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forpeterssake's books

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Kate Beaton, Kate Beaton: Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands (2022) 5 stars

The best graphic novel I have read in years

5 stars

I have read and enjoyed Beaton's other work, including Hark! A Vagrant and Step Aside Pops, both of which are whimsical and impish re-imagining of historical figures and events that I found both irreverent and delightful.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, is something different entirely, an autobiographical telling of Beaton's time working for oil companies in Northern Alberta, and there is very little whimsy here. Graduating from college and having to pay a significant student loan, and facing a lack of jobs in her home province of Nova Scotia, Beaton takes a job in the oil sands, where pay is good, even if the work and conditions are rough. It's a bargain she reconsiders multiple times, particularly as she lives with daily sexual harassment or worse, the isolation of the camps, the physical toll and safety hazards of the work, and homesickness. She depicts her fellow workers in …

Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Daughter of Doctor Moreau (2022, Random House Publishing Group) 3 stars

Well-written and a nice re-telling of the classic tale

4 stars

Silvia Moreno-Garcia re-imagines the story of H.G. Wells' Island of Doctor Moreau in the Yucatán peninsula and told from the perspective of his daughter. I honestly think Wells' original book is a clunky piece of fiction, so it was nice to see Moreno-Garcia craft a more appropriately complicated and well-written tale around the bold idea of a doctor who creates human-animal hybrids. I ended up like this book quite a bit, and I especially liked how Moreno-Garcia weaved in events like Mayan uprisings and political rivalries between Mexico and Great Britain as a backdrop and story points for this retelling of the classic tale.