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4.4 out of 5 stars
16
4.4 out of 5 stars


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on 12 August 2017
An entertaining read, but it should be made clear that the experience Guy Delisle had in Shenzhen is back in the early 1997 when Shenzhen was a very VERY different place i.e. more backwards. For example he states that he liked to travel to the more modern Guangzhou to get away from Shenzhen (it is a great place), well Shenzen is most definitely on par if not better with Guangzhou these days. In 2017 the city has been bulldozed and transformed into a vast modern metropolis. A quick google by anyone today will verify this. Guy is pretty bang on with the cultural side of things though! Very funny stuff.

So in summary, greatly outdated in terms of location experience but still pretty accurate in terms of cultural experience
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on 19 June 2016
Really liked it. Casual story about his experience in Shenzhen. Really opens your eyes as to what the country's culture really is apart from the main stream touristic attractions.
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on 18 December 2016
Great read, feel like you are there with him.
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on 14 May 2017
Funny and grotesque
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VINE VOICEon 31 May 2009
Although Shenzhen is not the first of Delisle's graphic travelogues to have been published, it appears to be the first that he actually wrote.

The book is an account of 3 months that Delisle spent in Shenzhen in China, overseeing an animation studio. He describes his somewhat lonely lifestyle, trying to get to grips with the locals, food and culture in an ugly, rapidly expanding city.

Fans of Delisle's other books, such as Pyongyang or Burma Chronicles will enjoy Shenzhen, though it is fair to say that the story telling is not quite a good and the artwork is less refined and more of a blurred, smudgy style, rather than the finer, sharper lines of his later works.

It's also possible that it's the subject material which makes Shenzhen slightly less appealing than Burma or Pyongyang. China is a fairly well covered topic in literature now, whereas people who have spent extended time in Burma or North Korea and have written about it are fewer and further between.

Overall - it's evident that this is Delisle at a less developed stage of his graphic book writing career.

Don't get me wrong, it's still a good read (if I could, I would award it 3.5 stars) - but it's just not quite as funny, compelling or refined as Burma Chronicles and Pyongyang: Journey in North Korea.
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I would tend to agree with the reviewer 'Sinbad' - it is not as good as his later works. This feels more experimental, more raw, and the subject matter intrigues less because much more is known about China than Burma and North Korea. But I still liked the book, because it has all the qualities one associates with Delisle, his sardonic wit, his keen sense of observation, as the outsider looking in. The book I think will also serve as a historical snapshot, a document of a China in full-throttled transition from socialism to capitalism. I also think it is worth reading just to see how Delisle as an artist develops over the years. For these reasons, it's still a good book. And if you have ever visited China, you will appreciate the book even more. You will surely laugh with recognition as he struggles to comprehend the lighting system in his hotel room. The book is still a must if you are Delisle fan. It only drops a star because it is a good book that has been surpassed by the author's later, better books.
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on 1 May 2011
This is the weakest from the trilogy, but anyway is brilliant, if you know something about asia and specially China you will love it!

if you are thinking in buy one from him choose first Burma Chronicles or Pionyang
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on 6 May 2014
I love Delisle's travelogues and although I think Shenzen is the weakest of the set I still love it. I would suggest reading it as the first and trying to read them in order if possible as they get better and better.
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on 1 January 2013
I really enjoyed this book - I read it in a night (not a great feat as it is not a very long book, but it held my attention nonetheless). I haven't read any of the author's other books, but I will certainly check them out. The storyline was interesting and full of funny little observations, and I felt I finished it with an idea of how it felt to be stuck in Shenzhen and unable to speak the language. The pictures were charmingly unsophisticated, but very evocative (black and white, and sketch-style). Great book.
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on 1 January 2012
I would defiantly recommend all graphic novels from Guy Delisle, they are realistic, fun and the drawings are great. If you love to travel and would like to know more on the specifics of Shenzen this one is for you.
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