Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

An Unusual and Effective Biography

While the author says in an end note that he excluded a lot of information, the average reader will be very surprised by this. The Faithful Spy is very complete coverage of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's early life, his studies in the field of theology, the rise of Hitler, and Bonhoeffer's involvement in a plan to kill the German dictator. Through all of this explanation, most of it done in hand-drawn style lettering on highly decorated pages rendered in red, black, and teal, there is a constant undercurrent of Bonhoeffer's evolving interest in religion, ethics and faith. This is enough information for an 800 page nonfiction book, and Hendrix's talent in distilling it into a much shorter tome is nothing short of amazing.

Good Points
There are plenty of details about the theologian's life that make his eventual fate even more poignant; the discussions on eternity with his twin sister when they were children, his studies in New York City, and the fate of many of his friends and associates during that war all create a complete picture of a man who had strong beliefs and lived his life in accordance to them, no matter what sacrifice it required.

Hendrix recreates maps, pictures, and scenes with his drawings, and meticulously indicates what dialogue is taken directly from Bonhoeffer's own writing and which is fictionalized. Stylistically, the illustrations have an interesting and effective feeling of being a cross between vintage newspaper editorial cartoons and Mad Magazine drawings that will appeal to young readers with a penchant for reading graphic novels.

There have been any number of books written about Bonhoeffer and his activities, and many of these are listed in the complete bibliography. For readers who have looked at McCormick's The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely Hero, this offers more information , and readers interested in first quality graphic novels will find Hendrix's artwork intriguing and informative.
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