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Persepolis Paperback – 6 Mar 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Film Tie-In edition (6 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009952399X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099523994
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"As Iran enters another important period of change...I think this is particularly good time to pick up Persepolis. Satrapi's deceptively simple, almost whimsical drawings belie the seriousness and rich complexity of her story - but its also very funny too" (Emma Watson Our Shared Shelf)

"A revelation...you will remember it for a very long time" (Mark Haddon)

"Persepolis is a stylish, clever and moving weapon of mass destruction" (David Jenkins Sunday Telegraph)

"The magic of Marjane Satrapi's work is that it can condense a whole country's tragedy into one poignant, funny scene after another" (Natasha Walter Independent on Sunday)

"I cannot praise enough Marjane Satrapi's moving account of growing up as a spirited young girl in revolutionary and war-time Iran. Persepolis is disarming and often humorous but ultimately it is shattering" (Joe Sacco)

Review

`A mordantly funny chronicle of the author's childhood in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran.'

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am not typically a big fan of graphic novels but the work of Joe Sacco took my breath away when I was in college so it was with glee and expectation that I took this book up.

Its superb. Comics are considered juvenile. I am utterly convinced, as a result of this book, that the graphic novel is a great vehicle for discussing the most serious and sombre of topics. The contrast between the simple drawings and the complex events they represent create a balance so that you can read the saddest things without being weighed down.

That having been said, the moving tale of an independent young woman's maturation in and out of post-revolution Iran moved me to tears at some points. I have an insight into the country that countless documentaries or news articles about President Ahmadinejad or Ayatollah Khomeini couldn't give me.

I strongly recommend it to everyone. It will be an eye-opening education.
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Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic comic that will appeal to both comic fans & non-comic fans alike.

Despite the Amazon title, this edition "Persepolis. The Story of a Childhood and The Story of a Return" actually contains the complete Persepolis series.

"The Story of a Childhood" was original published in France as Persepolis 1 & 2, "The Story of a Return" was original published in France as Persepolis 3 & 4
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Format: Paperback
This is a simply told story that touches on some very big ideas; the Islamic revolution; loyalty and family; and which boys you should fancy.
The main character is charming, naive, sympathetic and occasionally annoying - in other words, a very convincing young woman.
A fantastic read, especially if you think you don't like comic books!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a graphic novel about Marjane's childhood and early adulthood in Iran. It combines the joy of reading a comic book with a real insight to life in Iran - through her eyes. It was no effort to read - in fact it was a absolute page turner but at the end of it I still felt I had a much better understanding of recent Iranian history and its impact on ordinary people than before. It is very funny, and winsome but she never loses sight of the pity of it all. Imagine, her liberal family with fine revolutionary credentials suddenly had to wear a veil/grow a beard and live in a religious state. How do they adapt? She describes her family and friends's reluctant conformity with great wit but in a manner that is sensitive to the background thunder of political executions, fear, torture and war. I cannot wait for the film.
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It is strangely not The Story of a Childhood that is strong of the two books compiled here, but The Story of a Return, much of which is about the time the author spent in Austria rather than in Iran.

The first book has all the detail of life in Iran during and and in the immediate years after the revolution but comes off as too glib and self absorbed due to her being focussed on her own gauche, childish miscomprehension and reactions to events. This book is much stronger read as an examination of how children are, in the negative sense, than one on the events that she is writing about, which are set down so methodically that it is almost like a checklist is being followed. The second book is unexpectedly a lot stronger than the first though the first has much more on her subject, Iran.

The illustration isn't very strong, being rather childish, while not using this to its advantage, emotions conveyed without much subtlety or detail. The book is too chronological and could have done with being more mixed up (a little of Jimmy the Smartest Kid on Earths style) rather than so very "this happened then this happened then this then this". Stronger graphic novels that convey together what Persepolis does in terms of how people and family members are together and / or the reactions to sweeping socio political changes are the brilliant Maus by Art Spiegelman and the mostly excellent Fun Home by Alison Bechtel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This graphic novel memoir is split into sections, the firs tells of Marjane Satrapi’s life in Tehran from when she 6 to 14. It’s her experience of the changes after the overthrowing of the Shah’s regime, the Islamic revolution and the war with Iraq. The second half is about Marji’s life in Austria, where her family sent her own safety, her isolation there and then Marji’s return to Tehran after four years.

Marjane Satrapi’s narration is engaging, you get to know her and her life really well. I learned so much from Persepolis. During the first half of the book (when Marji is a child) there are explanations about what was going on in Tehran at that time, as well the history behind this. When Marji returns from Austria the public vs private life personas continue to be opposite. People are being watched all the time. I think the below quote from Persepolis is fitting:

The regime had understood that one person leaving her house while asking herself:
Are my trousers long enough?’
Is my veil in place?’
Can my make-up be seen?’
Are they going to whip me?’

No longer asks herself:
Where is my freedom of thought?’
Where is my freedom of speech?’
My life, is it livable?’
What’s going on in the political prisons?”

If you haven’t read any graphic novels before then let this be the one to start. Don’t like history or memoirs? I think Persepolis might just convince you otherwise.
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