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Barefoot Gen: v. 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima: No. 1 [Paperback]

Nakazawa Keiji
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Jan 2005 Barefoot Gen (Book 1)
The reissue of this classic manga's first volume has impeccable timing. It recounts the bombing of Hiroshima from the perspective of a young boy, Gen, and his family. But the book's themes (the physical and psychological damage ordinary people suffer from war's realities) ring chillingly true today. Despite its harrowing nature, this work is invaluable for the lessons it offers in history, humanity and compassion. Published to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.

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Barefoot Gen: v. 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima: No. 1 + Barefoot Gen: Day After v. 2
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Last Gasp,U.S. (7 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0867196025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0867196023
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.9 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 290,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'The greatest work of manga ever. The awkward earnestness of Nakazawa artwork, the terrifying details and the honest, egoless portrayals of the agony endured by the characters make this also one of the most important stories ever told. --The Times

The art is sharply drawn and expressive, and the narrative has such a natural rhythm, it's easy to get pulled into the family's life, making the cataclysm readers know awaits them all the more real, intimate and difficult to take. --Publishers Weekly

Polemical, strident and unrelenting, A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima is also a great piece of craft: graphic narrative at its most effective and powerful. Gen is a flawed but likable hero, big-hearted and trustworthy, a source of cathartic laughter of the best slapstick kind, and a beacon of tragedy, hope and (im)patient understanding. --Comics Review

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest stories ever told ! 2 July 2001
By A Customer
I first read this book when it was first published back in 1994, it is the story of a young japanese boy growing up in the middle of World War 2. His whole life is turned upside down by the Atomic Bomb being dropped on his motherland, beautifully and graphically told. AMAZING
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read this book! 25 Jun 2007
By dovefancier TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Volumes 1 & 2 of Nakazawa's famous comic series about a boy called 'Gen' and his life in Hiroshima during the WWII and soon after the atomic bomb. The first two volumes of this series are probably the most important ones. After I read them, I just had to lend them to everyone I knew. If you read this story, you'll realise how silly to hear some popular opiniton 'Dropping two atomic bombs in Japan was necessary to end the war'. The author Nakazawa says that each and every event illustrated here is a true story. You'll see, for example, that two young brothers fight against each other for a little grain of rice. Gen trying to encourage a girl who used to be dreaming about one day becoming a professional dancer, but now her face was badly burnt by the bomb, although she still didn't know it - he refuses to let her see the mirror.
The bombs were dropped onto civilians in the two cities, and, in Hiroshima alone, 100,000 people, including children, elderly people and western prisoners of war, were killed instantly, and the pain they suffered from it was tremendous. The way some of Gen's family members, including a new born baby sister, were slowly dying is simply too sad to look at. But the reality is that it actually took place and was caused by human hands.
I sincerely hope that many people will find the opportunity to read this book at least once in their life-time, and I strongly believe that this book will enlighten the whole world with the message: 'What really happens when a nuclear bomb is dropped onto humanity', which hasn't really been talked about in history books for some reason. But I think it's time to face reality.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think you have seen it all? Think again 5 Dec 2004
By A Customer
I had no inkling of what lay in store when I borrowed this marvellous book from my brother. I read it in one sitting and was totally absorbed by the story of Gen, his family and their neighbours in Hiroshima. The author paints a fascinating portrait of Japanese wartime society, the petty domestic concerns of the people, their faith in victory and their belief in their leaders which to me seems totally authentic. He charts the dropping of the bomb and its aftermath in shocking detail and reveals the pain and anguish of the survivors. I challenge readers not to be deeply effected by this tale of loss, love and survival.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barefoot Gen Vol. 1 12 Nov 2012
While graphic novels are now very much a part of the mainstream literary environment, manga has remained something of a niche genre most popular with Japanese businessmen and Anglo emo-teens, but there are several series which really do deserve to have a wider audience. Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen is one such series. Literary and yet still accessible in the same way as Art Spiegelman's phenomenal Maus, Barefoot Gen is loosely based on Nakazawa's own experiences as a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing.

Nakazawa was six years old when an atomic bomb with power equal to 13500 tons of TNT was detonated 1850 feet above the centre of Hiroshima at 08:16 on the morning of August 6 1945. Roughly 400000 people were living in the Hiroshima area at the time. Roughly 232000 of them died, either as a direct result of the explosion or later through radiation poisoning. Nakazawa was about a mile from the city centre when the bomb was detonated and he survived by pure luck.

Barefoot Gen begins in April 1945 and this first volume follows young Gen and his family, along with millions of other Japanese civilians, as they struggle to deal with the hardships that plagued the country in the run up to the end of World War Two. In the four months prior to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Gen and his family are be shunned and abused by their neighbours due to his father's pacifist beliefs. The cruelties and hardships of their daily lives are seen through the eyes of Gen as he struggles to understand why his family are despised. The loving, tight-knit family is viewed in sharp contrast with the rabid militaristic, patriotic stance of the nation as a whole.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars should be compulsive reading 7 July 2011
I read the complete Barefoot Gen, and it is a masterwork that should be compulsive reading, wether one is interested in war stories, history in general, or the human condition. After a few pages you get used to the different visual language and you start to appreciate the books. On a par with Maus.
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