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Burma Chronicles Paperback – 8 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (8 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224096184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224096188
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Simply put, Burma Chronicles is the most enlightening and insightful book on Burma in years... If you must visit Burma while it remains under the rule of the iniquitous junta, do so with the express intention of bearing witness to the tragedy and suffering of its people. Better still, stay away, and visit it instead through the pages of this heartbreaking, educational and insightful comic masterpiece" (Guardian)

"As a counterpoint to the often inaccessible news stories about the country, this is an excellent portrait of a little-understood land, and makes for a deeply original and fascinating piece of travel writing" (Daily Telegraph)

"Hilarious and touching" (Dazed)

"This book is more fun than most holidays and more enlightening than a hundred blogs by self-appointed experience censors" (Time Out)

Review

`completely engaging...excellent portrait of a little-understood land, makes for a deeply original and fascinating piece of travel writing'. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Just William on 23 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
A few years ago I went through a little graphic phase. After being enchanted by Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan, a graphic novel which showed the literary possibilities of the form, I quickly happened upon a very different kind of graphic experience in the political travelogues of Joe Sacco. First published by Fantagraphics his series of strips on Palestine were collected together by Jonathan Cape and led me onto his travels into Bosnia and Sarajevo. I guess part of the appeal was to have an easily accessible format to get some basic education about the politics behind those particular areas of conflict (pictures, and everything), but there was also something I loved about the self-deprecating humour and those moments where the shock of reality cut through the page, literally in black and white.

Following in a similar vein Guy Delisle produced a book called Pyongyang, a unique depiction of life in that most secretive of states. Again using simple black and white illustrations Delisle employs a similar humorous approach. Sent to North Korea as part of his work with a French animation company he spends lonely nights in a hotel, wishing for better coffee and food, leading a curious existence as he is marshaled around areas that the government deems fit to see. Slowly he is able to see more of the hidden parts of the country, getting a better idea of the life of ordinary Koreans and the realities of being part of the 'Axis-of-Evil'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jake55 on 21 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
Unusual but really excellent book for those about to travel to Burma, gives a flavour of the country with wit and humour, yet also sensible. My daughter finished it in one sitting and got a lot out of it.
Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BusyB on 1 Jun 2010
Format: Hardcover
Another excellently drawn and narrated look at another Asian country. Touching, thought provoking, humorous. Further testimony to this guy's deep humanity and eagle eye. Don't miss it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By miki101.Michaela on 23 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback
... this booklet by Your side...

Ok - everyone has to chant this little melody, an adaption of "If you're go'in to San Francisco, be sure to have a flower..etc..etc ..., BEFORE entering the nice country that is know known as Myanmar,
Because it will be the last happy melody to chant for the next time being.

So, here we have the known Cartoonist Guy Delisle, his beautiful Doctor Wife, working for MSF, and their son, Baby.
First they were bound - happily accepting - for Guatemala.
Then - a change - Guatemala is too dangerous - they will go to Myanmar...
A lot less dangerous???

So, after You have studied this book with all its ca 300 pages, You know all about Myanmar, aka Burma, and even more that You wanted ever to know about it!

I did not see this book - no page of it - as other than a secret love affair of the author with this oh soh "Land without Smiles" or "The Farest Place far away from Democracy", as it was known to my little self in July in 2012 - since then there went a lot of water down the Irrawaddy!

This book, designed and written by Guy Delisle is nothing else but a declaration of love!!! A love that took its time to sprout, to bloom, to make a full flower, and, maybe also a fruit.

I read other books by this author, Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China and Pjöngjang a travelogue from North Korea, but this one seems to be his most mature work.
Maybe also the family thing, that he has to do a part-time job with his son, the excursions they make together, lots of strange things to discover, makes it reasy for the reader to identify her-/himself with our good Guy. :)

OK, Guy Delisle: Father of the Year!

(PS: Review edited all over 23/3/2014)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By PK on 10 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
We love all Delisle's graphic novels - from Shenzhen, Pyongyang to this on Burma. On this latest, you get snippets of info on Burma which are not leaked out to the mass media. Delisle is a social commentator with great humour. He isn't writing/drawing about a country he has not been to and his observations are very sharp.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sinbad VINE VOICE on 18 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
Having been introduced to Delisle's work with the excellent Pyongyang: Journey in North Korea - I'm happy to say that Burma Chronicles is of equally high quality.

The "comic" (I don't want to call it a "graphic novel" because it's not a work of fiction) documents a year that he spent in Burma with his wife (who worked for MSF) and baby son, and gives you a good feel for the people, architecture, politics and various expats working out there.

For me, it's Delisle's wry sense of humour and observant eye which I really enjoy about his work. He has a knack for injecting humour, often in a very simple way and I found myself chuckling at several points in the story.

I wouldn't say the artwork is ground breakingly beautiful - but the simple line style which is rendered in greyscale just works really well and he has a good eye for detail.

I have no hesitation in recommending Burma Chronicles to those who have any interest in: Burma, travel to unusual places, or Delisle's other books. I shall certainly be buying, Shenzhen: A Travelogue From China his book on China, and keeping an eye out for any more of his work.
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