Book Review: The Rime of the Modern Mariner

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s cautionary classic eco-apocalyptic poem penned in 1797 receives a smooth, haunting updating in Hayes’s capable hands. Using the format of a graphic novel, the story opens with a newly divorced harried executive on his lunch break, Blackberry in hand, barely listening as an old sailor attempts to tell of his adventures. On his first voyage, the mariner shot an albatross thus cursing the ship and crew to an unfortunate end. The mariner survives, learning through his many trials how everything is interconnected and the way humankind’s total disregard for the environment will sow the seeds to his destruction. Beautifully illustrated in shades of blue, the overall feeling conveyed is that of being in a hallucinatory dream state which fits perfectly with the tale that ends on a sad note when the executive and thus mankind, ignores the mariner’s warning. Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.