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Ten Days in a Mad-House

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Beautifully adapted and rendered through piercing illustrations by acclaimed creators Brad Ricca and Courtney Sieh, Nellie Bly’s complete, true-to-life 19th-century investigation of Blackwell Asylum captures a groundbreaking moment in history and reveals a haunting and timely glimpse at the starting point for conversations on mental health. “I said I could and I would. And Beautifully adapted and rendered through piercing illustrations by acclaimed creators Brad Ricca and Courtney Sieh, Nellie Bly’s complete, true-to-life 19th-century investigation of Blackwell Asylum captures a groundbreaking moment in history and reveals a haunting and timely glimpse at the starting point for conversations on mental health. “I said I could and I would. And I did.” While working for Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper in 1887, Nellie Bly began an undercover investigation into the local Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell Island. Intent on seeing what life was like on the inside, Bly fooled trained physicians into thinking she was insane—a task too easily achieved—and had herself committed. In her ten days at the asylum, Bly witnessed horrifying conditions: the food was inedible, the women were forced into labor for the staff, the nurses and doctors were cruel or indifferent, and many of the women held there had no mental disorder of any kind. Now adapted into graphic novel form by Brad​ Ricca and vividly rendered with beautiful and haunting illustrations by Courtney Sieh, Bly’s bold venture is given new life and meaning. Her fearless investigation into the living conditions at the Blackwell Asylum forever changed the field of journalism. A timely reminder to take notice of forgotten populations, Ten Days in a Mad-House warns us what happens when we look away.


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Beautifully adapted and rendered through piercing illustrations by acclaimed creators Brad Ricca and Courtney Sieh, Nellie Bly’s complete, true-to-life 19th-century investigation of Blackwell Asylum captures a groundbreaking moment in history and reveals a haunting and timely glimpse at the starting point for conversations on mental health. “I said I could and I would. And Beautifully adapted and rendered through piercing illustrations by acclaimed creators Brad Ricca and Courtney Sieh, Nellie Bly’s complete, true-to-life 19th-century investigation of Blackwell Asylum captures a groundbreaking moment in history and reveals a haunting and timely glimpse at the starting point for conversations on mental health. “I said I could and I would. And I did.” While working for Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper in 1887, Nellie Bly began an undercover investigation into the local Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell Island. Intent on seeing what life was like on the inside, Bly fooled trained physicians into thinking she was insane—a task too easily achieved—and had herself committed. In her ten days at the asylum, Bly witnessed horrifying conditions: the food was inedible, the women were forced into labor for the staff, the nurses and doctors were cruel or indifferent, and many of the women held there had no mental disorder of any kind. Now adapted into graphic novel form by Brad​ Ricca and vividly rendered with beautiful and haunting illustrations by Courtney Sieh, Bly’s bold venture is given new life and meaning. Her fearless investigation into the living conditions at the Blackwell Asylum forever changed the field of journalism. A timely reminder to take notice of forgotten populations, Ten Days in a Mad-House warns us what happens when we look away.

30 review for Ten Days in a Mad-House

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    This is a beautifully illustrated adaptation of the book Nelly Bly wrote when she went undercover as a patient of the Blackwell Asylum in the late 1800s. The original book is small and worth reading but this graphic novel is really well-done.

  2. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    This review is specifically for the graphic novel adaptation released in 2022. I've never read the original version of Ten Days in a Mad-House, but after reading this adaptation, I'd be open to doing so — only once I recover from the massive amounts of rage and hurt that welled up within me while reading this book. As a woman who faces my own mental health obstacles (and quite a few of them if we're being frank here), there are few things that truly rattle me quite like looking into the past and This review is specifically for the graphic novel adaptation released in 2022. I've never read the original version of Ten Days in a Mad-House, but after reading this adaptation, I'd be open to doing so — only once I recover from the massive amounts of rage and hurt that welled up within me while reading this book. As a woman who faces my own mental health obstacles (and quite a few of them if we're being frank here), there are few things that truly rattle me quite like looking into the past and coming to terms with how I and so many of my loved ones might have been treated, had we only been born a hundred years earlier. Ten Days in a Mad-House follows Nellie's secret integration into a mental health hospital (though I'm not sure if "hospital" is the right term here, given that it implies some sort of actual care) in order to expose the terrible living conditions of the women therein. She tells not only of abusive staff and horrible treatment practices, but she also dwells a lot on how many women who were trapped there seemed to not need any sort of medical intervention in the first place. (On one hand, I think the added attention to how "sane" some of these women were discounted the fact that nobody, regardless of their mental state, deserved these treatments; on the other hand, Nellie's extra details here may very well have helped everyone across the board, as I can unfortunately very easily imagine a jury being more stricken with empathy for some patients than others.) All in all, there's probably a bit to be said about Nellie's motives and the ethics behind how she carried out her research, but it's important to note that she made a big impact on the treatment of patients and blew the cover off of a massively disgusting practice (which would continue to be terrible for many decades to come, regardless, but I have to think it was somehow improved by Nellie's works). I appreciate the fact that the creators responsible for adapting this work even mentioned in the afterword how important it is to consider both the intent and impact here. And finally, speaking of the book as an adaptation itself, while I haven't read the source material, I found the graphic novel to stand on its own incredibly well. The art was well-done, the dialogue and story were easy to follow, and I found it overall very informative and enjoyable (albeit emotionally difficult). I highly recommend it, whether you're new to Ten Days in a Mad-House or looking to experience it again in a new, fresh way. ✨ Content warnings for: severe ableism, misogyny, abuse, attempted drowning, starvation, forced exposure to cold and implied hypothermia, death, forced medications, imprisonment Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review! ——— twitter | booktok | bookstagram | blog

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stay Fetters

    "He who enters here leaveth hope behind." We all got a taste of Nellie Bly when we watched the second season of American Horror Story: Asylum. We witnessed a reporter go undercover at an institution to see how the patients were being mistreated. How they weren’t being treated as human beings. This story is factual to what Nellie Bly did and saw at her time before, during, and after her investigation. It’s devastating. I’m not sure how people can live with themselves after treating others so horri "He who enters here leaveth hope behind." We all got a taste of Nellie Bly when we watched the second season of American Horror Story: Asylum. We witnessed a reporter go undercover at an institution to see how the patients were being mistreated. How they weren’t being treated as human beings. This story is factual to what Nellie Bly did and saw at her time before, during, and after her investigation. It’s devastating. I’m not sure how people can live with themselves after treating others so horribly. The story is heartbreaking. This book with the story of being inside the asylum was okay. It wasn’t what I was expecting. The art wasn’t my favorite and took a lot away from the story. It’s all right for what it is but not the glorified masterpiece readers have been calling it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aislin

    I've always been fascinated by Nellie Bly and the story of her going undercover on Blackwell Island to investigate how women were treated there. When I saw that there was a graphic adaptation of her famous work Ten Days in a Mad-House, I was intrigued and interested to know how this dark report would work in a more artistic format. Fortunately, this book was extremely well done! The art style is very distinctive and conveyed a gloomy, chilly mood throughout. It helped the book have more of an em I've always been fascinated by Nellie Bly and the story of her going undercover on Blackwell Island to investigate how women were treated there. When I saw that there was a graphic adaptation of her famous work Ten Days in a Mad-House, I was intrigued and interested to know how this dark report would work in a more artistic format. Fortunately, this book was extremely well done! The art style is very distinctive and conveyed a gloomy, chilly mood throughout. It helped the book have more of an emotional impact. Many of the characters in the art look quite similar, so you need to read the text to fully tell them apart, but I believe this contributed to the overall message- the women were not treated as individuals, but rather they blended together into one group. The content is horrifying and the depiction of abuse is really difficult to stomach, but the actual book itself was very readable and accessible. It is a good version to read if you want to understand what Nellie Bly went through and discovered but you are intimidated by the original text (or simply want to experience it in a new format). I was impressed by this book and would recommend it to people interested in the topic! Note: There are some pretty big triggers in this book for ableism and many types of physical and mental abuse. Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for this ARC to review!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shilo Quetchenbach

    This was an excellent adaptation of a chilling story. It covered all the main points of the story of Nelly Bly getting herself committed in order to expose the conditions inside a mental institution. The contrast of Nelly's self-assured, composed inner voice and the illustrations of the women she was with and the conditions they faced was very powerful. I also loved how her self-confidence and self-assuredness deteriorated the longer she remained inside. The illustrations were haunting. The black This was an excellent adaptation of a chilling story. It covered all the main points of the story of Nelly Bly getting herself committed in order to expose the conditions inside a mental institution. The contrast of Nelly's self-assured, composed inner voice and the illustrations of the women she was with and the conditions they faced was very powerful. I also loved how her self-confidence and self-assuredness deteriorated the longer she remained inside. The illustrations were haunting. The black-and-white pen-strokes conveyed texture and detail and a chilling atmosphere. The way the women's faces were rendered were also very powerful and haunting. When I finished reading I discovered that I was tense and chilled -- the story affected me quite strongly. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know about how mental institutions used to be, but also with the caveat that while the story moves along quickly and is compelling, it will stay with you. *Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for providing an e-arc for review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Read the original in 2018, and the graphic novel adaptation in 2022, and could not understand why they’re listed under the same book ever since. Graphic novel elevated it quite a lot; so much so that it feels wrong that it’s only getting a visual adaptation now!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    I haven't read the original book by Nellie Bly about her undercover investigation in a New York City asylum in 1887, but this graphic adaptation tempts me to do so. Solid script and art drew me along as the injustices and abuses were witnessed and exposed by the feisty reporter. It's depressing that even over a century later we can still regularly find examples of our institutions neglecting or abusing the weak and marginalized -- be it the elderly in nursing homes or immigrants in ICE detention I haven't read the original book by Nellie Bly about her undercover investigation in a New York City asylum in 1887, but this graphic adaptation tempts me to do so. Solid script and art drew me along as the injustices and abuses were witnessed and exposed by the feisty reporter. It's depressing that even over a century later we can still regularly find examples of our institutions neglecting or abusing the weak and marginalized -- be it the elderly in nursing homes or immigrants in ICE detention centers. And it's scary to think that the news media we rely on to do the kinds of investigations and exposés that Bly did is withering away before our eyes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This is a graphic adaptation of the famous non fiction newspaper articles and then novel from 1887 in which a young woman goes undercover in a women's insane asylum to see if there is a story there. This was not a job she chose for herself but instead took it on after offered in order to prove herself. The horrific nature of the story caused a sensation in Victorian America and began the era of investigative journalis More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This is a graphic adaptation of the famous non fiction newspaper articles and then novel from 1887 in which a young woman goes undercover in a women's insane asylum to see if there is a story there. This was not a job she chose for herself but instead took it on after offered in order to prove herself. The horrific nature of the story caused a sensation in Victorian America and began the era of investigative journalism and 'stunt girls'. Story: Intrepid reporter Nelly Bly pretends to be insane in order to be sent to the Blackwell Island Lunatic Asylum for Women in New York City. There, she witnesses degradation, beatings, privation, and torture - often to women whose only offense was not insanity but a nervous condition, an angry employer, lack of English, or a husband seeking to get rid of a wife. Nelly noted that many women were indeed sane when they entered the asylum but the cruel treatment soon rendered them without hope and driven to insanity. At the time, Joseph Pulitzer was looking for an expose type of assignment and found a willing sacrifice in the form of the penniless and desperate Nelly Bly. It was her entrée into the journalistic world dominated by and exclusive to men. Her articles and then later the book ensured that she had a career and was able to transition into other feats for Pulitzer and his newspaper. The graphic novel was admittedly a bit of a 'meh' for me. It was lovely to see this old book given new life and certainly it is an interesting subject - both on women's rights and on how little we once knew about mental stability. But the book jumps around quite a bit and it is often very hard to follow the action. Characters pivotal to the book tend to get some pages, then are forgotten, then remembered again. The privations were often hinted at rather than really explored, leading the graphic novel to lack some teeth to really tackle the subject. The illustration work is fine and characters could be easily distinguished. But the action was very lacking and at times the gravitas was completely lost since Nelly was drawn and written to seem very simplistic and shallow. E.g., the scenes of the women forced to sit for hours on a hard bench in the cold and stare at nothing needed far more punch - the cold, the dreariness, and the endlessness of it day in and day out just felt lost in the few illustrations of the moment. Similarly, dirty freezing bath times also felt like more of an annoyance than a torture. I wish the book had more bite. This is, in essence, a horror story. But I just didn't get that feel from this graphic novel version at all. It felt like the story was boiled down to a few vignettes and the characters suffered greatly as a result. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leighton

    Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Ten Days in a Mad-House by Nellie Bly and adapted by Brad Ricca and Courtney Sieh is an amazing graphic novel adaptation of the original investigation into the Blackwell Asylum. The story revolves around Nelly Bly, who conducted an undercover investigation into Women's Asylum on Blackwell Island. She tricked the doctors into thinking she was crazy and was committed to 10 days in the asylum. Bly found horrible Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Ten Days in a Mad-House by Nellie Bly and adapted by Brad Ricca and Courtney Sieh is an amazing graphic novel adaptation of the original investigation into the Blackwell Asylum. The story revolves around Nelly Bly, who conducted an undercover investigation into Women's Asylum on Blackwell Island. She tricked the doctors into thinking she was crazy and was committed to 10 days in the asylum. Bly found horrible conditions, cruel staff, and worst of all, many of the women there did not have any mental disorders. Overall, Ten Days in a Mad-House is a grim wonder of a graphic novel. Reading it, I was simultaneously entranced and horrified. I could not believe what I reading! One highlight of this book is the amazing story that was originally investigated by Nellie Bly. Before reading this book, I had actually not heard of Blackwell Asylum before. It was great to learn more about history through this book, and I can see teachers and professors using this book in their classes. Another highlight of this book is the beautiful art. The detailed black-and-white illustrations perfectly complement the Gothic story. The artist must have done a lot of research into the hairstyles and fashion of women in the 19th century. If you're intrigued by the description, or if you're a fan of historical graphic novels, I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in June!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Ten Days in a Mad-House is a harrowing and effective graphic novel adaptation of Nellie Bly's investigation and exposure of the inhumane and horrifying treatment of mental health patients in the late 19th century in America. Due out 19th April 2022 from Simon & Schuster on their Gallery 13 imprint, it's 160 pages and will be available in paperback/graphic novel and ebook formats. The text is spare and linear and the story is told quite plainly whi Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Ten Days in a Mad-House is a harrowing and effective graphic novel adaptation of Nellie Bly's investigation and exposure of the inhumane and horrifying treatment of mental health patients in the late 19th century in America. Due out 19th April 2022 from Simon & Schuster on their Gallery 13 imprint, it's 160 pages and will be available in paperback/graphic novel and ebook formats. The text is spare and linear and the story is told quite plainly which keeps the horror of the fates of thousands of patients, many of whom were absolutely not mentally ill, in sharp and unflinching focus throughout. I was left with a sense of profound sadness and anger as well as impressed with the bravery and dedication of Ms. Bly's original exposé. The adaptation is written by Dr. Brad Ricca who does a masterful job turning the difficult source material into a cohesive whole. He allows us to view much of the distressing reality without peeling back the façade entirely and forcing readers to face the very worst of the depredations which undoubtedly occurred. For readers who are very sensitive, there are references to suicide, murder, sexual assault, and horrifying failure of care (including implied infanticide). The art, by Courtney Sieh, is crisp and direct and suits the story very well. Stylistically it's mostly in panels with occasional full page frames. The text is spare and the story is told through the pen and ink line drawings. Although the subject matter is distressing, the pictures aren't graphic at all. It's an important story and the original reporting and exposé by Nellie Bly eventually resulted in sweeping changes in the care and oversight of vulnerable patients in a lot of ways. It was bravely done and I found the graphic novel enlightening. Four stars. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Meeuwsen Reif

    I won this book in a Goodreads give away. I had the original book by American journalist Nellie Bly on my "want to read" shelf. The story is an interesting one. I only gave it 3 stars, however, because I felt it was missing detail. This was my first graphic novel so I am lead to believe that is the reason. I won this book in a Goodreads give away. I had the original book by American journalist Nellie Bly on my "want to read" shelf. The story is an interesting one. I only gave it 3 stars, however, because I felt it was missing detail. This was my first graphic novel so I am lead to believe that is the reason.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    2022 has been a great year for fans of Nellie Bly. First we had Maya Rodale's fantastic novel about her time at Blackwell's; now, this superb graphic novel brings the words of Nellie herself to life. Exquisitely detailed linework and efficient writing elevate this adaptation of Ten Days in a Mad-House, Nellie's own account of her time disguised as an insane woman in order to expose the abuses running rampant at Blackwell's. Brad Ricca captures Nellie's indefatigable spirit and relentless will by 2022 has been a great year for fans of Nellie Bly. First we had Maya Rodale's fantastic novel about her time at Blackwell's; now, this superb graphic novel brings the words of Nellie herself to life. Exquisitely detailed linework and efficient writing elevate this adaptation of Ten Days in a Mad-House, Nellie's own account of her time disguised as an insane woman in order to expose the abuses running rampant at Blackwell's. Brad Ricca captures Nellie's indefatigable spirit and relentless will by allowing her to speak for herself. A lovely tribute to a remarkable woman.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    A graphic novel adaptation of Nellie Bly's book about her impactful undercover investigation of a 19th century asylum. I've never actually read Bly's book, but I've read a great deal about her and her work. This definitely seems to be a faithful adaptation, and making this a graphic novel opens her important work up to readers who might never pick up her book without illustrations. A graphic novel adaptation of Nellie Bly's book about her impactful undercover investigation of a 19th century asylum. I've never actually read Bly's book, but I've read a great deal about her and her work. This definitely seems to be a faithful adaptation, and making this a graphic novel opens her important work up to readers who might never pick up her book without illustrations.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Maxie Froelicher

    This is a harrowing true story brought to life again in graphic novel format. I've heard of Nellie Bly before, but I've never read her whole story. I did start watching a movie with the same title but the acting was so bad I turned it off and forgot about it until I saw this graphic novel pop up. It's short and sweet but it tells all the facts it needs to, and the imagery, along with the art, helps bring to life things that have faded into a murky "asylums were just like that" generalized statem This is a harrowing true story brought to life again in graphic novel format. I've heard of Nellie Bly before, but I've never read her whole story. I did start watching a movie with the same title but the acting was so bad I turned it off and forgot about it until I saw this graphic novel pop up. It's short and sweet but it tells all the facts it needs to, and the imagery, along with the art, helps bring to life things that have faded into a murky "asylums were just like that" generalized statement. I received a copy of this for review from Edelweiss+, thank you!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chad Guarino

    Ten Days in a Mad-House is a graphic adaptation of Nellie Bly's book of the same name telling of her undercover infiltration and investigation of Blackwell Asylum, a woman's institution in the late 19th century. If that synopsis fills you with a certain foreboding, your suspicions are correct and then some. Bly exposes a world of terror for women, full of men diagnosing them as insane based on eye brightness or actions on a single bad day, forced medication, imprisonment, and sadistic treatment Ten Days in a Mad-House is a graphic adaptation of Nellie Bly's book of the same name telling of her undercover infiltration and investigation of Blackwell Asylum, a woman's institution in the late 19th century. If that synopsis fills you with a certain foreboding, your suspicions are correct and then some. Bly exposes a world of terror for women, full of men diagnosing them as insane based on eye brightness or actions on a single bad day, forced medication, imprisonment, and sadistic treatment by nurses/guards bordering on torture or attempted murder. It's a terrible enough experience for Bly, who is (too easily) able to pass herself off as insane and get herself committed by a team of male "experts", but downright heartbreaking for the many women she interacts with who have no hope of release like she does. While I've not read the full book this is based on, I'm definitely now interested in doing so, as this is a courageous and daring attempt to change a broken and abusive system for the better in a difficult time period to be doing so. **I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Gallery Books and Netgalley**

  16. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Read on NetGalley preview. One I started I couldn’t stop. Really enjoyed everything about it. Made me want to learn more about Bly.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    Beautifully crafted and labor-intensive hand-drawn jewel…this one had to have taken ages + numerous sets of micron pens! A rarity when so much is now done digitally. The exquisite line work by Courtney Sieh delineated the architecture not just of buildings but of skirts & suit jackets, hair braids, bed linens and more, making it a joy to both read and look at. Not to mention imaginative panel transitions and facial expressions that will take your breath away. Again, exquisite-and for me to have Beautifully crafted and labor-intensive hand-drawn jewel…this one had to have taken ages + numerous sets of micron pens! A rarity when so much is now done digitally. The exquisite line work by Courtney Sieh delineated the architecture not just of buildings but of skirts & suit jackets, hair braids, bed linens and more, making it a joy to both read and look at. Not to mention imaginative panel transitions and facial expressions that will take your breath away. Again, exquisite-and for me to have to try to spell that word 2x says something! 😂 Nelly Bly’s undercover experience in the ‘mad house’ has much been on my TBR forever, so I was happy to find this new graphic adaptation.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bess

    I loved these illustrations—very architectural, almost like engravings. I haven't read Bly's original, so I can't evaluate this on its merits of adaptation, but I did feel confused at times by the narrative. Maybe it was the digital ARC I read, but I felt like there were some gaps in what I was reading. This was frustrating and confusing. I also wished there were specifics given at the end about what suggested changes Bly had given and were accepted. I can infer things about not beating up the p I loved these illustrations—very architectural, almost like engravings. I haven't read Bly's original, so I can't evaluate this on its merits of adaptation, but I did feel confused at times by the narrative. Maybe it was the digital ARC I read, but I felt like there were some gaps in what I was reading. This was frustrating and confusing. I also wished there were specifics given at the end about what suggested changes Bly had given and were accepted. I can infer things about not beating up the patients, but I wanted specifics.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    I was given an advance reader copy by the publisher and asked to write an honest review. Oddly, the only flaw in this work is the price, which is slightly high for a graphic work of this short length and in black & white. I assume this was because of a relatively short print run, but unfortunately, it will work against sales of the book. The story of Nellie Bly is interesting on its own, but as told in this work, the story of her infiltrating an asylum for the "insane," as defined in New York at t I was given an advance reader copy by the publisher and asked to write an honest review. Oddly, the only flaw in this work is the price, which is slightly high for a graphic work of this short length and in black & white. I assume this was because of a relatively short print run, but unfortunately, it will work against sales of the book. The story of Nellie Bly is interesting on its own, but as told in this work, the story of her infiltrating an asylum for the "insane," as defined in New York at that time, was her first step toward being a major reporter, itself very unusual for a woman. Basically, this assignment was a test of sorts. So it was that in 1887, she convinced a judge and doctors that she was crazy enough to send to Blackwell's Island, where the conditions for the women sent there were a mixture of indifference by the medical community and painful cruelty by some of the staff. They were underfed, poorly treated, and in some cases not even mentally ill. An inconvenient wife could be disposed of by certain types of husband by convincing a doctor or a judge of the mad things she did at home, or a temporary depression or fit of anger could be used against her. Brad Ricca has done other non-fiction, but seems to be new to the idea of telling such a story as this in graphic form. This adaptation of Nellie Bly's own writings was excellent, as was the artwork by newcomer Courtney Sieh, who hadn't done any full-length graphic works before this one. It is tempting to read this book all in one sitting, because it's such a riveting story, but it's worth slowing down to examine the art in more detail, as the artist has done a lot to convey emotions in a variety of ways. The inhuman-looking eyes of the nurses, the expressions of the women being held in the asylum, and indifference of the doctors...all these are conveyed by the artwork. After reading this, I am tempted to track down the other books by Brad Ricca, and to watch for future graphic work by Courtney Sieh.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Single women in the 1870’s worked menial jobs and poorly paid. Nellie Bly wanted a job as a newspaper reporter reporting on activities that women reporters did not even consider covering. The few women reporters were reporting fashion and society activity. Nellie focused her early work for the “ Pittsburgh Dispatch “on the working women, a series investigative articles on women. Nellie went to several newspapers in New York. All the answers were no to her. Nellie was able to get into “The New Yo Single women in the 1870’s worked menial jobs and poorly paid. Nellie Bly wanted a job as a newspaper reporter reporting on activities that women reporters did not even consider covering. The few women reporters were reporting fashion and society activity. Nellie focused her early work for the “ Pittsburgh Dispatch “on the working women, a series investigative articles on women. Nellie went to several newspapers in New York. All the answers were no to her. Nellie was able to get into “The New York’s World” newspaper editor’s office and got hired to do an assignment that would change her life. She managed to convinced the authorities that she was mentally insane so she could go undercover to investigate conditions in the insane asylum on Blackwell Island. She spent ten days in the insane asylum. What did she discover? How did she leave the insane asylum? Reading this story as a graphic novel added to the story. The illustrations are well drawn — so well drawn that I felt I was seeing the women in the insane asylum not just the patients but also the nurses. I liked how the plot moved quickly and smoothly. The nurses in the book were terrifying. The doctors didn’t help their patients. It’s a fantastic story to read. Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Selena

    So this was book was a complex case for me. On one hand I wanted it to be longer, but on the other hand the only reason I finished it was because it was so short. I don't know they managed to make Nellie Bly boring?! An the artwork was noting special, and did not live up to the other graphic novels I've read this year like The Twilight Man and the Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band. So this was book was a complex case for me. On one hand I wanted it to be longer, but on the other hand the only reason I finished it was because it was so short. I don't know they managed to make Nellie Bly boring?! An the artwork was noting special, and did not live up to the other graphic novels I've read this year like The Twilight Man and the Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bengali Girl

    My introduction to Nellie Bly was through American Horror Story. The graphic novel's illustrations were spot on with some of the AHS images. I thoroughly enjoyed this version of her story. The fieriness of Nellie was portrayed perfectly in the pages. Thank you NetGalley, Gallery Books and Gallery 13 for giving me the opportunity to read this. My introduction to Nellie Bly was through American Horror Story. The graphic novel's illustrations were spot on with some of the AHS images. I thoroughly enjoyed this version of her story. The fieriness of Nellie was portrayed perfectly in the pages. Thank you NetGalley, Gallery Books and Gallery 13 for giving me the opportunity to read this.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bozhena Levine

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced electronic review copy of this important book. This is the investigative reporting at its best! In 1887 Nellie Bly gets herself committed into the Blackwell Insane Asylum for Women for 10 days to expose the horrific conditions within. After she left, she testified before jury and wrote an article in Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper. Her brave investigation forever changed the fields of journalism and mental health. The graphic novel format was Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced electronic review copy of this important book. This is the investigative reporting at its best! In 1887 Nellie Bly gets herself committed into the Blackwell Insane Asylum for Women for 10 days to expose the horrific conditions within. After she left, she testified before jury and wrote an article in Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper. Her brave investigation forever changed the fields of journalism and mental health. The graphic novel format was the perfect medium to bring the point across in all its stark, gory details, leaving very little to the imagination. Brilliant adaptation of the brilliantly told story and a very timely reminder to pay attention to some of the most vulnerable populations.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Knapp

    This was a well-done biography of Nellie Bly, a courageous woman who fought for her position in a male dominated world reporting by going undercover in a woman's insane asylum. The illustrations are stark, emphasizing the horror of the asylum. This was a well-done biography of Nellie Bly, a courageous woman who fought for her position in a male dominated world reporting by going undercover in a woman's insane asylum. The illustrations are stark, emphasizing the horror of the asylum.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Neat illustrative style of pen-and-ink graphics, with a stark quality to portray the horrid conditions in Blackwell Island as shared by Nellie Bly in a salacious and revolutionary journalistic endeavor in the late 19th century.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rae Gray

    I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. (Thank you, Gallery Books!) This is a graphic novel adapted from the work of Nellie Bly, who in 1887 had herself committed to Blackwell’s Asylum in order to investigate the treatment of the women who were patients there. Written by Brad Ricca and illustrated by Courtney Sieh, the novel reveals the horrors that Bly found there. Beatings, inadequate clothing, poor quality food, ice water baths, no mental stimulation, cruel nurses and indi I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. (Thank you, Gallery Books!) This is a graphic novel adapted from the work of Nellie Bly, who in 1887 had herself committed to Blackwell’s Asylum in order to investigate the treatment of the women who were patients there. Written by Brad Ricca and illustrated by Courtney Sieh, the novel reveals the horrors that Bly found there. Beatings, inadequate clothing, poor quality food, ice water baths, no mental stimulation, cruel nurses and indifferent doctors all but guaranteed that patients wouldn’t get well. Many of the women were committed there for the flimsiest of reasons - an angry outburst, PMS, didn’t speak English - while others with serious medical needs - postpartum depression, trauma - would have benefited from skilled, compassionate, care. Sadly, it never came and, for many patients, the only way out was through death. This is a poignant, heartbreaking, read, but also an important one. I recommend it to other readers.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aletha Pagett

    This unusual book combines art and story to make Nellie Bly's stay as a reporter in a woman's "lunatic" asylum come to life. Enjoyable, informative and different. This book was received from Goodreads. This unusual book combines art and story to make Nellie Bly's stay as a reporter in a woman's "lunatic" asylum come to life. Enjoyable, informative and different. This book was received from Goodreads.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    4.5- I definitely need to read the original by Nellie Bly! This was a great introduction to her work though. The story is heartbreaking and fascinating, and the illustrations were really interesting.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Very compelling!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nichols Britani

    Not my kind of book

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