2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
nuanced, poignant - and very funny,
This review is from: Persepolis (Paperback)
This is a strikingly memorable and effective depiction of the revolution in Iran and of its impact on one young girl. Satrapi captures the uncertainty - and misplaced hope - of the early days of the revolution before charting the bewildering and most unwelcome restrictions of the new regime, particularly on women. Marjane's encounters with the stern female `Guardians of the Revolution' and her little acts of rebellion recalled (rather chillingly) the experiences of Offred in Margaret Atwood's `The Handmaid's Tale'. But, incongruously, I also found myself reminded of Posy Simmonds' cosily comic cartoons - perhaps because Marjane's father looked a little bit like George Weber. The humour of Persepolis is enjoyable but, although in one sense it lightens a potentially bleak book, it also makes the horror and tragedy Marjane experiences still more shocking.
The heroine's disorientation as she moves from Iran to Europe and then back to Iran again was depicted very well. Although she feels like a rebel in theocratic Iran, Marjane seems prim and earnest to the bohemian young people she meets in Austria. I was expecting the reverse to happen once she moved back to Tehran. But her Iranian girlfriends, obsessed with the forbidden delights of lipstick and western pop, *also* think she is prim and earnest. There are many moments in the novel which stick in my mind. There is one rather charming episode when Marjane is interviewed before being admitted to university to check out her ideological purity. She answers with unwise candour, confessing that (although she certainly believes in God) her religious views and practices are unconventional. It seems certain that she'll be turned away but it is then revealed that the Imam (even though he is pretty orthodox himself) was impressed by her honesty.