Weekend Reads: Goliath
Everyone knows the story of David and Goliath. A young man named David slays a Philistine giant with a slingshot and a well-aimed rock to the head. The giant, however, “was armed with a coat of mail and had greaves of brass upon his legs.” Author and illustrator Tom Gauld flips this narrative in Goliath. Rather than retelling a story learned by everyone in Sunday School, Gauld writes from Goliath’s point of view. He cleverly begins the tale when Goliath – a large, peaceful man – goes to the river for a drink and finds a perfect pebble. What follows is as heartbreaking as it is gorgeous.
As mentioned before, our protagonist isn’t much of a fighter. He’s quite happy with his job in admin and deeply offended by the way his fellow soldiers treat a captured bear. Yet he’s soon suited up at the behest of the king. He is sent to call out a challenge to the waiting Israelites. Goliath calls out day after day, “Choose a man. Let him come to me that we may fight” until David appears to slay him.
On top of a wonderfully told story, Gauld’s art style is stunningly simplistic and reminiscent of Edward Gorey. Pick up a copy. Read it. Get ready for all the feels. It’s absolutely worth your time and a place on your shelves.