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The Fixer: A Story from Sarajevo Paperback – 5 Aug 2004

6 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Fixer: A Story from Sarajevo
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  • Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-95: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995
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  • Palestine
Total price: £43.46
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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape; First Edition edition (5 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224073826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224073820
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 0.9 x 26.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This tightly wound, humane and suspenseful non-fiction graphic novella employs visual devices from the best traditions of film noir. Sacco's finely wrought, expressively rendered black and white drawings perfectly capture the emotional character of Sarajevo and the people who struggle to live there. This superlative and important story is easily one of the best comics non-fiction works of the year" (Publishers Weekly)

"Sacco is formidably talented. A meticulous reporter...and a gifted artist whose richly nuanced drawings tread a delicate path between cartoonishness and naturalism" (Charles Shaar Murray Independent)

"Sacco's greatest achievement is to have so poignantly depicted oppression and horror in a form that manages to be both disarming and disquieting" (David Thompson Observer)

"One of the most original cartoonists of the past two decades" (Duncan Campbell Guardian)

Book Description

A new work of 'comics journalism' by the acclaimed author of Palestine.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LorenzoLVG on 30 July 2010
Format: Paperback
The story focuses on Neven - the fixer from Sarajevo. His depiction in my opinion is quite in sync with the typical "careless, always try to be cool, rarely show your weakness, fun-loving but deep down depressed" male in his late thirties that the war in Yugoslavia helped create on all sides of the conflict. Through his tales we learn some (possibly unreliable) facts or legends of the defense of Sarajevo. For me it was the type of refreshing information that mainstream media did not focus on and gave me more insight into the Bosnian war.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
Just to be clear, this is not a graphic novel, as some people are saying. It is graphic non-fiction, or graphic reportage, occupying a gray area somewhere between newsprint, photojournalism, memoir, cartooning, and essay. Sacco's first such book on Bosnia, Safe Area Gorazde, is a classic -- and those who found it compelling will certainly want to read this account of his 2001 return to Sarajevo. Aided by a Guggenheim fellowship, Sacco returned to do followup research and find old friends to see how they were getting along in peacetime. In his attempt to learn more about the siege of Sarajevo and the and its aftermath, he reconnects with an paramilitary veteran who had been his "fixer" on his previous trip in 1995. In war zones and trouble spots throughout the world, fixers are the oil that lubricates the machinery of international journalism. They are the ones who steer journalists to the right translator, hotel, driver, interviewer, clean hooker, alcohol, location, etc. -- for a few hundred in hard currency per day.
Sacco's fixer was Neven, a Bosnian Serb who loves his city and fought in one of the many ad hoc brigades that were assembled by charismatic men in the early days of the war before a real Bosnian army was established.  An outsize character, Neven becomes a kind of lens through which Sacco tries to understand the war's very confusing impact on Sarajevo. The book hopscotches between various stages of the war and the present in a kaleidoscopic jumble of images, confusing nicknames, and impenetrable mix of fact and myth. Through Neven, Sacco tells the fragmentary tale of some of the more prominent warlords (almost all of whom were shady prewar characters), and of their sometimes heroic, sometimes despicable activities during the siege.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Salinas on 31 July 2008
Format: Paperback
I have all of Joe Sacco's graphic novels/graphic chronicles/however you want to call them.

The man is a genius. The Fixer has all the traces of a Sacco work, the twisted faces, the self deprecation from Sacco himself, the harrowing stories. However, the brevity of this work makes me somewhat suspicious that this is some leftover story that didn't quite fit into his far superior and longer Gorazde opus.

It is a great book, but start with Gorazde or Palestine and then come back to The Fixer if you are new to Sacco. It will be all the more rewarding.
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