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Berlin: City of Stones Part 1 Paperback – 1 Jan 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly; 3rd edition (1 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1896597297
  • ISBN-13: 978-1896597294
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 1.9 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 295,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER on 11 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book starts the series Lutes has devoted years to creating, the story of Germany between the wars. The story follows the lives of several people, a journalist riling against the rise of fascism, a young art student conflicted with her feelings of love for other women, a married woman who is thrown out of her family by her husband for her leanings toward communism, as well as others. The story shows rallies for various political parties as well as peoples' feelings for Hindenburg and of course the first showings of the fledgling Nazi party.

The drawings are beautiful with Lutes adopting Herge's line and crafting detailed panoramic views of the city as well as amazing crowd scenes and convincing period detail. There isn't a plot to the book, just a meandering toward the inevitable start of WW2.

My only criticism is that it's boring. I'm sorry if that sounds like a shallow dismissal but there's no getting around the fact that nothing much happens in the book. Mostly all you see in this book are the poverty, the disabled soldiers begging on the streets, money slowly becoming worthless. I was hoping Lutes would do something different given the material, take a different angle perhaps, but he's just retold what happened. I've studied this period of history both at A-level and university level and I'm well aware of what went on. As a comic book series it's very dry and unfortunately Lutes cannot bring out the drama of the situation to make a gripping read. Mostly it's as dull as a history lesson populated with unconvincing characters. I wanted to like it but couldn't get into it. I struggled to get to the end and won't be looking at the next in the series. There are better comics out there.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Giacomo Lacava on 10 May 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pure distilled Lutes. If you liked "Jar Of Fools", you'll love this volume as well.
The plot follows the lives of several individuals, normal people in abnormal times, small wishes trapped in a nation that is slowly going mad. A secluded journalist, a shy artist girl, a middle-class jewish family, a prole german family, a down-to-earth policeman, and then war veterans, art students, faction leaders, demonstrations, desperation, dreams, violence, love... they all mix up to paint a vivid landscape of the unstable Berlin between the two Wars, without ever being didascalic, always looking at the people, what they see, what they feel... and the end of the volume is just heartbreaking (if a bit predictable).
As someone who studied the Republic of Weimar quite thoroughly, I have to say that Lutes is careful with the references; but this book is mostly about the emotional portrait of a generation that didn't recognise the blowing wind of history, and was unable to put in practice the fragile equilibrium of modern democracy. Weimar will always be a memento that democracy is not just in the structures and rules of parliamentary debate, but in minds, bodies and souls of the people who compose it; and Lutes knows it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By F. Marshall on 20 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
Having reread this and its sequel confirms my view that the Berlin series are among of the best of all graphic novels. The writing is intelligent and subtle, the characters feel real and authentic, the structure is complex and intriguing. Above all, Lutes has done a superb job of historical research creating pitch perfect accuracy in every image and storyline. His draughtsmanship is superb (if sometimes a little stiff) and his drawings in the European clean line style fit the story perfectly. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.
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By dragonlance on 2 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a gift for my boyfriend, and he loved it. The subject matter is something he was very interested in and the book is a great way of presenting it.
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