DC Comics Novels - Batman: The Killing Joke, by Gary Phillips, Christa Faust

jennmarshall27's review

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There were a couple of small things added that I wish were not changed because I feel like it changed the meaning of the original comic. But for the most part I liked this story a lot. Most of the book was not the comic, but I feel like the extra stories fit into the overall world better then the stories from the animated movie did. I'm glad I gave it a chance and I'm excited to read the others.

kittyburritoland's review

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It made me want to go back and reread the graphic novel. The novel wasn't bad but it wasn't great either... points for graphic design of the book though, really sharp package.

sundayray's review

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"What it lacked in style, it made up for in decay.”

For those who have read (or know about) the comic book, this novelisation does not bring anything new to the table. As expected it is the same origin story of the Joker (although a really good one) with some extra narrative. Batgirl also plays an important role here, whereas in the graphic novel she doesn’t even make an appearance.

I am not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed with this one. The parts that were based on the comic book were superb, and what was added was more details and description of the scenes. This work was done tastefully. The remaining parts were very far from being that good. There are entire sections that I don’t really understand why they exist as they’re not relevant to the story; it’s just “noise”.

Notwithstanding Batgirl saves the day. She has been incorporated into the story in a way that I ended up liking more than I thought I would. She also has a really, really good fight scene in the second part and for me it’s the best developed character after the Joker. Even Batman is boring compared to those two! I also liked Alfred Pennyworth and his sense of humour - who doesn't?

Alan Moore and Brian Bolland did a remarkable job with the graphic novel but unfortunately this novelization is not up to the same standard. I hope that the other two DC Comics novels published by Titan Books are slightly better.

henchwench's review

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Strangely enough given this is a novel adaptation of the killing joke graphic novel very little of the story is actually about the events that take place in it. The majority of the story follows drug gangs, with the killing joke story squeezed in quickly towards the end

Even the jokers backstory is relegated to a handful of pages in the middle

This novelisation doesn’t really capture the darkness or emotional struggle/relationship between batman and the joker the graphic novel conveys so wonderfully yet so simply

boogalou's review

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I don't even know what to say about this.

How about some of the main issues?

-there are way too many characters in this damn book

-most of the characters have more than one name because they all have alternate egos

-most of what happened in the first 15 chapters didn't do anything important

-I really thought this was going to be a book about the joker, it's not, until the latter half even still I wouldn't count this as a book ABOUT the joker

-maybe I don't know that much about the joker but he seemed more of an evil mastermind then someone who would RAPE BATGIRL

-^ yeah it kind of came out of nowhere

kiralovesreading's review

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dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


zanyanomaly's review

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If you’re thinking of reading this book, chances are – you’ve read the original graphic novel by Alan Moore. I hadn’t. I had put off reading the graphic novel until I heard about this Novelization. I was curious to know how the experience would be – since I’m only used to seeing books turned into graphic novels and not the vice versa. My perspective is that a novel will give me a better perspective to the graphic novel. And it did exactly what I hoped it would. It takes the original storyline, adds all these subplots that give the characters more depth, motive (and context) to their actions and gives us a more well-rounded story. It is not just the story of Batman and The Joker. It is also the story of all the supporting characters, them being the heroes of their own POV. I read the graphic novel as soon as I was done with this novelization and found the storyline to be almost similar in most aspects. Everything that the reader of the graphic novel has to assume is clarified with each sentence we read and I found myself being glad that I had read the novelization to understand some of the context of the graphic novel (Yes, I know the graphic novel is more than capable of standing on its own. I just appreciated the fact that I knew the context more clearly and beforehand, thereby making my experience of reading the graphic novel better than it would’ve been.). The writing was smooth and kept me just enough interested to turn to the next page.

But there were a few things that I did not like about this book:
1. There is one particular subplot that just made no sense to me and I do not understand why it was a part of this story cause it is not at all relevant to the storyline. Truly frustrating.
2. The constant mention of all the cool gadgets and the detailed descriptions of them, especially in the beginning, really made me roll my eyes. It just felt unnecessary.
3. The ending. The one part where the novel strays away from the graphic novel. For those of you who don’t know, the ending of the graphic novel is left ambiguous (though its widely assumed by the fans). But the novel removes the ambiguity and takes it in…a certain direction. And I’m very disappointed by that. It is truly disappointing that the novel stuck with the storyline of the graphic novel for so long only to not in the last few pages.
That’s my only gripe with the book. Other than that, The Killing Joke novelization is a fun one time read for anyone – from a DC novice to hardcore fan. This book also sets things up nicely for an expanding DC Novel universe. So, strap in folks. We’re in for a ride.
Loved it! It follows the exact storyline of the graphic novel but adds a lot to it to make it a more emotionally rounding tale.

Review to come soon!
Thanks to the Bloomsbury India for providing me with a review copy!

libraryneenja's review

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I liked Mad Love a little more, but that may be because I went into it with less information. That said, this was still really good. Getting more story, more background, but still having that core of what The Killing Joke is was nice. It took me a little while to get okay with all the build up, but that was impatience on my part. I knew what was coming and was antsy waiting to get there, even though I ended up appreciating the depth. This book is worth the read.