Bad Island: Book summary and reviews of Bad Island by Stanley Donwood

Bad Island

by Stanley Donwood

Bad Island by Stanley Donwood X
Bad Island by Stanley Donwood
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2020
    176 pages
    Genre: Graphic Novels

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Book Summary

A starkly beautiful, wordless graphic novel about the end of the world by the cult artist and longtime Radiohead collaborator.

A wild seascape, a distant island, a full moon. Gradually the island grows nearer until we land on a primeval wilderness, rich in vegetation and huge, strange beasts. Time passes and man appears, with clubs, with spears, with crueler weapons still―and things do not go well for the wilderness. Civilization rises as towers of stone and metal and smoke choke the undergrowth and the creatures that once moved through it. This is not a happy story, and it will not have a happy ending.

Working in his distinctive, monochromatic linocut style, Stanley Donwood achieves with his art what words cannot convey, carving out a mesmerizing, stark parable of environmental disaster and the end of civilization.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[Donwood] lingers on the most contemporary of monsters (deforestation, gathering dark clouds of pollution, downpours of ballistics), perhaps underscoring the depravity of our modern age. For all its terror and destruction, the book allows the faintest hint of optimism...A picture book of the damned—devoured quickly and savored for days." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Donwood presents humankind as a force driven to sow destruction of the natural world—an ages-old theme enlivened considerably with Donwood's striking imagery­...a hypnotic, trenchant allegory that is both beautiful to look at and hard to look away from." - Publishers Weekly

"Bad Island is an extraordinary, unsettling document: a silent species-history in eighty frames, a mute future archive. I can imagine it discovered in the remnants of a civilization; a set of runes found amid the ruins. Stark in its lines and dark in its vision, Bad Island reads you more than you read it." - Robert Macfarlane, bestselling author of Underland

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Author Information

Stanley Donwood

Stanley Donwood is a graphic designer and artist who has worked with the band Radiohead, producing artwork for their albums and promotional materials. His books include Bad Island, Catacombs of Terror!, Slowly Downward, Small Thoughts, and There Will Be No Quiet. He lives in London.

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