The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York

A Yarn for the Strange at Heart

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 06 Oct 2015 | Archive Date 09 Mar 2016

Description

Discover the horrible fate of Jonathan York as he sets out on his journey through a spooky forest with an alarming party of travelmates!

“…[a] hair-raising tribute to the life-changing power of stories . . . Merritt shows both a knack for evocative phrasing … and a deft hand at crafting flamboyantly icky monsters in creepy settings.”
Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review


Jonathan York has led a boring life – a pointless degree from the community college, a lackluster job at the General Store, and never any desire for something more exciting. But when fate leaves him stranded in a sinister land,
he finds himself seeking an adventure of his own. Along the way he encounters ghoulish thieves, ravenous swamp monsters, a dastardly ice cream conspiracy, and a necromancer bent on human sacrifice.

In this beautifully illustrated, four-color novel, Jonathan York's life takes a decidedly spooky turn!
Discover the horrible fate of Jonathan York as he sets out on his journey through a spooky forest with an alarming party of travelmates!

“…[a] hair-raising tribute to the life-changing power of...

A Note From the Publisher

We regret that this electronic galley is not available for Kindle viewing. The finished book will be available in print and ebook formats.

We regret that this electronic galley is not available for Kindle viewing. The finished book will be available in print and ebook formats.


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781449471002
PRICE $9.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

Download (PDF)

Average rating from 109 members


Featured Reviews

I loved this book and everything about it from the concept of the story to the illustrations. I am not always one for graphic novels as often times I don't feel like they tell a complete story, but that was not the case with this book. The story here is fun, interesting and different. It wasn't predictable and the illustrations are so good that you want to go back and flip through it again just to admire them. I couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for the main character. He goes through a lot. The use of limited colours really worked here. They weren't distracting as you read the story and I think people of all ages will have fun with this. According to the author bio, this is the first published work of this author, and I really hope that there will be more to follow. This would be a great addition to anyone's collection. The mixture of prose and traditional storytelling in this book makes for a nice flow as well. Also--this book has a great message about getting out there and creating a life for yourself that is worthy of talking about later. Loved the monsters. Two big thumbs up for this one. I recommend you check it out--you will have a good time. This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?
Not set

Brilliant book which is great for young adults, it is full of excellent pictures which made sense at the end as the author is an art teacher, so all his own work. The pictures had lots of detail and I was also surprised to find poems in this book but I loved it and I couldn't wait to read the next story further on in the book. It has lots of interesting characters and shows that some experiences help you to live your life, it kept me reading to the end.

Not set
Was this review helpful?

When I first started reading this book, I remember thinking it was interesting that the main character was an adult instead of a kid. I wondered whether children would relate to him, but the fact is you just cannot help but root for Jonathan, and hope that he gets to someplace safe after all his dangerous adventures. His reactions are utterly believable. Instead of a main character who is the epitome of bravery, Mr York is rightly frightened all the time, and even has anxiety attacks. Just how I might react had I experienced even half of what he did. In addition to some really scary stuff, there were a couple of things which confused me as to what the age-group audience of this book might be, like the Sean Connery reference, and stuff like Footsteps. Like the footsteps in a dinosaur movie. Like the footsteps you hear just before an expendable character gets chomped. The monsters in this book were crazy creepy! Each was scarier than the previous, and both their looks and their names conquered my inner child. The illustrations, in general, were daunting, though I did find all the dark colours a bit tiresome after a while. I noticed and appreciated the rare details of colour, like the eyes of certain monsters, and the treasure in the chest. Most of all, I admire the author's imagination and ability to weave a gripping tale featuring a main character to whom anyone can relate. I did think Jonathan found his confidence much too quickly in his encounter with the Terraqueenpin; considering what I saw up to the point, it seemed a bit abrupt, and I would have liked to see more evolution. But overall this was a great quick read with quite a few foods for thought, amongst which the importance of brains over brawn, of standing up to bullies, and of having stories to tell, instead of limiting yourself to a reassuring routine. Very impressive for a debut piece!

Was this review helpful?

Wonderful graphic novel for kids and adult with everything that's necessary: swamp, monsters, creepy trolls and creeper fellows and stories to tell! Fantastica graphic novel per grandi e piccini con tutto quello che é necessario ci sia: paludi, mostri, trolls e persone stranissime, piú tante storie da raccontare! THANKS TO NETGALLEY AND ANDREWS McMEEL PUBLISHING FOR THE PREVIEW!

Was this review helpful?

This was so much fun to read. It says in the back of the book that the author is an elementary school art teacher and I can't help but feel jealous of those kids- how fun it would be to have this guy as a teacher! The story and illustrations are equally wacky, silly, bizarre, etc. I would definitely read another book by this author, even if I am about 20 years older than his target audience.

Was this review helpful?

The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York is a delightfully dark modern fairy tale told as a graphic novel. When poor Jonathan finds himself alone in a dark wood at night he realises he needs to find somewhere safe to spend the night. He finds somewhere but is turned back out into the night as he has no story to tell in payment for his room. During the rest of the night Jonathan encounters many weird scary monsters and has to keep his wits about him in order to survive. The illustrations are wonderful and lead the story along at a hectic pace. I loved the irrepressible humour that runs through the book and the gross out moments would keep any young reader chuckling. Great fun, a feast for the eyes with chills & spills thrown in.

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely adored The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York: A Yarn for the Strange at Heart. The book was well-written and engaging and worked well as a graphic novel. The enjoyment would be lost without the incredible illustrations and lovely colours. The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York: A Yarn for the Strange at Heart is children’s fiction but can be enjoyed by big and little kids of any age. I got sheer pleasure from the spooky tale and the gorgeous colours and illustrations. The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York: A Yarn for the Strange at Heart is a vibrant, fun visual feast. I loved the way the tale progress, when meek Jonathan is turned away from the inn because he doesn’t have a story to tell and ends up having a crazy adventure. The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York: A Yarn for the Strange at Heart is delightful.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed the whole concept of the book, which is a man is lost in the forest and then he meets a group of strangers where they stayed in a place that they payed for with stories. I enjoyed reading every story, and my favorite one is the last one for sure. But, all the stories were cool and nice and creative. I enjoyed the art work a lot, it was creepy yet beautiful to look at, but what annoyed me the most is the font. It would be better if they used this font for the book title or something like that, but using it for the whole book is a little bit too much. It hurt my eyes and it was hard to read in some places. Overall, the concept of the book is really cool. The book was light and fun to read, with a little bit of excitement and action within it. This graphic novel is more of a thriller than horror, but it's really good.

Was this review helpful?

This book was so fun and amazing! I couldn't help but be in awe the whole time I was reading it. This is my kind of book! I loved everything about it and how creepy-awesome it was. Even after finishing it, I'm still sitting here going "wow! that was epic!" I think this is perfect for all ages (if you're the kind of parent who lets their kids watch creepy things... kinda like Monster High.) That's just my opinion though. 5 Creepy-Awesome Stars & definitely adding to my To Buy list.

Was this review helpful?

This book reminds me of Mervyn's Peake's Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor in its artwork style, but it is definitely a grown-up story. I loved the details of the drawings as I followed poor Mr. York on his unwanted adventures. Along the way some valuable life lessons are shared, and Mr. York finds he is more than just a mild-mannered store clerk without a spine. While this book may be directed to an adolescent audience, I think adults of all ages would enjoy it a great deal as well. In fact, I'm now planning to buy a copy for myself so I can look at the drawings more closely.

Was this review helpful?

I would like to thank Netgalley, Andrews McMeel Publishing and the author – Kory Merritt for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I wanted to read this book because I really liked the cover and I expected it to be a children book. Although other people who have reviewed it say that it is for children, I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t be able take it in as a child. Perhaps it is for boys. Nevertheless, I liked the book now as an adult and I chuckled out loud while reading it in a train. The first half of the story drew me into quickly, the second half got a little bit slower and I didn’t fancy that so much as a lot of time is spent with the gang, but the dragon thing did seem quite clever. The artwork was really worked out, some of the monsters seemed a bit similar to me, but honestly, I really liked that it was so detailed and it really did give me the entire picture of what is happening. I enjoyed that there were some coloured parts and some not, it somehow divided the book in parts and showed what is the most important in the scene. It’s beautiful. And after all, I like the main idea – the search for stories, search for courage and adventure, so there would be a story to tell. My goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1328454212?book_show_action=false My blog review: https://bookowly.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/kory-merritt-the-dreadful-fate-of-jonathan-york-a-yarn-for-the-strange-at-heart/

Was this review helpful?

This modern fable was compelling to read and would be great for middle school and high school readers. The artwork, especially the monster/creatures were fabulous, dark in a Tim Burtonesque stylization. Jonathan York is lost and finds himself on an adventure. In the end there is a moral to the story about the importance of living life and having stories to pass on. The incorporation of prose within the story was a nice addition to the flow of the graphic novel. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a story of adventure, to those not afraid of monsters under your bed, and lovers of fantastical stories. A gem of a find on NetGalley.

Was this review helpful?

Jonathan York is a bland man who avoids adventure and danger at any cost. When he uncharacteristically takes a short cut home through the swamp, he finds himself horribly lost. York discovers a group of travelers that encourage him to go to a local inn. The innkeeper will allow York a safe place to sleep for the night for the price of one story. As York has done nothing in his life, he finds himself without a story and back out in the dark. He traverses the forest and has the most terrifying, story-worthy, adventure of his life. I absolutely adored this book. Though the twisted tale is reminiscent of early Tim Burton, it is still a style that is all Kory Merritt's. The limited color palate and ink lines create mysterious creatures and monsters throughout the book. The writing is sometimes straight prose, sometimes sing-songy rhyme. The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York is a delightful children's book, but may not be appropriate for smaller children or those who are more sensitive. If you're a morbid adult with a child-like heart like I am, you will likely love this book as much as I did.

Was this review helpful?

I had no idea what to expect of this book. I was drawn to it just by the cover and the subtitle "A Yarn for the Strange at Heart". I like a strange tale and this one did not disappoint. Mind mannered, simple, safe Jonathan York decides to take a shortcut one day and finds himself lost in the swamp. Never in his wildest dreams would he have seen the characters he encounters. Even more amazing is how he deals with the challenges and dangers he faces. My only disappointment was that there was no explanation for the three humans(?) he first meets in the swamp. They seemed strange and they told their stories. I half expected them to reappear and play a bigger part. That didn't happen. But Jonathan York as a character learns a valuable lesson that I think kids (and adults) should learn - your life is your story and you choose what it will tell. So make it strange and interesting!

Was this review helpful?

Poor, poor Jonathon York. Trapped in a sinister swap filled with monsters and thieves. This comic is simply fantastic. The story was well written and the graphics were simply beautiful! I enjoyed the creepy stories and the weird looking monsters. I loved this book and everything about it from the concept of the story to the illustrations. I feel like graphics don't tell the whole story ,but this book was a different story. How the events folded out was not predictable in any way! Even though it was a bit creepy for me at times, I still loved it!

Was this review helpful?
Not set

This graphic novel is creepy cute with gorgeous illustrations! It reminded me of Anya’s Ghost in story style so I’d recommend it for the same reading ages, not for the very young, and it has a very Tim Burton-esque feel.. I loved it! Jonathan York ends up at an Inn in a swamp and the Innkeeper & his wife want to be paid with stories, and each guest must tell their tale for payment of a room.. when Mr. York couldn’t think of a single story to tell he was banished to the swamp and begins his own tale of adventure.. or misadventure. This book was AMAZING! I’ve read it twice today… twice. The storyline was interesting and unpredictable, the illustrations beautiful, and the storyline spoke of rather important messages such as standing up for yourself to bullies, self reliance, and confidence in ones self, just to name a few. If you’ve read Anya’s Ghost and/or love Tim Burton — I highly recommend. I was provided a free copy of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review, I will be pre-ordering a paperback copy of this book because I loved it so much!

Not set
Was this review helpful?

I read this book in one sitting. The way it was written was just as mesmerizing as the artwork. I will be looking for more books by this author. The message the book leaves you with is profound. I will be thinking as about ways to change the humdrum routine of my life.

Was this review helpful?

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review. I absolutely loved this book, what an unexpected treasure. This book is about a man named Jonathan who finds himself stranded in an awful forest just as nightfall is approaching. Some dodgy characters find him and show him the way to a safe house, but in order to stay there the night they must all provide a story. 25363432The art in this novel is spectacular, and I occasionally found myself just staring at some of the full page images as there would be so many little details to spot. The all over presentation was also stunning, the font for the writing really fit with the story and I liked how sometimes there were swirls of colour behind the writing. Some of the most stunning pages in the novel are from a story about ice-cream, which is not to be missed. This novel made me laugh out loud, and the creativity surprised me. I did not expect most of what happened in this book, which was great. This is a nice quick read and takes you away to a fantastical place for an hour or so where you will meet fantastical monsters and other spooky characters. This novel is marketed towards children, and I would have absolutely loved to read this as a child. That said, it was an entertaining and engaging read for adults too and I highly recommend it.

Was this review helpful?

What drew me to this book was the wonderful cover, its absolutly lovley. The inside is just as nice with a compelling story

Was this review helpful?

This will be a great read for my students around the fall season. I absolutely enjoyed it. I loved the creative world it was amazing!

Was this review helpful?

If you're a fan of darkly humorous, quirky stories, this is a great book for you.

Was this review helpful?

Jonathan York is a very ordinary man, people may even say he is dull, working in the Brockleport general store as a clerk, generally living the quiet life. One day Jonathan goes for a walk and decides to take a shortcut through the swamp, only finding to his dismay that he is lost. With the sky darkening and the noises of the swamps denizens he starts to become anxious(who wouldn’t). As Jonathon trudges along trying to find a way out of this never – ending swamp he comes across three strangers, together they try to find the Cankerbury Inn to rest their heads for the evening. The Cankerbury inn is run by an old couple who ask for the board/rent to be paid in stories, As each of the 3 strangers tells their stories it dawns on Jonathan that he has no stories to be told and with no tales, fables or nursery rhymes he finds himself back in the swamp to create his own adventure. " When you’re old and gray like me, and someone asks you for your story, what would you rather have – nothing at all or the story you lived through tonight?" I really enjoyed this book, but found it somewhat predictable as I knew how the book was going to end . The artwork to this book was really good and I felt that it suited the story very well with limited colours being used. I found the font quite spooky but also difficult to see what words were written in parts. There are 3 separate short stories that were intertwined within the book , two were written in verse and one was silent which I think I understood but it’s just pictures for you to interpret in your own way. There were important messages throughout the book, such as being out of your comfort zone, bullies,sticking up for yourself and confidence.The different monsters in the book were very creepy and all shapes and sizes. This is definitely targeted for middle graders (8-12yrs), however can be enjoyed by all ages as there were references to Sean Connery and I don’t think there are going to be many kids knowing who he is (I may be worng) This is the first book by Kory Merritt and would be interested in reading others. Overall I rated this 3.5 stars out of 5.

Was this review helpful?

This is such a charmingly weird story. It brought to mind all the fun, and sometimes creepy ones that I used to hear or read as a child; it took me back to some fun times. The illustrations were a lot of fun—and the color palette was perfect for the creepiness that clung throughout. York is a good one—a character easy to relate to for his way of life, at once amusing and piteous. Great little tale.

Was this review helpful?

I was drawn to this book mainly because of the title and cover. The cover definitely set the weird, creepy tone of the book. Add this line from the plot synopsis, "Along the way he encounters ghoulish thieves, ravenous swamp monsters, a dastardly ice cream conspiracy, and a necromancer bent on human sacrifice." and I immediately though that this would be a fun read. And it is :D The art is amazing. If you liked the cartoon Courage the Cowardly Dog, then I'm sure you'll like this. The art, monsters, and parts of the story reminded me of that cartoon. Aside from the art, the story is pretty good, too. Jonathan York was living a such a boring life to the point that when he had to share a story in exchange for a bed to sleep in, he could not, for the life of him, share one! And so begins his epic quest to survive the night where he encounters ghoulish thieves, ravenous swamp monsters, and a necromancer bent on human sacrifice. What's nice about this is that Jonathan's story is one big metaphor as to how one should be living. As Jonathan says, at the beginning he was "the Man with No Story," but after his encounters that night, no matter how old he gets, how many of his worldly possession be taken away from him, no one can take away his experience of surviving the swamp.

Was this review helpful?

The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York by Kory Merritt is quirky, fun, and original. With bits that reminded me of Jim Henson's dark side, Tim Burton, Roald Dahl, and Shel Silverstein, it was right up my alley! I loved the story-telling, the drawings, the characters, it all breathes life into this imaginative tale of Jonathan York, a man who, has led such a boring life, that even when told all he needs to pay for a room for a night is a story cannot think of one to tell. As he sets out on his own adventure, he meets deliciously devious creatures, overcomes obstacles and learns something about himself. If you are a little strange and quirky yourself, or just love books with strange creatures, you must pick up this book! Definitely received a five out of five star rating from me!

Was this review helpful?

A fun, quirky, imaginative story that is spruced up with creative artwork. One without the other wouldn't work nearly as well, but together they leave a lasting impression. The book packs a larger whallop than I expected before opening it. Picture Poe, Dr Seuss, and Tim Burton sitting together around a table co-writing a children's story. Humor is present in many forms - some ironic, some at the expense of the main character, some adult nudges buried in a middle-age book. There's some tension for the younger crowd, bizarre creatures that may as well have come out of the most imaginative of the imaginative, and plenty of adventures to arrive at for this book, which is over 100 pages in length. The prose is poetic and enjoyable, with lines such as this: "And then the ground shook. Footsteps. Like the footsteps in a dinosaur movie. Like the footsteps you hear just before an expendable character gets chomped." Sometimes the book seems indecisive on what age level it's aiming at - I doubt many middle schoolers today would get references to Sean Connery's appearance and being an expendable "red shirt" in a movie. But these tucked in make it enjoyable for all ages - the adult/child in me loved the colorful illustrations, the playful prose in dangerous (funny) situations, while a child would enjoy the outlandish stories, fun but stylishly sophisticated artwork, and different 'other' appeal. The subtitle is "A Yarn for the strange at heart." No matter what age, that certainly fits me.

Was this review helpful?

What drew me to this work was the cover. Being a graphic, the cover is very important. The artist teaches k-6 art, which makes sense for this story to be more for this age group. There were important themes represented and it was humorous. I really enjoyed it especially noting that it is the artist first published work. I'd love to see more from this artist.

Was this review helpful?

An extremely interesting new age, twisted fairy tale, a cross between Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss. Great drawings, an engaging plot line with good "morals" to each story.

Was this review helpful?

What a fantastic, dark story! The illustrations are creepy and perfect for the story. Love the Willy Wonka and Keebler references in the woman in the hooded robe's story. A great graphic novel for middle school and even high school age students. A lot of discussions could be started about living an ordinary life vs. having at least one or more adventures as well as other elements of the story.

Was this review helpful?

Reading this was a total treat. The wording is super fun, not too bubbly and not too brainy, perfectly entertaining. The art made good use of light and dark and is full of interesting and odd characters. The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York has just the right amount of creepy without going scary and just the right amount of silly without being goofy. The lead is identifiable, showing mixtures of fear and bravery. I enjoyed the story as an adult, but I recommend it most to preteens. That age is a tough sale, but I think this author hit the mark.

Was this review helpful?

A gorgeous illustrated graphic novel about a boring man with no story of his own. Who finds himself on an accidental adventure. This adventure is scary and feels completely impossible, but through determination, some wit and a pinch of skill he could come out on top. Not only with a story to last a life time but as a better person because of it.

Was this review helpful?

Great great book. It was very strange, and very imaginative. But the story was sooo interesting and somehow cute. Nothing terribly new, but it's a new take on the guy learns a lesson about living a not so boring life by having an adventure. It was crazy! But the ability the author has for story telling is supreme. I really liked this. Al thought, I wouldn't read this to the very little ones. More to the almost teenagers.

Was this review helpful?

'The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York: A Yarn for the Strange at Heart' by Kory Merritt is indeed a strange story with an interesting cautionary tale at it's heart. Jonathan York is just moving through life with no incident until he wanders into a strange swamp. He meets some people along the way who give him some advice and try to help him get some shelter for the night. The owner of the house wants each person to tell a story in exchange for a room key. Jonathan's travelling companions have no problem telling an odd tale from their life, but Jonathan has nothing. When he is kicked out for having no tale to tell, his story begins. What that is I will leave for the reader to discover. The art is great with strange creatures looming out of all the nooks and crannies. The prose fills the spaces around the art. The story is scary and funny. I was reminded of the kind of work that Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton do. Silly like Seuss and ghoulish like Beetlejuice. It's the perfect tale for an October night. I received a review copy of this four color novel from Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this book.

Was this review helpful?

The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York (Graphic Novel) Review “Mr. York had spent his life avoiding the unpleasant, yet he knew what a zombie was - a mindless, soulless minion to evil.” Poor Jonathan York. When the thought of a quick shortcut sees him lost in an unpleasant swamp, Mr. York has no idea of what the coming night has in store for him. You see, this is no ordinary swamp, and the things that lurk in there would give anyone a fright. Mr. York, being an unassuming and quite ordinary sort of fellow is perhaps more scared than most. As night looms ever closer, he happens upon a small group of travellers who are willing to help him find a safe place to spend the night. Unfortunately, the price for a night at The Cankerbury Inn is a story - and boring Mr. York has not a story at all that is worth telling. As Mr. York is sent back out into the night, he encounters terrible creatures and untold dangers...but he also uncovers a side of himself he didn’t realize was there. By the time this unforgettable night is over, one thing is for certain...Mr. York will have one heck of a story to tell. The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York is the perfect spooky tale for Halloween reading. With a storyline that is just spooky enough to be interesting, but never frightening enough to be unsuitable for young readers, it provides a quirky tale and a moral as well - if you believe in yourself, adventure is a risk worth taking. The illustrations are perfectly suited to the story, showing a wide range of fantastical creatures that inhabit the swamp. They and the unassuming and quite boring Mr. York are portrayed in four colors and countless expressions that bring each image to life.

Was this review helpful?

The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York by Kory Merritt 10/24/2015 0 COMMENTS Picture Jonathan York has led a blah life; he's the perpetual goody two-shoes, he follows the rules and never veers off the track. When he decides to take a shortcut home one day and gets lots in the mysterious and spooky woods, he's suddenly thrown into a world of adventure. As the story progresses Jonathan goes from a shy introvert into a daring, risk taking extrovert. This was an interesting story that captures the imagination. The art is also very wonderful; very spooky, just perfect for this October. This is the first book I read by Kory Merritt and I will say that I am very much impressed and can't wait to see other works. Rating 5 out of 5 Read@Book

Was this review helpful?

Cute artwork and nice story!

Was this review helpful?

"Beware ye of little nerve, for there is a Story out there, lurking in the brambles, and it knows your name." Soundtrack: Hotel California. Our guys are stuck in a weird guesthouse in the middle of a creepy swamp. To pay their bills, the have to tell stories to the innkeeper and his wife. The Ice Cream Story, eep! Great details, laughed quite a bit. So true, as well! Ok, Alien Abduction Story, panel 47... Who is the guy on the bottom left, next to Elvis? Liked the artwork, liked the font, liked the stories and the monsters, was thoroughly entertained. I am not absolutely sure, what age this is aimed at. Best guess is Middle Grade, based on the bio of the author. Amazon reviews: http://www.amazon.de/review/RMPVDMQQV1EKB/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1449471005 http://www.amazon.com/review/R3I57PKZ45ZOHL/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1449471005

Was this review helpful?

Subtitled: A Yarn for the Strange at Heart Mr. York is in a swamp, lost. He joins some fellow travelers to an inn to spend the night, where payment is the telling of a story. The first is about a little girl who loved ice cream so much she went to see it being made, and what started out as a sweet poem turned into something altogether opposite; you know it’s not a conducive workspace when a sign says, “Dilbert cartoon posters will be hanged.” This stanza was particularly enjoyable: “You human folk are all alike And if I may be mean You’d rather send the world to heck Than alter your routine.” The second story was a testament to the lengths people will go for love. . . except for the twist ending; dude, you are so marrying the wrong woman. . . The third story was shown and not written, with small cameos from Andy Kauffman, Elvis, and Amelia Earhart. It’s an alien nightmare, though the sign that says “No flash photography” is bilingual, so there’s that. And in a later panel there’s a flash going off, though we don’t see what happened to that rebellious photographer. But Mr. York has no story to tell, so it’s back out into the nighttime swamp to meet many more strange denizens, some with accents. Then things really get weird when he’s forced to participate in a treasure hunt. . . This is more a book with illustrations than an actual graphic novel; there are no dialogue bubbles or such, simply text at the top, bottom, or sides of each page. Not that I know anything about artwork, but this seems more “sketched” than “drawn,” and I think it’s better for it; makes the weird happenings all the more different from the ordinary. Especially when you’re tricking monsters into eating giant rocks. So all in all it’s an enjoyable piece of fluff, wittier than expected if you look closely.

Was this review helpful?

(Thank you NetGalley for a copy)  The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York follows the journey of one Jonathan York as he is lost in a dangerous swamp one night and searches for shelter. It seems he finds a place to spend the night when he accompanies three strangers to an inn run to an elderly couple who only ask for stories as payment for a night's stay. Easy right? Not so much for woeful, Jonathan York who has tried his best to live a safe and uneventful life which leaves him with no story to think of. After the other three tell their own, unique and quite creepy tales Jonathan York is still story-less and the curmudgeon of an old man send him out into the swamp where Mr. York eventually gets quite a tale to tell through a journey that could possibly lead to a dreadful fate. This dark and thrilling little tale of a ho-hum man breaking out of his safe routine is illustrated in a very detailed way with limited color palette part of the time. Both the humans and creatures in the story are drawn in ways that give the characters plenty of details and many terrifying visuals. The tales of the three strangers aren't all for not as their themes manage to foreshadow and parallel with the journey Mr. York will take once sentenced to the swamp to face monsters and charlatans of his own. There's a theme of getting out of your comfort zone and avoid complacency for it too can be detrimental in it's own way. There's also not to be afraid of risks as even one such as Mr. York can overcome them and even surprising himself along the way as he changes for the better because of these ordeals. Recommendation: The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York is an interesting, dark little tale probably best suited for the YA shelves. For a graphic novel the book can be a bit wordy as well as quite flowery speech that's nonetheless fun to read. There's also that the wonderfully drawn art can range from creepy to some very disturbing imagery. Especially the secret of Slynderfell Ice Cream Company. No one wants to know how their ice cream is made.

Was this review helpful?

Definitely strange! Very intriguing and unique.

Was this review helpful?

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York is such a fun, delightful story which had me completely engaged. I requested this book on a whim, just wanting a little break from all the novels I had been reading lately, and went into this not knowing much about it at all. I am pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it, and even those this is targeted at children, I loved it all the same. The two things that I most enjoyed from this book was the illustrations and the prose. I thought the colour palette of the drawings really suited the story; immersive and spooky as Jonathan York journeys deeper through the swamp and encounters all sorts of things. I felt the illustrations were really unique and all the monsters delightfully evil. The writing also really adds to the story. In particular, I loved reading all the parts in rhyme and how different fonts were used depending on who was speaking. I also liked the way all of the characters spoke; I could immediately tell what their personality was like and hear their voices in my head. Jonathan York is the type of character who has a boring life and a boring personality; that is until he goes on his adventure through the swamp. At the core of this book, I thought there was a bit of a moral to it, which will resound with kids but will also be enjoyed by older audiences. Overall, The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York is a fun, immersive book, with unique writing and illustrations, that anyone can enjoy.

Was this review helpful?

In which the meek and mild Mr. York accidentally, and much to his chagrin, has adventures. From the back blurb: "Poor, poor Jonathan York. Such a mild-mannered fellow, wanting nothing more than a simple, predictable life, safe from the darker corners of the world. But when fate strands him in a sinister swamp, poor Jonathan York must confront his greatest fears: thieves, monsters, an evil ice cream conspiracy, and (gasp!)...PUBLIC SPEAKING!" The art in this deliciously creepy story is wonderful. Like a twisted and demented Dr. Seuss. I also very much like the fact that the text is hand written, rather than typed. There are a couple stories-within-the-story that are equally fun. "Mr. York feared public speaking almost as much as he feared death and pestilence..." I can relate, Mr. York! You are not alone. In one of the stories within we have an example of a sort of anti-Wonka, and it's delicious! "SECRET RECIPE RESEARCH ROOM SSH! Interrogation In Progress!" "Confess! Confess the secret ingredient in Everlasting Gobstoppers!" Hummm...that does not sound good! We follow the poor, hapless Mr. York as he decides to take a short-cut through the swamp, and becomes lost in that dark and dangerous place. He's to discover many dangers. Will he make it out alive and unscathed? Read it and find out. Young children, sensitive to creepy stories and nightmare prone may not be a good fit for this one. But those who enjoy a creepy, mildly "scary" tale, and older, middle grade to pre-teen age young people who enjoy darker stories with villains and monsters should like this one. * I received a free (expiring) copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for consideration of an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York: A Yarn for the Strange at Heart by Kory Merritt is a terrifically illustrated short novel for children and adults alike. Deliciously dark and foreboding, it is a tale of survivor and one man's ability to find the strength and courage to face even his most fanciful fears. Jonathan York leads a boring and medial life. He holds a useless degree from a community college and toils away at a dead end job at a General store. Yet for all his complaints he seems content to live his life this way. Until one night, brooding as he makes his way home, he finds himself lost in a dark forest that suddenly seems unrecognizable. Coming upon a group of three more travelers, Jonathan and his new group find their way through the forest to an Inn. The Innkeeper grants them entry at a price. The cost of their stay out of the dark forest is a story. A tale from their life. Each of the travelers tells their stories. From the dread secrets of an ice cream factory, to the cost of true love among the perils of a swamp to the dark recesses of the human mind, each tells their tale. Except for Jonathan. He has no story. Nothing from his meaningless life to share. The Innkeeper casts Jonathan out into the night and as he tries to make his way back through the forest, he is beset upon by sinister thieves and the creatures of the night. Can he survive them to make his way back to the Inn and finally have a story to tell? This is the kind of small story that cries out to be made into a Tim Burton film. It is that kind of twisted fun. York is a terrific character. He is hapless yet finds a fountain of confidence when faced with a do or die situation. In the face of adversity, Jonathan finds what it means to have true courage. Wonderfully illustrated, The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York is a terrific addition to the reading list of any young reader and for the rest of us who are very much still young at heart. A truly fun read!

Was this review helpful?

The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York is a delightful graphic story of a boring man that never has any excitement. He goes for a walk and gets lost in a swamp. He meets odd fellows and finds a place to sleep but the price to stay is a story. He doesn't have a story because his life is a bore. He is kicked out and the adventures begin. Very clever and imaginative. Drawings are too cute. All around, a very great story. Received this book for a honest review from NetGalley.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to all of the nerds out there that make me so happy with wonderful books full of wonderful pictures and things that go bump in the night :-) This book is about poor ole Jonathan York. He gets lost in the swamp one day and he can't figure out how to get back out! He looks at all of the creepy things in the swamp and finds himself very nervous. But alas! He comes across three strangers and he asks them to help him out of the swamp. They tell him they are going to this Inn to stay the night so he decides he will go along with them. They walk through the woods until they finally come across the Inn! They are invited inside by an old man and his wife makes dinner for them all. The old man tells them they can stay at their Inn if they all have a story to tell. Everyone had a story to tell... all but poor Johathan York. So... he gets kicked out! Mean old man! Jonathan meets all kinds of strange characters in the book that send him on different paths. He ends up running into a gang of thieves that have him do all of these dangerous and creepy things in exchange for information on a place to sleep. Johathan manages to make it through all of these quests with a little luck and his brain. But the evil gang of thieves lie to him and take him to a home and sell him to a creepy monster that wants to turn him into something..what..I'm not telling! But.. Jonathan has become stronger in his ability to get out of situations and he gets away from this monster. He runs into the gang again and takes care of them too! He wanders around for awhile and ends up back at the Inn and now.. he has a story to tell. Jonathan gets a bed to sleep in and makes his way out of the swamp the next day. I loved this book so much! The graphics are amazing and the stories and the characters are awesome! I'm buying this book for my collection as soon as I can! *I would like to thank Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for making this book available to read in exchange for my honest review.*

Was this review helpful?

I Lovvvvvvvvvvvvved this story. To be frank, I had no intention other than a light, fluffy read for passing the time while I picked it up. I do love Graphics stories and Manga. But, never expected this one to be such an amazing one. Just blew me away!!! Where to begin? I will just sum it up as an engrossing, unputdownable story for children. I gobbled up the whole thing like those creepy creatures from story :D The artwork is amazing! It gives that feel of eeriness, mystifying elements. I reckon those artworks are what made the reading so fun. There is always limit to our imagination. I would have utterly failed to picture the whole thing without those pictures. Huge thanks to Kory! The language is so poetic. I wished to write a story like that. I love words, enjoy reading "beautiful" words though we may sound like a buffoon sometimes. I reveled at perusing this book. The storyline is also perfect! I have nothing to blame about this book. Still, I wish it would have been really nice, if the author had considered the curly, decorative font. It adds that "spooky feelings, but gives me trouble to read through at the same time. The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan Youk will be loved by children. I was glued to the story. Me, an adult... So kids will be superglued to that. I need more stories by Kory Merritt now.... Give it to meeeeeeeeee nowwwww.

Was this review helpful?

What a story! What a ride! What an ADVENTURE! Finding himself lost in a swamp and tossed out of the only safe haven around, Jonathan York finds himself cast into a dangerous and deadly world of disturbing creatures with unsavory intentions. 10/10 Would read again.

Was this review helpful?

Wow! I haven’t read many comics in my life, but this is definitely the first time I have LOVED one! Seriously the only thing this is lacking is a short film for it done by Tim Burton! “…maybe adventures make you better. They build you up.” It is important to sometimes step out of our perfectly safe boxes. Jonathan York is a man we can probably all relate to. He has anxiety, he hates adventures, and public speaking, and god forbid he ever takes a risk. Well, he finds himself lost in a forest, a spooky forest, and is thrown into a world where he doesn’t know how to function. He must think on his feet, overcome gruesome quests with no hope in sight, and overcome his inability to take charge of situations. In other words he must come to terms with risk and danger being unavoidable and somehow learn to be brave and strong. He does so wonderfully. I believe this short and easy read is a great lesson about life and how often we cannot do anything other than take a deep breath and muddle through to the best of our capabilities. Stepping out of our safe and reliable boxes, taking risks, and going on adventures makes us stronger, more well-adjusted to handling those curve balls life can throw. Well done to the author, this will be one of my favorites. Plus the artwork is beautiful. Thank you to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

4/4.5 Stars What a delightful read! I really wasn't expecting to love this as much as I did, but I've never been more glad to be wrong. The art, the verse and rhyme, the pacing of the story... all of it. Absolutely perfect. From the get-go, I had such a Hotel California vibe going on from this story, and by the end, you definitely knew it was going to be a kicker. The eclectic array of characters were all so wonderful. What an odd little bunch. (I loved you all.) I enjoyed being strung along for the ride and am so upset to see it done. Most definitely recommending this book to everyone I meet. Don't be surprised if I end up with a printed copy very soon.

Was this review helpful?

I didn't think I was going to like this one, but I was pleasantly surprised. A classic spooky story with cool, cartoony illustrations.

Was this review helpful?

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Love love love the illustrations and colours. When reading a comic/graphic novel/illustrated story the artwork is super important to me and this book made me want to continue to turn the page to see what beautifully creepy image was on the next. I really loved the font that they chose as well. This was a fun and entertaining story with a cute and relatable main character! 3.5 Stars!

Was this review helpful?

Let me start with few words about the graphic - it was fantastic! I loved it. It fitted perfectly, created a spooky mood, portrayed all the characters and monsters in this creepy, unnatural way that enhanced the reading experience. Even the text font looked great. As for the story, the poor guy went through quite an adventure that changes his life. I'm both sorry for him and envious. It all starts with him being lost in a swamp. Thanks to some strangers he meets on his way, he finds a shelter for the night. It would all be fine if he could only tell a story in payment, but without a story, he can't stay there. Thrown into the night Jonathan gets into trouble. Thrown into the night Jonathan gets into trouble. Surrounded by monsters, thieves and evil magic he tries to get out of this situation. He's a fascinating character, starting as a boring guy he has to use his wit to escape from all the troubles. What troubles and what monsters are on his way? I won't tell you, you'll have to read it for yourself. I will only tell you that this story is worth your time. There's plenty of smartly used humor, but still this novel is more about showing you how the life might shape you.

Was this review helpful?

Fantastic, creepy and extremely weird! I love it!

Was this review helpful?

Truth be told, I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. The synopsis caught my attention because I was looking for something creepy to read -mainly because I have read too much romance lately so I wanted to read anything that could give a good scare- and this graphic novel seemed perfect for my mood. However, this book didnt give me the creeps but instead, made have a very good time. Even when this book is for children, I ought to say it's also enjoyable for more madure readers. The graphics are stuning, the plot captivating and the characters totally likeable. The style of the narrative was different from what I've read before, and I'm quite sure I'll be checking if this author has new books coming out.

Was this review helpful?

Jonathan York is a mild-mannered man who gets lost in a swamp. He stumbles across a trio of travelers, who help him find a safe haven. The payment to stay at the inn is a story. York cannot tell a story and is sent back into the swamp, where he has a series of adventures. York learns a few things about himself and finds his way back to the inn. The very end is particularly satisfying after seeing York grow. I liked the story well enough, but it is the visuals that accompany the story that I loved. The creatures that York encounters remind me of something out of a Dr. Seuss book mixed with Alice in Wonderland. Each one is unique and has a dark quality about it. The tone is fairly light to balance things out. Recommended for middle school students and fairy tale enthusiasts.

Was this review helpful?

But no matter what happens, you'll always have your story, and as long as you tell it, it will live on. I loved reading every minute of this. It's such a weird and entertaining read. The illustrations were something that I was drawn too. It was a bit weird looking, but it was perfect for the story, because the story itself was pretty weird. There were times that I felt I was reading through the story too much. It felt like a lot of things that happened were metaphors for a real life problem. For example, Mr. York got lost and found this house where you tell this old guy a story. The other people who went in to the house with him were able to get a room by telling the old man and his wife a story. When it was Mr. York's time, he had no story to tell. The old man turned him away until he tells him a story. A lot of things happened after he got turned away from the house, but ended up back there anyways. I felt the situation I mentioned was pretty much a metaphor for the confessions of your sins to God, or if you aren't religious, admitting your fault to the one you've wronged. At least that's how the flow of the story felt to me. Anyways, I really enjoyed this and hope that it would get more readers because the story was really entertaining, but at the same time, very witty

Was this review helpful?

This graphic novel was quite quick to get through. I started it the night before but fell asleep before I could finish it. The writing, the artwork and the plot itself was amazing. I showed my sister the drawings and she said 'Oh, that's gorgeous' and at that time I was showing her a picture of one of the gruesome-er characters. This is categorised as a horror and I could see that but I wasn't getting the chills. Maybe the pictures made the difference for me. I enjoyed this book either way though.

Was this review helpful?

Really enjoyed it his book and the illustrations really made he story come to life.

Was this review helpful?

The illustrations were quirky, yet creepy. Wonderful story with a bit a poetry for good measure.

Was this review helpful?

This is the story of a shy man named Jonathan York who got lost in a creepy swamp. Here he is tested in different ways until he becomes stronger. I really liked the way the story is written and the art seems made for children, but that doesn't mean adults can't enjoy it as well. Mr. York is firstly asked to tell a story but he can't speak in front of an audience and doesn't feel he has a worthy story to tell. Because he can't narrate anything he needs to return into the devilish swamp once again. His bad luck takes him to meet the band of thieves everyone is afraid of (the West Bleekport Gang) . They invite him to join to hunt for a treasure and force him to be swallowed .by a monster to retrieve a lost key, then to enter a cave (where a giant reptile lived) and steal a chest.and finally he is sold to a hideous necromancer. This was quite the adventure. I hope I find another one soon. :)

Was this review helpful?

A quirky, macabre story about stepping out of your comfort zone.

Was this review helpful?

Jonathan York finds his way, after being lost. I enjoyed this story of his somewhat scary adventure.

Was this review helpful?

Oh, so creepily wonderful! It reminded me of Tim Burton, if he wrote books, and at times Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl with all the made-up words and creature names, and definitely the volumes of Edgar Allen Poe that are illustrated by Grim Grisly. If you're a fan of any of those, you'll probably love this book! Unassuming, mild-mannered Jonathan York finds himself lost in a murky swamp. The only safe house requires him to tell a story but he's terribly afraid of public speaking and finds his life too boring to tell about...so he is cast out to fend for himself in the dark spooky night filled with evil creatures at every turn. Can he keeps his wits about him and survive the night??

Was this review helpful?

Really enjoyable tale of learning to tell a good story, being brave enough to live your life, and finding your inner strength.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: