The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded TP
Publisher: Abrams ComicArts
Release Date: July, 2019
Price: $18.99
Creator(s): Jim Ottaviani (writer); Leland Purvis (illustrator)
Format: 240 pgs., Full-Color, 6.5"x9", Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4197-3645-2
Age Rating: N/A
ICv2 Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

It is odd that this book took three years to be re-issued in a less expensive paperback edition, but it deserves to be wider-read, and this may be a way to make that happen.

For those who only know of Alan Turing from the film that came out about him a few years ago, there’s a lot more.  He was a brilliant man, but quirky and strange to those who had to deal with him.  He was semi-openly gay, but somehow failed to notice that this was, in fact, still illegal in England.  In wartime, his service to the Allied war effort probably protected him from legal problems, especially since he was not unique in being both gay and part of the war effort.  His legal problems arose later in life, sadly due to his poor choices in a romantic partnership with an absolute jerk.  The horrific "medical intervention" was strange even for the time, and arguments about whether his death was accidental or deliberate still confuse the issue.

Like Ottaviani’s other works, the science is detailed enough that a reader can understand the basis for at least some of Turing’s work.  Both the machine he designed to decipher coded messages and the theories about determining human vs. machine communications were interesting, as conveyed here.

The audience for this book will be adults and older teens, but any who have already read other graphic biographies by this author may be drawn to this reprint edition.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.