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Paperback The New York Four Book

ISBN: 1401211542

ISBN13: 9781401211547

The New York Four

(Book #1 in the New York Four Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The ultimate insider's guide to New York City is presented through the eyes of Brooklyn-born Riley, who is starting her freshman year at NYU and is about to find out what an adventure--and a... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

As Much of a Tour Book as a Graphic Novel

The New York Four is almost as much of a tour book as a graphic novel. Artist Ryan Kelly duplicates actual Big Apple scenes down to the billboards and graffiti practically, and writer Brian Wood splatters the text with you-are-there descriptions of the locale. He offers sightseeing tips, restaurant guides, record-store reviews and more; it's like getting a tour of the sites used in the making of the story while you're still reading the story. It's a fun concept for a graphic novel, and with an illustrator as talented as Kelly, one whose work so effortlessly captures real life and true human features, it's a natural. Wood unfortunately dips into pedantry at times with his descriptions (he assumes his audience is not only completely unaware of New York, but also doesn't know who Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison are). No matter. The New York Four has more than enough charm to make up for this, starting with the fact that it's delightfully free of melodrama. It's not purposely dark and insular. While The New York Four is ostensibly about four friends, the title could just as easily be about the 4 subway train. That's how deeply into the heart of the city the book delves, and how much it succeeds in capturing the look and feel of the city. The story centers primarily on just one of the gang of four (the other three are fascinating too, but they're seen primarily in sequel-preparing glimpses). Riley is a native New Yorker, but her freshman year at NYU is her first trip into Manhattan. She's been raised by obsessively overprotective parents in Brooklyn, pushed to excel academically but not allowed to develop her own interests. Even her personality is sheltered and underformed. Riley's older sister was sheltered the same way, but she managed to escape years ago and hasn't spoken to her parents ever since. Now living with her boyfriend in downtown Manhattan, she's the wild child Riley longs to be, and her influence helps Riley to finally exert some of her own personality. The New York Four centers mostly on Riley's quest for independence and her burgeoning social life, as well as her flirty text-message-only relationship with a mysterious stranger known only as Sneakerfreak. Riley and Sneakerfreak finally meet face-to-face in the final act of the novel, and it leads to the most surprising twist of the story and positions Riley and the rest of her cohorts for more interesting journeys in the city that never sleeps. That's good news. It will be fun to spend some more time--and to get plenty more New York City tips and tricks--in subsequent stories. -- John Hogan

The New York Four

The New York Four (MINX) To be honest, I originally wanted to hold off on getting this book because of its target demographic, but as soon as I saw the preview art on it I was sold. The art was every bit as good as Local's and Brian's writing was just as good. I loved the format as well, I've always wanted to read a manga sized American comic. It has the same feel as a manga volume and it has the structure of one too. It's broken down into bite sized chapters, much like in manga, and you can easily finish reading it in about an hour or so (if you're a slow reader like me). Like in Local, we have a female protaganist, Riley, who has just enrolled into NYU. She's a quiet character though and that dynamic soon comes into play; she has to fend for herself right from the get-go and she soon finds that university is just the beginning of her struggles. But, thankfully, she has help in the form of her girlfriends. Before long, this book unfolds pretty much the way you expect it to, 'girl' problems abound. In other words, its just like Local but with a lighter tone. And that's great if you want more of that kind of storytelling. If you aren't looking for another Local, then I'm afraid you may find yourself getting bored very quickly. My suggestion would be to read the preview first and see if you like it; that's what I did and that paid off big time; this book will be a permanant fixture on my bookshelf.

Something for the geek in all of us

The New York Four is a book that is actually worthy of the title graphic "novel." The story and characters are as complex and interesting as in any prose novel or movie. Riley Wilder is a shy introvert, a feature which her parents have actually fostered because her wild and unruly older sister ran away from home. Riley's social life consists of texting with people she's met online, but has never met in person. But now that Riley is commuting from her home in Brooklyn to college in Manhattan, she's ready to start coming out of her shell. Of course wanting something and actually being able to make that drastic a change in personality are two different things. Riley finds and makes contact with her long lost older sister through her myspace page. Riley also reaches out to some other freshman girls who are looking for work, recommending they try the job she works at beta-testing SAT and PSAT tests. Unfortunately, even though Riley has made some real human connections, when somebody slips an e-mail address into her pocket, she finds herself back in old habits, obsessively texting with an anonymous friend, rather than spending time with her real ones. The story is written by Brian Wood, wirter of DMZ, Channel Zero, Local, and Demo. If you've read Demo, you know he's good at handling real world characters. The art by Ryan Kelly is amazing. His characters are individual and recognizable. His scenery is detailed and real. There's somthing in the background of every panel. And his zipotone (that's those dots used to make different shades of gray for any new comics readers out there) is some of the best I've ever seen. My only real complaint about this book is I want it to be longer than the 152 pages. There's so much story, so much personality to each of the characters, that there are parts that I really wish had been fleshed out more. To be fair, most of the Minx books are less than 200 pages, so the creative team may have had size restrictions. The Minx line was started to get American comics into the hands of people who were only reading Manga, or to appeal to people who read books but not necessarily graphic novels. I've read most of the Minx books and, so far, this one is the most solid. I think this book shows the potential for depth of story that comics have in a way that is accessible to new readers.

Four stars for New York Four

The New York Four is about Riley Wilder trying to make it though her first semester in college, and the three girls she befriends during that time. This was a good book. Was it the Citizen Kane of comics? No, but it was a fun read, that rang true with what it is like during your first semester in college, as well as the landscape of New York City. The city felt alive in every since of the word, it felt as much as a character as Riley and her friends and family do. I was unaware until the end that this is the first of what will be a line of books. Which I am very happy about, I cannot wait to see what happens next in the girls' lives. There are story elements that felt unfinished at the end, like Lona's story with her teacher. This will, I assume, be resolved in a up coming book, but felt like some kind of closer should have been put in, even if it ended up being a cliffhanger. Ryan Kelly's artwork is wonderful, the panel flow is great, but still has stuff in the background that is interesting to look at. My only problem is that the girls look older then the college freshmen they are suppose to be. But Kelly's use of zip-a-tone has, and still amazes me. I did find it a little tacky how ever that the book had 24 pages of previews for other Minx books in the back.
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