Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: The Rime of the Modern Mariner

By Sandy Amazeen Dec 8, 2012, 8:12 GMT

Book Review: The Rime of the Modern Mariner

An extraordinary, timely update on the classic Coleridge poemIs it possible to update a masterpiece? Only, perhaps, with a brand-new masterpiece. Written in 1797, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner? was the original eco-fable; drawn in 2010, The Rime of the Modern Mariner is a graphic novel, now set in the cesspool of the North Atlantic Garbage Patch-thus adding a timely and resonant message about the destruction of our seas.Hayes\'s ...more

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.

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