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The Property Hardcover – 25 Jul 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (25 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224093738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224093736
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 2.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 270,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"My comic book of the year by a mile … This believe me, has everything you could possibly want in a comic: great pictures, a multi-layered story, sharp wit." (Rachel Cooke Observer)

"Drawn in clear, clean lines, which convey its thoroughly moving tale way more effectively than you’d think they would, and the result is a tender and dead clever evocation of the still-reverberating legacy of the Holocaust." (Rachael Allen Dazed and Confused)

"A nuanced and warm-hearted piece of work." (James Smart Guardian)

Book Description

The award-winning author of Exit Wounds returns with a story about secrets, money and the complex bonds of love.

Winner of the 2014 Eisner Comic Industry Award


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Lloyd-Jones on 13 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rutu Modan is quite critical of her own Israeli nation while being complimentary towards gentile Poles who sympathise with the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. This is obviously by contrast with Art Spiegelman's famous 'Maus' graphic novels, which notoriously portrayed all non-Jewish Poles as 'pigs'. Rutu Modan has a beautiful, simple clear line & colour style reminiscent of Herge's 'Tintin' books. She has the clever idea of showing the three languages spoken (Hebrew, Polish and English) in different typefaces - just squiggles when one character can't understand the language being spoken by two others. There is also a sketchbook within the story, rather like having a 'play within a play', where she's drawn much more realistically than in her comicky graphic style, a brilliant effect. Won't spoil the plot, but should also mention that the publishers have made a very well-produced hardback to compliment the author's moving story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 100 REVIEWER on 10 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Rutu Modan's second graphic novel, The Property, is her best book yet and one of the best comics of the year. Mica Segal and her grandmother Regina head from Israel to Warsaw to reclaim family property that was lost in World War 2. But as Mica soon realises, her grandmother has other reasons for returning to her former home that has to do with her grandmother's recently deceased son, Reuben, and a life left behind long ago.

Modan takes an already interesting story from the beginning and slowly peels away the layers as it goes to reveal an even more startling story underneath, so I don't want to talk too much about the book's contents - part of its compelling hold on the reader is the way the story swerves from one direction to a completely different one. There are subtle clues along the way as characters behave strangely though it's still surprising once we discover what it's really about and very moving as well.

At the heart of what makes this story so involving are the relationships, especially Mica and Regina's. There's a genuine closeness between the two that's very real, portrayed convincingly by Modan in small scenes like Mica helping her elderly grandmother shower and dress, or the two arguing (mostly because Regina's overwhelmed by the real reason she's in Warsaw and can't tell Mica) and Regina not speaking to Mica, childishly, despite being several decades older (and therefore wiser?). Regina is a sometimes difficult woman to like but she's multi-faceted, complex and real, as is Mica.

Regina and Roman's relationship too is maybe the most memorable in the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By alidoc on 24 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My first foray into the graphic novel and an excellent introduction to the genre. Good story too., may buy more if they are as good as this.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
Rutu Modan is an Israeli-born artist living with her family in London. "The Property" is her second full-length graphic novel; her first was the wonderfully drawn and written book, "Exit Wounds". And, curiously, "The Property" is the second graphic novel I've read and reviewed this week. The other one was "Letting It Go" by Miriam Katin. Both Katin and Modan's books are about Jewish women taking trips of discovery to the European countries that either they or a family member fled before or after WW2. Both books are about how the past can be integrated into the present, and maybe even, the future.

"The Property" is a story about a young woman who is accompanying her aged grandmother back to Warsaw from Israel in an attempt to straighten out some legal rights to a building the older woman may - or may not - own. The property, owned by her parents, who perished in the Holocaust, is never quite defined til the end of the book. Was it a mansion or a factory, or even, possibly, the current Warsaw Hilton! Legal title is up-for-grabs among various people; some family members, some Christian Poles who had been living in her parent's apartment since the war. Mica, the granddaughter, seems at loose-ends in her own life in Israel after her father's death. The father was the son of the grand-mother, Regina.

I don't think I'm being dramatic when I write that for Polish Jews who fled the country during the war and afterward, returning to Poland - even for a visit as Regina and Mica are doing - can be quite emotional. What went on during the war, with Polish Christians often turning on their Jewish neighbors, has been thoroughly written about and I'm sure not getting into it in this review.

The book begins with Regina and Mica traveling on an ElAl flight from Tel Aviv to Warsaw.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did like the 'changed' interpretation of what the property is. The author had cleverly demonstrated how the meaning gets altered to everyone throughout the book.But there were parts which had spoiled my enjoyment of the book, which I feel they should have been either edited or toned down.

I do partially get that Mica's grandmother (Regina) went through hard times, but the way she treated people around her had disturbed me (but I loved the scene where Regina throws her handbag at the cantor in the graveyard, and this is my favourite scene). The part that annoyed me most was at the beginning, where she argues with the security at the airport over a bottle of water. Since Israel takes zero-tolerance approach when it comes to national security issues, I doubt she would have even got on the plane to Poland in real life if she had done the same (although I wouldn't deny that I probably don't know much about Israel than the author, who is actually from there). I also couldn't agree with her exaggerations and changing statements, even after taking the fact that she was trying to hide her secret from the rest of the family. I felt the story around Hilton hotel in Warsaw was way too exaggerated (especially around that Mica and the cantor don't realise it). It would have been more understandable if something less grand (such as a nice farm in the suburbs) was used to cover-up Regina's story.
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