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Burma Chronicles Hardcover – 16 Apr 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (16 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224087711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224087711
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.7 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 814,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Like last year's "Pyongyang ." . . "Shenzhen "is a casual, dryly witty series of observations . . . A thoroughly engaging memoir. "The New York Times Book Review"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

`completely engaging...excellent portrait of a little-understood land, makes for a deeply original and fascinating piece of travel writing'.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A few years ago I went through a little graphic phase. After being enchanted by Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan, a graphic novel which showed the literary possibilities of the form, I quickly happened upon a very different kind of graphic experience in the political travelogues of Joe Sacco. First published by Fantagraphics his series of strips on Palestine were collected together by Jonathan Cape and led me onto his travels into Bosnia and Sarajevo. I guess part of the appeal was to have an easily accessible format to get some basic education about the politics behind those particular areas of conflict (pictures, and everything), but there was also something I loved about the self-deprecating humour and those moments where the shock of reality cut through the page, literally in black and white.

Following in a similar vein Guy Delisle produced a book called Pyongyang, a unique depiction of life in that most secretive of states. Again using simple black and white illustrations Delisle employs a similar humorous approach. Sent to North Korea as part of his work with a French animation company he spends lonely nights in a hotel, wishing for better coffee and food, leading a curious existence as he is marshaled around areas that the government deems fit to see. Slowly he is able to see more of the hidden parts of the country, getting a better idea of the life of ordinary Koreans and the realities of being part of the 'Axis-of-Evil'.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my second graphic novel from Delisle and I wasn't disappointed. I love to follow his journey as a writer/dad/person throughout his travels.
It's really funny as he's character is so alive and vivid. It always makes me laugh to see how he draws himself because in reality he's better looking that his cartoon self :)
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Format: Paperback
... this booklet by Your side...

Ok - everyone has to chant this little melody, an adaption of "If you're go'in to San Francisco, be sure to have a flower..etc..etc ..., BEFORE entering the nice country that is know known as Myanmar,
Because it will be the last happy melody to chant for the next time being.

So, here we have the known Cartoonist Guy Delisle, his beautiful Doctor Wife, working for MSF, and their son, Baby.
First they were bound - happily accepting - for Guatemala.
Then - a change - Guatemala is too dangerous - they will go to Myanmar...
A lot less dangerous???

So, after You have studied this book with all its ca 300 pages, You know all about Myanmar, aka Burma, and even more that You wanted ever to know about it!

I did not see this book - no page of it - as other than a secret love affair of the author with this oh soh "Land without Smiles" or "The Farest Place far away from Democracy", as it was known to my little self in July in 2012 - since then there went a lot of water down the Irrawaddy!

This book, designed and written by Guy Delisle is nothing else but a declaration of love!!! A love that took its time to sprout, to bloom, to make a full flower, and, maybe also a fruit.

I read other books by this author, Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China and Pjöngjang a travelogue from North Korea, but this one seems to be his most mature work.
Maybe also the family thing, that he has to do a part-time job with his son, the excursions they make together, lots of strange things to discover, makes it reasy for the reader to identify her-/himself with our good Guy. :)

OK, Guy Delisle: Father of the Year!

(PS: Review edited all over 23/3/2014)
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First read his Shenzhen, thought it was brilliant. I am a graphic designer and had lived in China for many years. Delisle had captured 100% this city's spirit and its people. This book is sheer visual poetry, evoking all the senses of this city to come alive... like re-living my China days. Especially love his dark shadings and background textures...which he did himself. (In his later books someone else did the shadings.) They convey successfully that strange, annoying and noisy ambience of Shenzhen.

Then I read his Jerusalem. A bit disappointed. Obviously he did not put in as much effort and care into his drawing and it shows. Having 2 kids can really affect an artist's dedication. Understandable. He did a good job describing the political and social scenes, which I found fascinating. Learned a lot about this city.

Then I read his Burma Chronicles. Big let-down. Further decline in drawing quality. It's obvious he was putting less and less care into his drawings and just working to meet deadlines. The story is much less interesting. You come away feeling you have not learned that much about Burma. Like watching a really mediocre movie and afterwards you can't remember a thing about it. The printing quality is very poor. It's printed in India, and there is no solid black. The darkest is an uneven grey. Paper is too thin, kind of see-through.

Comic books is quite an expensive hobby but we love the feeling of holding a nice quality book in our hands. I felt cheated when I got this book.
I don't think I will buy Pyongyang. Don't want another let-down.
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