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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 November 2006
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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on 29 April 2008
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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on 20 August 2008
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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on 29 October 2016
This book is absolutely wonderful. I went into this not really knowing what to expect but knowing that I wanted to try out another graphic novel after a successful first experience a few months ago. What I did not expect was the be completely blown away! What a treat this book is.

Persepolis provides a very rare insight into the world of life in the Middle East over a number of years. Most importantly, Marjane Satrapi shows us the reality of being a woman growing up in the Middle East under such a strict regime. Her passionate outlook on life really inspired me throughout all the tales she told in this book. From her battles with depression, the sexual experiences she had which were frowned upon by her friends as well as society, her outspoken approach to religion and the beautiful relationship with her family, particularly her father. This was a real page turner and came with beautiful images which really worked well with the story Satrapi was telling.

Satrapi's narration was powerful to the point where I completely channelled her emotions with her. I felt saddened, alone, excited, frustrated, happy and angry. Those are just an overview of the emotions you will feel whilst reading this wonderful story. This is a book that everyone should have to read at some point in their lives. So important and I feel thankful that Satrapi has shared her story with us. Incredible.
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VINE VOICEon 20 November 2007
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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on 9 September 2010
This comic is unreadable on the kindle...the font is too small. Changing the text size does not change the font size of the comic
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on 10 January 2008
A graphic novel that serves as the autobiography of author Marjane Saptrapi. I read the complete edition which contains "The story of a childhood" and "The story of a return". Marjane Satrapi was born in 1969 in Iran during the Shah's reign. During her lifetime she has witnessed first hand the takeovwe by the Revolution, the war between Iran and Iraq and the compulsary wearing of the veil by all woman in Iran. Her parents were very liberal and she grew up with an immense curiosity and drive to speak her mind which often got her into trouble in such a strict society. At the age of 14 her parents send her alone to Austria where she goes to school but doesn't fit in. She associates with punks and nihilists where she experiments with drugs and has her first relationship which sadly doesn't end well. After spending some time living on the streets and nearly dying she decides to return home, but starts to suffer from depression when she is back. In Iran she feels like a Westener and in the Western world she feels like an Iranian so struggles to find her place.

This was an excellent novel beautifully illustrated and told with warmth and humour despite the often tragic subjects. I am not really one for politics and don't know more than the basics, but this has given me a thorough grounding in Iranian culture and the wars going on in and near by Iran. The Western view of Iran is of oppression, particularly of woman, and it was lovely to see that behind closed doors there are parties, make-up, relationships (both straight and gay) and everything pretty much the same as over here. The only difference is if caught the penalty can range from interrogation to whipping to death.

If you don't read graphic novels, I urge you not to be put off reading this as you will miss a great story and a great piece work of politics too.
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on 5 June 2012
You may have heard of the film but this book is the story that inspired it.

Marjane Satrapi wrote this autobiographical account of her childhood in Iran during (and following) the Islamic Revolution. The child of wealthy Marxist parents and the great-granddaughter of Iran's last Emperor, Satrapi - by her own admission in the comic - was more privileged, and liberal, than many others in Iran.

`Persepolis' charts different anecdotes from Satrapi's childhood and adolescence - each like its own few-pages-long comic strip. The illustrations, all in black and white, are amazing. Her memories, told through the eyes of a child, are funny and startling in equal measure.

Charting the changes in Iran during the Revolution, Satrapi demonstrates how politics can impact on the personal. Many of the stories are about how Satrapi and/or her family tried to find ways of being true to themselves without being imprisoned by the radical religious police. As Iran, and its operations became increasingly strict, Marjan grew up and continued to be outspoken - sometimes with scary or amusing consequences. There are stories about things that we in the West take for granted: alcohol, make-up, running for the bus and rock music.

The second part of `Persepolis' charts Marjane's departure from Iran to Austria where she meets some very `interesting' characters as well as going through some really harrowing personal times. Satrapi had a knack for understanding what it is to be an outsider, even in your own home.

Marjane Satrapi is a true hero - she's an irrepressible spirit as well as being funny and entirely charming as a narrator. She never shies away from stories that will not necessarily paint her in a bad light but she is so honest that I couldn't help but admire her.

`Persepolis' is an example of the ridiculous (the regime) and the sublime (the brave narrator).
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on 16 January 2017
I suppose that of the many praising words written for this book, which deserves them all, very little has been said about the beneficial effect it can have on a reluctant-to-read grumpy teenager. I had personally read it years ago and I cannot praise it enough, a daring genius important novel!!! But i bought it again in my pursue to convince my daughter to read (she had stopped all of a sudden months ago) and it worked wonders. She was totally taken by the very clever story telling and the deeply emotional history scenario. As a young woman she felt connected and touched by the female protagonists and their struggle. She has not stopped reading other books since, similar format or subject. Thank you Mrs. Satrapi for having helped a young lady to reconnect with a reality which is not filtered by utube/instagram/facebook viewers, but much vaster and more profound.
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VINE VOICEon 15 February 2008
Amazing read! Through the narration of the author's spirited, likeable and slightly mad younger self growing up in Iran, the reader learns so much about life there from an insider's perspective, without ever feeling even remotely lectured to. The illustrations are original and witty, and draw you into the world Marjane Satrapi vividly evokes. The characters of her family, friends and neighbours are very well portrayed and there are definitely more than a few laughs despite (because of?) the serious subject matter.

If you know French, I really recommend getting the original, because the graphic novel format makes it very easy and motivating to read and the conversational style will be a nice change from textbooks and newspapers! If not, the English translation is very good and was supervised by Marjane Satrapi herself, whose English is good enough to make sure the sense has been captured exactly by the translator (a friend of hers, I think I remember reading).

Also, the Amazon price at the time of writing is an absolute bargain, if you are getting all four books in one! I bought mine separately for about that price each!
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