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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Amulet of Samarkand: a Bartimaeus Graphic Novel by Jonathan Stroud and Andrew Donkin

How far would you go for revenge? After being humiliated by Simon Lovelace, twelve-year-old magician Nathaniel schemes to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from Lovelace's own home. In order to accomplish this task he calls upon the help of the powerful djinni called Bartimaeus. Only things quickly go wrong. The more I read graphic adaptations of books and other media, the more I realize that they're a lot like film adaptations. Like in movies, the author and illustrator need to strike a delicate balance. They need to be faithful to the source material, while making sure the adaptation fits its new format. One area where the Bartimaeus graphic novel succeeds is in faithfulness to the source material. Despite the fact that The Amulet of Samarkand was a rather thick novel most of it remains intact in this 144 page graphic novel. The writers did a very good job of distilling it down to its most important part. Unfortunately, such faithfulness almost ends up being this adaptation's undoing.