Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Graven Images by Paul Fleischman

Not only was I intrigued by the three stories in this book, but I was also bewildered by the illustrations of Andrew Glass created.
Paul Fleischman created a combination of supernatural “things”….a wooden statue, a weather vane, and a sculpture…and eerie stories unfold.
The Binnacle Boy, the books first story, reminded me of an Alford Hitchcock movie. A boat, the Orion, drifted ashore the coast of Maine and the entire crew was dead! The only way to find out what may have occurred is to find out what a wooden statue witnessed. The wooden statue is that of The Binnacle Boy.
The second story, Saint Crispin’s Follower, a comedy oriented them, revolves around an odd phenomenon. A weather vane points in a different direction of the wind. How is this possible?
And the third story, The Man of Influence, tells the story of a sculptor named Zorelli. He is commissioned by a ghost-like figure to mold a statue his likeliness.
These stories were for the advanced readers. Suspenseful and thought provoking, but a bit advanced.
I was especially interested in the multiple book covers that are available. I think I found at least four. I’m still wondering why this was done and how many are actually out there?


  1. The book was first published in 1982. I would imagine the cover has changed over the years to appeal to different generations.

  2. Interesting information about the covers. I wonder how the illustrators changed the illustrations inside the book as well. A reviewer on Amazon writes about his opinion regarding the new illustrations, "I am certain that Mr. Palencar is an adept artist in his own right, but it seems a pity to do away with the particularly creepy pictures that originally accompanied this book. Andrew Glass had an odd vision of the kind of story this was. Drawing pictures that would give even fellow creepy artist Stephen Gammell pause, Mr. Glass imbued those pictures with an odd undercurrent of ickyness. This is most apparent with the picture that accompanies the tale "The Man of Influence". For some reason, the ghost of the tale is pictured here as virtually rotting before our eyes. One hopes that Mr. Palencar will include illustrations of equal horror in this newest edition and not water down the book for contemporary audiences."


    It would be interesting to see how they compare

  3. I teach the story of The Binnacle Boy when we cover mysteries in my 7th grade reading class and have always wondered about the author's choice of the the ship's name, Orion. Does anyone know why he chose this name? I'm sure it was not by accident and has a hidden meaning.