Saturday, November 28, 2009

graphic novel review: The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


The Complete Persepolis contains Persepolis and Persepolis 2 in one volume. Although there is no indication where the second volume begins, there is a shift in the story. Persepolis is an autobiography in graphic novel. Marjane Satrapi grew up in Iran, and the book is as much a story of the Persian people and Iran's history as it is her own. It's a fascinating look at a country and its history, but it's most remarkable seen through the eyes of a child. It's incredibly moving to think and see how much geography plays into our own sense of self and autobiography.

From a visual standpoint, Persepolis is simple and beautiful. There are frames so packed with meaning, I would stare at them for a few minutes. I would gladly hand several on my wall. It's an incredibly accessible graphic novel, as it's rather verbose, but Satrapi's drawings are powerful.

Persepolis is clearly a powerful book, and I do believe it's an important book, particularly for Westerners. I think it's wonderful and smart, but I didn't quite love it. It moved me deeply, but there was some unknown element inhibiting my full personal enjoyment.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Pages: 352
Publication: October 2007
Source: my local public library

Buy The Complete Persepolis from Amazon. (As an Amazon affiliate, I will receive a small percentage of the sale; it does not affect the price you pay for the item.)

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