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Fagin the Jew (2003)

by Will Eisner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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24911105,789 (3.77)13
Comics luminary Will Eisner takes on literary giant Charles Dickens, in this fascinating retelling of the life of Oliver Twist's Fagin! Imagining Fagin's impoverished childhood in the slums of London and his initiation into the criminal underworld, Eisner's story counters the anti-Semitism of Victorian literature as his gorgeous brushwork creates an evocative portrait of the era. Now with Eisner's previously unused full-color cover art! Foreword by Brian Michael Bendis! Introduction by Dickens scholar Jeet Heer!… (more)
  1. 00
    Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London by Andrea Warren (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: This nonfiction book explains some more of the history of the poor in England and how this became a major theme in Dickens's works.
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» See also 13 mentions

English (10)  Italian (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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(83) ( )
  NewLibrary78 | Jul 22, 2023 |
Revisión del clásico Oliver Twist contada desde el punto de vista de Fagin. Si te gusta Will Eisner, merece la pena. ( )
  Carla_Plumed | Dec 3, 2018 |
In FAGIN THE JEW, Eisner proves himself to be not only a master of comic storytelling, but also an incisive literary and social critic. This project was first conceived as an introduction to a pictorial adaptation of Oliver Twist, but as he learned more about the history of Dickens-era Jewish life in London, Eisner uncovered intriguing material that led him to create this new work. In the course of his research, Eisner came to believe that Dickens had not intended to defame Jews in his famous depiction. By referring to Fagin as “the Jew” throughout the book, however, he had perpetuated the common prejudice; his fictional creation imbedded itself in the public’s imagination as the classic profile of a Jew. In his award-winning style, Eisner recasts the notorious villain as a complex and troubled antihero and gives him the opportunity to tell his tale in his own words. Depicting Fagin’s choices and actions within a historical context, Eisner captures the details of life in London’s Ashkenazi community and brilliantly re-creates the social milieu of Dickensian England.
  TBE | Nov 3, 2016 |
Yep Fagin the Jew is the one that you perhaps read about in Oliver Twist. We learned about what could have been his life before the novel, what happened to lead Fagin to his fate ?
And there is the "What If" question. What if Fagin had made the right decision at the pivotal moment of his life, what would it have been like ?

It address the question of nature versus nurture.
It's a good graphic novel, the theme is bleak BUT the end gives us hope.

It's, I think, a fair account of how prejudices can mercilessly destroy lifes ... ( )
  electrice | Mar 6, 2013 |
Fagin the Jew is comic artist legend Will Eisner’s graphic re-telling of Charles Dickens’s classic novel Oliver Twist. Eisner claims in the foreword that this graphic novel “is not an adaptation” but rather “the story of Fagin the Jew.” However, I would argue it is an adaptation as it covers, albeit it quickly and cursorily, all the events of Oliver Twist. But the graphic novel does include more to the beginning and the end, and it is these parts that focus on Fagin’s history.

This book seemed to me one of those ones that are better in theory than actuality. It is very didactic when giving Fagin’s story and relies to heavily on narration rather than the pictorial nature of graphic novels. In addition, it brushes over Oliver Twist so breezily that a newbie to the story would probably find it silly and not seek out the original. For let’s face it, as much as I love him, Dickens wrote Victorian melodramas. It’s not necessarily for the story alone that we read his works, but for his satirical style and wonderfully ridiculous characters.

As for the history of Fagin, it’s not really anything other than what would you think, if you had stopped to think about how Fagin ended up the way he did. Of course, as Eisner probably supposed when setting out to write this book, many people might not have bothered to think about how Fagin became a thief and head of a gang of ruffians. However, it’s almost implicit in the story of Oliver Twist himself – and how easily he could not have been rescued out of a life of squalor – that poverty and ill luck often lead to crime and violence.

The illustrations, in sepia tone, are rather cartoonish, as I have often mentioned in the past, I generally prefer more sophisticated artwork in my graphic novels. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Dec 6, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Will Eisnerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Vlek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Comics luminary Will Eisner takes on literary giant Charles Dickens, in this fascinating retelling of the life of Oliver Twist's Fagin! Imagining Fagin's impoverished childhood in the slums of London and his initiation into the criminal underworld, Eisner's story counters the anti-Semitism of Victorian literature as his gorgeous brushwork creates an evocative portrait of the era. Now with Eisner's previously unused full-color cover art! Foreword by Brian Michael Bendis! Introduction by Dickens scholar Jeet Heer!

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