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The Eternal Smile: Three Stories by Gene…

The Eternal Smile: Three Stories

by Gene Luen Yang

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Gene Yang and Derek Kirk Kim together, what more to say? 3 excellent stories, with different art styles and an interesting personal twist. ( )
  blurble | Jun 1, 2014 |
I'd enjoyed ABC by Yang and never read anything by Kim. The short stories seem all to be themed around loss and disconnect. Not loss in the sense of losing something or someone, but loss of purpose or will. There is a certain quality of desperation in the stories. In the first story this becomes evident about two thirds of the way, in the second one at the very very end, and the third one is dripping of desperation from beginning to end. The stories explore a wide range of subjects from evangelism/exploitation to internet fraud (sounds hard to believe, when i put it that way) but they are very human, very real, and sad. But they all manage to end in a bit of an up note, which is refreshing. The art work is exceptional, which surprised me, because I usually do not like the super colorful, computer-generated look. But the drawings of humans as well as non-human characters is exceptional. The last story certainly stands out in terms of the art work, with most panels drawn in dreary grays like black and white etchings.
All in all, a good small collection of stories which will surprise as you read. ( )
  bluepigeon | Dec 15, 2013 |
Summary: This book is a collection of three stories, each addressing places where the line between fantasy and reality gets blurry. In "Duncan's Kingdom", Duncan is a knight and the hero of the kingdom, but he can't shake the feeling that there's something he's not being told. In "Gran'pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile", Gran'pa Greenbax is a money-loving frog who seeks to capitalize on a mysterious smile that appears floating in the sky. In "Urgent Request", Janet is lonely and unappreciated, but when she receives an e-mail from a Nigerian prince requesting her help, she decides to respond and see what happens.

Review: I liked these stories a lot. "Gran'pa Greenbax" was my least favorite; it was over-the-top in terms of the dialog and the artwork, and even though all of the over-the-top-ness did have a point, it was enough initially to put me off of the story. I liked "Urgent Request" quite a bit; the artwork was totally gorgeous and it was great to watch Janet come to terms with herself and her situation (But it wasn't a "Girl Power!" type of thing; it maintained a little haunting note of melancholy underneath it all.) But I think "Duncan's Kingdom" was my favorite, maybe because it was a more traditional type of fantasy, but I think because it packed the biggest emotional punch. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: This is one of those graphic novels that I think has something to appeal to almost everyone who likes graphic novels, and maybe something to entice those that haven't tried one before. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Nov 22, 2013 |
These three stories read like science fiction short stories and they all trace the liminal line between imagination and self-deception. I really enjoyed the artwork here. It's crisp and creative. ( )
  Brian.Gunderson | Oct 28, 2013 |
This book consists of three different amusing and creative stories. The ideas and plots are unique and interesting, each one shows a different meaning and moral.The first story is about a prince that defeats his enemy and receives everything he ever wanted, but soon discovers that the life he’s living is not real or what it seems. The second story is about a greedy frog that loves money and will do anything to be rich. He believes that money is the only thing that brings him happiness, but he soon learns that he was wrong. The third story is about a woman that receives an email from Prince Henry of Nigeria asking for a loan, but, learns exactly why the people you meet on the internet can't always be trusted. ( )
  KatherineC032 | Dec 6, 2012 |
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"Meet Duncan. Charming and brave, he's the Princess's favorite-- and he's on his way to winning the throne. But lately, the walls of reality in Duncan's kingdom are wearing a little thin-- -- Meet Gran'pa Greenbax. Nothing seems to satisfy this greedy old frog's longing for a pool full of gold-- until, one day, a mysterious smile appears in the sky. Has his chance at happiness come at last? -- Meet Janet. Her nine-to-five life takes a turn for the romantic when she learns in an email from a mysterious Nigerian prince that she has been chosen to liberate his family's vast fortune. All he needs is her banking information. In three very different stories, master storytellers Gene Yang and Derek Kirk Kim pit fantasy against reality, for good or for ill" -- cover leaf.… (more)

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