Tales of the Beanworld Volume 3.5 HC

Image of Beanworld: Tales of the Beanworld
Release Date: 
June 10, 2012
Dark Horse
Reviewed by: 

“. . . a wonderfully triumphant bit of storytelling.”

Hoka-hey! Larry Marder’s Beanworld is back!

For those of you unfamiliar with Larry Marder’s wonderfully charming and completely bizarre Tales of the Beanworld, I don’t suggest starting with this book (you’ll be totally lost). Instead I highly recommend picking up the first volume, Beanworld Book 1: Wahoolazuma! and if you love it the way I do, you’ll be sure to get the rest.

From the inquisitive Professor Garbanzo to the stubborn Mr. Spook to the angst-ridden Beanish—all the favorite characters from the previous volumes return to tell more curious tales of a very curious world in Volume 3.5.

Beanworld is a very peculiar place with its own strange logic and surreal landscape. It is a place rich in symbol and metaphor, and the relationships between its inhabitants take on a significance that is wholly unique to each individual reader.

The themes inherent in these stories are familiarly applicable, but not necessarily allegorical, with a system, laws, and mythology all its own. Mystery, invention, and discovery are constants in the books, and each time you read one you notice something new—probably because each time you read it you’re a different person.

Each new question posed is a great cosmic riddle for the characters to solve and with each new revelation the reader still has permission to draw whatever correlations they wish from the allegory. It’s a wonderfully triumphant bit of storytelling.

A deceptively simple title but thoroughly enjoyable, Beanworld regularly broaches themes of religion, environmentalism, industry, sociology, and even the inherent nature of art as part of the ongoing struggles of the beans and how they come to understand the world around them and each other.

The denizens of the Beanworld show us how all life is invariably linked and that everyone and everything is ultimately interdependent—lessons we humans see fit to ignore time and time again as we continue to destroy our own planet.

We could all learn something from the beans of Beanworld.