these characters.

Despite imagining so many possible endings, I was still taken by surprise. I read the last chapter twice, then found myself back at the beginning, studying the opening with fresh eyes. A thought provoking, romantic tale, SAILOR TWAIN is a myth for our modern age.

Sexual Content: Sex scenes. ( )
  Capnrandm | May 9, 2014 |
First of all, I have to admit that I somehow missed the fact that Sailor Twain was a graphic novel when I requested a copy. I was interested in the story blurb, but a little...surprised by the format.

That being said, I think the art was the strongest part of the book. It was gloomy and moody and very atmospheric. I loved the views of the ocean, the steamships, and the cityscapes. I thought it was kind of a weird choice, though, to put such cartoon-y and animated looking characters on such sophisticated background shots. The maps and faux articles on the chapter breaks were a really nice tough. The story was interesting enough (mermaids! mythology! disappearing steamship captains! mysterious authors!) but I didn't feel like it developed as well as it could have, and the characters did not have enough depth.

The hyper-sexualized mermaid was annoying, as was the lusty Lafayette and his sexcapades with every remaining female character. The strongest female shows up a little too late, and with a cool backstory that goes sadly nowhere. I found myself not really caring about what happened to Twain. Also, there is a character that looks exactly like Amy Winehouse. I mean, seriously, what's up with that?

I would only recommend this book to older teens and adults, as it features nudity (mostly mermaid breasts -- no Disney seashell bra here), sexual content, and some F-bombs. But mature teens who like an interesting mix of historical fiction, mythology, and graphic novels might find this appealing. ( )
  LaneLiterati | Mar 16, 2014 |
I was walking through the library one day, and this book was propped up on the shelf in the graphic novels section, its gorgeous cover in shades of blue and green and mystery beckoning to me. I had to check it out and read it immediately. Maybe this book has a siren's song of its own?

Gritty, a little bit gloomy, it reminded me of the depths of the sea, if there was a word to describe how that ocean bottom would feel. Deep and dark, murky and mysterious. Where mermaids dwell. We all know mermaids are said to be heartless and soulless and dangerous, seducing people to their deaths. But if they were real, wouldn't we want to meet one? Like fairies and unicorns, they are magical and curious and otherworldly. The illustrations themselves are beautiful, and reminiscent of the industrial era that this story is set in, all smoky and black and dusty.

Riverboat Captain Elijah Twain is an upright, moral, stand up man. No nonsense and serious, he is the last person you would imagine to fall in thrall to a creature such as a mermaid. He is happily married to his lady love, who is bound to a wheelchair, and to land. He is even drawn angular and sharp, no soft edges to him, that would invite such fancifulness, although I feel riverboat captains are by nature romantic figures. In contrast, French nobleman Lafayette falls in love with almost every woman he meets, speaks of the river and the world around him as a poet would, and seems the least responsible human being on earth. The very opposite of Twain. Of the two, Lafayette is a romantic dreamer, while Twain is a pragmatic realist. They go about their lives upon the river, one engaged in many trysts, one bent on business. Until one night Captain Twain finds an injured mermaid on his deck.

What is the deal? Who is this mermaid? Where did she come from? What happens next? You will have to read it to find out!

One note: This book really isn't for kids. There is the obvious nudity of the mermaid, and other more sexy times illustrations. I was surprised at first, because my library had a sticker over the John Irving blurb that states the book contains erotically charged drawings. So, just in case you didn't see that, there are a few sexual drawings.

I have fallen in love with this genre of books that all began with the book Blankets. Sailor Twain was completely different, but just as entertaining and thought provoking. It is a story that draws you in and holds you under until you reach the end ( )
  cinnamonowl | Sep 11, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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Mon front est rouge encor du baiser de la Reine;

J'ai reve dans la grotte ou nage la sirene ...

Gerard de Nerval, El Desdichado
For Edward and Marie-Claire Siegel
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"One hundred years ago. On the foggy Hudson River, a riverboat captain rescues an injured mermaid from the waters of the busiest port in the United States. A wildly popular--and notoriously reclusive--author makes a public debut. A French nobleman seeks a remedy for a curse. As three lives twine together and race to an unexpected collision, the mystery of the Mermaid of the Hudson deepens" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

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