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Cairo SC Paperback – 1 Oct 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (1 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401217346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401217341
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 825,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Cox on 19 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a current resident of Cairo, I can state without fear of contradiction that the author has caught the spirit of the city in this tale. The energetic, racing, unpredictable, polluted, noisy, good-natured, sometimes dangerous, mixed up spirit of the capital. And like Cairo the story throws together Pharaonic mythology, the "Tales of 1,001 Nights", Islam, gangsters, drugs and contemporary politics. It's not necessarily a very coherent mixture but it is an entertaining one.

So, if you're not lucky enough to live here, you could do worse than live it vicariously through this story. Go on, take a chance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By V. Hayrabedian on 25 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I adore this book. It is strong on the magic realism (one of the favourite tropes) and with a fun, action-oriented plot, it moves along at a fast clip. Cairo - and its inhabitants - are very well realised, with strong interactions between the supporting characters and a good sense of place. This is helped by the art, which is slightly stylised but absolutely lovely with it. The ending makes me wish for a sequel. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Finn on 5 April 2011
Format: Paperback
Cairo begins with a hashish smuggler called Ashraf sitting at his mother's grave as he relates to her how his day went.
"So today I hit one of those stoned camels with my truck."
He tells her the Bedouin have fields of marijuana out in Sinai. The camels graze on the stuff. He tells her about the Israeli border guards who nearly catch him smuggling hash hidden inside bulbs of Smelly Beet. He tells her not to worry, that's just life in the City Victorious. It's a deft and assured way to start the story off, introduce a major character and set the tone. The other pieces of the mosaic follow on soon after: A female Israeli special forces soldier, injured and rescued ironically by the very Bedouin that Ashraf curses for not securing their camels; in the sky above is a passenger jet with two Americans on board, one of Lebanese extraction called Shaheed with an idea to live up to his name, the other a naive girl trying to broaden her Orange County boundaries; dating Ashraf's sister is a journalist/activist who amusingly knows more about Peter Parker and Spiders Man (that wasn't a typo) than some Americans; and Shams who lives in a hookah.
The cover blurb cites the book as belonging to a genre called magical realist, which I've never heard of before but suits the book. Primarily it's a book set in a Cairo, before the people's revolution, but not an overtly fictionalised Cairo or one seen filtered through western preconceptions. Sure it's full of magic and mysticism with a plot about a magician gangster trying to recover a powerful artifact guarded by a Jinn but it's all authentic Egyptian mythology and the writer G.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A mixed bag 3 Sept. 2008
By Steven E. Higgins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Cairo is written, in many ways, as a loving tribute to the eponymous city itself. Set in the Egyptian capital, the book follows a group of characters from a myriad of nationalities and social backgrounds--including an Israeli soldier, an Egyptian journalist, a drug-runner, a suicide bomber, and an American student--brought together by the rather unlikely circumstance of the theft of a hookah in which it just so happens a "genie" is imprisoned. This framework allows the story to explore the politics of the Middle East, while also exploring the more mystical elements of the culture there.

It is a rather ambitious goal this book's creators undertook, especially considering they are both relatively inexperienced with the medium. Writer G. Willow Wilson and artist M.K. Perker have worked in their respective fields for many years--Wilson as an essayist for esteemed magazines such as Atlantic Monthly, New York Times Magazine, and the defunct Egypt-based Cairo Magazine, and Perker as an illustrator for publications ranging from The New Yorker to MAD Magazine--but this book marks Wilson's first foray into comics while most of Perker's experience is as a cartoonist and not a sequential artist. Frankly it shows, as both creators are clearly unaccustomed to the format of comics and fall back on the skills of their day jobs a bit too often.

It's obvious that the writer is a journalist by trade, which works to both the book's benefit and its detriment. Wilson's approach to the story is to mix the fantasy aspects with a real-world sensibility towards the modern-day issues facing the region. These disparate elements are not mixed perfectly, and the social awareness of the story occasionally can come across as a bit heavy-handed, especially in one bit in which an Egyptian journalist and a young American girl argue politics while spurred on by an evil jinn. But for the most part these two sides to the story do fit together well, and Wilson uses the fanciful trappings of the plot to grab our attention while she delivers her message to us.

What makes Wilson's background as a journalist most clear, however, is not in the subject matter but in how the story is told. The book is at times overly verbose, relying too much on the words to tell the story and not fully utilizing the art as a storytelling tool. The characters are incredibly talkative, and sometimes it is transparent that their dialogue is being used either for exposition or as an authorial soapbox. Thus, the conversations between characters can be quite clunky, and the word balloons occasionally crowd out the images.

The artist's style too can seem a bit ill-suited for comics. Perker clearly has great talent as an illustrator, having worked for a number of well-regarded publications over the past two decades, such skills do not always translate well into good comic art. The faces and postures of the characters are very expressive; Perker is clearly skilled at creating real emotional resonance in the characters he draws. Some of the fantasy sequences involving demons trawling through catacombs are quite visually arresting as well. The composition of certain panels is occasionally awkward, however, and the blocking of some scenes can be rather bland and uninteresting. In many of the images we only see half of a character's face, either in profile or because it extends off-panel, or characters have their backs to the "camera."

These assets and these flaws add up to a finished product that is very much a mixed bag. It has interesting story elements that aren't always handled well and characters that seem like clichés in one scene and very real in the next. The art similarly seems to lack polish on some pages while in others it is incredibly skillful. It is difficult then to recommend Cairo in its present form, as a $25 hardcover, even though it was enjoyable enough to read in the end. Perhaps though once the book is in paperback form, and a bit less expensive, it might be worth a look.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Step into the Streets of Cairo 31 Dec. 2007
By Kellyann Zuzulo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this vividly illustrated jaunt with a djinni and assorted other characters through the streets of Cairo. Perker's drawings are captivating and entertaining and Wilson's text synchs beautifully. Having studied the Middle Eastern culture of the djinn and written about it in "A Genie in the House of Saud," I highly recommend this book. --KF Zuzulo
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
More graphic novels should be like this 13 Feb. 2008
By M. J. Sanford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I picked this up without knowing anything about it, and loved it. I tend to read comics in bits over breakfast, kept reading "just a little more" to find a good place to put it down. No superheroes, but a warrior, a djinn, and plenty of demons, all well told and well drawn. Lots of plots, but all tied together nicely with good pacing. I'll look for more work from these folks.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
weak plot, poor characters, regret buying it! 15 Sept. 2009
By Sherif A Louis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Well, i know the review title is a bit long but i wanted it to summarize all i want to say about the book.

Apparently i'm the first Egyptian here to review the book. I must say it's a disappointment by all means. When some people told me about this graphic novel called Cairo that was released, I thought, oh my God! i have to buy this, and i did buy it the next day. The cover looks cool, the artwork all in all is very good.

I have just finished the book, and i couldn't wait to review it. I expected it to be a Joe Sacco like work. But it's not, it's full of strange mystics, and myths, reflecting weird Islamic beliefs. Things involving Ghosts, and Satan. I found out at the end of the book that the writer is a Muslim convert.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the modern Cairo, the characters are very very shallow, it is very fast paced, that i couldn't actually define or explain how the character reached a decision, or a conclusion, or even link the relationship to each other!!

I know this is G Wilson's first graphic novel, but she should of used her journalistic talent in mixing a better story that links to TODAY's Cairo. The Cairo i saw in that graphic novel has nothing to do with the Cairo I'm living in.

I can tell that the book was meant for non-Egyptians but it still draws the same view to someone who hasn't seen Cairo, that it's old, and full of desert and pyramids! I'm really sorry to say that i wish that title "Cairo" went to a more deserving work.

I'm a great fan of Graphic Novels, Alan Moore is my all time favorite graphic novels writer, so as Neil Gaiman. So i am into the fantasy, mystics and dreams. But this is very very very weak... It's boring, it says it's recommended for mature readers, i'm sorry it is very childish, may be if i was in my early teenage i would of enjoyed this more.

One last thing that i couldn't actually understand is why do the characters mix arabic with english? Does that mean anything to someone who doesn't understand arabic?

She tried to discuss today's conflicts between Arabs, and Israelis in a fashion that i thought was tasteless.

I really wished to see something that reflects more of today's Cairo with it's traffic, overcrowded streets, the slums, the politics, the economics, the day to day life of the average Egyptian, even if it was a fiction, and more of today's Egypt. We have rich material for any forms of arts. Guess it has to be done by us Egyptians one day!!

I hope Mrs Wilson gets to see this, and i hope she doesn't make the same mistakes in her second graphic novel.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Good but too short 13 Dec. 2007
By C. Wiersema - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Cairo is fastpaced, humane, pretty and a joy to read. But it is too short. I just felt like I wanted more character development, adventure, and plot twists. Not enough happens.
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