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Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 31 May 2009
Although Shenzhen is not the first of Delisle's graphic travelogues to have been published, it appears to be the first that he actually wrote.

The book is an account of 3 months that Delisle spent in Shenzhen in China, overseeing an animation studio. He describes his somewhat lonely lifestyle, trying to get to grips with the locals, food and culture in an ugly, rapidly expanding city.

Fans of Delisle's other books, such as Pyongyang or Burma Chronicles will enjoy Shenzhen, though it is fair to say that the story telling is not quite a good and the artwork is less refined and more of a blurred, smudgy style, rather than the finer, sharper lines of his later works.

It's also possible that it's the subject material which makes Shenzhen slightly less appealing than Burma or Pyongyang. China is a fairly well covered topic in literature now, whereas people who have spent extended time in Burma or North Korea and have written about it are fewer and further between.

Overall - it's evident that this is Delisle at a less developed stage of his graphic book writing career.

Don't get me wrong, it's still a good read (if I could, I would award it 3.5 stars) - but it's just not quite as funny, compelling or refined as Burma Chronicles and Pyongyang: Journey in North Korea.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I would tend to agree with the reviewer 'Sinbad' - it is not as good as his later works. This feels more experimental, more raw, and the subject matter intrigues less because much more is known about China than Burma and North Korea. But I still liked the book, because it has all the qualities one associates with Delisle, his sardonic wit, his keen sense of observation, as the outsider looking in. The book I think will also serve as a historical snapshot, a document of a China in full-throttled transition from socialism to capitalism. I also think it is worth reading just to see how Delisle as an artist develops over the years. For these reasons, it's still a good book. And if you have ever visited China, you will appreciate the book even more. You will surely laugh with recognition as he struggles to comprehend the lighting system in his hotel room. The book is still a must if you are Delisle fan. It only drops a star because it is a good book that has been surpassed by the author's later, better books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2011
This is the weakest from the trilogy, but anyway is brilliant, if you know something about asia and specially China you will love it!

if you are thinking in buy one from him choose first Burma Chronicles or Pionyang
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2014
I love Delisle's travelogues and although I think Shenzen is the weakest of the set I still love it. I would suggest reading it as the first and trying to read them in order if possible as they get better and better.
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on 1 January 2013
I really enjoyed this book - I read it in a night (not a great feat as it is not a very long book, but it held my attention nonetheless). I haven't read any of the author's other books, but I will certainly check them out. The storyline was interesting and full of funny little observations, and I felt I finished it with an idea of how it felt to be stuck in Shenzhen and unable to speak the language. The pictures were charmingly unsophisticated, but very evocative (black and white, and sketch-style). Great book.
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on 1 January 2012
I would defiantly recommend all graphic novels from Guy Delisle, they are realistic, fun and the drawings are great. If you love to travel and would like to know more on the specifics of Shenzen this one is for you.
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on 7 September 2011
This book is a great quick read, I love the style and think it is worth the money any day of the week. This is one of his shorter books but still has the same wit and as entertaining as his others.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2007
I really enjoyed this book, it was entertaining and informative. Delisle's observations and illustrations are very amusing.

I have never been to China but after reading this book I felt like I understood more of the culture as Delisle gives a very honest account of his time in Shenzhen.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in travel and different cultures. It's quick and easy to read and one you can enjoy reading over and over again.
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on 1 March 2013
The book was OK, not Delisle's best in my opinion, and a part of it was not well bound (it's a paperback), so certain pages could not be read as comfortably as others.
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on 3 July 2013
personal yet universal, insightful, intelligent and witty. a great read with great visuals that gives more info on the north korean situation than many other sources.
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