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He goes to Hamelin where he becomes the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Eventually Peter and Bo Peep are reunited and marry. They are heading to Sanctuary when they meet Max who is still angry over being passed over by his father. He attacks Peter and Bo Peep using a magical pipe. Peter is able to avert the danger with his flute, but inadvertently passes the danger along to Bo Peep, ruining her legs and crippling her.

Peter & Max A Fables Novel

In present day, Peter and Bo Peep have been settled in "the Farm", when they are advised that Max has emerged in the current world. Peter leaves New York to meet his brother in Hamelin , Germany. Peter is fully aware of his brother's power and intent to kill him, but is determined to face his fate regardless. In their confrontation Peter is all but helpless in the face of his brother's magic; all of his weapons are useless due to Max's many magical wards.

Peter triumphs in their confrontation by using his magical pipe as a weapon, shoving the sharp reeds through his brother's heart. This is only possible because his brother had desired to acquire the flute. Peter then claims his brother's flute for Fabletown, resolving to use it only to undo the spell that crippled his wife centuries before. This is partially successful. During that time, he's had work published by nearly every comics publisher in the business, and he's created many critically acclaimed comic book series, including Elementals, Coventry, Proposition Players , and of course the seminal Vertigo series Fables , as well as its spin-off series Fairest, Jack of Fables and The Literals.

His work has been nominated for many awards, including the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz comic industry awards and the International Horror Guild award. He lives somewhere near a good poker room. Steve Leialoha began his comic career in and inked and pencilled for Marvel from to , working on titles including Spider-Man, Howard the Duck, Indiana Jones , and Spider-Woman. Peter and Max is a standalone novel based on Willingham's esteemed Fables comic book series.

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Jan 05, Mary Beth rated it really liked it. It was a fantastic romp and I marvel at the creativity and respectful license that the author takes with well known fairy tale characters. The eponymous protagonists are brothers, and are based on several familiar tales. Peter is both Peter Piper of pickled pepper fame, as well as the Peter who tucked his wife into a pumpkin shell. Max is non other then the Pied Piper of Hamelin; in this version of the tale, an evil, sociopathic force to be reckoned with.

Little Bo Peep is featured and does a lot more then tend sheep, as is the "the Black Forest Witch," who is the archetypal Witch of many fairy tales. She is a very interesting character to me, and features prominently in both the graphic novels and this book. I have a strong affinity for fairy tales, and am especially delighted when modern authors re-tell the old tales in interesting ways.

Bill Willingham is one of our best thinkers in this regard, and I really hope to read more stories from the Fables universe. May 17, Christopher Scott rated it it was amazing. I credit the finding of this book to my wife. I was only slightly familiar with the Fables comic. My wife, being the lovely person she is, went to the comic store to buy my valentines gift that is love ladies and gentlemen and the guy there told her about this book and thought I might enjoy it.

As it turned out, he was right. There definitely is no need to have read any of the Fables comics to have an understanding of what is going on in this novel, as the author states. It stands alone by its I credit the finding of this book to my wife. It stands alone by itself. If you want to read a book with a fun twist on all the old nursery rhyme characters you grew up hearing about, this book is it. This is not a Shrek play of the character either Relax and enjoy because you will be finished with it before you know it. Sep 20, James rated it it was amazing. Thanks to my friend Ron, I received an advance copy of this book, which hits shelves quite soon.

I must say, I was always relatively lukewarm about Fables, the comic: I read the issues when they were first published, then switched to the trades after I lost my job at the comic store, and then fell behind in those as well--I've missed out on the last several volumes now, and haven't started the spin-off Jack of Fables? That said, I picked up this book thinking it would help to pass the time Thanks to my friend Ron, I received an advance copy of this book, which hits shelves quite soon.

That said, I picked up this book thinking it would help to pass the time, but I wound up devouring it. It's fantastic, which I mean in the literal as well as the descriptive sense. I don't know why exactly I found it so captivating when I was never this enthused by the comic, but I will say that I intend to catch up on the comic trades, now.

Peter and Max: A Fables Novel

I love Bill Willingham's Fables comics, and was really looking forward to this first novel set in the Fables universe. It did not disappoint. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton, who was surprisingly good on Agent to the Stars. Oct 27, Quandra Chaffers rated it it was ok Recommends it for: ongoing readers of Fables, not new readers. It was alright. The story follows Peter Piper, who you practiced getting tongue-tied talking about. I love the series in which these stories and characters are reinvented by author Bill Willingham The Fables graphic It was alright.

I love the series in which these stories and characters are reinvented by author Bill Willingham The Fables graphic novels by Vertigo have a mixture of epic adventure, romance, caper thrillers, and who dunnits. For instance, Snow White is no longer a wilting damsel in distress. She has had to learn to appear hard and unbending as a working woman to protect her heart from being further broken.

At the heart of the story is how Peter lost his brother, Max to sibling rivalry. The two grow up as traveling performers in a troupe also consisting of their parents. Peter is the best player in the family. Thus, he is bequeath a magical flute passed down through the generations. The flute was won by his ancestor in a legendary magical battle and has the ability to play fiction into reality.

Specifically, Peter inherits the three boons to have danger pass him by. Max sees his younger brother as undeserving of the attention and covets the flute for himself. Well when war claims their family, the boys separate.

Peter wants his brother back and has to put his love for the brother he knew aside in order to recognize him for the monster Max became. Max wants to become a man in a time of war. But, then Willingham throws all that away by making Max flat out bananas! Max just goes coo coo, and never looks back. He becomes a cold murder, and literally is described as a beast of the forest.

Well so much for sympathy. Before, when he was still an unsure teen, Max maybe had a point about Peter. The whining was unbearable to read! But it takes up nearly all the mid portion of the book. When Peter was a kid having to transition form childhood friendship to budding romance with Bo Peep, or when he was a slightly older kid having to use his wits to survive on the streets of Hamelin alone, he was still interesting.

Max changes. Peter is a constant. Neither works well for the character development as far as the reader is concerned. Then I felt underwhelmed by the romance story of how Bo Peep and Peter Piper became lovers that lived for centuries together. What is it that kept them together for so long? I wont go into details about what those oaths are, but both Bo and Peter are committed in other ways when they find each other later.

Marriage and running away together is the only option. That said, their exchanges as fugitive on the run are sexy and clever. I think they have chemistry I expected a lot considering the caliber of the novels graphic novels, Fables, from which Peter and Max Fables is drawn. As an old reader of the comic series, this novel does not expand the world.

I imagine for new readers, it still does not expand the world! However, I would have to insist new readers pick up the paperback trades to know what I mean.


Perhaps it would have been interesting if we followed Peter through the many lands and over run by the adversary and minions. Unfortunately, the setting feels smaller than it is. Max has become powerful over the years, and the approaching doom as Peter goes to meet Max for the final surrender really builds the tension! The book lags a bit in the middles in the forest and the journey to Hamelin. Finally the climax by the water fountain left me unsatisfied. If they like whimsy and humor. Otherwise, hold off until you are a big fan of the graphic novels and reserve your opinion on the series if no one warned you in time to postpone reading this novel.

But I love the flow of his words and the dialogue of the olden times. I hope he releases another Fables novel one day, because I do like the medium for the story. Too bad we loose the brilliant pencils of Buckingham, the ongoing artist for the comics. Dec 02, Patrick rated it liked it Shelves: fairy-tales , reading-challenge. This story was fun and enjoyable but nothing like the Fables comics. The descriptions of things were far too long and the story, at times, seemed too slow. Bill should just stick with Graphic Novels.

Feb 21, Amilia rated it really liked it. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I didn't love the writing. The author tended to tell about things rather than show them. Which makes sense, because he usually writes comics and doesn't have to describe things. I've never read the comics, but I really liked this book. Sep 23, Eric Leeson rated it really liked it. The Fables series has been a pleasure to have read. When I found a novel based upon previously unelaborated characters from the series, I gladly picked this book up.

Great backstory, I always have enjoyed a well thought out novel that incorporates both past tense and present storylines. Peter and Max is a classic good versus evil; the evil is developed from a small slight to become a full blown inferno of rage, hatred, psychopathic, murderous need for revenge that causes grief and pain for milli The Fables series has been a pleasure to have read. Peter and Max is a classic good versus evil; the evil is developed from a small slight to become a full blown inferno of rage, hatred, psychopathic, murderous need for revenge that causes grief and pain for millions until it has to be settled between the brothers.

A great addition to the Fables universe, I will have to look for more books to add to my to-read list. Mar 06, Shannon rated it liked it. This isn't a book I would've chosen on my own, but I actually enjoyed it much more than I had anticipated. This book is a Fables Novel, meaning that is a part of the Fables comic series.

You don't have to know anything about the comic books or even anything about the Fables world to enjoy this book. It is a stand alone novel. The book opens with a bit of an explanation of the setting. The people are fairy tale characters who have been driven away from their home world by an invading army of the Adversary.

The expanding Empire left no room for these people, and so they fled to another world and are living in Fabletown, New York. Peter and Max Piper are brothers, but that's really where the similarities end. At the start of the novel, Peter is informed of Max's return to this world, and he makes plans to go and meet him, taking a deadly assortment of weapons with him, knowing that his only two options are kill or be killed.

He leaves his paraplegic wife, Bo Peep, and sets out for Hamelin, Germany.

Peter & Max: A Fables Novel

The book flashes back and forth between the past and the present, allowing the reader to really understand the history between Peter and Max. The family is a group of traveling performers, musicians of course, each of them piping on their flutes. The father's flute is called Frost, and is imbued with much magic due to its origins.

It is to be an inheritance for one of the sons someday. Max, as the eldest, believes that Frost is rightfully his, but his father decides otherwise and gives the flute to Peter, who is the better musician of the two. Max never gets over this. The Pipers are staying with the Peeps when the invading army arrives. They organize an escape plan for the entire household and plan to journey through the Black Forest to Hamelin. Max's heart is already beginning to harden, and being in the Forest helps the process along. Before long, he believes himself to be another beast of the forest, and he soon becomes one.

He murders his father, and tries to murder Peter, but the magic of Frost prevents him from harming him this time. In time, Max encounters the witch of the forest, who provides him with another flute, that Max calls Fire, and basically guides him on how to use its powers. She is planning on using Max to exact revenge on her enemies. Max becomes much more powerful than she anticipated, but through a bargain, he still fulfills the witch's plan to lure the children of Hamelin from their parents.

And because of Max's love of colorful garments, he becomes known as the Pied Piper. Meanwhile, Peter and Bo become separated for a few years, but then are reunited in Hamelin in a very curious way. Again, Max comes after Peter, and again, Frost's magic saves Peter, but in turn, causes severe injury to Bo, who loses the ability to use her legs.

Eventually, the two of them make their way to the new world and become residents of Fabletown, where they find peace for many, many years. Peter's journey to Hamelin actually takes a surprise twist when he finally encounters his brother. Of course, I was hoping for an ending where good conquers evil, but the more I read of the book, the more doubtful I became of this ending.

Let's just say I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe I liked this book better than I expected because of how much I enjoy fairy tales, and like other books I've read, this one definitely provided a new spin on the classics. And part of it might be due to the fact that my husband and I, along with my in-laws, will be in Germany in just under three weeks, and I'd already come across information about Hamelin and the pied piper reenactments that supposedly happen there every Sunday. I doubt that we will make it to Hamelin, especially to see this event, but I enjoyed reading about it!

Even though I enjoyed the book, I can definitely say that I will not be following the rest of Fabletown in the Fables comics. I freely admit to being a geek and a nerd, but I haven't quite made it that far, yet. Not that there's anything wrong with that in the least, mind you. Feb 21, Blake Fraina rated it liked it. For those who are, my initial thoughts may seem obvious or even redundant. Those who can pass as human live in a small section of Manhattan, working side-by-side with everyday people and those who cannot, live on a farm in upstate New York.

What makes the whole thing so clever is how creator Bill Willingham has woven unrelated stories and characters together to create a unified history. For example, this novel tells the story of two brothers, Peter and Max Piper - the former of the "picked a peck of pickled peppers" fame and the latter, the infamous Pied Piper of Hamelin. At the outset, I feared this might be a bit juvenile for me.

The sex talk, however is extremely tame compared with the violence. This is, after all, an epic morality tale of the battle between the saintly Peter and his evil brother Max. And during the course of the telling, a lot of very bad things happen. Very bad things.


And a lot of them happen to very good people. For the most part, I enjoyed it. However, it truly is a classic fable in that the bad guys are bad and the good guys are good. And the resolution came so quickly and with so little fanfare as to be almost anti-climactic, which left me strangely unsatisfied. Despite feeling let down by the ending, I still have the bug to check out more of this very original and bizarro world.

The author introduced enough peripheral characters to pique my interest in other stories where they might be featured players. In many cases, novelists have difficulty making the jump to comic book writing just as comic book writers and screenwriters may have a rough time adapting to pure prose writing. I'm happy to report that Bill Willingham not only made the jump to prose writing well, but he exceeded my already lofty expectations. Okay, I'd be remiss if I didn't offer full disclosure and admit that I am a huge Fables fan.

That doesn't mean I automatically give Willingham a free pass, though.

Peter & Max

I've written some glowing In many cases, novelists have difficulty making the jump to comic book writing just as comic book writers and screenwriters may have a rough time adapting to pure prose writing. I've written some glowing Fables reviews, but I've also come down pretty hard on the title every now and again. I'm simply trying to clarify that while I may not be totally objective with Willingham, I can remain critical. For those unfamiliar with Fables, the premise is that all of our storybook legends, nursery rhyme characters, and mythological figures are very real and lived in their own worlds.

When their homelands were overrun by an evil overlord, they fled to our dimension just as New York was being founded. There they have lived among us ever since, always searching for a way to win back their own lands. And in true Fables fashion, Willingham is sure to deliver the scenes we'd expect from such characters, but he also makes them his own and offers some unexpected twists and turns.

I also enjoyed that the chapters alternate - a chapter will focus upon Peter and Max's past, and then the next will zero in on the present. This was a great way to build suspense while slowly revealing pertinent plot points. Willingham lays the groundwork early on and doesn't throw any last minute plot-changers into the mix.

While he still managed to catch me off guard, none of the resolutions struck me as, "No fair! That came out of nowhere! He remained consistent throughout, even if we couldn't guess why he included certain bits of information early on. If anything, I see the novel as a gateway to the comic book, though I'm certain the comic book fans will be frothing at the mouth to pick up this book, and rightly so. Willingham has a captivating writing style, and I like the fact that while he gives us nuanced details, he doesn't go overboard with it.

I really can't emphasize enough Willingham's skill as a prose writer. Nov 25, Chibineko rated it really liked it. Right off the bat, I do have to give any potential readers a bit of warning. If you haven't read Willingham's fantastic comics, you will probably be a little bit lost during some parts of this story. Of course they could read up on Fables via it's Wi Right off the bat, I do have to give any potential readers a bit of warning. Of course they could read up on Fables via it's Wikipedia entry, but where's the fun in that?

The second thing that every potential reader should know, is that this is not a comic book. This is a written novel with several beautiful illustrations set throughout the novel. The whole story is word only, although there is supposed to be 8 pages of a sequential story which sadly my preview copy didn't contain to draw attention to the graphic novels. The story itself takes place during two and a half time periods, one of which is set in an alternate world. I was surprised at how short this book truly was.

At "only" pages or at least that's the page length in my copy , many will be able to finish this book in one sitting. Then again, if the book was any longer the basic core of the story might have been lost.

Peter & Max: A Fables Novel

But the main pressing point remains: did I enjoy the story? Yes, yes I did. Do I think this should be a recommended read for all Fables fans? I think that was all of them ARC provided by amazon vine