Anthony Browne's King Kong

Anthony Browne, Author Turner Publications Inc $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-57036-107-4
First, the good news: if ever a couple seemed made for each other artistically, it's the multitalented Browne and King Kong, the celebrated simian star of the 1933 film. In this illustrated retelling, Browne's imagery literally reaches new heights-think Gorilla on steroids-with his powerful renderings of the fabled beast, often in skewed perspectives that magnify the drama. While many illustrations are based directly on the film, Browne's graphic style works splendidly to give the images a striking new look while remaining faithful to director Cooper's justly famed work. (One gratuitous touch: the film's ``made-over'' star bears a distracting resemblance to Marilyn Monroe.) The book's text, however, is less successful than its artwork: Browne's prose, while appropriately cinematic, evinces an adult sensibility that would seem to lessen its appeal to a youthful audience. Also, perhaps because of the period setting and the (occasionally hokey) story line itself, both dialogue and descriptions veer at times toward camp. Nonetheless, this Kong is an impressive addition to Browne's oeuvre. All ages. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
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