Read Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger Online


Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven.So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to bring her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child — an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the abilOnce there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven.So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to bring her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child — an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the ability to fly. Betwixt and between, she reluctantly grows into a young woman, until one day she meets an unorthodox doctor who is willing to change her.Complete with Audrey Niffenegger’s bewitching etchings and paintings, Raven Girl explores the bounds of transformation and possibility in a dark fairy tale full of wonderment and longing....

Title : Raven Girl
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781419707261
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 80 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Raven Girl Reviews

  • Richard Derus
    2019-02-13 16:09

    Rating: 4* of fiveThe Publisher Says: Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven.So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to bring her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child — an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the ability to fly. Betwixt and between, she reluctantly grows into a young woman, until one day she meets an unorthodox doctor who is willing to change her.One of the world’s most beloved storytellers has crafted a dark fairy tale full of wonderment and longing. Complete with Audrey Niffenegger’s bewitching etchings and paintings, Raven Girl explores the bounds of transformation and possibility.My Review: The UK Book-A-Day meme, a book a day for August 2014, is the goad I'm using to get through my snit-based unwritten SF-book reviews. Today's prompt, the second, is to discuss a book that perfectly pairs word and image.Thank you to the LibraryThing friend whose glowing review made me want to read this short book with illustrations in it. (NO, it's not a comic book, there is nary a speech bubble to be found and no one is running around in a silly costume!)Like every good fairy tale, Raven Girl starts out with an impossible and bird fall in love and have a child...that leads to the complicated, painful life of a character we can all see little shards of our own shells in. The Raven Girl speaks Raven like her mother, has a human body like her father, and cannot be human or raven. In her struggles to manage her mixed identity, she is isolated; can't everyone understand that feeling of "no one gets it" from the inside? "I can't talk to you," aka the Wail of the Adolescent Angstbeast, "you have no idea what it feels like to be me!" Only this time she's right. No one else is like her, not her parents who love her, not anyone in the whole world.In the end, she chooses a radical, risky, permanent solution to her identity crisis, and faces down the anger and the fear of others; but this story's major point is one I am so pleased to see in fiction aimed at the under-20 set: Yes, you're weird, unique, maybe even scary to some people, but BE YOURSELF and never stop remaking and remodeling yourself until you get it right!It's a message that I'd like to drum into the heads of my contemporaries, preventing them from doing more damage than is strictly necessary to their grandchildren and the world by holding on to the disproved certainties and the discredited verities that stifle, warp, and kill so very many people even yet. The book, as an object, is lovely! The paper, a heavy creamy-white matte coated stock, has three edges printed (I suppose) with a metallic, gunmetal-colored ink; it makes the book block shimmer like a raven's wing when the book is closed. The jacket, a grimmish affair of gray stippled fogginess with a silver stamp of Gothic lettering on the front (a choice I don't think works that well), is matte laminated; the case-cover is printed red and black, with a flight of ravens on the front, and the jacket's same poorly chosen Gothic lettering on the spine. Contrasted to the extraordinary edge-printing, it's arrestingly lovely. The printed endsheets are a benday of the jacket's bleccchhhy gloomy gray, a pattern of ravens in motion all over them. It works as endsheets far better than as a jacket.But the matte-coated paper with Niffenegger's Schiele-influenced people, the designer's wonderfully chosen type, and the generous but not overwhelming amounts of negative space make the reading experience so comfortable, so easy and still so visually stimulating, that the book rises above its simplicity into elegance. I'll be keeping this one because it's such a satisfying marriage of message and medium.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Ken Gerleve
    2019-02-15 15:20

    Raven Girl is the product of a collaboration between Audrey Niffenegger and Wayne McGregor, the Royal Opera House Ballet's Resident Choreographer. The brief was for Audrey to write and illustrate a dark, modern fairytale combining aspects of traditional fairy stories with contemporary ideas surrounding identity, the body and its modification via technology. Wayne would then take the story and imagery and adapt it into a ballet, to be performed at the Royal Opera House in London. During the summer of 2012, Audrey wrote the story, drew the images, etched and aquatinted the zinc plates and printed (with the assistance of yours truly) all 21 images in the book. Sara Corbett, designer and illustrator at Abrams ComicArts, ( ) took the images and words and designed a beautiful book that is modern and fresh, yet pays tribute to the fairytale books of old. The result of this collaboration is Raven Girl, an 80 page illustrated novella and companion ballet. Ok. I'm biased. I work as Audrey's studio assistant and I love Raven Girl. Maybe this is because I spent the summer in a hot print studio, helping to etch and print the plates that would make up the 21 images in this book. Maybe it's also because the story is unique, heartfelt and sincere. Audrey spent months studying Ravens: their bodies, beaks, wings and flight. She visited the live ravens at the Tower of London and a few stuffed crows at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. I was lucky to have a front seat for most of this. From the Abrams ComicArts website: Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven…So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to take her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child – an extraordinary raven girl trapped in a human body. The raven girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the ability to fly. Betwixt and between, she reluctantly grows into a young woman, until one day she meets an unorthodox doctor who is willing to change her.One of the world’s most beloved storytellers has created a dark fairytale full of wonderment and longing. Illustrated with Audrey Niffenegger’s bewitching etchings, Raven Girl explores the bounds of transformation and possibility.( )( )( )Original prints from the book will be on display at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. from 21 June to 10 November 2013 as part of the retrospective exhibition: Awake in the Dream World: The Art of Audrey NiffeneggerFrom the NMWA website: A fantastic, strange, and mysterious world—real and imagined—is featured in this mid-career retrospective of artist and bestselling author Audrey Niffenegger. Book art, works on paper, and paintings reflect her captivating narrative talent and her explorations of life, mortality, and magic.( )Information about Raven Girl and Awake in the Dreamworld will be posted in the coming weeks at Audrey's official website:

  • Stephanie Cooke
    2019-02-10 22:18

    I have a love/hate relationship with Audrey Niffenegger. I first discovered her work through the best selling novel, The Time Traveler's Wife and fell in love with her writing and the book itself. Desperate for more, I found some of her other works like Three Incestuous Sisters, a book absolutely NOTHING like The Time Traveler's wife. I brushed it off thinking that it was just a quirky book she had gotten off her chest. Then Her Fearful Symmetry came out and I rushed to the store to buy my copy. It took me a while to get to it, but when I finally did, my first reaction upon finishing it was "Holy CRAP! What the hell did I just read?!" I was in a mild frenzy trying to process it all in my mind. I eventually decided that I loved it in all its effed up glory, but to this day, it still sort of haunts me. I had absolutely no idea that Raven Girl was even something on the way. I found out a couple days ago that it was released in bookstores and I set out to find the strange fairytale. I had a really hard time of it. Sooner rather than later, I succeeded in finding in and set out to read the 60+ pages of writing and illustrations by Niffenegger herself. It took me about 20 minutes to get through it. I've come to the conclusion that The Time Traveler's Wife was in fact the "freak" book in Niffenegger's career. Everything else she produces insists on being dark, twisted, perverse and just downright bizarre. And the for the most part, I love it. Raven Girl was deeply strange but so damn beautiful in its own way. A modern fairytale about a girl born to a Postman and a Raven. It's a simple story that takes you a lot of expected places but is a thoroughly enjoyable ride. Niffenegger's illustration are unique and strange, a perfect accompaniment to the words on the page. It's definitely not for everyone, but all in all, it's another story that will stick with me and make me think on it for a while to come.

  • Liz Janet
    2019-02-20 14:17

    I think I understand this book as "magical realism explaining gender identity," but most likely I am getting ahead of myself. This book follows the daughter of a raven and a postman, yes you read that right, it is magical realism, so just roll with it. She has never felt like she belongs in her fathers world, for she looks human, but can speak in the same caws as her mother. SO in order to become her true self, she goes through a surgery that will give her what she ultimately has always wanted, wings. It shows the troubles a person will go to find and achieve their true identity, while everyone around them tells them to just settle for their current form. It is possible I am mostly just reading off more from it than it was originally intended, so maybe ignore me until having read the book.

  • Caroline
    2019-02-06 16:09

    ***NO SPOILERS***"Inside I am a raven, she wrote. I only look human." With Raven Girl, Audrey Niffenegger crafted a sort of reverse Swan Princess, but she did so in a direct, down-to-earth fashion. Where Swan Princess involves a mystical sorcerer’s curse, Raven Girl involves a kindly doctor and a begged-for medical procedure. Unfortunately, though Niffenegger was careful to ensure that Raven Girl contained all the right elements for a proper fairy tale--romance, a villain, a death, yearning, a transformation, talking animals, a happily ever after--she failed to include the most important element, which Swan Princess has in spades: magic. This modern fairy tale is too modern, heavy-handed, and just not inspired or fantastical enough to make it one for the ages. Though fairy tales aren’t necessarily known for their subtlety, a touch of that would have upped Raven Girl’s sophistication factor. It’s much too obvious what Niffenegger was driving at, and that she chose to make her moral of the story so obvious is a bit stunning. Raven Girl isn’t even particularly special or unique. It certainly isn’t layered or in any way complex (the only villain is dispatched with in short order and without ado), and its solid grounding in the real world detracts from what little magic it does have. It’s magical only in the sense that a raven and a human produce a child; the overall atmosphere isn’t transportive. In this sense, Raven Girl isn’t at all in the tradition of a Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen tale.Niffenegger’s decision to combine the modern and magical worlds is a strange one. There’s talk of college, movie offers, and laptops. On another page is the union of a man and raven, talking cats, and a “Court of the Ravens,” headed by a Raven Prince. The shifts from modern to fantasy are jarring, decidedly unmagical, and seem to indicate that Niffenegger didn’t have a good grasp of exactly what “modern fairy tale” means. More strangely, parts involving the doctor--who clearly is a stand-in for a fairy godmother or benevolent sorcerer--have a weird-science vibe. Description is overly anatomical and baldly medical to the point of being freakish. There’s most definitely no magic here; the tone is slightly dark and unsettling.Niffenegger more than proved herself as a writer in The Time Traveler's Wife, so it’s a curious thing that Raven Girl’s writing is so mediocre. Sentences are choppy, with simplistic word choice:The hospital was enormous, ugly, and not very new. The Raven Girl had a room to herself on the top floor. She could see her dorm room from a few blocks away. The city bustled beneath her as she leaned out the big window.The story is heavy on illustrations. These accompany text every few pages and are by Niffenegger’s own hand. They are strikingly inconsistent in quality. Some of these mostly single-toned pictures are impressive, while others look rushed, drab, and amateurish. The human characters look very stiff and usually don’t capture the spirit of the story; when the protagonist should be joyous, she appears stoic, with unseeing eyes and frozen face. For some reason, Niffenegger made no use of shading, so most figures appear flat. The exceptions are her drawings of the ravens, which are beautiful and full of depth and greater detail. Overall, however, it’s really hard to decide whether Niffenegger is genuinely talented as an artist. Final verdict: Readers looking for a fairy tale with a shot of magic dust should turn to Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, or perhaps some Russian folk tales. Skip without hesitation.

  • Melanti
    2019-02-13 20:01

    I ran across this one in the folklore section of my library. It wasn't until I was part way finished that I realized it was by Audrey Niffengger. Frankly, I have not been impressed with her work so far, and this is no exception.It's supposed to be a modern fairy tale. In fact, Niffengger says in the acknowledgements, "Fairy tales have their own remorseless logic and their own rules." And that's very true... except, if you go as far as to explain how wings were grown in a vat with stem cells, then you can't ask us NOT to question how an ordinary sized raven might manage to get impregnated by a man. You can't have it both ways. Either use fairy tale logic all the way through, or don't use it at all. But expecting all readers to accept fairy tale logic in one part and pseudo-scientific logic in another part just doesn't work. It's very jarring.Like her Night Bookmobile, I love the premise but am completely disappointed in the execution. I guess Niffengger is just not for me. I've tried three books of hers so far, gave two of them two stars, and abandoned the third about a chapter in.

  • Rebecca Foster
    2019-02-16 15:08

    A lovely and simple fairy tale, with classical plot elements like transformation and true love transcending all boundaries. In a quaint English setting, a country postman is tasked with delivering a letter to an address he’s never seen before:Dripping RockRaven’s Nest2 Flat Drab ManorEast Underwhelm, OtherworldEE1 LH9 [postcode = East of East, Lower Heights]Here the postman meets a young raven fallen out of her nest, takes her home to mend her and they fall in love. Even when her wing heals and she can fly, she chooses to stay with him. Their daughter is a mixed creature; she can only croak, but she has no wings and so is raised as a human child. At university she meets a plastic surgeon who can create human-animal chimeras; she begs him to make her wings – a mixture of science and magic. It involves bloody surgery and painful recovery, but in the end she has the wings she’s always felt were hers. Her identity is described in terms very much like Jan Morris’s in Conundrum, when describing her sex change and her knowledge that she was really a girl: “My mother is a raven and my father is a postman, but I feel that truly I should have been a raven.”Like Niffenegger’s other work, there’s an ever so slightly uncomfortable blend of sinister/grotesque elements with charming, innocuous magic.(Included in my blog post “Graphic Novels for Newbies.”)

  • Bonnie
    2019-01-21 22:22

    My rating: 3.5 of 5 starsSource: Library Checkout"Today we are going to talk about where the human race may be headed. We have the power to improve ourselves, if we wish to do so. We can become anything we wish to be."After the postman fell in love with a raven they had a child, a child that looked like a normal human being except for the fact that she could not speak (only caw) and she had an extreme longing to fly. She traverses life as easily as any normal girl but she's constantly living a life that is lacking. When a doctor, a Dr. Moreau type, tells her that he has the ability to give her the wings she's always dreamed of she feels the stirrings of hope.This story actually came to be after Audrey was asked to collaborate with the Royal ballet in order to a dark fairytale type story to life on the stage. With it's haunting subject, dream-like qualities and gothic undertones I can definitely see this being a beautiful stage production. The artwork was gorgeous and the creation process of the illustrations was far more complex than I would have normally guessed. Using a procedure called aquatint, it's a process that was intended to imitate watercolors but it's an extremely time-consuming process. To learn more about aquatinting, Audrey discusses it in detail in this video on youtube: Raven Girl is an obscure tale of a metamorphosis of sorts. She underwent an artistic transformation because after living with knowing she was different for so long she finally became who she was always meant to be.

  • D.M.
    2019-01-26 17:23

    This was my first experience of Niffenegger (though I am peripherally aware of Time Traveller's Wife), and it's a safe bet it'll be my last. I only picked this up at the library because it looked like a modern, adult fairy story, and I'm always interested to see attempts at that. Unfortunately, this is only that: an attempt.While it's a fun and strange story that had potential, Niffenegger utterly botched it with thin characterization, stilted and jerky prose, and plot turns (and characters) appearing completely out of nowhere. I'm not sure what fairy tales she's read, but even the least of the classics make narrative sense. Her amateurish, awkward illustrations don't really help, either. Over all, this feels like the product of a lonely, teenaged Aspiring Writer, who's never had the benefit of a critical audience. If I'd spent money on this book, I'd give it away; as it is, it'll be back on the shelf at the library as soon as possible.Raven Girl is probably best enjoyed as it originated: a modern dance performance. As a book, it probably never would have seen publication without the clout of the authour's past success.

  • Erin Laidley
    2019-01-22 15:11

    In Raven Girl, Niffenegger combines the modern magic of medicine and technology with the more traditional elements of princes, transformation, and unlikely lovers to create an wonderfully unique Gothic fairytale. It's quick read is supplemented by Niffenegger's own illustrations which enhance the story and bewitch the reader.There were only a few things that I disliked about this story: the ending was quite abrupt, some details were glossed over, and the book was quite short (80 pages total, and not even all of the pages contained words). However these can be chalked up to the fact that the story is a fairytale, where such practices are commonplace. I rather enjoyed the dark journey that this story took me on. It's not for everyone, but if you're willing to embrace your inner child and suspend your disbelief for about half an hour, I recommend that you give Raven Girl a try. This review can also be found at The In-Between Place.

  • Marianne
    2019-02-12 18:58

    Raven Girl is the 4th graphic novel by American artist and author, Audrey Niffenegger. It was written/drawn as the beginning point for a new dance for the Royal Ballet in London. The story starts with a Postman who falls in love with a Raven. They have a child, the Raven Girl who wants to fly but cannot, until she encounters a man who can make it happen. This is a fairy tale with plenty of traditional elements (unusual unions, talking cats, a Prince, a happily-ever-after ending) but also some modern elements (nightmares about email, a plastic surgeon, a university education, literal empty-nesters and a laboratory). There is more text and less illustration than in Niffenegger’s earlier work, The Night Bookmobile, and the illustrations are perhaps of a lesser quality, but this is, nonetheless, an enchanting tale.

  • Teresa
    2019-01-29 22:10

    Another interesting concept by Audrey Niffenegger: A raven and a postman (named as such as if that's a subspecies of human) fall in love and produce a hybrid, the titular character. The child feels different from others (as you can imagine) and finally realizes it's because she yearns to fly but can't. As with The Night Bookmobile, I'm not sure what to make of the ending, though here at least the irony is more satisfying.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-02-08 18:11

    part fable & part fairy tale. beautiful artwork. and the longing. oh, the longing.

  • Kirsty
    2019-02-06 18:55

    Raven Girl is the eagerly anticipated new release from the bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife. Here, in her longest illustrated book to date, Niffenegger has married together her love of art and literature. The illustrations throughout have been produced with an ‘aquatint’ technique, which uses ‘metal, acid, wax and rosin’ and dates from the seventeenth century. Aesthetically, the book is a work of art. It has been beautifully produced, and has silvered edges, glossy pages and beautiful pieces of art which sit alongside the carefully crafted story.Niffenegger has strived to create a modern day fairytale ‘full of wonderment and longing’, and a ‘mesmerising story that explores the bounds of transformation and possibility’. Raven Girl is a quick read, but a striking and unforgettable one nonetheless. It opens with the intriguing line: ‘Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven’. The story unfolds from here. The characters are all unnamed throughout and go by their easily identifiable titles of ‘Postman’, ‘Raven’, ‘Raven Girl’, ‘the doctor’ and ‘The Boy’. Similiarly, the English city in which the ‘flat, desolate suburb’ of the story takes place is vague in its location.The real crux of the story comes when the Postman is tasked with delivering a letter to an address which is unknown to him – ‘Dripping Rock, Ravens’ Nest’. On meeting the Raven, who has fallen out of the nest at this address, her brothers ‘made unflattering comments about the Postman, whom they mistook for a cat; none of them had seen a person before, and cats featured in all the scary stories their parents told them at bedtime’. The Postman, believing the Raven to be ill, ‘wrapped her up in his scarf and began the long walk home, the Raven trembling in his arms’. Once at his home, he cares for her rather touchingly: ‘He made her a nest out of his old uniforms and shredded junk mail, and she lived on his kitchen table. He fed her sardines, earthworms, eggs, cheese, Weetabix, and raw lamb chops’.As the story continues, the Postman and the Raven’s relationship begins to build. ‘As the days and weeks went by’, Niffenegger writes, ‘the Raven was charmed by the Postman. She understood that he meant no harm and that he was not a cat… Slowly the Raven and the Postman began to fall in love’. An egg is laid, ‘greenish-bluish with brown speckles’, and a ‘human girl’ hatches from it. This is the Raven Girl of the book’s title. Her life is a sad one in many respects – she cannot communicate with her father and she is lonely in her childhood – but her parents are determined that she should live as normally as is possible. They send her off to University, where she studies Biology. A visiting lecturer, teaching Raven Girl and her fellow students about chimeras – creatures made from two or more different species – tells her that he can turn her into a bird.The characters are described to us as soon as they are introduced. The Postman is described as ‘no longer being a young and ardent postman… He yearned to have an adventure, but suspected that he probably wouldn’t… He sometimes had nightmares that featured e-mail’. Such touching and unique details make the characters seem realistic almost immediately, and they feel more endearing in consequence, merely because we know the secrets which bubble below their fixed exteriors. The Raven Girl, too, feels realistic – she is a misfit of the most original kind.Raven Girl feels like a modern fable in many ways. Its structure is dreamlike in places, and the mixture of the human’s relationship with a creature and the lack of named characters certainly adds to this. The story is inventive, and Niffenegger astounds in the way in which she is always able to create something so utterly unique. Not one of her books is alike, but all are incredibly intriguing and have a way of drawing the reader in almost immediately. The writing style, both simplistic and quite poetic at times, is pitch perfect for such a story. Niffenegger has woven together many elements, from ethics and genetics to the future of humanity in just a few pages, and for this she should certainly be commended.

  • Nylla Nesnej
    2019-01-28 19:54

    I didn't have any expectations one way or another for this book. I have never read the "The Time Traveler's Wife" and had never heard of this book until I picked it up one day browsing the "Graphic Novels" section of the bookstore, bought it, and began to read it on my way home (and then while walking to my house).I start off by saying my inner-child isn't like most inner-children. I prefer Grimms to Disney any day. I'm also part Danish which means that a chunk of my family is from a country which prides itself on an author who dictates a lonely protagonist should be turned into sea foam. In other words, I like a good haunting fairytale and the lovely layout and illustrations only make it better. The writing was pretty; simple and fairly direct as if meant for children but elegant and intentional enough for adults.I suppose the story also resonated with me more than most since I'm trans and it doesn't take a very close inspection to see how this book might be easy to relate to- actually, the comparison seemed pretty intentional. I really liked that the main character was very comfortable with who she was, even if she wasn't always comfortable in her own skin.I saw some reviews on here about how some folks didn't think this was a good book because they don't think it's fit for children. I'm not even sure it was meant for children in the first place, honestly, it seems like it was intended to be read by teens and adults but I suppose it could be read by a child and I think the right child would actually really appreciate such a book.This is a lovely little book but some audiences will get more out of it than others. I'd probably recommend it to the following sorts of folks: a mature child who thinks Disney is a bit too roses-and-sunshine, transgender children/young adults, Art students, and adults who enjoy a good fairytale and who never fully outgrew wanting books with pictures.

  • Zarline
    2019-02-11 19:58

    Raven Girl is a dark modern fairy tale, written and illustrated by Audrey Niffenegger. Far from a kids' album, it touches upon subjects such as surgery and body transformation; I read in an article that Audrey Niffenegger thought a lot about transgender issues when writing this story. It was difficult for me to get into this story, probably too surrealist (even unbelievable). Seriously, a man and a raven? The rest is a bit morbid while not really developed. More work could have been put on the characters and the story. For example, I didn't really get the added-value of the young man in love or I found the prince's arrival a bit too abrupt. As a whole, I felt the book had been written a bit in a rush around a very good collaboration idea and interesting themes and atmosphere. The illustrations were not really my cup of tea, but others might be more sensitive to Niffenegger's style of fine lines and black, brown and red colours. A deception? Not totally, because I had the chance to attend the ballet choreographed by Wayne McGreggor on the basis of Raven Girl's text. A collaboration which justifies in parts the simplicity of the book (but maybe not its lack of credibility...). I really enjoyed the interactions between the book and the ballet, with some pages and illustrations shown on a see-through screen. The ballet was not perfect, but I really like the idea of mixing literature, illustrations and dancing, allowing the reader/spectator to discover another side of the raven girl under each format. Taken as a whole, I've enjoyed my Raven Girl experience, but I'm not totally convinced by the story of the book in itself.

  • Lauren
    2019-02-20 14:06

    A beautifully illustrated fairy tale about love in unexpected places, identity, loss and being reborn again. Niffenegger manages to create a wonderful fairy tale, which completely suspends your disbelief, a love blossoming between a postman and a female raven, who slowly learn to understand each other through their varied ways of communication. We learn that love takes many forms and can occur in random places but ultimately it is a bond which stands the test of time. In Raven Girl, we follow the namesake from her conception to her isolation at school and university, to her undergoing surgery to transform her arms into wings, and eventually falling in love with the Raven Prince, who comes to her door wearing a tiny crown. The ending was a bit too 'and they all lived happily ever' which I felt went against the rest of the story since Niffenegger was describing an unusual love and a girl whose identity issues plagued her throughout her childhood. I think a more fitting ending should have concerned the raven girl's integration into the raven family, what implications (if any) it had on her relationship with her parents. However, I can understand why she chose to end it with a happily ever after since she was the human girl with raven wings who fell in love with a raven prince which is the converse to her parents' situation where her human father fell in love with a female raven, so in that sense, the story is nice and cyclical. Overall, an interesting take on fairy tales with some beautiful illustrations to accompany an unusual story.

  • Vivienne
    2019-02-08 21:08

    This is a dark modern fairy tale that combines the elements of classic fairy tales such as metamorphoses, sentient animals and unlikely unions with modern elements such as medicine and stem cell research. Audrey Niffenegger was asked to write a 'dark fairy tale' to be used as the narrative for a new ballet for the Royal Ballet, which premiered at the Royal Opera House in May. The illustrations by Niffenegger are stunning and it was easy to see how this would would make a very powerful ballet - a modern Swan Lake yet with ravens. The graphic novel flows beautifully and takes hardly any time to read. I was enchanted. Raven Girl takes wing and flies onstage - Audrey Niffenegger writes in The Guardian about creating the story for the Royal Ballet. It includes a number of illustrations from the book.

  • Jenny
    2019-01-23 18:03

    *Copy of book received in advance from the publisher.*Raven Girl was conceived as "a new fairy tale," and that is exactly what it is. As in a fairy tale, some details and impossibilities are glossed over; as in a fairy tale, the animal and human worlds overlap; as in a fairy tale, some characters have happy endings, and some come to unfortunate ends.Those who have read The Three Incestuous Sisters, The Adventuress, and/or The Night Bookmobile will recognize Niffenegger's unique art in the pages of Raven Girl. Remarkable detail contrasts with simple, flowing lines, and muted browns, blues, and greens. Those who have read The Time Traveler's Wife will recognize Clare's obsession with birds.Like most of Niffenegger's writing and art, Raven Girl is magical, dark, and unusual.LibraryThing

  • Alexandra
    2019-02-07 20:08

    was watching some booktube videos for recommendations for halloween/october reads and this was one of them that i found. it's not scary at all, but it does have a dark, melancholy vibe and it's definitely a little's about a postman who falls in love with a raven and has a child with her. hence, the raven girl. the girl is born out of an egg and she can't speak english, only Raven. she is upset because she wants to have wings and fly like her mother. she doesn't want to be human.the illustrations are quirky and the short narrative is a nice way to get lost for a little while in a strange world where cats and ravens can understand each other and there are raven princes and girls whose arms get amputated so wings can be attached. very ethereal and strange. i liked it

  • PuPilla
    2019-02-10 20:55

    Az illusztrációk szépek, bár maga az emberábrázolás nem tetszik benne. Hogy milyen a történet? Egy morbid és groteszk "tündérmese", ahogy Niffenegger magyarázza, annak kötelező elemeivel: baljós tragédiával, különös szerelemmel, az orvostudomány "varázslataival", átalakulással... Nyitott szellemmel kell olvasni ezt a gótikus mesét. Nem tökéletes, de műfajában szerintem nagyon is eltalált. Szabó T. Anna, Senki madarát olvasva sajnos nem tudtam mást tenni, mint lepontozni. A kanyarban sincs ahhoz képest. Bővebben:

  • Sherry
    2019-01-20 15:56

    Raven Girl is a fairy tale for adults. The premise of romantic love between a postman and a raven intrigued me and the subsequent weird events kept me reading. This book has a touch of horror in it as well which is part of every captivating fairy tale. I loved this book's weird beauty.

  • Rain Misoa
    2019-02-18 14:59

    A really good read, even if it was short.To read my full review, click here.

  • Angie
    2019-02-15 20:00

    All the fairy tale elements are there. Transformation, forbidden love, and new elements of technology. There is also an underlying darkness, in the story as well as the art.

  • Emily
    2019-01-26 15:54

    Audrey Niffenegger's attempt to write a modern fairy tale is entertaining and charming. I see that previous reviewers have been put off by the darkness or disturbing things in the tale. To that I say, well, that's fairy tales for you! (the actual Brothers Grimm tales are some terrifying stuff). I think Niffenegger captures parts of the sense of the fairy tale: transformation, simple prose, and, in my opinion the best part of the story, taking something very peculiar and playing it straight. In fact, my favorite part of this tale was the darkness and the modern setting. I particularly like the scene in the lecture hall, where Niffenegger has fun with metafiction. The things I didn't like as much about the story was that the prose seemed forced. It was the right style, but it doesn't seem like Niffenegger has complete control over it. For example, this line at the beginning: "The Postman lived on the edge of a flat, desolate suburb. When he looked to the west he could see the skyscrapers of the city which his suburb the outermost appendage." It's a very difficult style to work with and while I think she's mostly successful, even the smallest shortcoming in a novella this small causes issues. I do agree with other readers that I wish there had been more fleshing out of characters. It's always difficult for me to enjoy a book if I just feel "eh" about the characters. While this isn't a necessary staple of fairy tales, I think it's something that modern fairy tales should embrace. Kate Bernheimer's fantastic Horse, Flower, Bird (illustrated by Rikki Ducornet) and the fables in Kevin Brockemeier's The View from the Seventh Layer are great examples of how one can use fairy tale prose successful and make readers care about the characters.

  • Alan
    2019-02-08 14:13

    Niffenegger A., Raven Girl, Jonathan Cape, 2013ISBN: 978-0-224-09787-1When I read about Audrey Niffenegger‘s Raven Girl project on Goodreads, I was fascinated and ordered the book. Here was an author/illustrator who worked hand in hand with a choreographer, Wayne McGreggor of the Royal Ballet in London, to create a book and a ballet. There’s a distinct appeal to linking across art forms in a quest for new ground. The story idea was fascinating, too: a postman falls in love with a raven and they have a girl together, who, when she grows up, longs to be a raven and fly. From the word go, it smacks of tragedy and possibly unrequited love.The book itself, when it arrived by the post, was particularly attractive, with its clever jacket design, by Audrey Niffenegger, signifying simultaneously the girl and the raven as one. In addition, the red of the hardback cover peeking out from below the jacket matched the red lines of the girl and the gold tinted edges to the pages promised richness.My first disappointment came when I opened the book and discovered it was a long story told short. I had expected a novel and I got a fairy tale. I suppose it is unfair to judge a book not on itself but on my expectations of it, as a reader. All the same, it was frustrating to have to sail over a multitude of story avenues that begged to be explored and developed. The story had so much potential that remained unused.I know little of the fairy-tale genre, so I can’t judge if the frequent jumps in narrative were due to a “fairy-tale” license that allowed the author to leave gapping, often inexplicable, holes in the story. Whether that is normal or not, it disturbed me. In particular, the way the story abruptly came to a close leaving me feeling short-changed.This review is also on Secret Paths:

  • Sam Quixote
    2019-02-05 16:23

    Best known for her novel The Time Traveler’s Wife, a book I’ve never, nor ever will, read, I’m familiar with Audrey Niffenegger’s “illustrated novels”, all of which I’ve read. The latest, Raven Girl, is a modern fairy tale conceived for a dance production, and is also the least interesting of the four illustrated novels. A postman and a giant raven produce a human girl who wishes she was a raven. When she grows up and enters university, she meets a visiting biology professor who reluctantly agrees to graft wings onto her and does. Raven Girl flies - the end. It’s Hans Christian Anderson meets Dr Moreau! This is a fairy tale so I’m not going to critique the setup, but I will say that it’s not a very imaginative fairy tale. It basically follows the archetypical metamorphosis trope found in nearly every fairy tale - frogs turning into princes, princesses turning into swans, and so on and so forth. In this book, a girl turns into a raven. Yeah - and? Art-wise, Niffenegger paints and draws in the same style as she did in her last couple of books but with much less visual flair - The Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress both had much more eye-catching and memorable art than the few drab illustrations in Raven Girl. The book is really well produced though - glossy, high quality pages are used and the book feels and looks well-made.I can’t pan the book entirely because it’s designed for a dance production and there’s only so much you can put into a story that would work within a dance show, so it needs to be necessarily simplistic. That said, reading it isn’t much fun and it’s story is all too forgettable. Maybe as a dance it’s great - I’ll probably never see it - but as an “illustrated novel”? Nope.

  • Kate
    2019-02-06 14:06

    This is a strange fairy tale-ish story about a postman who falls in love with a baby raven who fell from her nest. Once she grows up, she and the postman get married and have a baby - a human-looking girl who hatches from an egg. Throughout her life Raven Girl is seen as different, mostly because she can only speak raven. I'm not really sure what age group I would categorize this for, as the story might appeal to a younger audience who doesn't think "bestiality" when hearing of a man marrying a bird and having a child with her. In the world of fairy tales, this might not even be that strange, either, and from the end notes I gather that this story was meant to be a new fairy tale. More odd was the Raven Girl attending college and meeting a doctor who promises to give her wings - in a more traditional fairy tale, this would have been done through magic. Also according to the end notes, this story was to be transformed into a ballet, so that would be interesting to see as well.

  • Genevieve
    2019-02-09 21:10

    Erm, what to say. I think that I like her stuff more in my mind than I do in reality (with exception of Time Traveller's Wife because I did eat that up). Maybe if I'd known that it was meant to be a new fairy tale at the beginning, rather than after reading the end author notes? But let's admit it, mostly I'm skeeved out by the man rescuing a BABY bird and eventually marrying it and having a kid with it. You raised that bird, mister! Gross. I wondered briefly if it was meant to reflect the inner turmoil of the transgendered (and was happy the girl found happiness as a bird), but... yeah.

  • Autumn
    2019-02-02 21:09

    A lovely little allegory which is about (I presume - or is at applicable to) what it might be like to grow up as a transgender person. It’s simplistic and very short, (I read it over my lunch break) but really quite profound. It illustrates quite well the difficulty of navigating a world in a body that is not really your own, or what you know your true self to be. The futility of desperately wishing someone else could understand you; and the frustration of feeling like you’re just speaking another language altogether. And most captivatingly, the disarming truth that the “bad” people - in fairy tales and in reality - do what they do out of the genuine belief that it is the good and right thing to do. Which doesn’t make them villains, so much as woefully under-informed. And without taking the opportunity to listen, they will remain that way, “saving” people who don’t need to be saved, but do need to be loved, listened to, and supported.