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4.4 out of 5 stars
19
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 15 September 2012
A great book, which through the atmospheric illustrations and well-constructed stories gives an entertaining and thought-provoking account of life in Jerusalem and the West Bank (as well as the wider background of Israel/Palestine conflict).

I have visited most of the towns mentioned in the book and found Guy Deslisle's drawings incredibly effective at capturing both the look and atmosphere of those locations. They brought back strong memories and stirred my emotions, reigniting the sense of disbelief and outrage that I felt when there, particularly in Hebron and regarding the checkpoints and the wall.

Some may find that the author leans too far politically in one direction, but in my view his mindset is a natural consequence of spending time in the area. I doubt there are too many westerners in east Jerusalem or the West Bank who disagree with him.

An interesting and well-crafted book about a fascinating part of the world.
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on 16 June 2013
While this book says little that is really new about the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio, the facts, impressions and insights are engagingly presented by an experienced and intrepid traveller. I learnt a good deal about some of the details of life for both Israelis and Palestinians. But he did not get under the skin of those Israelis who feel embattled and threatened, who find deep within themselves a sense of the insecurity of the Jewish people since AD 70. Perhaps he didn't meet any he could talk to.

If Delisle is a faux naïf, no matter. The technique works reasonably well.

But the book has two drawbacks:
1.although he CAN draw well for other contexts, Delisle adopts a shorthand draughtsmanship which didn't appeal at all to me. His treatment of faces - and particularly eyes and mouths - makes people look either expressionless or positively ugly. I was sorry to see his partner depicted in this way. Delisle uses dialogue to express character but couldn't he also draw people with that aim in mind? He misses golden opportunities: why no large scale drawing of the model presented to Sultan Selim I?
2. The translator has rendered Delisle's French is a curious N American demotic which - to my ears at least - made Delisle seem more flippant than he was. At any rate, the result is not verbally stylish.
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on 15 September 2013
I thought some of the observations were very one sided and flippant and obviously he is Pro Palestinian without giving any indication about how Israelis feel having to feel like the only way they can live in true safety is when they have checkpoints and walls to protect themselves. He flippantly says he can't figure out why the checkpoints are so intense or that the airport interrogation is ridiculous and the fact they have a wall is crazy as there have not been suicide attacks for years. I lived in Israel from 1974 to 1980 and there were bombs everyday in Jerusalem, from buses to bombs being put in children's toys, to discotheques to the Old City, to movie houses etc. Also a school bus full of children. Back then they did not have check points or a wall, perhaps that is the reason they have all theses things in place now? and it has almost stopped the bombings? Something any country in the world would do to protect its people, only Israel is vilified for doing it. I also don't think he should refer to Hamas as almost being freedom fighters and that only Israel and the US refer to them as Terrorists. I also thought it really too bad how he said Israel was bombing the Hamas areas without talking at all about the months of endless rockets being fired over into Israel, and their right to retaliate, something any other country would do.. I would have preferred he got opinions from both sides instead of just making ne side look totally evil and the other side totally blameless. I am not saying that Israel is totally blameless either but nor are the Palestinians. The conflict between them will never get resolved if only one side of the story is told.
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on 26 October 2015
This well-written and visually rendered account greatly clarified for me the day to day life across the diverse groups and lack of interaction between them in Jerusalem and Israel. His style of not saying too much in regards to these stories as well the expat life resonated with me. He's a good storyteller and visual narrator. I also have bought his other works --but this one is his best so far.
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on 3 October 2014
Brilliant. :)
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on 21 August 2013
you can, but I found it "as it is" He spoiled it with one anti semetic picture, he could do with removing that- would give his book a lot more cred
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on 11 January 2014
With brilliant sketches and a dry sense of humour, Guy takes you along with him on his interesting journey in a troubled land. Read this and you will be wanting to read his others.
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on 18 February 2013
Less funny than previous works (I've read Bhurma, Shenzen and Pyongyang - maybe more "exotic" and surprising), but still pretty good!
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on 9 November 2012
This is by far the best book of Guy Delisle has made so far, i just loved it. The drawings are really well done and the book is as usual very thought provoking and funny.
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on 11 December 2012
What do you buy the guy who has everything? Apparently this.
Bought for my Dad as a birthday present this went down very well, he had his head stuck in it for hours.
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