Book no 16. this year – The Last Temptation by Neil Gaiman, Michael Zulli & Alice Cooper. This was a quick 150 page graphic novel /comic that was not as dark as the cover art seemed to suggest.

The story starts off doing Halloween celebrations, with a bunch of boys swapping gory horror stories as they walk back home from school. They stop midway to look at a theater and are soon accosted by a sinister looking stranger, who dares them to come inside and watch a show alone. The boys challenge the protagonist Stevens to go in and that’s where things start to get creepy.

‘The Last Temptation’has the classic “devil’s bargain” as its theme, a la ‘Doctor Faustus’. Although it’s not the soul at stake and the devils victims are children. The artwork was colourful, yet dark at the same time, kind of like the modern Batman comics. The black overtones in the comic-panels give a necessary ominous touch to the story.

I think the book was a pretty good pick for a quick read. Neil Gaiman in the introduction himself explains that he wanted to write something light, equivalent to a pop song – “nothing too deep, nothing too ambiguous”. And he delivers just that with his graphic novel. So don’t go expecting a lot, it’s a pretty simple yet intriguing tale.

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