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Adapting what may be the most popular of graphic novels, by the edgy Hard Case Crime author, adding layers and exploring the nature of morality. A tragic, unnamed engineer-turned-criminal is immersed in chemicals that disfigure him bizarrely, driving him mad and thus giving birth to the Joker. While the insane criminal is imprisoned, Batman and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) pat Adapting what may be the most popular of graphic novels, by the edgy Hard Case Crime author, adding layers and exploring the nature of morality. A tragic, unnamed engineer-turned-criminal is immersed in chemicals that disfigure him bizarrely, driving him mad and thus giving birth to the Joker. While the insane criminal is imprisoned, Batman and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) patrol Gotham City together, taking down perps such as the crime boss Maxie Zeus. Simultaneously Detective Harvey Bullock works with Commissioner James Gordon to take down a drug factory. Back in Arkham Asylum, Joker learns of a new technology he wants to acquire and escapes, setting out on a mission designed to break the Commissioner, forcing him to abandon his ideals as a police officer. In a violent home invasion he shoots and cripples Barbara, then takes Gordon hostage. Batman races to rescue Gordon, ultimately confronting his arch-foe in an amusement park fun house. This edgy adaptation by Hard Case Crime novelist Christa Faust expands upon the cast and adds intricate layers to the events of the graphic novel, further examining the nature of morality.


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Adapting what may be the most popular of graphic novels, by the edgy Hard Case Crime author, adding layers and exploring the nature of morality. A tragic, unnamed engineer-turned-criminal is immersed in chemicals that disfigure him bizarrely, driving him mad and thus giving birth to the Joker. While the insane criminal is imprisoned, Batman and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) pat Adapting what may be the most popular of graphic novels, by the edgy Hard Case Crime author, adding layers and exploring the nature of morality. A tragic, unnamed engineer-turned-criminal is immersed in chemicals that disfigure him bizarrely, driving him mad and thus giving birth to the Joker. While the insane criminal is imprisoned, Batman and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) patrol Gotham City together, taking down perps such as the crime boss Maxie Zeus. Simultaneously Detective Harvey Bullock works with Commissioner James Gordon to take down a drug factory. Back in Arkham Asylum, Joker learns of a new technology he wants to acquire and escapes, setting out on a mission designed to break the Commissioner, forcing him to abandon his ideals as a police officer. In a violent home invasion he shoots and cripples Barbara, then takes Gordon hostage. Batman races to rescue Gordon, ultimately confronting his arch-foe in an amusement park fun house. This edgy adaptation by Hard Case Crime novelist Christa Faust expands upon the cast and adds intricate layers to the events of the graphic novel, further examining the nature of morality.

30 review for DC Comics novels - Batman: The Killing Joke

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vikas Singh

    The book deserves infinite star rating.... classic... cult... iconic... words cannot describe this thought provoking classic from Christa Faust and Gary Phillips. Based on classic graphic novel with similar title by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland it is first of its kind experiment in world of novels. A graphic novel being extended into a full fledged 312 page novels. The novel is great introduction to the Gotham City with its vigilante Batman, Batgirl , Commissioner Gordon and the JOKER. The novel The book deserves infinite star rating.... classic... cult... iconic... words cannot describe this thought provoking classic from Christa Faust and Gary Phillips. Based on classic graphic novel with similar title by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland it is first of its kind experiment in world of novels. A graphic novel being extended into a full fledged 312 page novels. The novel is great introduction to the Gotham City with its vigilante Batman, Batgirl , Commissioner Gordon and the JOKER. The novel is punched with great one liners from Joker- "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another", "All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am, Just one bad day". Great read

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. Let’s get it out of the way. The Killing Joke by Alan Moore is one of my all-time favourite graphic novels ever. I had no doubt it would blow my mind before even diving into it, but once I did, I spent months raving about its greatness left and right, whether people wanted to hear about it or not. It sparked my love for comic books and it showed me that the medium is not a joke and is capable of exquisite story-telling under the right hands (wri You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. Let’s get it out of the way. The Killing Joke by Alan Moore is one of my all-time favourite graphic novels ever. I had no doubt it would blow my mind before even diving into it, but once I did, I spent months raving about its greatness left and right, whether people wanted to hear about it or not. It sparked my love for comic books and it showed me that the medium is not a joke and is capable of exquisite story-telling under the right hands (writer and artists). I consider the graphic novel flawless and I swear I could write a whole thesis—my review of it back in 2015 sort of attests to that—on its depth and boldness. I mean, come on. A story that not only explores one of the many origins of the Joker as well as the many facets of insanity and justice? This is why Batman’s playground is the best. There’s so much grey area to delve into and so much complexity to go with it, it’s almost impossible to not feel at home. If there’s one thing I’ll always be reserved about, it’s novelizations. I’ve never liked the idea of movies being turned into books and could never get behind the idea of taking the time to read these. A whole discussion on their worth and what they actually bring to the table could be brought up, but it’ll have to be for another day. DC Comics have however been doing novelizations of some of their comic book stories for quite some time; there are over a hundred of them out there to this day. The idea of turning a comic book into a novel does seem much more intriguing to me since we get more out of something that draws part of its story-telling vitality from artwork. The only way I could find out if there’s actually something worthwhile in this process was to try it one for myself, and that’s were DC Comics’ latest novelization came into play. You could already imagine how high my expectations were regarding this book, but I’m glad to say that this was far from being a disappointment. Although it is essentially based on the classic graphic novel of the same name, it doesn’t restrain itself to its content. Although impossible to summarize without giving away some of the biggest punchlines, the story is told in two-part, interspersed with some flashback sequences. The first part dives into a hunt for criminals that have been venturing in the drug business, especially in regards to the new and trendy psychoactive known as Giggle Sniff. The second part takes readers on a ride through madness as the Joker elaborates one of the most sadistic plan to break James Gordon and Batman. Christa Faust, author of hard-boiled crime novels, as well as Gary Phillips, a crime fiction novelist, team up together to tackle one of the most daunting challenges you could possibly imagine. A note from the authors beforehand warns readers that there are some presumptions that readers will have to take into consideration before diving into the story. I believe this is key to your enjoyment since there are some things that some would not call canon that are infused within the story. Furthermore, the authors adds quite a lot of subplots to the original story to not only connect some dots that were initially left for readers to do what they want with, but to also help readers contextualize and connect with some key characters. Does this novelization however capture the core essence of what The Killing Joke is really about? Yes and no. The reason I say that is because of the additional stories that are incorporated to flesh out the story. One of the biggest so-to-say changes is a segment that takes place a couple of days before the main event. Throughout this part of the story, a lot of secondary characters appear, even if they were never part of the original script. I’m not going to lie, but this part was fun to read about and offered readers the chance to acquaint themselves with some heroes and villains that they aren’t likely to have heard of or at least haven’t seen around often. There’s a great amount of research put into it all and it shows in the descriptions, even if these descriptions were more often just stating things rather than building an atmosphere. Even the characters that take the stage come with a brief and quick introduction of who they are. The bits that are added by the authors to make a coherent whole, an actual novel, made for an entertaining action-packed experience, but it also diluted the themes explored by Alan Moore. The fact that it was short and straight to the point in the graphic novel made it easier to deliver all the subtle details and morals without ever letting go of the reader. In this novel, it’s harder to see those meaningful moments that made the original story so iconic, even if they are still present integrally. Christa Faust and Gary Phillips’ novelization remains a wonderful and entertaining attempt to recreate the magic of Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke. Fans of the graphic novel will find in this story a captivating rebirth of the classic story with the inclusion of new subplots and characters to the tragedy that is bound to take place. To the very least, this novel will make them want to crack open their own copies of the graphic novel. Everyone else can find themselves introduced to a wonderful story in the heart of Gotham that will show you how much damage one bad day could do to a person. Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review! Yours truly, Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer Official blog: https://bookidote.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    I was not thrilled with some of the liberties taken here or the changes to the original story. Otherwise it would be 5 stars

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    Well, that's a bummer... After having a lot of fun with the “Mad Love” novelization (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), I decided to see if “The Killing Joke” was a worthy adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...). Given my mixed feelings about the original work, I was actually hoping for an improvement… Don’t get me wrong: I know the graphic novel is a big deal, but one of my main gripes with it is that it feels a little rushed. I’ve read it a Well, that's a bummer... After having a lot of fun with the “Mad Love” novelization (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), I decided to see if “The Killing Joke” was a worthy adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...). Given my mixed feelings about the original work, I was actually hoping for an improvement… Don’t get me wrong: I know the graphic novel is a big deal, but one of my main gripes with it is that it feels a little rushed. I’ve read it a few times, and I always found myself wishing it was a bigger book, that some key moments of the story were explored a little deeper. And of course, the fate of Barbara Gordon always irks me. I figured a novelization would be a great opportunity to flesh all those things out, to make the story feel more complete. Alas. I don't know anything about Crista Faust and Gary Phillips' other work, but after this, I am not tempted to look them up. The original Alan Moore story is merely the second half of this novel, the first being a new story line, taking place 4 years before the famous graphic novel's story. This new plot, about Batgirl's investigation on a new drug hitting the streets of Gotham, could have been interesting, but I just found the writing to be so dry and bad that I simply didn't care. The fight scenes are described very technically, and while I understand that Faust and Phillips' specialty is police procedurals, the whole thing read like a report. There was no atmosphere or tension, which could have made this new plot at least a little interesting. The second half follows Moore's story almost word for word, and ultimately adds very little to the original story - which really feels like a lost opportunity. For instance, in both version, we are simply told what happened to Jeannie, and then the very next thing that happens is that a grieving widower is coerced into omitting a badly-planned heist. While this can be chalked to limitations of the format in a graphic novel, rushing through that in a prose novel simply feels lazy. But the most unforgivable thing about this book is how little of it actually is about the Joker. If you are going to novelize the most famous stand-alone Joker story of the Batman cannon, the least you can do is keep him front and center! But we barely see him before the halfway mark! And as a Harley Quinn fan, I must say that the depiction of Ms. Quinzel was simply pathetic. The only truly good thing about this book is that it gives us a hint of how Barbara will carry on despite the horrific assault that "disabled" her. In other words, nope, nope, nope!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Uma | Books.Bags.Burgers

    (A huge thanks to Bloomsbury India for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.) I'm going to start off by saying that I have not read the comic, The Killing Joke. So my review won't be comparing the two but rather just be talking about the novelization by itself. I found this book to be quite dark and gritty. There's physical and mental abuse and quite a few things that can make people feel queasy. That being said, the author has done an immensely good job of bringing together mul (A huge thanks to Bloomsbury India for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.) I'm going to start off by saying that I have not read the comic, The Killing Joke. So my review won't be comparing the two but rather just be talking about the novelization by itself. I found this book to be quite dark and gritty. There's physical and mental abuse and quite a few things that can make people feel queasy. That being said, the author has done an immensely good job of bringing together multiple plot lines and binding them together into one story. This is not just the story of Batman and Joker. This is the story of a girl who moonlights as a superhero and revels in the freedom, it's the story of the girl who wants to escape from life under a drug dealer, it's the story of a man who lost his family, it's the story of a cop trying to play the hero, it's the story of a cop who loves his daughter, it's the story of a boy who worked for the wrong man, it's the story of how one bad day reduces the sanest man alive to lunacy... or does it? For me the character that stood out most was Barbara Gordon. Her character arc was the most dark and complex but i can't say much about giving away any spoilers. This book sets up the arena for the future DC novelizations from Titan Books. Introducing a certain character the way the author did at the end was so genius and unexpected. I enjoyed the conversations between Bruce and Alfred. Not all the conversations added much to the story but they sure added a lot to the characters' personalities. Growing up with Nolan's version of Alfred, this Alfred seemed quite different to me and it was intriguing to learn about him. I also enjoyed the conversations between the patients of Arkham asylum and their conversations with the doctors there. It was interesting seeing how some criminal masterminds justified their crimes in their own twisted manner. Although I was underwhelmed by Harleen Quinzel whenever she appeared in this novel. Hopefully her character will be built more in Mad Love because I'm really looking forward to reading that! I also missed seeing enough of Batman. He's probably considered the main character but he wasn't around as much and I wished we'd seen more of him throughout the book. To sum up, this novelization of The Killing Joke is dark and gritty with a well written and brought together plot but I'd have liked to see more development when it comes to some characters.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Saimon (ZanyAnomaly)

    If you’re thinking of reading this book, chances are – you’ve read the original graphic novel by Alan Moore. I hadn’t. I had put off reading the graphic novel until I heard about this Novelization. I was curious to know how the experience would be – since I’m only used to seeing books turned into graphic novels and not the vice versa. My perspective is that a novel will give me a better perspective to the graphic novel. And it did exactly what I hoped it would. It takes the original storyline, a If you’re thinking of reading this book, chances are – you’ve read the original graphic novel by Alan Moore. I hadn’t. I had put off reading the graphic novel until I heard about this Novelization. I was curious to know how the experience would be – since I’m only used to seeing books turned into graphic novels and not the vice versa. My perspective is that a novel will give me a better perspective to the graphic novel. And it did exactly what I hoped it would. It takes the original storyline, adds all these subplots that give the characters more depth, motive (and context) to their actions and gives us a more well-rounded story. It is not just the story of Batman and The Joker. It is also the story of all the supporting characters, them being the heroes of their own POV. I read the graphic novel as soon as I was done with this novelization and found the storyline to be almost similar in most aspects. Everything that the reader of the graphic novel has to assume is clarified with each sentence we read and I found myself being glad that I had read the novelization to understand some of the context of the graphic novel (Yes, I know the graphic novel is more than capable of standing on its own. I just appreciated the fact that I knew the context more clearly and beforehand, thereby making my experience of reading the graphic novel better than it would’ve been.). The writing was smooth and kept me just enough interested to turn to the next page. But there were a few things that I did not like about this book: 1. There is one particular subplot that just made no sense to me and I do not understand why it was a part of this story cause it is not at all relevant to the storyline. Truly frustrating. 2. The constant mention of all the cool gadgets and the detailed descriptions of them, especially in the beginning, really made me roll my eyes. It just felt unnecessary. 3. The ending. The one part where the novel strays away from the graphic novel. For those of you who don’t know, the ending of the graphic novel is left ambiguous (though its widely assumed by the fans). But the novel removes the ambiguity and takes it in…a certain direction. And I’m very disappointed by that. It is truly disappointing that the novel stuck with the storyline of the graphic novel for so long only to not in the last few pages. That’s my only gripe with the book. Other than that, The Killing Joke novelization is a fun one time read for anyone – from a DC novice to hardcore fan. This book also sets things up nicely for an expanding DC Novel universe. So, strap in folks. We’re in for a ride. ----------------------------------- Loved it! It follows the exact storyline of the graphic novel but adds a lot to it to make it a more emotionally rounding tale. Review to come soon! Thanks to the Bloomsbury India for providing me with a review copy!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Etienne

    I never read novelization of movie et novelization of comic because I don't think this is a good «creativity process» and don,t really believe in the result. I decided to make an exception of this one, The Killing Joke (comic) being so damn good I have to try this one. I should have stick to my original mind. This wasn't good. The writing was not bad, but far from bringing something more to the comic, which I though should have been the strongest element, the story was already good in the comic, I never read novelization of movie et novelization of comic because I don't think this is a good «creativity process» and don,t really believe in the result. I decided to make an exception of this one, The Killing Joke (comic) being so damn good I have to try this one. I should have stick to my original mind. This wasn't good. The writing was not bad, but far from bringing something more to the comic, which I though should have been the strongest element, the story was already good in the comic, so you have to bring something new, which left you more or less two choices, the writing or the psychology of the characters. That second point wasn't there either. So both elements that could have elevate this story were not there. I also think that the introduction to the Batman world were rush and at the same time unnecessary. It really depends were you want to go from there. If you have in mind to produce more Batman novel, then just make a novel that put the universe in place and don't start with a iconic one like this. If not and you address your book to people you already know Batman and who are just there for that book/experience, then don't bother making look like an intro in the first quarter of it. That being said, I isn't entirely bad and it wouldn't be fair to make it look like it. I think that younger reader, you haven't read the Killing Joke or even Batman comic, and are not necessarily comic fan, may enjoy it. I don,t think this book is for comic reader of the Batman universe, but is more targeted to conquer a new public, to the DC/Batman universe. Maybe I'm wrong, it's just my impression. Bottom line, not entirely bad, but far from good either!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carrie-anne

    From all the mixed reviews I was at first a little worried but soon found out for myself that it was actually quite good. I found the story easy to get into and follow, the writing style was fluid and light, so it never really felt like a struggle to read. Would definitely recommend to fellow fans of comic book novelisations, it was a good reading experience. It it is filled with cool gadgets, awesome machine works, and muscle cars with writing that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Harley From all the mixed reviews I was at first a little worried but soon found out for myself that it was actually quite good. I found the story easy to get into and follow, the writing style was fluid and light, so it never really felt like a struggle to read. Would definitely recommend to fellow fans of comic book novelisations, it was a good reading experience. It it is filled with cool gadgets, awesome machine works, and muscle cars with writing that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Harley Quinn has a small part in this book, Catgirl is mentioned, along with TwoFace, Riddler, Penguin, and other villains. All in all the book was a good comic book read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris Greensmith

    "All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day." I was a little apprehensive about this initially, usually a book based on a film, or game, is pretty flat, but I have never really read a novel based on a comic, and I felt the same, but, it was great, it expanded on the story, captured the tone of the comic and breathed new life into it. I hope they continue this and to this level... "All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day." I was a little apprehensive about this initially, usually a book based on a film, or game, is pretty flat, but I have never really read a novel based on a comic, and I felt the same, but, it was great, it expanded on the story, captured the tone of the comic and breathed new life into it. I hope they continue this and to this level...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Igor Neox

    Masterpiece! Even better than the comic book it was adapted from.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Buddy Scalera

    I wanted to like this. I really did. I've read two books by author Christa Faust and they were both excellent. She's an excellent writer and smart storyteller. The original "The Killing Joke" by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland stands as one of the greatest Batman stories ever told. I figured that Faust would expand the backstory to "The Killing Joke" graphic novel by exploring the characters in different ways. Unfortunately, this isn't how it turned out. I just couldn't stay with this book to finis I wanted to like this. I really did. I've read two books by author Christa Faust and they were both excellent. She's an excellent writer and smart storyteller. The original "The Killing Joke" by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland stands as one of the greatest Batman stories ever told. I figured that Faust would expand the backstory to "The Killing Joke" graphic novel by exploring the characters in different ways. Unfortunately, this isn't how it turned out. I just couldn't stay with this book to finish it. In this case, the book had a co-writer, which may have changed the dynamic of the storytelling. In her solo books, you learn about Faust's characters in time. Their look, their background, and their personalities emerge from the action. In this book, every page was dragged down with heavy exposition. It's normal to introduce characters, but someone reading a novel about Batman will have some prior knowledge of Batman and the related characters. The sheer amount of exposition made it difficult for me to care about the plot. "The Killing Joke" is arguably a mature story. The writing in this book seemed to be targeted to YA readers on the younger scale. It's possible that I was not the target audience, so I stopped reading. I enjoyed Faust's other books enough to check out other books by her, but I will focus on her solo writing. I'll also check out some stories by co-writer Gary Phillips to explore his work.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert Greenberger

    This 300-page novelization of a 48-page comic has a daunting task, taking Alan Moore's story and expanding it by a significant order of magnitude. Faust chooses to sort of set it in 1988 when the book, illustrated beautifully by Brian Bolland, was published. However, she also has a plot point entirely dependent on a level of internet interconnectivity that was many years in the future so it is jarring. Worse, there's no real focal point. The GN was about Batman and the Joker, with the cruelties i This 300-page novelization of a 48-page comic has a daunting task, taking Alan Moore's story and expanding it by a significant order of magnitude. Faust chooses to sort of set it in 1988 when the book, illustrated beautifully by Brian Bolland, was published. However, she also has a plot point entirely dependent on a level of internet interconnectivity that was many years in the future so it is jarring. Worse, there's no real focal point. The GN was about Batman and the Joker, with the cruelties inflicted on James and Barbara Gordon as mere chess pieces in their latest game. Faust has a lot of other stuff happening but it really should have been more focused on Babs, who as Batgirl, is the light heart and soul of the story. We should feel for her crippling but because she's been "on camera" so briefly, it lacks the resonance it demanded. Little is made of there being no Robin in this setting and the flashbacks to the man who would become the Clown Prince of Crime needed more development. This cash grab of a book failed to do justice to the source material and was an editorial mistake to even try.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    I'm the first to admit that I'm a big fan of DC, but haven't read a huge amount of the comics. I've read quite a few of the more famous plotlines, watched a large amount of the shows/movies, and played a lot of the games. Out of all of DC, Batman was always my favourite franchise (I grew up with Batman: The Animated Series). I've never read the Killing Joke graphic novel (but knew the key points, and was keen to read it), so when the novel came out, I decided to give it a go. I wasn't disappoint I'm the first to admit that I'm a big fan of DC, but haven't read a huge amount of the comics. I've read quite a few of the more famous plotlines, watched a large amount of the shows/movies, and played a lot of the games. Out of all of DC, Batman was always my favourite franchise (I grew up with Batman: The Animated Series). I've never read the Killing Joke graphic novel (but knew the key points, and was keen to read it), so when the novel came out, I decided to give it a go. I wasn't disappointed! The story was well written, the plot was gripping and quite emotional, and I feel the dark tones were captured brilliantly, and handled very well. It's just made me more keen to read the graphic novel, to see the source material that this excellent tale sprang from. If you like Batman or a dark superhero tale, I'd highly recommend this. If you loved the graphic novel, I'd be interested to know what you thought of it. I'll definitely be reading the graphic novel at some stage, and I'll be sure to update this review then!

  14. 4 out of 5

    David

    3.5 stars I've never read a Batman novel before, so when I saw this novelization of the graphic novel, I decided to give it a try. I've read the graphic novel, which itself is fairly short, so I wondered how a novel would work. The result is a mixed bag. The core of the graphic novel is here, fleshed out a bit more. There is a lot of small side plots with characters who pop up and then disappear. Easter eggs are sprinkled all over. There is also a weird obsession with the beginnings of the inter 3.5 stars I've never read a Batman novel before, so when I saw this novelization of the graphic novel, I decided to give it a try. I've read the graphic novel, which itself is fairly short, so I wondered how a novel would work. The result is a mixed bag. The core of the graphic novel is here, fleshed out a bit more. There is a lot of small side plots with characters who pop up and then disappear. Easter eggs are sprinkled all over. There is also a weird obsession with the beginnings of the internet. I think my main issue is that a novel gives you the chance to get a characters inner monologue and thoughts. This story is incredibly depressing, as the Joker tries to drive Jim Gordon insane by crippling his daughter and torturing him mentally and physically. But you never get any of what this does to Bruce Wayne/Batman. Just scowls and grimaces. And I did forget how disturbing the graphic novel was...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is pretty much a waste of time. The new storyline that is added does little for the story and some of the liberties the author takes ruins the feel of the original graphic novel. Just read the original Killing Joke, not this.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Very disappointed with this book. The first few chapters and the last section are great, which is why I gave it 2 stars rather than 1. Buy and read Court of Owls if you want a good Batman prowse novel. Avoid this one and buy the graphic novel instead.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nabila Shaikh

    “In her darkest, most sleepless hours, she wondered if maybe the Joker wasn’t insane after all… Perhaps it was all just an elaborate act. A complex joke with an unfathomable punchline they might never see coming, if it ever came at all.” Unfortunately, I haven’t read the comic book, the novel is based on but I still had high expectations as Batman has always been one of my favorite superheroes. There is a little note by the authors at the start of the book that mentions that the novel adds more “In her darkest, most sleepless hours, she wondered if maybe the Joker wasn’t insane after all… Perhaps it was all just an elaborate act. A complex joke with an unfathomable punchline they might never see coming, if it ever came at all.” Unfortunately, I haven’t read the comic book, the novel is based on but I still had high expectations as Batman has always been one of my favorite superheroes. There is a little note by the authors at the start of the book that mentions that the novel adds more elements to the story even though they have sought out to preserve the context of the original comic book and I believe that it is the key to enjoying this novel. At the beginning, it introduces us to a lot of DC characters (even mentions Metropolis) and the first part of the book is made up of Batman and Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) taking down drug lords and villains together. The authors have written the book brilliantly and set the total atmosphere of the novel exactly how you’d expect Gotham to be. It is dark, gritty and doesn’t pull back any punches. It reminded me why I love the DC Batman universe so much. It starkly reminded me how completely horrible Gotham’s condition really is with so many immoral people around. How in fact some people might just be one bad day away from where the Joker is and why it is so important for Batman to hold on to his morals. The novel is extremely entertaining and had me at the edge of my sofa the whole time near the end. The authors did a bang-up job of portraying the relationship between Batman and the Joker. How obsessed the Joker is with Batman and how they’re eternally locked in a game of cat and mouse because neither wants to kill the other. The extent of the Joker’s lunacy has always interested me. How his motivations differ from showing even a hint of normalcy which is what makes him such a great villain. I loved the fact that they emphasized that he doesn’t see people, he just sees puppets he can use in his intricate games. Harley included. (since I disliked that everyone romanticized the Joker-Quinn relationship too much after Suicide Squad’s release). I cannot state this enough times but the authors really went all in with this book. The story was actually playing in my mind like a movie the whole time. I cannot exactly say much without revealing huge spoilers but I can honestly state that I loved how accurately they captured the Joker’s personality and unpredictability. My personal favorite characters were Joker and Batgirl. She was so inspiring. My only complain is that I wanted more of Joker in the story. The novel was absolutely enjoyable, amusing and fun to read. It definitely exceeded my expectations and I am of the opinion that the writers did their absolute best. Much thanks to Bloomsbury India for kindly providing me with a review copy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ronita Banerjee

    The DC fans were certainly ecstatic when @titanbooks @bloomsburypublishing & @bloomsburyindia announced the release of the Batman Novels. Comics will most certainly remain treasured but book nerds like me will still dig novels. Before writing my piece about this novel I must confess that I never read a single DC comics and hence my perspective would be free from Comics bias. Batman's (and our) obsession with Joker is a forever thing.  The Killing Joke sheds some more light on the lunatic anti hero The DC fans were certainly ecstatic when @titanbooks @bloomsburypublishing & @bloomsburyindia announced the release of the Batman Novels. Comics will most certainly remain treasured but book nerds like me will still dig novels. Before writing my piece about this novel I must confess that I never read a single DC comics and hence my perspective would be free from Comics bias. Batman's (and our) obsession with Joker is a forever thing.  The Killing Joke sheds some more light on the lunatic anti hero of DC. Ever Since Heath Ledger played Joker I fell in love with this character. I picked up this book with high hopes. The book did explain a bit about Joker's past. The complex nature of his relation with Batman was the show stealer. The other story that gained importance and ran in parallel is of Batgirls'. This was the first time I read about her and I must confess I liked her more than Batman. I must admit that there were too many characters that wasn't entirely necessary. The twist and the 'Joke' got lost on me after a point. Harley Quinn was definitely a sight for the sore eyes. The plot could certainly have been better weaved with focusing a bit more on Joker and less on the less important characters. I missed Joker's genius and couldn't shake the feeling that Joker was capable of pulling a more dangerous and out of the world stunt than the one I found in this book. The character of Batgirls made me fall in love with her. Her courage and zeal to prove herself useful is certainly the show stealer. Harley Quinn's appearance though short was impactful enough for me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steph_d

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is ranty!!! I wish we could give half stars 1.5 🌟 'influenced by the original movie/comic, mixed with TVs Gotham'.... I think not Mr authors! Have you watched or even read either of these two things? Firstly until the 'NOW' section of the book at the end there is 1...1 reference to the actual Joker Killing Joke graphic novel/movie! Not impressed!... But the now section wasn't half bad when it come to actual storyline!... Well done for making the last 100 pages based on the title of the book This is ranty!!! I wish we could give half stars 1.5 🌟 'influenced by the original movie/comic, mixed with TVs Gotham'.... I think not Mr authors! Have you watched or even read either of these two things? Firstly until the 'NOW' section of the book at the end there is 1...1 reference to the actual Joker Killing Joke graphic novel/movie! Not impressed!... But the now section wasn't half bad when it come to actual storyline!... Well done for making the last 100 pages based on the title of the book *claps none enthusiastically* Secondly where was the influence from Gotham!? I'm at a loss here someone let me know!... Thirdly on to the actually story... So good points first. The writing was very smooth and easy to read once there was some actual story to follow. The main characters that you should follow were just fantastic. I personally love the dark messed up joker storylines so I was in love there he was perfect. Even bats and Gordon was a yay! Also the references to the other Batverse characters was actually really cool! I love that even my baby Riddler got a mention 😍 My main issues are: The timeline issues... If your gonna put Batgirl in it you can't have Harley as Dr Quinzel no no no... 2. The middle or (past flashback) with the 'giggle sniff' was absolutely POINTLESS!!! Wasn't need wasted my time reading it. You never hear or even see characters from that section again... Don't really need to read it! Literally apart from the joker section which is about 2 chapters. Overall I hope the others are better! Hahaha worth a read if you don't know the storyline though guys haha 😂

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pari

    “”Is anything real?” the Joker responded with a lazy grin. “For that matter, what difference does it make?”” I am in love with the cover art. It is impressive and has been able to capture the Joker’s essential features well. ‘The Killing Joke’ is based on the making of the Joker’s masterpiece and Batman’s constant endeavours to stop the Joker’s evil tricks. I can’t say much without ruining the surprise element for the new readers but it is probably one of the most brilliant depiction of the Gotha “”Is anything real?” the Joker responded with a lazy grin. “For that matter, what difference does it make?”” I am in love with the cover art. It is impressive and has been able to capture the Joker’s essential features well. ‘The Killing Joke’ is based on the making of the Joker’s masterpiece and Batman’s constant endeavours to stop the Joker’s evil tricks. I can’t say much without ruining the surprise element for the new readers but it is probably one of the most brilliant depiction of the Gotham city with intimate details to emotions and character backgrounds. The writing style is efficient, tensed and thrilling and keeps one on the edge of one’s seat. I could easily imagine the plot in my mind with the rich descriptive text and it was difficult to put the book down. Overall, ‘The Killing Joke’ is a remarkable expansion of the comic of the same name. The novelization of the DC Comics serves the purpose of providing DC fans another setting to rejoice their beloved fictional characters. Rather than a 60 – 70 pages comic, the reader gets a well – defined plot line with introduction of new, interesting sub – plots and characters. There was never a lackluster moment and it is a great option for someone not into graphic novels to learn about a major story line in the DC world, thus, it addresses a larger audience. Read it for a thrilling ride to the Gotham City!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Darren

    TITLE: The Killing Joke: A Batman Novel AUTHOR: Christa Faust & Gary Phillips GENRE: Mystery PAGES: 336 Unless you have been living under a rock, or suffered some kind of accident that kept you in a coma for the last thirty one years, you will have heard of The Killing Joke, a graphic novel by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. This graphic novel took the world by storm and was an instant success. For some, this was the pinnacle of the Batman/Joker relationship. The graphic novel ran just over sixty page TITLE: The Killing Joke: A Batman Novel AUTHOR: Christa Faust & Gary Phillips GENRE: Mystery PAGES: 336 Unless you have been living under a rock, or suffered some kind of accident that kept you in a coma for the last thirty one years, you will have heard of The Killing Joke, a graphic novel by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. This graphic novel took the world by storm and was an instant success. For some, this was the pinnacle of the Batman/Joker relationship. The graphic novel ran just over sixty pages and you hung off of every word. Fast forward to 2018 and someone somewhere decided to turn graphic novels into prose novels. In this case, it was a mistake. Christa Faust and Gary Phillips took a story and added things to it that did not require and addition. It felt like they added thigs here and there from Batman lore, the movie THE KILLING JOKE (based on the graphic novel), and threw some of their own mojo into it. The end result was a book that felt disjointed and at time disconnected from the original story. Yes it was a Batman story. Yes, it featured the best of the graphic novel. But in the end it was not enough to save this book. 2 bookmarks out of 5

  22. 4 out of 5

    S.M. Boren

    I purchased this book from Amazon to read. All opinions are my own. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 The Killing Joke by Christa Faust and Gary Phillips. This is typical Batman/Joker with female characters only being used as pawns in a game to help thugs gain ground. I only even mention that point because some readers feel objectifying women is a no read for them. Other than that it is filled with cool gadgets, awesome machine works, and muscle cars with writing that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Harley Quinn has I purchased this book from Amazon to read. All opinions are my own. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 The Killing Joke by Christa Faust and Gary Phillips. This is typical Batman/Joker with female characters only being used as pawns in a game to help thugs gain ground. I only even mention that point because some readers feel objectifying women is a no read for them. Other than that it is filled with cool gadgets, awesome machine works, and muscle cars with writing that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Harley Quinn has a small part in this book, Catgirl is mentioned, along with TwoFace, Riddler, Penguin, and other villains. All in all the book was a great comic book read. Review also posted on Instagram @borenbooks, Library Thing, Goodreads/StacieBoren, Amazon, Twitter @jason_stacie and my blog at readsbystacie.com

  23. 5 out of 5

    Neil

    This was an interesting novelization. I have yet to read the ‘graphic novel,’ so it would be interesting to compare that story to this one. Apparently it has some additional material in it that is not included in the graphic novel; also, from what I read (in the Note from the Authors and other reviews), it expands on some stuff and explains other stuff in the graphic novel, too. It does have some interesting character development in it, overall. I cannot quite decide how much “character developm This was an interesting novelization. I have yet to read the ‘graphic novel,’ so it would be interesting to compare that story to this one. Apparently it has some additional material in it that is not included in the graphic novel; also, from what I read (in the Note from the Authors and other reviews), it expands on some stuff and explains other stuff in the graphic novel, too. It does have some interesting character development in it, overall. I cannot quite decide how much “character development” Batman (Bruce Wayne) undergoes, myself; he might have been ‘the main character,’ but he did not seem to undergo the ‘most’ or ‘best’ character development. I would say some of the ‘minor characters’ probably received the ‘most’ character development because the authors had to build their characters for the reader to understand why these minor characters (usually villains) had a part to play in the story. I do not know how the graphic novel starts out, but this book starts out with Batman visiting Arkham Asylum before jumping ten days into the past. From there, it starts moving forward to the ‘intro chapter’ before reaching its climax. It was somewhat fun to read, as it takes place in the 1980s, and the authors have mixed a bunch of different elements into the story (like the Gotham City Police Department using blimps to fight crime and other blimps being used by the fire department to fight fires). (view spoiler)[It also has ‘advanced tech’ in the novel, too, such as ‘listening devices’ that can record and catalogue every noise, every sound, every voice, every whisper, within a crazy radius and readily identify different elements of what is heard and recorded. It ‘introduces’ the Arpanet and has discussions about how linking computers together, even over the phones, can dramatically increase their computing power and uses. It also talks about early forms of the “Dark Web,” which kinda surprised me – I guess I do not know when the “Dark Web” “came into existence,” so I suppose it would have been ‘around’ at the time this story takes place. (hide spoiler)] There were times Gotham sounded like a poor, broke-down suburb of Metropolis and other times it sounds like it is the “City of Tomorrow” instead of Metropolis. Dick Grayson is mentioned in passing. I do not know where Jason Todd as the ‘second’ Robin fits into this story, time-wise. I think Superman might have been mentioned in passing. That being the case, between Batman and Batgirl, the ‘heroic’ character that really stood out to me was Batgirl. Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) “obviously” has a ‘huge’ part to play in the novel (just as she does in the graphic novel). I was vaguely familiar with her character, so it was nice to learn a bit more about her in the novel than I knew previously. She does undergo quite a dramatic change by the end of the novel, and she has to decide what she is going to do after she experiences what she experiences (view spoiler)[getting gutshot and having her spine severed, then apparently being raped by the Joker afterwards, followed by waking up in the hospital and no longer able to walk again (hide spoiler)] ; I thought the author(s) did an excellent job writing about what thoughts and emotions were coursing through her during and after her (view spoiler)[traumatic (hide spoiler)] experience. She probably had the ‘best’ character development in the story, for a ‘heroic’ character. I thought the authors did a decent job of trying to have Bruce Wayne have ‘moments’ in the novel and not be MIA to Batman’s presence. Granted, most of the time Bruce appears, he is trying to duck out of something so he can change costumes and switch from “Bruce Wayne” to “Batman.” I did like (enjoy) Bruce’s portrayal in this novelization far more than I did Bruce Wayne’s ‘story’ as a teenager in the most recent “Batman” novel that has been released. (view spoiler)[I did like how Batman was portrayed as being as concerned as he was for Commissioner Gordon’s status after Gordon had been kidnapped and “tortured” by the Joker. It was a nice ‘humanizing touch’ for the Batman, as all too often he is portrayed as being somehow inhuman and immune to any kind of emotions, feelings, or sentiment(s). (hide spoiler)] He does have one of his “stupid, lame talks” about how the villains cannot be executed, no matter how heinous their crimes, lest those on the side of the law and order somehow become as ‘evil’ or ‘guilt-stained’ as those who actually committed the heinous criminal act(s). Alfred is the one with whom Bruce is discussing the morality of what they do. The Joker should be held responsible for his actions, for the murders he commits, but he never is. Which really bugs me. I ‘get’ some of Bruce’s argument; I mean, technically, Bruce is not responsible of the choices and decisions the Joker makes, for the lives the Joker takes and the lives the Joker wounds for life because of the murders he commits. So, I ‘get it,’ but I still do not “get it” and I respectfully disagree with it on other levels. I guess I should say, I disagree that executing a mass murderer causes the government or the state-sponsored executioner to ‘stoop to the same level’ of those being executed. I will say this, there is ‘one thing’ that authors did that I never thought would be possible. (view spoiler)[They made the Joker a ‘sympathetic character!’ I could not believe it! Granted, that is if and only if the story he told about his wife and unborn children being murdered is true, along with how he gave everything up to pursue a dream he thought would bring them wealth, happiness, and a better lifestyle than what they had previously. It was truly a ‘sad story’ and made me feel all sorts of sympathy for this trash character that is seen as being somehow Batman’s “archnemesis.” I will say this – the authors did what I believed to be impossible! They actually made me feel some kind of sympathy for the Joker – that is something I thought would NEVER happen, I dislike his character so much! I cannot stand the character ‘any more’ – so the authors did an incredible job of making me feel momentarily, temporarily sorry for him. (hide spoiler)] There were some “weird moments” in the narrative, though. Not that it took away from my overall enjoyment of the story, but it did ‘jar’ me out of the reading. The story would be moving along, and then the author(s) would add something, some kind of description, that was really ‘weird’ in terms of the narrative and broke the flow. (view spoiler)[For example, there was a fight scene where either Batgirl or Batman (but I’m pretty sure it was Batgirl) as fighting with some ‘bad guys’ when she kicks a guy in the crotch. Now, the authors could have gone with him being “kicked in the crotch” or “kicked in his genitals” or “kicked in his testicles” or something along those lines; instead, they went with “kicked him in his nads,” which was extremely weird to read in the story. There were a couple of other moments where some verbiage they used really threw me out of the story and it took a moment or two to ‘get back in the saddle’ (as it were). Obviously, this was the one that stood out to me the most, and it was towards the end of the story, but they did have some weird descriptions and word choices throughout the story. (hide spoiler)] Overall, it was a fun novelization to read. It moves at a good clip, and it did not disappoint or let me down. I prefer my stories to ‘move along’ and this one definitely pulling me forward and tugging me along in its wake. I thought the authors did a good job adapting this graphic novel as well as they did – they did a good job and I am glad I read this book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hobart

    This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- Leland liked to think that she had a finely tuned bullshit detector. It went with the job and--much to the dismay of the men she dated--tended to spill over into her private life, as well. Something about the Joker, however, messed with her ability on the deepest level. Like a magnet throwing off a compass needle. She'd dealt with more than her share of compulsive liars, narcissists, and psychotics so alienated from reality that they were u This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- Leland liked to think that she had a finely tuned bullshit detector. It went with the job and--much to the dismay of the men she dated--tended to spill over into her private life, as well. Something about the Joker, however, messed with her ability on the deepest level. Like a magnet throwing off a compass needle. She'd dealt with more than her share of compulsive liars, narcissists, and psychotics so alienated from reality that they were unable to distinguish truth from fiction. But the Joker was different. Her testimony in court had led to the judgment that he was not guilty by reason of insanity, and he had been remanded to her care at Arkham. Yet, in her darkest, most sleepless hours she wondered if maybe he wasn’t insane after all. Not in the clinical sense, at last. Perhaps it was all just an elaborate act. A complex joke with an unfathomable punchline they might never see coming. If it ever came at all. I don't think I got my hands on the original The Killing Joke in 1988, I think my friend and I waited until '89 for financial reasons (in your early teens and unemployable, funds were tight), but maybe we were some of the early readers. The when is murky, but our reactions were not. This was a fantastic story with unbelievable art -- it blew our young minds. In the years since, I've read it countless times, and while I still enjoy the core of the book, there are bits that make me wonder why. Bolland's art still blows me away. The animated movie version wasn't bad, as I recall. I've only watched it once and my memory's not crisp about it. My point is, that I know this story pretty well. When I heard that Titan books was going to be doing a series of new novels about Batman and they'd start with an adaptation of this story, I was skeptical, but at the same time -- an extended version of this story? This could be really good -- but how were they going to get that much material? It turns out that the key to that is the same strategy that allowed Peter Jackson to make a smallish children's novel into a very long movie trilogy -- just make up a bunch of stuff and shove it in here and there. Obviously, any novel treatment of the graphic novel (or movie) is going to do that to some extent -- but I'd be willing to wager that up to 65% of this book is new, and not even hinted at in the original. Which bothers me on one level, but intrigues me on others -- also, I liked the new stuff. Batman and Batgirl are independently (usually) looking into the appearance and distribution of a new drug on Gotham's scene -- Giggle Sniff. It's based on the Joker's venom and is selling like crazy. There's a lot of bouncing around as the Caped Crusaders tear through the underworld, looking for the sources of the drug -- and interfering as much as possible with the sales and distribution. Commissioner Gordon and Detective Bullock are also nosing around, and turning up the heat on the dealers. There are some great action sequences, some interesting characters introduced. While that's going on, the Joker's breaking out of Arkham and setting the stage for what he wants to do next. Then we get the adaptation of the Killing joke in the last quarter or so of the novel. Here, there's minimal changes form the source material -- some expanding of ideas, but nothing major or objectionable. If you know the graphic novel, then you know exactly what happens at this point, and if you don't, I'm not going to spill the beans. I even liked their take on Batman's reaction to the dumb joke told at the end -- I think they made that problematic moment work. The characters are well done, the action moves well -- it's just the execution of the idea overall that gives me any pause. There's a little bit about the birth of the Internet as we now know it that's really nicely pulled off. The bits of this book that were an adaptation of the Moore/Bolland graphic novel were really well done -- and the way these authors filled in some of the details and gave a very contemporary backstory to part of it worked in ways I didn't expect. Also, the Giggle Sniff part of the book was pretty good. And if either one of them had been the core of a novel, I'd very likely be more positive about those books. But shoving the two of these together? It didn't work that well. I liked the novel, but I can't recommend it too highly because the two parts of the novel are just too distinct from one another to see why the authors made these choices.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Harshita Gupta

    The book begins with a lucid description of the Gotham City giving you the vibe that you’ve entered the world of Batman and DC comics. Then more characters come in, different sections of narration detailing the plot occupy you and the realization that the novelization is indeed real. The Killing Joke, a novel out of the graphic comic brings in again the eternal rivalry between the Batman and the Joker. Giggle Sniff, a new drug is out in the market and the city commissioner, James Gordon, and Det The book begins with a lucid description of the Gotham City giving you the vibe that you’ve entered the world of Batman and DC comics. Then more characters come in, different sections of narration detailing the plot occupy you and the realization that the novelization is indeed real. The Killing Joke, a novel out of the graphic comic brings in again the eternal rivalry between the Batman and the Joker. Giggle Sniff, a new drug is out in the market and the city commissioner, James Gordon, and Detective Harvey Bullock are on the lookout for the gang distributing it. The joker is inside the boundaries of Arkham Asylum with every intention of escaping it and plotting the ultimate killing joke. While Batman surely wants his enemy in the final face off. The book is all you would expect in this novelization of DC comic- remarkable narration, grown characters, descriptive action scenes, and hard vocabulary, I must say. The last few pages of the book really got me on toes and it was totally the Batman movie playing along. However, I was looking more of the Joker. I would have extremely loved the book if detailed psychology of Joker’s mind or his actions were there. Well, if you had loved graphic DC comics and would love to try the novelization, then definitely give it a try. Though it would be better if the comparison is not drawn as both comics and novels say it differently. I would recommend The Killing Joke for its novelization endeavor and absolutely for its arduous vocabulary. You may learn some new words, you know.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    https://bookishtiffany.wordpress.com/... I read The Killing Joke earlier this week most of which I read in a single night. My boyfriend absolutely loves The Killing Joke graphic novel. He's a huge batman fan. I on the other hand have never read any graphic novels and have been wanting to get into them. One thing I hate about graphic novels is that it's confusing on the order in which to read the speech and thought bubbles. That's why this book is so cool. It allows you to read the same content in https://bookishtiffany.wordpress.com/... I read The Killing Joke earlier this week most of which I read in a single night. My boyfriend absolutely loves The Killing Joke graphic novel. He's a huge batman fan. I on the other hand have never read any graphic novels and have been wanting to get into them. One thing I hate about graphic novels is that it's confusing on the order in which to read the speech and thought bubbles. That's why this book is so cool. It allows you to read the same content in the graphic novel but in novel form. The Killing Joke is a novelization of the graphic novel. My boyfriend says that it does have some different parts in the novel than the graphic novel. Here's my thoughts on the book. I loved how it explained Jokers back story. I never knew why or how he became the Joker. I've never watched any Joker movies besides Suicide Squad but it doesn't explain how Joker came to be either. Knowing what I know now about the joker and if it's actually him telling the truth, he has a tragic backstory. I feel sorry for him. But that might be a trick. In the book we got to met multiple characters as the book is in third person point of view. We met Batman, Batgirl, Joker and a hand full of other criminals. The book does have some time changes but I found them helpful and necessary to get the back story involved. The beginning of the book hooks you. We find out that Joke has escaped Arkham Asylum. Then the book goes 10 days in to the past. I thought the character's matched what I thought they would. I mean we all have an expectation for Batman and Joker even if when haven't read or watched anything about them. Just from the way everyone else talks about them. The plot was interesting. I wished that the point of view didn't change so much and that the vocabulary was a bit easier. There was a lot of words that was more advanced and I had to look them up on google. I would think that this book was meant for a younger audience but they might have trouble with the advanced vocabulary. Overall I thought the book was good. I liked the ending and was happy that Barb aka Batgirl didn't give up after all. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes DC comics and graphic novels. I think this book maybe a stepping stone to get graphic novel readers into reading textual novels and vice versa Before I end this review I must talk about how beautiful this book cover is. Whoever designed this cover really out did themselves. It's so beautiful. I love the end pages they match the Joker's carnival walls saying HA HA all across the page. The naked book is a gorgeous lime green color that makes me instantly think of Joker's green hair. I'm so glad that Titan Books sent me this book for an honest review. I can't wait for the next books to come out in the series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    James

    All it takes is just one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. Batman - The Killing Joke This is by far one of the greatest Batman stories ever told. Alan Moore gave DC fans what they secretly wanted, a definitive Joker Origin story with a killer twist at the end. He also managed to change the status quo of the Batman family, removing Batgirl from the chess board and introducing someone more formidable that would become the eyes and ears of the DC Universe, The Oracle. Coming into this All it takes is just one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. Batman - The Killing Joke This is by far one of the greatest Batman stories ever told. Alan Moore gave DC fans what they secretly wanted, a definitive Joker Origin story with a killer twist at the end. He also managed to change the status quo of the Batman family, removing Batgirl from the chess board and introducing someone more formidable that would become the eyes and ears of the DC Universe, The Oracle. Coming into this story although i was excited to finally read a novelization of one of my all time favorite graphic novels I had my reservations, and this was due to that disrespectful movie adaption that was released in 2017 that still makes my blood boil. It's a shame because while I was loving Christa Fausts reintroduction of Gotham City in the 80's I was dreadfully anticipating that particular scene between Batman and Batgirl. Thankfully this never happened and stayed faithful to Alan Moore's original story, but because of that dark shadow constantly looming in my peripheral vision , the pace of the story was unfortunately lost on me. The novel captures the Jokers wild and erratic personality and clearly paints that destructive relationship between the Batman and the Joker. My favorite part was when the Joker "almost" managed to break the Bat. I was in admiration of James Gordon being the anchor that stopped the Batman from crossing the line, even after what the Comish endured. . . "I want him brought in by the book, he needs to know that our way still works." Gordon pleads with an enraged Batman that is slowly squeezing the life from the defeated Joker. My final review is 3.5/5 Batarangs

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I admit I did not have a good start with this book. The first few chapters were clumsy, cobbled, and a bit amateurish, as they took far too long to set the scene and made far too much effort to introduce us to characters we are all already very familiar with. The first 10 pages alone instantly dropped the book a full star in my rating. After that hiccup, though, the rest of the book flew by smoothly. My only other critiques of the novel lay in the subplot and the ending. The action and adventure o I admit I did not have a good start with this book. The first few chapters were clumsy, cobbled, and a bit amateurish, as they took far too long to set the scene and made far too much effort to introduce us to characters we are all already very familiar with. The first 10 pages alone instantly dropped the book a full star in my rating. After that hiccup, though, the rest of the book flew by smoothly. My only other critiques of the novel lay in the subplot and the ending. The action and adventure of the subplot with Giggle Sniff and Python was a lot of fun, but it felt far more like filler than it did anything else. Perhaps I am a little slow, or wasn’t paying enough attention, but for me, it never made its Point, much less mesh with or provide a solid connection to the other events of the book. As far as the ending of this novelization goes, a large part of what made the original Killing Joke so enticing and fascinating was its open ending. The novelization took that open ending and gave it one far more solid, which did draw away some of the magic of that unanswered question that the original book left us with: did Batman actually kill Joker? I applaud the authors’ attempt to instead ask the question “why did Batman laugh?”, but my point still stands: some of the intrigue from the original was lost here. Aside from all that, this really was a pretty fair novelization, as well as an entertaining retelling of a beloved classic in the Batman mythos. Just want to say, as a general comment: introducing Calculator the way they did? Right at the very end and as a parallel to the birth of Oracle? That was downright BRILLIANT.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    The Killing Joke really made me think back to the animated Batman show I watched with my brother when we were kids. Really looking back it was a serious enough cartoon, I sometimes watch old episodes, particularly Joker and Harley focused ones, quality watching! The book really highlights the relationship Batman and Joker have, and it is that, a relationship (makes me think of a line from Harry Potter “Neither can live while the other survives”) as Batman says it will end with them killing each The Killing Joke really made me think back to the animated Batman show I watched with my brother when we were kids. Really looking back it was a serious enough cartoon, I sometimes watch old episodes, particularly Joker and Harley focused ones, quality watching! The book really highlights the relationship Batman and Joker have, and it is that, a relationship (makes me think of a line from Harry Potter “Neither can live while the other survives”) as Batman says it will end with them killing each other. It’s just a case of who snaps first and as the Joker has already lost his mind he just wants to push Batman enough to do the same. As a Batman fan I found it to be a really enjoyable read, detailed and descriptive it perfectly portrays the gloomy gritty vibe of Gotham. I had a real laugh out loud moment when Batman says “Where is he?” and all I could think of was the Christian Bale Batman out of A Dark Knight roaring “Where is she?” about Rachel.. it’s a running joke to say it like that in our house when we can’t find someone/something! I could wax lyrical all day about how much I enjoyed this book but instead I’m going to dive into The Court of Owls for another Batman fix and I’m going to have to order Mad Love to get a bit more of Miss. Quinzel and her story. Perfect for Batman fans and just crime fans in general I think, great if you want something a bit different. Highly enjoyable read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    John

    I’m old enough to have experienced both Batman comics and the Batman TV show. This isn’t that Batman! First, and foremost, the star of this novel is the Joker. Did I say novel? Yes, a novel, no illustrations just a full on well developed story. Keep them coming, comic book characters graduating to grown up book characters might just help youth rediscover libraries! This is a violent story, but the same can be said for comics, just no graphic illustrations. Nudity? Yes, some, but just in words an I’m old enough to have experienced both Batman comics and the Batman TV show. This isn’t that Batman! First, and foremost, the star of this novel is the Joker. Did I say novel? Yes, a novel, no illustrations just a full on well developed story. Keep them coming, comic book characters graduating to grown up book characters might just help youth rediscover libraries! This is a violent story, but the same can be said for comics, just no graphic illustrations. Nudity? Yes, some, but just in words and not graphic detail. This tale allowed the “Caped Crusader” to grow up and give us a complete story. I think this book is great for the youth audience, as well as those of us who still enjoy our comic book heroes and their nemesis.

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