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Palestine [Paperback]

Joe Sacco
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Jan 2003

In late l991 and early 1992, at the time of the first Intifada, Joe Sacco spent two months with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, travelling and taking notes. Upon returning to the United States he started writing and drawing Palestine, which combines the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comic-book storytelling to explore this complex, emotionally weighty situation. He captures the heart of the Palestinian experience in image after unforgettable image, with great insight and remarkable humour.

The nine-issue comics series won a l996 American Book Award. It is now published for the first time in one volume, befitting its status as one of the great classics of graphic non-fiction.

Frequently Bought Together

Palestine + Oxford Bookworms Library: Stage 3: Rabbit-Proof Fence: 1000 Headwords (Oxford Bookworms ELT) + The Township Plays: No-Good Friday; Nongogo; The Coat; Sizwe Bansi is Dead; The Island
Price For All Three: 25.03

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Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (2 Jan 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224069829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224069823
  • Product Dimensions: 26.9 x 18 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A political and aesthetic work of extraordinary originality, quite unlike any other in the long, often turgid and hopelessly twisted debates that have occupied Palestinians, Israelis, and their respective supporters... With the exception of one or two novelists and poets, no one has ever rendered this terrible state of affairs better than Joe Sacco" (Edward Said)

"The bar is set extremely high when it comes to graphic books and the Middle East: one thinks of Joe Sacco's Palestine" (Observer)

Book Description

The landmark work of comics journalism - by the author of Safe Area: Gorazde.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A corner stone in comic book journalism. 9 Feb 2005
By Lucluke
Bearing in mind that no documentary, especially not on war, is ever going to be objective and thus that any reader's reaction is bound to be subjective, this work is going to stir people's feelings.
Joe Sacco's work is unique in that unlike most journalists, not only has he chosen to use comics/graphic novels as a medium but also he has a much less superficial way of working. This book and the one on Sarajevo offer a real insight on the plight of people's life in a war stricken zone. The fact that the author does not restrict himself to citing historic facts but also goes in to show apparently meaningless details about the local population's daily life only makes the horror of it all more obvious.
Though showing the plight of the Palestinians during the first "Intifada", I do not feel this is antisemitic or whatever. Joe Sacco strives to expose the first victims of any conflict, the civilians, and how that suffering is used by the waring factions on both sides against the opponent.
This might be a "comic book" but it is also a major work showing this medium to be on par with written litterature or films at their best. It is no surprise this book has received so many awards from people who are not in the "comics" business.
A definite must read for anyone interested in good journalism or on this crisis.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, thought-provoking and informative 25 Mar 2004
By Mr. D. N. Sumption VINE VOICE
This is an incredible work of comic journalism, an incredible work of journalism full stop. Sacco spends two months in Israel and the occupied territories, living with the people, hearing their stories, and relaying them to us as directly as he is able.
At first I was a little disappointed to hear little from the Israelis, it felt like I might not be getting the whole story, but as Joe himself says, that side of the story is one that is regularly aired in the media. What we get here, as in very few other places, is a real feel of what life is like for a Palestinian, living in a refugee camp. The book is not a political polemic (although it does set out a little-heard of history of Israel from a Palestinian viewpoint), nor does it offer any easy solutions (or even any solutions), but it documents the pain and suffering of a people in a way that you're unlikely to get elsewhere.
I strongly recommend anyone who has any interest in the situation in the middle east (which these days, lets face it, should be all of us) to read this book.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History as lived by real people 29 July 2006
A truly wonderful book of journalism that shows the reader what it actually means to live, work, struggle, travel, have kids, survive and die as a Palestinian in the West bank and Gaza.

There are some truly heartbreaking stories in here, made even more so for me by the realisation that in years of hearing about the Middle East on the news I had never got any sense of what it means for a people to live their whole lives in these conditions.

Sacco tells his experiences in a self-deprecating way, never holier-than-thou or over-sentimental, always respectful. The artwork is at once simple and full of intricate detail, and beautiful to look at, even when it's subject matter is dark.

Ideally, it should make no difference to those reading this to know that I am of Jewish descent. But I find that for some reason, adding this point sometimes helps people avoid lazily dismissing reviews like this as "anti-Semitic" or somesuch.

Good honest hournalists like Joe Sacco are putting this stuff out there. How many of us choose to read and understand and then act on this kind of reporting (in the West, as much as in the Middle East) is, I think, what will decide how many more people suffer, for how long.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been much better 14 Dec 2009
By John Ct
I was looking forward reading this, I love the concept of comic journalism that the writer tries to create, and I would like to read more comic books on serious topics in that style.

Yet, I didn't enjoy this. As another reviewer mentioned it is too autobiographical. Not in terms of personal revelations but of trivial everyday things and self-conscious dialogues which lead up to the recurrent theme of "oh my god, how challenging, things are not black and white, what they show us in the west is only part of the truth". It's not that I disagree with that theme (and I share the author's sympathy with the Palestinian people he portrays), it's just that the "moral" is given too crudely, as if the author was a naive american teenager returning from his first trip abroad and saying it all to his innocent and slightly nerdy friends.

The language contributes to that too, too many words wasted (especially in an artform which relies on the economy and succinctness of words). A couple of examples... On Israeli women being admitted in the army: "takes the edge off for an aesthete like me and as an international jetsetter with an opportunity -if not a mandate- to compare such things I would place Israeli women way high in the global hot looks sweepstakes". On a smoking young soldier immediately after: "and what about the boys? oh la la!! He's doing a 'welcome to marlborough country', even I am pressing my legs together!". On a middle age woman photographing above Israeli soldier: "betcha she's never had beefcake like this on her Fuji color".

Generally, I found the history parts incomplete and too sparse, the personal travel stories more or less what I expected and not that interesting, and the light-hearted parts like the above excrept not that witty. In fairness though, I know basic stuff about the conflict and peoples and I take forgranted some of the things that the author tries to express, so perhaps I'm not in the right target group.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Provides knowledge of the Israel/Palestine conflict in an entertaining...
If you want to know the basics of the Palestine/Israel conflict, this graphic novel is great. It tells the history of the invasion and the 2 intifadas that followed thereafter. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Aneesa
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great job by Sacco
I'm reading it at the moment and I understand that hadn't Joe Sacco existed, someone should have invented him. Read more
Published 5 months ago by rents
3.0 out of 5 stars Great novel but only shows one side.
It's a very good book, i do recommend it. However, if you really want to learn more about the topic i would suggest you read more about Israel too. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Carla
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next book!
Bought it after I saw the Israeli film Waltzing with Bashir. It opens a window on the everyday life in Palestinian refugee camps, occupied illegally by Israeli troops since 1967,... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST BOOK ON THE TROUBLES!
I've read many books regarding the Palistine/Isreal conflict & I've got to say this is the most important piece of work done on the subject,highy praise for what started as a comic... Read more
Published 22 months ago by hiphophead
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a book on the other side of the argument for a change.
A very fantastic book, tells us about their side of the problem for a change rather than what the media alwys tells us what they think is happening. Read more
Published on 29 Oct 2011 by A. Abdul Hamid
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful insights
This is isn't really an ideological piece that some would have you believe. Its the foray of Sacco's journalistic experiences in Palestine proper and as such challenges conventions... Read more
Published on 26 Oct 2011 by abclaret
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't explain the background
The book treats a difficult subject humourously but it is too biased to be worth taking seriously.

The book doesn't go into the reasons why Israel took the lands that... Read more
Published on 19 Jun 2011 by Gamla
3.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but still worth your time
I bought this after reading Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995 by Sacco, which I thought was excellent. But I was a bit disappointed with Palestine. Read more
Published on 1 Oct 2010 by Girl Friday
4.0 out of 5 stars Palestine a wonderful example of graphic journalism
Joe Sacco's drawings gives back to the reader the sensation of a trip in first person. The often aimless roaming of the author around the Palestian Territories builds the imagine... Read more
Published on 15 Sep 2010 by Lorenzo SOAS
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