Author: Marjane Satrapi
Date Finished: August 22, 2008 #49
Dear Book Blogosphere Friends,
Thank you for reading such wonderful books and posting about them so that I can say that I want to read them in my comments to you until I leave enough comments saying that I want to read the book that I actually have to breakdown and get the book to read it so that I don't have to keep saying I want to read that book and instead I can say I read and loved that book, too!
I promise--no more intentional run-on sentences for the rest of this post. :) I admit it, I was really reluctant to read a graphic novel. I was incredibly prejudiced and shame on me! I really have no good excuse so I'm not even going to bother trying to make them up. After seeing them everyone on the blogosphere, I decided I need to stop being such a whiner and at least try one. So, I went to the bookstore, used my lovely gift certificate that I've been hording for months (I don't know why I will use cash when I have a gift card, but I do) and got The Complete Persepolis--taking the chance that if I liked the first book so much I'd probably want the second book as well.
What a surprise (and why should I be so surprised when my trusted book friends have all raved about this book! Silly me!). I read this during my trip to Toronto, mostly in the car to and from Niagara and downtown, and my sister was so intrigued that even she was reading over my shoulder most of the time and has asked to borrow it.
Persepolis is about a young girl, Marji, and her world turned upside down during the Islam Revolution in Iran during the late 70s and early 80s. When Marji is 14, she is sent to Austria to live, and the second half of the book focuses more on her time there and her struggles to come to terms with her true self. In many ways it is a classic bildungsroman, but what makes Marji's story so special is that we can also see how the revolution affected a little girl who doesn't really understand what is happening around her but wants to with such intensity. The first page (hopefully you can enlarge it to read the text):
The illustrations contain so much emotion that it was easy to laugh and cry along with Marji during the different events and trials of her life. And because there is so little room for words, everything written contains such a strong punch--nothing is wasted. While it seems as though it might be "easy" reading, I read this book very slowly, pouring over the pages and examining each illustration and re-reading and absorbing the words. It was such a different experience reading this book, but I highly recommed it. In terms of the actual book--the first half of the book was fantastic for me. There were a few sections of her teenaged years (I presume in the second volume?) that I didn't care for as much, but in the end the book came back around full-circle and ended strongly. Not only did I come to care so much for Marji, but I also learned so much about the Iranian culture and the revolution. This book has it all!
What do you think about graphic novels? What would you recommend next? Have you seen the movie?
They've also read it: I=first volume; II=second volume; I and II=both reviewed separately; Complete=both reviewed together (like my review)
Bethany (I and II)
Raidergirl3 (I and II)
Dewey (II--but contains link to I)
Marg (II--but contains link to I)