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Exit Wounds Hardcover – June 12, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897299060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897299067
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #707,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Tel Aviv-–based Modan gives American comics readers a sharp sense of Israeli life in this brilliant and moving graphic novel. The story follows Koby Franco, a young taxi driver and lost soul, as he searches for his missing father, a man who long ago left the family and may or may not have been killed in a suicide bomb attack. Assisting and prodding him is Nuni, a young soldier who was romantically involved with the missing father. Modan takes her characters across Israel and through a variety of different Israeli social strata as the search progresses. Along the way it becomes clear that Koby's father's identity is in flux—he leaves all those that he loves, but touches on everything it means to be an Israeli: family man, soldier, religious practitioner and, perhaps, victim. Modan is a deft and subtle storyteller, and her meditation on Israeli identity and the possibilities of love and trust (between father and son, woman and man) are finely wrought. Her loose, expressive drawing is both tremendously evocative and precise—always enhancing the plot. The stellar combination makes this one of the major graphic novels of 2007. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–This first graphic novel from an award-winning Israeli illustrator tells the story of Koby Franco, a 20-something cab driver working in Tel Aviv. Franco's everyday life screeches to a halt when he receives a phone call from a soldier claiming his estranged father was killed by a suicide bomber at a train station. He and the young woman enter into a journey that takes them through cemeteries, train stations, and Franco's father's disheveled apartment to determine whether the man is dead or alive. The black-and-white artwork, with its thin lines accented by simple watercolor brushstrokes, combines with precise dialogue to convey subtle and powerful emotions throughout the story. Limited depictions of sex, nudity, and violence both in the story and the pictures make this a work that confronts mature themes in an emotionally complex manner. Franco's journey draws a portrait of modern Israel, showing how people cope with the violence around them as they go about their day-to-day lives. Modan doesn't shy away from criticizing some of the attitudes the state of Israel holds, hinting that these exacerbate some of the problems with the Palestinians. But the core of the story rests on Franco dealing with not only all the anger he feels toward his father, but also with the realization that he still loves him and has much to learn from him. An accomplished and moving book.–Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

I found it very interesting to see how the characters react to tragedy in the book.
Enrique Treviño and Yuliia Glushchenko
In one panel he might merely be feeling mild annoyance and in the next outrage, yet the nuances of Modan's art illustrate the differences in his moods perfectly.
Steven E. Higgins
Rutu Modan is one of the most talented graphic artists in Israel and this book is a brilliant exhibition of her skill.
S. Azoulay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steven E. Higgins on September 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Critics from Time to Entertainment Weekly to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have lauded Rutu Modan's Exit Wounds as one of the best (if not THE best) graphic novels of 2007, and had I read it a few weeks earlier, it would surely have ended up on my list of best comics of the year as well. As it is, I can only add my voice to the chorus of those who sing the praises of this book.

Set in present-day Israel, the book's central character is Koby, a young man who lives with his aunt and uncle while trying to scrape by on the meager wages he earns as a cab driver. One day his life takes a strange turn when he meets Numi, a girl who has been dating Koby's estranged father Gabriel. Gabriel has recently disappeared, and Numi believes he might have been a victim of a recent bombing in a bus station. Her request for Koby's help in identifying the body turns into a quest of sorts, as the two work to piece together the clues of what happened to Gabriel.

That description might lead you to believe Modan emphasizes mystery and intrigue, when that couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, Exit Wounds is less about finding out what happened to Gabriel than it is a character piece about two complete strangers linked by their relationships to the same man. From their first meeting, Koby and Numi are at odds, clashing over their different ideas of how to handle the situation, and this conflict between them is a direct result of how they connected, or failed to connect, with Gabriel himself.

Comics such as Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis or the works of Joe Sacco have been designed to give readers an insight into another culture, and from that summary you might be fooled into thinking that this book's purpose is similarly informative.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Salter on September 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book was a real surprise for me. I had passed it a number of times on the shelf and didn't really know what to do with it. I thought the artwork was 'eh' and the story seemed a little dull. BUT, I started seeing some interesting press on the book, and picked it up after all.
I had to force myself to quit at the end of each chapter because I didn't want the book to be over too quickly! The work and writing are really amazing... the kind of thing where you can tell the artist was truly intent on recognizing a vision. And I think she does so perfectly. Look out for the ocean scene, that's definitely my favorite.
The story is kind of quiet, but still packs a huge punch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Goldman on September 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm growing more accustomed to reading the graphic novel format. Enjoying this genre tremendously. Instead of imagining characters and geography in my head, I'm seeing this all pop out in front of me. To one who is familiar with the Tel Aviv landscape this book will seem starkly familiar. I can attest to this, having lived in one of the more downtrodded communities in and around this metropolis experiencing growing pains. Author Rutu Modan shows the grittiness of this post modern metropolis, the ridiculousness of the Israeli suburban lifestyle and the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea. Tones of browns, yellows, and gray evoke the grittiness of Israeli society. Against this backdrop are surprising reds and pinks.
Best to call this a coming of age book but at another more defined and sometimes banal level. Koby is one of those men/boys who aren't sure of his life. His employment as a taxi cab driver. It fits his wandering and wondering persona. He's living with his overbearing yet well meaning Aunt and Uncle, his mother's passed away, his pre occupied sister lives in the States and his father is MIA. He is uncertain, hesitant, questioning.
Enter Numi, a rather mysterious young woman (of note, she wears a red jacket, drives in a red car...) , seeking Koby's assistance surreptitiously at first, drawing him in. We discover that Numi's had an intimate relationship with Koby's estranged father Gabriel, and believes him to be a victim of a suicide bomber.
We learn through Koby and Numi's eyes that Gabriel is a man who loves, but who leaves all that he loves. Modan isn't telling Gabriel's story, she's showing instead the repercussions and reverberations of the hurt and loss that Gabriel has brought on.

Yes, this book is a love story as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
This meandering novel starts when Numi, an Israeli soldier, contacts Koby. She suspects that Koby's estranged father had been killed in a terrorist bombing. For reasons of her own, she wants the closure of knowing for sure that Koby's father is dead - or, if not, where he has vanished to. Koby reluctantly agrees, even though his father has been effectively dead to him for a very long time.

The search takes on new meaning as Koby and Numi follow the father's trail. Each new finding seems to change the man they're looking for, and to change him differently for Numi than for Koby. The search changes Koby and Numi as well. This isn't a bam-pow adventure story. Instead, it follows the personalities of the Koby and Numi, and of the father as he is known through the traces he left behind.

Although I found the artwork engaging, somewhat like the style of Herge's Tintin, the story didn't grab me. It seems well written, but wouldn't really hold me if it were a novel or movie, either. If the reluctant romance and family mystery appeal to you: have a blast. It's just not my thing.

- wiredweird
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