Wednesday, March 25, 2015

book review: Cairo by G. Willow Wilson

The backstory: G. Willow Wilson is the opening keynote speaker (tonight!) at the Association of College and Research Libraries conference. After enjoying Ms. Marvel: No Normal, I grabbed her other books from the library.

The basics: Cairo is the story of a drug runner, a journalist, an American expatriate, a student, and an Israeli soldier in contemporary Cairo.

My thoughts: As the characters are introduced, it is not initially clear how they relate to one another, but Wilson weaves their storylines together in intriguing ways. While this graphic novel starts firmly planted in reality, it soon incorporates elements of fantasy. While I found those turns visually stunning and intriguing, in some ways I thought they distracted somewhat from the social and political commentary.

I'm certainly not an expert on Cairo, and the book taught me quite a bit. I imagine I did not understand each reference, but I never felt as though I couldn't follow the story (in fact the fantasy elements were a bit hard for me to follow at one point, but that is definitely a me-problem, as I am not typically a fantasy reader, and I wasn't expecting this book to take that turn.

The verdict: Cairo is an engaging and complicated, yet accessible, graphic novel. I read it in a single sitting. While I quite enjoyed it, I confess my enjoyment waned somewhat near the end. I am eager to continue with Wilson's diverse canon, which also includes a novel and a memoir.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 160 pages
Publication date: November 7, 2007
Source: library

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Cairo from Amazon (no Kindle edition.)

Want more? Visit G. Willow Wilson's websitelike her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

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