The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry

illus. by Landis Blair. 464p. First Second. Sept. 2017. Tr $34.99. ISBN 9781626726765.
After his mother died, young Charlie Rizzo moved in with Matt, his blind, insurance-selling father in Chicago. When Charlie discovered as a teenager that his father wasn't blinded in a hunting accident, as he'd always thought, Matt decided to come clean and reveal the real story, which involved the Chicago mafia and armed robbery. Matt told Charlie that he eventually went to prison in 1931, where, under the guidance of infamous murderer Nathan Leopold Jr. (who, with Richard Loeb in 1924, kidnapped and killed a teenage boy), he developed a love of literature. This true account of gangster Matt Rizzo includes some of his prison artifacts, as well as snippets of his writing. The comic pays homage to Dante's Inferno and other works, showing how those allegories are still relevant. Blair's illustrations are stark and extremely detailed, and the book design is a masterpiece, complete with a ribbon marker and the title duplicated in braille on the cover.
VERDICT While some teens may skim over the more "literary" portions, others will delight in this graphic homage to Dante. Perfect for inclusion on AP or college reading lists.

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