Who doesn’t love a distraction, you, as a reader, may be reading this as a distraction to your everyday life. We, as reviewers, read these books and write our reviews based on these books, as a labor love and as a distraction, at times, to our everyday life. Before smart devices, became commonplace, there were gaming systems and, before that, there were board games. I had grandparents old enough to remember, before all those things, there were card games, marbles and probably, the most universal, to this day, crossword puzzles.
I remember the first time, I saw a crossword puzzle, I was 5 years old, and my grandfather, was reading the New York Post, and on the other side, of the page he was holding, was this black and white grid. I was instantly intrigued, by how it looked and then when I found what it was, I was even more intrigued by the questions. As I got older, and wanted to find about how it all started, that truly was an enigma. Thankfully, Paolo Bacilieri laid out the history of crossword puzzles, through mystery investigation in FUN.
In the opening pages, we are taken to the streets of New York City, where a young immigrant, Arthur Wynne, where he works for the New York World, the premiere newspaper at the time. He needed something different to keep up with the competitors, and this was the genesis of the crossword puzzle. As complicated as the story is, and the many hands who have shaped it to what it is now, as our protagonists Pippo, a novelist and Zeno, a Disney comics writer, discover who these people are and the stories of how they came to work on the crossword puzzle, coupled with the mysterious appearance of Mafalda, a shadowy figure, following the two men, as they chart the history. By book’s end, the connection Mafalda has to Pippo is the key to everything, as Zeno is the last man standing as their journey ends.
Overall, an enthralling odyssey that the reader will be glad to jump down the rabbit hole for. The story by Bacilieri is engaging, funny, genuine, and entertaining. The art by Bacilieri is gorgeous. Altogether, a careful examination of an exuberant medium of entertainment which will make you wonder what each of these geniuses are thinking as you finish your own crossword puzzle.
Story: Paolo Bacilieri Art: Paolo Bacilieri
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy