Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bluffton (2013)

Bluffton: My Summer with Buster Keaton. 2013. Candlewick Press. 240 pages. [Source: Review Copy]

Bluffton is a graphic novel with a historical setting (1908-1910?). The book focuses on the summer vacations of a young Buster Keaton. These special summer days are told not from his point of view, however, but from a local boy named Henry Harrison who absolutely idolizes the show people.

Henry Harrison is thrilled when a troupe of vaudeville performers settles down to summer near Muskegon, Michigan. There are boys his own age among the troupe. One of these boys is Buster Keaton. Henry had not heard of Buster before, but he becomes mesmerized by his new friend. Buster? Well, he enjoys clowning around and making the local folk laugh now and then, but, mainly he wants to play ball. He wants to play, have fun, relax. He's shown as wanting to pack a whole summer into each and every day. I got the impression that Henry didn't really see things clearly; he saw what he wanted to see: the glamor, the wow.

The story of several summers (and winters) are told through art and dialogue. An epilogue informs readers of Buster Keaton's transition from stage to film.

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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