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The Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity

by Mike Carey, Peter Gross (Illustrator)

Other authors: Chris Chuckry (Colorist), Todd Klein (Letterer), Jeanne McGee (Colorist), Yuko Shimizu (Cover artist)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Unwritten TPBs (1), The Unwritten (TPB01 - 01-05)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1065812,554 (3.79)92
"Tom Taylor's life was screwed from the word go. His father created the mega-popular Tommy Taylor boy-wizard fantasy novels. But dad modeled the fictional epic so closely to Tom that fans constantly compare him to his counterpart, turning him into a lame, Z-level celebrity. When a scandal hints that Tom might really be the boy-wizard made flesh, Tom comes into contact with a mysterious, deadly group that's secretly kept tabs on him all his life. Now, to protect his life and discover the truth behind his origins, Tom will travel the world, to all the places in world history where fictions have shaped reality" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

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» See also 92 mentions

English (56)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
This was a book that, in the beginning, I didn't expect to like. I anticipated this book being a pot shot at Harry Potter and its fandom. A deconstruction of the series (and YA fiction) by someone who doesn't appreciate the genre.

Instead, I enjoyed this volume and definitely am going to read subsequent volumes. My concerns about subsequent books have shifted to something else though. As it stands, I am somewhat concerned that importance the series' universe has on literary convention could end up turning into dueling TV Tropes users.

Hopefully, as with my preconceptions, I'll be wrong. ( )
  Count_Zero | Jul 7, 2020 |
My review of this book can be found on my Youtube Vlog at:


Enjoy! ( )
  booklover3258 | Jul 6, 2020 |
My only regret is that I'm now hooked on a series, after trying so hard not to be... ( )
  pjohanneson | May 5, 2020 |
At the comics shop, I asked for something that would fill the mind of somebody who loves "The Filth", "Transmetropolitan" and "V For Vendetta", and got this.

It's the story of Tom Taylor, whose father created the Tommy Taylor enterprise, a long series of books about a boy wizard with round glasses and...yes, it's a poke at Harry Potter.

Tom Taylor's bored with going from comic-con to comicon, until he is suddenly pointed out as a fraud and some otherworldly characters make their move onto him, post-stalking. I won't reveal more of the plot and story, but suffice to say, Mike Carey has culled a lot from the world of fiction.

This is a very promising start to a series that might end nowhere or become increasingly epic and distorted. I'm hoping for the latter.

Inked and penned nicely (with the obvious use of computer effects, e.g. fading and toning) the story drives the graphics rather than the other way around, even though the stray use of unconventional framing is very welcome.

All in all: a very nice start. ( )
  pivic | Mar 20, 2020 |
Recommended by Sam E.

"Stories are the only thing worth dying for."

Tom Taylor's father, Wilson Taylor, wrote a bestselling series of books featuring boy wizard Tommy Taylor. Now Wilson is dead and Tom makes a living appearing at "TommyCon"-type of events. But at one of these, audience member Lizzie Hexam questions Tom's parentage: is he Wilson's son at all? A media storm ensues, and the reader begins to question not whether Tom is his father's creation, but whether he's real, or fiction-made-flesh. The story is peppered with interludes from the Tommy Taylor novels, where Tommy and his friends Sue Sparrow and Peter Price face the evil vampire Count Ambrosio.

Tom ends up at Villa Diodoti, where his father did much of his writing; there is currently a writers' workshop going on there. Tom discovers his father's safe, which contains a note and a magic doorknob, but evil enters the house, and Tom is accused of the bloody murders of the writers.


"Nothing matters more than the stories we tell ourselves to explain the world." (Lizzie to Tom)

"We make our own monsters, then fear them for what they show us about ourselves." (writers' workshop, re: Frankenstein)

"They come to everyone. All us spinners of tales. They seem to have an interest in which stories get told. And when. And how." (Mark Twain to Rudyard Kipling)

I was summoning a power - a power that lives in words, and in the beliefs they engender. (Kipling)

See also: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu ( )
  JennyArch | Nov 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Unwritten manages to tell a fast-paced supernatural horror story while musing philosophically on the role of narrative in our lives and nations. It makes for engrossing and exciting reading, and I'll certainly be on the lookout for the next collection.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Jan 14, 2010)

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mike Careyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gross, PeterIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Chuckry, ChrisColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, ToddLetterersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McGee, JeanneColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shimizu, YukoCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Willingham, BillIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Peter stared in awe at the Gossamoks' bodies, lying around the ancient stone altar in twisted heaps.
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Disambiguation notice
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Canonical DDC/MDS

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Haiku summary
"The boy who lived" may

be in a story that is

not his to control.


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