Love in Vain: Robert Johnson 1911-1938


This is my first spoken book review. I’m not sure how I feel about this yet, but it was fun putting together.


This graphic novel tells about the life & times of the famous bluesman, Robert Johnson. His work has been influential to artists like the Rolling Stones & Eric Clapton. It has left a defining footprint on the world of rock n’ roll.

This book chronicles Johnson’s life growing up in the rural south. It explains his womanizing, heavy drinking, and playing blues in juke joints. The book touches on Robert’s infamous deal with the devil, but it doesn’t dwell on it. It follow’s his life up to his untimely death in 1938.

Things I like about the book

  • Brevity: It’s only 55 pages and can easily be read in one sitting.
  • Artwork: It contains heavily contrasted black & white images that look like etchings.
  • Narrator: The story is told by a ghostly figure with a nice reveal at the end.
  • References: The book mentions a few of Robert’s contemporary¬†bluesmen.


Something I don’t like about the book

I don’t like the size of the book. It makes for a great reading experience, but it doesn’t fit well on my bookshelf. It sticks out from other books which may drive someone with OCD crazy. It’s perfect for leaving on a coffee table, but it’s awkward on the shelf.


I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the blues. It’s a quick read with engaging artwork and told in a slightly mysterious way. It references other bluesmen for the reader to go out and discover. The size makes for a great reading experience, but it doesn’t fit well on a bookshelf.

If this review was helpful for you, please let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks, and rock on.

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