A Tree for Max: A Fable


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Jan 05, Dxmaniac69 rated it really liked it. Really, my rating for this book is about 3 and a half stars. The book is good, and a very easy read. I don't know how appealing it would be to someone who isn't a Fables fan. In short, if you enjoy reworking of fairy tales, it's worth a read. It builds on the darkness of the original faeiy tale The Pipe Piper of Hamelin without changing it radically like Wicked does the Wizard of Oz.

For Fables fans, the question is whether or not Bill Willingham has potential as a novel writer. His writing he Really, my rating for this book is about 3 and a half stars. His writing here is competent but nothing special. The book feels like a Neil Gaiman novel more then it does something by Bill Willingham.

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There is a certain sarcastic tone in the Fables comic that I felt was missing from the novel. Willingham went more for the pure fairy tale then his usual deconstruction. Also, while Fables is definitely for an adult audience, this book felt like young adult fiction. There is a darker tone present, I don't feel the book carried a tone that's any more mature then alot of young adult fiction. Plus, the way the book was written just had that young adult feel to it. One flaw I find with Willingham is I often feel his villains are outmatched by his heroes.

I really never felt the good guys in Fables were threatened by the Adversary. Here, the main villain feels more dangerous, more evil. It is definitely one of the better badguys in the Fables world. In short, if you are a Fables fan or really into modern fairy tales read it. If not, maybe give it a try simply because since it's such an easy read that it could be finished quick.

However, if this genre isn't your style, probably a safe book to pass up. Nov 10, Laura rated it liked it Shelves: Peter and Max Piper are brothers. But aside from the same mother and father and musical giftedness, the two have little in common. Their story opens in the present in the recondite part of New York known as Fabletown with Peter learning of his brother's return. Despite Bo's protests and concern for Peter's safety, Peter resolves to find Max and put an end to his evil doings once and for all. From there, the story is told alternating from the present to the past.

Willingham masterfully parcels out the back story, slowly building the brother's history until the present enmity between them becomes clearer. Long, long ago the boys' father, Johannes Piper, passed on his magical flute named Frost to his younger son, Peter, because Peter is a better musician than Max. This decision creates a rift between the brothers that quickly turns deadly.

Willingham packs many more events and characters into Peter and Max's story. Like fairy tales of old, the story lacks depth of characterization as characters are largely one dimensional all good or all bad , and this may detract from some readers' enjoyment of the story. Still, for readers who enjoy the fairy tale mold and stories that ooze with intertextuality, Peter and Max will be a fast and fun read. Peter and Max is a standalone novel based on Willingham's esteemed Fables comic book series.

Jan 05, Mary Beth rated it really liked it. It was a fantastic romp and I marvel at the creativity and respectful license that the author takes with well known fairy tale characters. The eponymous protagonists are brothers, and are based on several familiar tales. Peter is both Peter Piper of pickled pepper fame, as well as the Peter who tucked his wife into a pumpkin shell. Max is non other then the Pied Piper of Hamelin; in this version of the tale, an evil, sociopathic force to be reckoned with.

Little Bo Peep is featured and does a lot more then tend sheep, as is the "the Black Forest Witch," who is the archetypal Witch of many fairy tales. She is a very interesting character to me, and features prominently in both the graphic novels and this book. I have a strong affinity for fairy tales, and am especially delighted when modern authors re-tell the old tales in interesting ways. Bill Willingham is one of our best thinkers in this regard, and I really hope to read more stories from the Fables universe.

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Peter & Max

May 17, Christopher Scott rated it it was amazing. I credit the finding of this book to my wife. I was only slightly familiar with the Fables comic. My wife, being the lovely person she is, went to the comic store to buy my valentines gift that is love ladies and gentlemen and the guy there told her about this book and thought I might enjoy it.

As it turned out, he was right. There definitely is no need to have read any of the Fables comics to have an understanding of what is going on in this novel, as the author states. It stands alone by its I credit the finding of this book to my wife. It stands alone by itself. If you want to read a book with a fun twist on all the old nursery rhyme characters you grew up hearing about, this book is it. This is not a Shrek play of the character either Relax and enjoy because you will be finished with it before you know it.

Sep 20, James rated it it was amazing. Thanks to my friend Ron, I received an advance copy of this book, which hits shelves quite soon.

I must say, I was always relatively lukewarm about Fables, the comic: I read the issues when they were first published, then switched to the trades after I lost my job at the comic store, and then fell behind in those as well--I've missed out on the last several volumes now, and haven't started the spin-off Jack of Fables? That said, I picked up this book thinking it would help to pass the time Thanks to my friend Ron, I received an advance copy of this book, which hits shelves quite soon.

That said, I picked up this book thinking it would help to pass the time, but I wound up devouring it. It's fantastic, which I mean in the literal as well as the descriptive sense. I don't know why exactly I found it so captivating when I was never this enthused by the comic, but I will say that I intend to catch up on the comic trades, now.

I love Bill Willingham's Fables comics, and was really looking forward to this first novel set in the Fables universe. It did not disappoint. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton, who was surprisingly good on Agent to the Stars. Oct 27, Quandra Chaffers rated it it was ok Recommends it for: The story follows Peter Piper, who you practiced getting tongue-tied talking about. I love the series in which these stories and characters are reinvented by author Bill Willingham The Fables graphic It was alright.

I love the series in which these stories and characters are reinvented by author Bill Willingham The Fables graphic novels by Vertigo have a mixture of epic adventure, romance, caper thrillers, and who dunnits. For instance, Snow White is no longer a wilting damsel in distress. She has had to learn to appear hard and unbending as a working woman to protect her heart from being further broken.

At the heart of the story is how Peter lost his brother, Max to sibling rivalry. The two grow up as traveling performers in a troupe also consisting of their parents.

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Peter is the best player in the family. Thus, he is bequeath a magical flute passed down through the generations. The flute was won by his ancestor in a legendary magical battle and has the ability to play fiction into reality. Specifically, Peter inherits the three boons to have danger pass him by.

Max sees his younger brother as undeserving of the attention and covets the flute for himself. Well when war claims their family, the boys separate. Peter wants his brother back and has to put his love for the brother he knew aside in order to recognize him for the monster Max became. Max wants to become a man in a time of war. But, then Willingham throws all that away by making Max flat out bananas! Max just goes coo coo, and never looks back. He becomes a cold murder, and literally is described as a beast of the forest. Well so much for sympathy.

Before, when he was still an unsure teen, Max maybe had a point about Peter. The whining was unbearable to read! But it takes up nearly all the mid portion of the book. When Peter was a kid having to transition form childhood friendship to budding romance with Bo Peep, or when he was a slightly older kid having to use his wits to survive on the streets of Hamelin alone, he was still interesting. Peter is a constant. Neither works well for the character development as far as the reader is concerned. Then I felt underwhelmed by the romance story of how Bo Peep and Peter Piper became lovers that lived for centuries together.

What is it that kept them together for so long? I wont go into details about what those oaths are, but both Bo and Peter are committed in other ways when they find each other later. Marriage and running away together is the only option. That said, their exchanges as fugitive on the run are sexy and clever. I think they have chemistry I expected a lot considering the caliber of the novels graphic novels, Fables, from which Peter and Max Fables is drawn.

As an old reader of the comic series, this novel does not expand the world. I imagine for new readers, it still does not expand the world! However, I would have to insist new readers pick up the paperback trades to know what I mean. Perhaps it would have been interesting if we followed Peter through the many lands and over run by the adversary and minions. Unfortunately, the setting feels smaller than it is. Max has become powerful over the years, and the approaching doom as Peter goes to meet Max for the final surrender really builds the tension! The book lags a bit in the middles in the forest and the journey to Hamelin.

Finally the climax by the water fountain left me unsatisfied. If they like whimsy and humor. Otherwise, hold off until you are a big fan of the graphic novels and reserve your opinion on the series if no one warned you in time to postpone reading this novel. But I love the flow of his words and the dialogue of the olden times. I hope he releases another Fables novel one day, because I do like the medium for the story. Too bad we loose the brilliant pencils of Buckingham, the ongoing artist for the comics. Feb 21, Amilia rated it really liked it.

The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I didn't love the writing. The author tended to tell about things rather than show them. Which makes sense, because he usually writes comics and doesn't have to describe things. I've never read the comics, but I really liked this book. Dec 02, Patrick rated it liked it Shelves: This story was fun and enjoyable but nothing like the Fables comics. The descriptions of things were far too long and the story, at times, seemed too slow. Bill should just stick with Graphic Novels.

Mar 06, Shannon rated it liked it. This isn't a book I would've chosen on my own, but I actually enjoyed it much more than I had anticipated. This book is a Fables Novel, meaning that is a part of the Fables comic series. You don't have to know anything about the comic books or even anything about the Fables world to enjoy this book. It is a stand alone novel.

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The book opens with a bit of an explanation of the setting. The people are fairy tale characters who have been driven away from their home world by an invading army of the Adversary. The expanding Empire left no room for these people, and so they fled to another world and are living in Fabletown, New York. Peter and Max Piper are brothers, but that's really where the similarities end. At the start of the novel, Peter is informed of Max's return to this world, and he makes plans to go and meet him, taking a deadly assortment of weapons with him, knowing that his only two options are kill or be killed.

He leaves his paraplegic wife, Bo Peep, and sets out for Hamelin, Germany. The book flashes back and forth between the past and the present, allowing the reader to really understand the history between Peter and Max. The family is a group of traveling performers, musicians of course, each of them piping on their flutes. The father's flute is called Frost, and is imbued with much magic due to its origins. It is to be an inheritance for one of the sons someday. Max, as the eldest, believes that Frost is rightfully his, but his father decides otherwise and gives the flute to Peter, who is the better musician of the two.

Max never gets over this. The Pipers are staying with the Peeps when the invading army arrives. They organize an escape plan for the entire household and plan to journey through the Black Forest to Hamelin. Max's heart is already beginning to harden, and being in the Forest helps the process along. Before long, he believes himself to be another beast of the forest, and he soon becomes one. He murders his father, and tries to murder Peter, but the magic of Frost prevents him from harming him this time. In time, Max encounters the witch of the forest, who provides him with another flute, that Max calls Fire, and basically guides him on how to use its powers.

She is planning on using Max to exact revenge on her enemies. Max becomes much more powerful than she anticipated, but through a bargain, he still fulfills the witch's plan to lure the children of Hamelin from their parents. And because of Max's love of colorful garments, he becomes known as the Pied Piper. Meanwhile, Peter and Bo become separated for a few years, but then are reunited in Hamelin in a very curious way. Again, Max comes after Peter, and again, Frost's magic saves Peter, but in turn, causes severe injury to Bo, who loses the ability to use her legs.

Eventually, the two of them make their way to the new world and become residents of Fabletown, where they find peace for many, many years. Peter's journey to Hamelin actually takes a surprise twist when he finally encounters his brother. Of course, I was hoping for an ending where good conquers evil, but the more I read of the book, the more doubtful I became of this ending. Let's just say I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe I liked this book better than I expected because of how much I enjoy fairy tales, and like other books I've read, this one definitely provided a new spin on the classics.

And part of it might be due to the fact that my husband and I, along with my in-laws, will be in Germany in just under three weeks, and I'd already come across information about Hamelin and the pied piper reenactments that supposedly happen there every Sunday. I doubt that we will make it to Hamelin, especially to see this event, but I enjoyed reading about it! Even though I enjoyed the book, I can definitely say that I will not be following the rest of Fabletown in the Fables comics.

I freely admit to being a geek and a nerd, but I haven't quite made it that far, yet. Not that there's anything wrong with that in the least, mind you. Venons-en maintenant aux personnages. In many cases, novelists have difficulty making the jump to comic book writing just as comic book writers and screenwriters may have a rough time adapting to pure prose writing.

I'm happy to report that Bill Willingham not only made the jump to prose writing well, but he exceeded my already lofty expectations. Okay, I'd be remiss if I didn't offer full disclosure and admit that I am a huge Fables fan. That doesn't mean I automatically give Willingham a free pass, though. I've written some glowing In many cases, novelists have difficulty making the jump to comic book writing just as comic book writers and screenwriters may have a rough time adapting to pure prose writing. I've written some glowing Fables reviews, but I've also come down pretty hard on the title every now and again.

I'm simply trying to clarify that while I may not be totally objective with Willingham, I can remain critical. For those unfamiliar with Fables, the premise is that all of our storybook legends, nursery rhyme characters, and mythological figures are very real and lived in their own worlds. When their homelands were overrun by an evil overlord, they fled to our dimension just as New York was being founded. There they have lived among us ever since, always searching for a way to win back their own lands. And in true Fables fashion, Willingham is sure to deliver the scenes we'd expect from such characters, but he also makes them his own and offers some unexpected twists and turns.

I also enjoyed that the chapters alternate - a chapter will focus upon Peter and Max's past, and then the next will zero in on the present. This was a great way to build suspense while slowly revealing pertinent plot points. Willingham lays the groundwork early on and doesn't throw any last minute plot-changers into the mix. Force push knocks down everything within the targeted area and causes a small amount of damage. As this spell goes up in levels the area it covers becomes larger.

Be careful using this spell. It will also harm friendly and neutral NPCs if they are caught within its range. This spell can turn your enemies against their allies and be used in battle. The enemies that can be taken over by the Turncoat spell is limited and what can be controlled tend to be weak. This spell can be helpful for supporting the rest of your abilities. This spell is more expensive for good characters. They will receive an experience penalty and will never be able to master it.

The universal best skill for any character. For a melee character, you can fight an entire army without ever even being hit, for a ranged character you can stop many charging bandits before they even get to you and a magic user can literally knock their enemies down with one skill, and before those enemies hit the ground you can kill them in the air. It also has uses in mini-games, accomplishing quests and quest boasts. It is on the edge of cheapness, but because you still have to kill your enemies it isn't that bad.

This skill is not very tough at low levels, but at high levels you can suck the life out of your enemies and actually kill them with it. It is a spell that only EVIL characters can master and GOOD characters take an experience penalty where they have to spend more experience to learn it. This is another support skill, as in you can't rely on your summoned creatures to kill everything for you, it would take way to long.

The way the spell works is that it starts out as a wasp, and if the summon kills an enemy, it can take the form of that enemy, so if it kills a bandit, the summon is now a bandit. The types of enemies that the summon can be is extremely limited and for that reason, not very good. It is a spell that you can have some fun with though, having Turncoat, Ghost sword and a summon can make for a decent strengthened force, but the experience it takes to master those three skills doesn't match up to the power you could have with that experience elsewhere.

It is also a spell that EVIL characters take an experience penalty on where they have to spend more experience to learn it and only GOOD characters can master it. Read it together with a younger child over nights as a chapter book. Beginning and independent readers from first, second, and third grades and older do enjoy it.

Or use as a picture book at any age, with or without the captions. Praise for A Tree for Max What a wonderful book! My second-grade students loved it. We loved the photos and the concept. It sparked up a nice conversation about nature. I would definitely share this book with future students, especially in the fall with apple picking season and new beginnings with a new school year. I forwarded it to a few of my colleagues to share with their students. Personally I loved the book, probably in a different way than my students.

A Tree for Max has messages for both adults and children. Julian read it alone. Hesat down and read it from beginning to end without any stop. He said the plot was interesting and liked that there were real pictures. He also took pleasure in retelling me the story, which is very unusual! He normally does not like to tell about what he reads, but this time, explained it to me in great detail. It is a very well written, thoughtful book that I recommend because our children really responded to it.

Our girls, Taylor 7 years, 2nd grade and Ally 5 years loved A Tree for Max, both the storyline and the pictures. Teddy and I read the book to the children, although our 7 year old could have read it alone. I read it to her and next she read it to me. We have talked frequently of seasonal changes that the book brought to light. She tells me that she especially loves Grandfather Apple and the guard dog.

This is a very thought provoking subject that allowed Papa to spend some quality time with his granddaughter. Kyla has shared it with several friends, and I have recommended it to her teacher. They enjoyed the personalities of the trees and of course, the pictures. Read more Read less. Explore our editors' picks for the best kids' books of the month.

A Tree for Max: A Fable A Tree for Max: A Fable
A Tree for Max: A Fable A Tree for Max: A Fable
A Tree for Max: A Fable A Tree for Max: A Fable
A Tree for Max: A Fable A Tree for Max: A Fable
A Tree for Max: A Fable A Tree for Max: A Fable
A Tree for Max: A Fable A Tree for Max: A Fable
A Tree for Max: A Fable A Tree for Max: A Fable

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