Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Borden Tragedy: A Memoir of the Infamous Double Murder at Fall River, Mass., 1892 by Rick Geary (1997)

Oh hey, look! Another graphic novel! That a friend lent to me (thanks, Joolie)! This one, however, is not a melancholy coming of age memoir. Instead, it is The Borden Tragedy by Rick Geary (1997), part of Geary's Treasury of Victorian Murder that I would truly like to explore further.

Although the well-known story of Lizzie Borden and the murders by axe of her father and step-mother in their home in 1892 are also rather disturbing, I found this book to be an uplifting change after reading Stitches. The bold drawings, the straightforward, procedural text, and the direct physical tragedy were a nice escape from the beautiful but sad look at human nature in Small's story.

I particularly enjoyed the (somewhat dated but still valid) comparison between Lizzie Borden and OJ Simpson on the back of this book: both were wealthy defendants, accused of killing a man and woman, with no motive and no other likely killer. And yet, both of them were acquitted, the murders never solved, and they were generally assumed to have gotten away with it.

Of particular note are Geary's attention to the homes, rooms, and furniture in his story. All the backgrounds are detailed without being overdone and add just the right amount of realism to the sordid tale.

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