One hundred years ago. On the foggy Hudson River, a riverboat captain rescues an injured mermaid from the waters of the busiest port in the United States. A wildly popular–and notoriously reclusive–author makes a public debut. A French nobleman seeks a remedy for a curse. As three lives twine together and race to an unexpected collision, the mystery of the Mermaid of the Hudson deepens.
A mysterious and beguiling love story with elements of Poe, Twain, Hemingway, and Greek mythology, drawn in moody black-and-white charcoal, Sailor Twain is a study in romance, atmosphere, and suspense.
The graphic novel comes with a fantastic synopsis (the title alone is awesome) that snagged my interest and I requested it on Net Galley without doing my research and realizing it was a graphic novel. I went into it anyway because I like graphic novels and I ended up with a story that is definitely quirky and keeps you guessing. If I were to retitle this book, I would call it the Disintegration of Sailor Twain. The protagonist of this novel, the captain of a cruise boat (ship?) that makes its way up and down Hudson River rescues a mermaid and becomes ensnared in her wiles. The novel narrates visually and through prose the gradual dissolution of the captain’s moral and professional workers in the face of his fascination with the mermaid.
Included in the cast of characters is the ship’s owner, a French monsieur whose name I have forgotten and various women with whom the ship-owner is conducting simultaneous affairs. There is a purpose to his seeming insatiability where women are concerned and that too, ties in with the main narrative. The ending is surprising and made me like the novel more than I did previously.
Do I recommend this? If you looking for a dark graphic novel that delves into themes of humanity and human nature with a huge slice of cynicism thrown in, then yes, this is for you. Oh, the art? I liked it – cept for the noses. Some of the characters were mostly noses.