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Grace: Based on the Jeff Buckley Story

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A moving graphic biography for music lovers, Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story is painstakingly researched and created in collaboration with Jeff Buckley's estate. California, 1991. All his life, people have told Jeff Buckley how much he looks like his father, the famous ’60s folksinger he barely knew. But Jeff believes he has gifts of his own: a rare, octave-spanning voice and A moving graphic biography for music lovers, Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story is painstakingly researched and created in collaboration with Jeff Buckley's estate. California, 1991. All his life, people have told Jeff Buckley how much he looks like his father, the famous ’60s folksinger he barely knew. But Jeff believes he has gifts of his own: a rare, octave-spanning voice and a songwriting genius that has only started to show itself. After he falls in love with a mysterious girl in New York, he sets out to make a name for himself outside his father’s shadow. What follows are six turbulent years of music, heartbreak, hope, and daring—culminating in a tragedy that’s still reverberating in the music world today. Written by Tiffanie DeBartolo and with art by Pascal Dizin and Lisa Reist, this graphic novel biography uses archival material provided by Jeff’s mother, Mary Guibert, to reveal the young songwriter in the process of becoming a legend.


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A moving graphic biography for music lovers, Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story is painstakingly researched and created in collaboration with Jeff Buckley's estate. California, 1991. All his life, people have told Jeff Buckley how much he looks like his father, the famous ’60s folksinger he barely knew. But Jeff believes he has gifts of his own: a rare, octave-spanning voice and A moving graphic biography for music lovers, Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story is painstakingly researched and created in collaboration with Jeff Buckley's estate. California, 1991. All his life, people have told Jeff Buckley how much he looks like his father, the famous ’60s folksinger he barely knew. But Jeff believes he has gifts of his own: a rare, octave-spanning voice and a songwriting genius that has only started to show itself. After he falls in love with a mysterious girl in New York, he sets out to make a name for himself outside his father’s shadow. What follows are six turbulent years of music, heartbreak, hope, and daring—culminating in a tragedy that’s still reverberating in the music world today. Written by Tiffanie DeBartolo and with art by Pascal Dizin and Lisa Reist, this graphic novel biography uses archival material provided by Jeff’s mother, Mary Guibert, to reveal the young songwriter in the process of becoming a legend.

30 review for Grace: Based on the Jeff Buckley Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Grace: Based on the Jeff Buckley Story by Tiffanie DeBartolo is a 2019 First Second publication. I have never read a standard biography about Jeff Buckley, and I can’t claim to be a rabid fan. But, of course, I am very familiar of his haunting version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah”, and I knew he was the son of folk singer, Tim Buckley, and that Jeff died young in a freak accident. Beyond that, I couldn’t have told you much else. I do read my fair share of music memoirs and biographies, but thi Grace: Based on the Jeff Buckley Story by Tiffanie DeBartolo is a 2019 First Second publication. I have never read a standard biography about Jeff Buckley, and I can’t claim to be a rabid fan. But, of course, I am very familiar of his haunting version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah”, and I knew he was the son of folk singer, Tim Buckley, and that Jeff died young in a freak accident. Beyond that, I couldn’t have told you much else. I do read my fair share of music memoirs and biographies, but this is the first one I have read in a Graphic Novel format. The story pretty much sticks to the basics, so for diehard fans the book may not cover much new territory. However, even if the story is familiar to you, the outstanding illustrations truly bring out an amazing amount of depth and emotion you most likely would not experience in a standard text only biography. The writing is a bit simplistic, but I’m thinking this book might be a learning tool as well, perhaps to entice YA readers as well as older fans. Jeff’s life was cut short, and he was always a bit of an enigma, so this book certainly will give readers a little more insight into his life and the artist behind the music. I enjoyed the experience of reading this book, and learning more about Jeff, and of course it has inspired me to revisit Jeff’s music, hearing it from a new perspective now. I recommend this one for anyone who loves music, biographies or Graphic Novels.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ankita Singh

    Starting off with the positives, the graphics were awesome! I loved all the artwork, especially the ones that overlapped each other. But the story itself did not interest me much. I guess I was expecting something more... polished? And it felt as if everything was rushed. Half of the time, it took me a minute to realise that the characters have changed, and so has the place. All in all, I loved the graphics, but I didn't care much for the story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    At the risk of sounding dramatic I had to wait a couple days to write a review- I guess to let everything kind of sink it, settle. I admit I am completely biased regarding Tiffanie Debartolo’s work. I am a huge fan and remember years ago when there was mention of this book. Not only am I over the moon that it’s actually happened- but that I got to read it this week. But despite liking her books (and movie) so much- I can say in all honestly this was a fantastic graphic novel. I love that it was At the risk of sounding dramatic I had to wait a couple days to write a review- I guess to let everything kind of sink it, settle. I admit I am completely biased regarding Tiffanie Debartolo’s work. I am a huge fan and remember years ago when there was mention of this book. Not only am I over the moon that it’s actually happened- but that I got to read it this week. But despite liking her books (and movie) so much- I can say in all honestly this was a fantastic graphic novel. I love that it was like reading a biography but in a much more fun, exciting way. I love the idea of the subplot describing another person’s relationship to Jeff Buckely’s music and how it came to fruition. It just was the perfect book. I feel like it truly showed Jeff Buckley’s evolution as an artist and the frustrations that come with being a rising star. I love that there was still plenty of humor, fact based tidbits, but most of all- so much heart. Not to sound sappy but I can’t but think this is a biography that Buckley would approve of.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Tiffanie DeBartolo is one of my favorite authors of all time. While the format of this novel is a departure from her earlier works, her talent continues to shine through. Reading a graphic novel, was a truly unique way to consume a memoir. A long time Jeff Buckley fan, I have always wanted to know more about his life, and how he got started in the music world. While this novel did not entirely satisfy my curiosity, it was highly engaging. Most of the information felt familiar, but there were som Tiffanie DeBartolo is one of my favorite authors of all time. While the format of this novel is a departure from her earlier works, her talent continues to shine through. Reading a graphic novel, was a truly unique way to consume a memoir. A long time Jeff Buckley fan, I have always wanted to know more about his life, and how he got started in the music world. While this novel did not entirely satisfy my curiosity, it was highly engaging. Most of the information felt familiar, but there were some new and interesting facts sprinkled throughout. I also found that the vividly detailed graphics, added emotional depth and intrigue, to an otherwise simplified plot. Perfect for fans who want an emotional, yet uncomplicated, peek into the life and times of the extremely talented Mr. Buckley.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Stinemetz

    The illustrations and coloring in this story absolutely blew me away! I loved the way Jeff's emotions were drawn with such detail.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Romantic Intentions Quarterly

    In telling the story of tragic musician Jeff Buckley in appropriately blue-tinged comic form, talented writer Tiffanie de Bartolo (much loved round these parts for her off-beat 90s romcom Dream for an Insomniac) glosses over some facts and handwaves others, but still gloriously evokes the spirit of her subject while also pondering the mercurial nature of musical genius. Buckley’s early relationship, given here as a casualty of his career, is well-drawn, as are the, well, drawings, with co-illust In telling the story of tragic musician Jeff Buckley in appropriately blue-tinged comic form, talented writer Tiffanie de Bartolo (much loved round these parts for her off-beat 90s romcom Dream for an Insomniac) glosses over some facts and handwaves others, but still gloriously evokes the spirit of her subject while also pondering the mercurial nature of musical genius. Buckley’s early relationship, given here as a casualty of his career, is well-drawn, as are the, well, drawings, with co-illustrators Pascal Dizin and Lisa Reist collaborating, and contrasting, with verve and skill. The story, as you might expect, is quite a tearjerker, though it does somehow manage to build suspense even when you know what has to happen in the end. Recommend reading with Buckley’s too-limited catalog on shuffle – you, too, might have the eerie experience of having “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” play just as it is being written… – Rachel Hyland 4 1/2 stars. This review will appear in Romantic Intentions Quarterly #5, out April 1, 2019.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Adam M

    I received an ARC from NetGalley and First Second Books in exchange for an honest review I read this without having any idea who the intended audience was and that may have colored my reading. As an adult who has been a fan of Jeff Buckley's for years, this really missed the mark for me. I tried to remind myself that I might be biased due to my love for the subject and entered with too-high expectations. For a YA audience who isn't as familiar, this might have been a great read and the art was re I received an ARC from NetGalley and First Second Books in exchange for an honest review I read this without having any idea who the intended audience was and that may have colored my reading. As an adult who has been a fan of Jeff Buckley's for years, this really missed the mark for me. I tried to remind myself that I might be biased due to my love for the subject and entered with too-high expectations. For a YA audience who isn't as familiar, this might have been a great read and the art was really outstanding. I enjoyed that it was only blues and whites, but really had an almost musical flow to it. That was the defining characteristic of the book for me. I think the important part of the cover is where it says: "Based on the Jeff Buckley Story" as this should have tipped me off. It reads a lot like a biography, but it feels somehow incomplete. At the very least there are sections that feel very superficial and we don't dive deeply into Jeff relationships with some of the people in his life. I don't know how many creative liberties were taken with his story, but again, as an adult I felt like there were parts just missing that would have filled out the story. This isn't a bad read, but for me it was unsatisfying. I would still recommend this to our YA readers and see if it sparks their interest in one of my all time favorite singer/songwriters.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Azzurra Nox

    I didn't know much about Jeff Buckley other than his tragic demise and the fact that he was an amazing musician, so this graphic novel was very much on point in delivering a compelling story. I really enjoyed getting to know more about this artist. And the artwork was beautiful.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    When I saw there was a graphic novel about Jeff Buckley's career, I actually made some kind of scream. When side character Henry hears Buckley for the first time, he's transported to another world-- just like I was when I first heard him. Jeff and Rebecca's relationship and undoing is illustrated exactly as I can feel it in the famous "Lover, You Should've Come Over". Grace is a brilliant depiction of his later years; I hope those who don't know Jeff Buckley will be intrigued by that gorgeous co When I saw there was a graphic novel about Jeff Buckley's career, I actually made some kind of scream. When side character Henry hears Buckley for the first time, he's transported to another world-- just like I was when I first heard him. Jeff and Rebecca's relationship and undoing is illustrated exactly as I can feel it in the famous "Lover, You Should've Come Over". Grace is a brilliant depiction of his later years; I hope those who don't know Jeff Buckley will be intrigued by that gorgeous cover and learn all about this musical prodigy who left us far too soon.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    So, I didn't know anything at all about Jeff Buckley before I picked this up - and that meant that the ending was a real surprise to me. There's a bit where Buckley has something of an onstage meltdown because his fans are demanding that he play the hits, while he wants to play from the new material he's been working on, and it's portrayed with gentle sympathy and humanity. This is a lovely biography and tribute, and the photographs included at the end are a nice touch. I can't say how successfu So, I didn't know anything at all about Jeff Buckley before I picked this up - and that meant that the ending was a real surprise to me. There's a bit where Buckley has something of an onstage meltdown because his fans are demanding that he play the hits, while he wants to play from the new material he's been working on, and it's portrayed with gentle sympathy and humanity. This is a lovely biography and tribute, and the photographs included at the end are a nice touch. I can't say how successful it will be for superfans, but for me, it was a nice introduction.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    Grace is a graphic novel depicting the life of singer Jeff Buckley. I enjoyed the art style of this piece. This book inspired me to listen to some of Jeff's music. This is a good read for any fans of music.Thanks First Second Books and NetGalley for the ARC of this title for review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Jeff Buckley, son of musician Tim Buckley, has spent his life hearing about how he looks just like his father. Sounds just like his father. Tim Buckley 2.0. But that’s not what Jeff wants. He has his own style, his own sound that is powerful on its own, without the legacy of the father that he never knew. In Grace, we are given Jeff Buckley’s own story, from his humble beginnings in California to his successful first (and only) album to his final tragic evening. When I started this graphic novel Jeff Buckley, son of musician Tim Buckley, has spent his life hearing about how he looks just like his father. Sounds just like his father. Tim Buckley 2.0. But that’s not what Jeff wants. He has his own style, his own sound that is powerful on its own, without the legacy of the father that he never knew. In Grace, we are given Jeff Buckley’s own story, from his humble beginnings in California to his successful first (and only) album to his final tragic evening. When I started this graphic novel, I had no idea who Jeff Buckley was. Or his father. And unfortunately, I still feel like I don’t. Something was definitely missing for me out of this story. I know it’s hard to cram someone’s life into a brief graphic novel, but I’ve read other biographic ones that I think did a much better job. I did love the art though. The various styles that were used in different panels was a nice touch. I also loved how Dixon depicted Jeff when he was particularly passionate about something. You could truly feel his emotions through the pages. I just wish I was offered a bit more on Jeff’s life. I came away from this still missing a lot of pieces. Maybe his fans will find more to appreciate than I did. Thanks to NetGalley and First Second for the eARC.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Adam Stone

    The graphic novel equivalent of a Hollywood movie about musicians. Hit all the important biographical bullet points, strip away any semblance of real emotions and replace them with familiar story beats, and voila. It's a story you've seen/read hundreds of times before but now it's about a different celebrity. The art is an interesting balance of manga, 21st century Eurostyle art, and non-traditional panel breaking. But the story rarely feels like it has earned Dizin and Reist's art. I don't know w The graphic novel equivalent of a Hollywood movie about musicians. Hit all the important biographical bullet points, strip away any semblance of real emotions and replace them with familiar story beats, and voila. It's a story you've seen/read hundreds of times before but now it's about a different celebrity. The art is an interesting balance of manga, 21st century Eurostyle art, and non-traditional panel breaking. But the story rarely feels like it has earned Dizin and Reist's art. I don't know who to recommend it to. Not because it's awful, but because I think it's divisive. Some Buckley fans will be glad a graphic novel based on his life exists, some will wish it was a more complex look at him. Those unfamiliar with Buckley but who like graphic novels, might decide to pick up the album, others won't find enough of the album's charm to hold their interest.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Thanks to First Second for the advance ARC of this amazing book in exchange for honest feedback. This book is absolutely gorgeous. I was a pretty casual fan of Jeff Buckley's before reading the book, and knew a little bit of his story, but this gives so much insight into his character and life that I couldn't help but dive into his full catalog more thoroughly. I love the choice to use two different artists! The two different styles allow for additional depth and richness of storytelling. I'd abs Thanks to First Second for the advance ARC of this amazing book in exchange for honest feedback. This book is absolutely gorgeous. I was a pretty casual fan of Jeff Buckley's before reading the book, and knew a little bit of his story, but this gives so much insight into his character and life that I couldn't help but dive into his full catalog more thoroughly. I love the choice to use two different artists! The two different styles allow for additional depth and richness of storytelling. I'd absolutely recommend this to anyone, whether or not they're familiar with Jeff Buckley's music.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I was a fan of Buckley's music, but this was missing something for me. It hit the highlights of Buckley's life but it felt like there were sections missing. There were no real connections with Buckley and his friends and family and it felt kind of rushed and inconsequential. I didn't think the artwork was very effective either. The color palette was too muted and didn't add a lot of depth to the drawings. It made it difficult to distinguish between characters and settings. I was hoping to get so I was a fan of Buckley's music, but this was missing something for me. It hit the highlights of Buckley's life but it felt like there were sections missing. There were no real connections with Buckley and his friends and family and it felt kind of rushed and inconsequential. I didn't think the artwork was very effective either. The color palette was too muted and didn't add a lot of depth to the drawings. It made it difficult to distinguish between characters and settings. I was hoping to get some insight on Buckley's life and his relationships but this one left me wanting more.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Iroquois

    I just found this one baffling. I honestly am not sure what happened, or why or how the two stories being told were actually connected. To be fair, I’d never heard of Jeff Buckley or his father before, so his entire story was new to me. Maybe this is targeted to people who are already fans? I don’t know, but it was a strange story, especially because of how he died. Was he having issues with bipolar disorder? Or did I interpret this telling incorrectly? In any case it was an ok read but probably I just found this one baffling. I honestly am not sure what happened, or why or how the two stories being told were actually connected. To be fair, I’d never heard of Jeff Buckley or his father before, so his entire story was new to me. Maybe this is targeted to people who are already fans? I don’t know, but it was a strange story, especially because of how he died. Was he having issues with bipolar disorder? Or did I interpret this telling incorrectly? In any case it was an ok read but probably not something I’d recommend.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carro Herdegen

    Language: R (14 swears, 19 "f"); Mature Content: PG (substance use); Violence: PG (death) I don't know how accurate this story is, but the story it tells is powerful. Jeff and Henry learn about taking risks and following their dreams; Jeff and his band teach readers about ingenuity and respect; Jeff teaches readers about enjoying life as he learns to balance his life. Furthermore, the illustrations are beautiful, and Jeff's album Grace has some beautiful music on it that I now listen to.

  18. 5 out of 5

    J.D. DeHart

    For some reason, much of the book did not come through in the download. What I did see spoke well of First Second's publishing work. This is a publisher that produces excellent graphic novel fiction with intense images and believable (and appropriately unbelievable) situations. Read something by First Second today...and make it Grace, for sure.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael McLeod

    Great illustrations and story told of his life in a quick over view. What a brilliant musician and human.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mel Knight

    Review to come soon...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tahlia

    (Gifted) Blog Post: https://museofnyxmares.wordpress.com/... Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/museofnyxma... *I was provided with a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was so excited when I came across this, because I am a big fan of Jeff Buckley’s music and just him in general! Therefore, I already knew some details about his life, but was eager to learn more. Jeff’s story will probably appeal to a lot of people though, because he was immensely talented an (Gifted) Blog Post: https://museofnyxmares.wordpress.com/... Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/museofnyxma... *I was provided with a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was so excited when I came across this, because I am a big fan of Jeff Buckley’s music and just him in general! Therefore, I already knew some details about his life, but was eager to learn more. Jeff’s story will probably appeal to a lot of people though, because he was immensely talented and died far too young. There seems to be some sort of fascination with celebrities dying young, and especially just when they seem to be gaining back control of their lives, but there has always been something so surreal and hazy about Jeff’s death that I can understand people’s intrigue. People from Jeff’s life had input into Grace, such as his mother, and so I think that this is as honest an account of his life as we’re likely to get and I’m very grateful that they wanted to tell his story. This graphic novel confirmed everything that I thought I knew about Jeff Buckley. He was a kind hearted soul that was desperately trying to find his voice through his music. We see him struggling with the comparison to his father, who had also been a well known singer, who Jeff only met once before Tim Buckley died at 28 years old, with Jeff even being invited to perform at a tribute concert. He is also dealing with trying to take his music further than playing to his and his girlfriend’s cat, Spinach, and get his voice heard. Then when his undeniable talent is finally realised, he has to battle record labels to make sure he keeps the integrity, originality and ownership of his music. Because his music was so much more than just music, it was him! There’s a beautiful line where someone remarks “He doesn’t sing the bloody songs, he becomes them” and I couldn’t agree more, he wasn’t just a songwriter, he was a storyteller. I’m just so glad that his pure passion and desire to make music, that he was proud of, was shown. As we’re taken on a journey from 1991 to 1997 (Jeff’s death), I find it so fascinating to see the events that happened in his life and how they influenced particular songs of his. It was so great to read and it gave the songs such a deeper meaning! And I really enjoyed how the song lyrics were weaved into the artwork in order to make it explicitly clear, which songs stemmed from which experiences. I even found myself humming some of the songs as I figured out what influenced them, it was such a lovely experience! The artwork in this was terrific, it favoured a muted and minimalistic colour palette, and I think it added to the story so beautifully, without overpowering it and it felt very fitting to Jeff’s laid back demeanour. It was brilliant in conveying Jeff’s emotions, especially when he’d experience euphoria through his music or even in more sombre times, when black ink heavily dominated the page, it was extremely powerful. I think that both the author and the illustrators did such a fantastic job telling Jeff’s story through a graphic novel. His music touched a lot of people and so I adored the inclusion of how he influenced one particular guy, it was very heart warming. There are some photographs in the back of the novel, of Jeff and those he was closest to, which was also a really nice touch! If it wasn’t obvious enough already, I enjoyed this tremendously and would most definitely recommend it!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emmie

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tiberiu

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Coppedge

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ever

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ross Duncan

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kara

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