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The Eternal Smile: Three Stories by Gene…

The Eternal Smile: Three Stories

by Gene Luen Yang, Derek Kirk Kim (Illustrator)

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This graphic novel has three stories, each of which do a great job of turning the reality we are first presented with on its head. In doing so, the stories prod us to ask ourselves what is important in life. The stories themselves are each wonderful fantasies.

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  JoanAxthelm | Aug 4, 2017 |
I absolutely love Yang's Boxers & Saints a novelization of the Boxer Rebellion told from Boxer and Christian perspectives. I am less familar with Derek Kirk Kim so I picked this graphic novel on my previous experience with Yang (still haven't read American Born Chinese).

This novel has three graphic short stories. All of the stories poke at unreality and facing up to reality. Each of the protagonists lives in an artificial world, each gathers the strength to face the 'real world.' Boxer's & Saint's was epic. This is not, though the art and story are both well executed. It was entertaining.

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  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
Three different stories, rendered in different styles, about three characters who come upon defining moments that change the courses of their lives. Duncan must choose between living a fantasy or reality; money-grubbing cartoon character Gran'pa Greenbax rediscovers the lure of the pond; and "insignificant" Janet has an online encounter with a Nigerian prince, or so she thinks. There's a bittersweetness to these characters' defining moments, that moment when one thinks "I'm a loser" and then, "but I'm not going to be a loser forever!" ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
three stories about things not being what they seem. These stories did not connect well with me. Oh, well. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
This is a cute collection of stories - I'm a fan of Yang's work and at this point I'll read anything he write (and draws). There's three stories in this little graphic novel.

The first is about a boy dealing with his life's problems by acting as a hero in a fantasy world he's imagined. There was a little twist at the end and I enjoyed this story the most out of the three.

The second is a Truman Show style TV series about a money grubbing frog who tries to make money off a newly founded religion of sorts. Yes, that sounds bizarre, and it was, but the story and its moral made sense. I liked the illustrations the best in this one - they were adorable!

The third story is about a shy, introverted girl who can't get a promotion at work. One day she gets a spam email from a price in Nigeria needing her money in exchange for hundreds of thousands to be paid to her at a later date and she decides to respond and help him out. I didn't enjoy this tale as much - I get the overall message (I think) but really, who would seriously respond to one of those emails? I didn't understand her character motivation enough to understand why she would give all her money to a stranger on the internet.

Overall it's a cute collection and if you're already a fan of Yang's work it's definitely something you should at least read, if not own. ( )
  MillieHennessy | May 12, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gene Luen Yangprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kim, Derek KirkIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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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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