The Marvels

The Marvels

Book - 2015
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In 1766, a boy, Billy Marvel, is shipwrecked, rescued, and goes on to found a brilliant family of actors that flourishes in London until 1900--and nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis, runs away from home, seeking refuge with his uncle in London, and is captivated by the Marvel house, with its portraits and ghostly presences.
Publisher: New York :, Scholastic Press,, [2015]
ISBN: 9780545448680
0545448689
Characteristics: 665 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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DBRL_KrisA Dec 19, 2016

Roughly the first half of the book is in drawn form, similar to Selznick's most well-known work, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It tells the story of multiple generations of the Marvel family, from the shipwrecked Billy in 1766 through to his great-great-grandson, Leontes, in the early 1900s. The majority of the second half of the book takes up the story of Joseph, a young schoolboy of the 1990s who believes himself to be a descendant of the Marvel clan, and his arrival at the home of his uncle Albert.
There is nothing quite like openly crying over a book in your employer's staff lounge, and that's exactly what this book had me doing. I hesitate to give more details of the plot, and what specifically had me crying. Selznick's descriptions of the various relationships - between Joseph and Albert, Joseph and Frankie, between Frankie and her parents, but especially between Albert and Billy - are beautifully written.

AL_ALYSONC Aug 11, 2016

I had been in a horrible reading slump - mysteries/thrillers too scary, romance too predictable, YA too full of 16 year olds who save the world while looking stunning, literary not relaxing enough... Thank you Brian Selznick for pulling me into this story about the power of stories. Slump over!

k
kaspr008
Jul 21, 2016

This is a really great book. The first few pages are filled with beautiful pencil drawn illustrations depicting the first half of the story.
Then, you are transported to the 1990s, and meet Joseph Jervis, a 13 year old boy who loves poetry and has ran away from his school in Germany.
He goes to London, where he finds his strange uncle, Albert Nightingale. Albert's house is full of strange objects, hiding some sort of family history. Joseph makes friends with Frankie, and looks for his friend Blink.
Anyway, this book will make your heart beat fast, make you cry and make you smile!
it's the best book ever

LibrarianDest Jun 22, 2016

I read a lot of children's books and can usually see a twist coming a mile away. This book genuinely surprised me! A true mystery with an un-guess-able conclusion. Selznick has once again combined pictures and words beautifully to tell a remarkable story.

v
vip2003
Jan 07, 2016

A definite page turner.

a
andra14
Dec 31, 2015

Had high expectations for this book following Selznick's previous novels (Amazing! You must read them if you haven't already!) but unfortunately they fell flat.

Maybe what troubled me about The Marvels was the plot. For some reason it just wasn't particularly interesting. The blurb read "A gripping adventure and an intriguing invitation to decipher how the two narratives connect." There was really no adventure to be gripped on, just a blah sort of boy who was very hard to connect with, trying to discover what his uncle is not telling him about their family history. And as for connecting the narratives - there was just nothing to 'decipher'.

Visually it was a great story! Selznick does beautiful illustrations as usual! Was just let down plot wise after the first 400 pages. Was considering buying this book (cover art work was very enticing!) but now very glad I didn't. Not a completely pointless read because it's short and illustrations count for something, however not something I'll be re-reading any time soon.

bibliotechnocrat Dec 03, 2015

The graphic novel that comprises the first part of the book is pure genius; I was torn between racing from page to page in pursuit of the story, and wanting to spend time studying the striking images. The second, textual part worked far less well. The main character of the second story (Joseph) just didn't seem very accessible and I found it a bit hard to care what happened to him. Nonetheless, Selznick is to be commended on a truly interesting work of art.

b
bibliokrisp
Dec 02, 2015

Glad I read this--you can feel Selznick putting his heart & soul into this book, infusing it with his love of art and understanding of the challenges human beings face growing up and making peace with who they are. Also so much about creativity and why humans create. A beautiful book.

mvkramer Nov 27, 2015

At first, I thought this book was re-treading the same path as The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck - two linked stories in pictures and prose, the connection of past and present, and an old secret being revealed by a young protagonist. Then, about halfway through the book, there was a twist that changed everything. A bittersweet, beautiful tale about art, love and truth.

KateHillier Nov 19, 2015

Gorgeous pictures (400 odd pages of them!) tell the first part of this love letter to stories. We follow a boy who survives a shipwreck and how his family becomes well known as actors. When we switch to prose it is 1990 and a different boy is running away from boarding school on the hope that his uncle can help answer some questions. What he learns has everything to do with his family and stories as much as it may not.

It's a case where I want to say as little as possible about this. Not because there's a ground shaking twist to it but because it's a book that deserves to be experienced with as little influence as to how to take things as possible.

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Red_Cat_41
Feb 27, 2017

Red_Cat_41 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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pink_monkey_241
Jul 05, 2016

pink_monkey_241 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 15 and 8

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kaspr008
Jul 03, 2016

kaspr008 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

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