Thoreau at Walden
by John Porcellino
Ok, here’s the thing about Walden. My senior year of college I came across this edition at the library and fell in love with it. (I know – don’t judge a book by its cover… but this one is beautiful.) Then I moved to the Boston area and can go visit Thoreau, his cabin, and his pond any old time I want, and I do. However, I am unconvinced that Walden works as a graphic novel. If it were made for adults who had some concept of the whole work, that’s one thing. Even if it were made for kids but with spectacular drawings, that would be another thing, because it would convey the beauty and complexity of nature if we would only take the time to look at it and experience it. But this version’s simple (dare I say crude) drawings, and pages where NOTHING happens (which I realize is a little bit the point of Walden, but still) … it underwhelms me. It is a book club book and I’m not sure I can make it to the meeting to voice my skepticism but I hope to learn at some point what its fans have to say in its defense!