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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endearing, moving and tragic
These two graphic (pictorial) novels were two parts of the most moving autobiographies I have read. The illustrations showed the body language of the shyness of a child, the utter sadness of family separations, the slyness of bad behavior, the helplessness of living under a totalitarian government. The lack of full prose is more than supplanted by the drawings. The...
Published on February 16, 2007 by Judith

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars low resolution images and texts
The pages of the book are with so low resolution which makes it almost impossible to read the texts in the cartoons. I am using kindle software on my mac.
Published on August 1, 2010 by Farahani


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endearing, moving and tragic, February 16, 2007
By 
Judith (Tampa, Florida) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Persepolis Boxed Set (Paperback)
These two graphic (pictorial) novels were two parts of the most moving autobiographies I have read. The illustrations showed the body language of the shyness of a child, the utter sadness of family separations, the slyness of bad behavior, the helplessness of living under a totalitarian government. The lack of full prose is more than supplanted by the drawings. The effect that the Iranian revolution had on this family will be felt for generations to come.

JPL
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Persepolis 1 and 2 really need to be read as a set., January 5, 2007
By 
This review is from: Persepolis Boxed Set (Paperback)
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, written and illustrated by Marjane Satrapi, is a comic book style ("illustrated novel") autobiography of memories of life as a child in Iran just before and after the overthrow of the Shah (roughly 1978-82), and during the war with Iraq. Her parents are well-educated, seemingly progressive, and, through the eyes of a child, heroic.

Life changes. She experiences the mandatory use of the veil, stricter schools, hiding activities from nosy neighbors, and the phrase "...on a trip" as a code for death in war or by execution. Children play games of torturer and torturee. Satrapi reveals her evolution as a child rebel, albeit a selfish one focusing on the narrow-mindedness of youth... rebellion is wearing a Michael Jackson button and tight jeans in public. However, reality gets closer and closer... a favorite uncle is imprisoned and executed, a friend is killed in an Iraqi bomb attack, food is scare, and teachers are more draconian.

This book took about an hour to read. There is good congruence between the script and the drawings, but the style of presentation as an illustrated novel means there is no depth to the story.

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, is Satrapi's second installment of her graphic novel autobiography. After reading it (can the experience of a graphic novel be adequately described as "reading"?), I felt that it was an important and vital addition to the first Persepolis installment. In Persepolis 2, Satrapi is sent to Austria for an Ayatollah-free education. She meets people unlike herself, and unlike the other Iranians she knew. She thought she was a free-thinking liberal, but that was in the context of Iranian culture, not European.

I think this book needs to be read after Persepolis 1. With this boxed set, the novels should be read together.

The detail in 2 is much greater than in 1. I would guess this is related to the richer memories of adolescence and adulthood. Satrapi is very open and blunt about her vulnerabilities and transgressions.

I feel that I need to read a Persepolis 3. That is not a bad result for any author!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming, riveting and important, September 5, 2007
By 
Hilda (Miami, Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Persepolis Boxed Set (Paperback)
I read these books consecutively - having bought them as a box set - and I really enjoyed them. It gives us a genuinely intimate portrait of what life was like growing up in Iran, first under the Shah's right-wing dictatorship, then during the Islamic revolution which led to a clerical state and through the war with Iraq. The two-part memoir takes us from 1980 when Marjane was 10 years old through the 1990s when she's become a woman who had endured exile at a young age and a return to her country.

Because these are illustrated novels there isn't as much depth as there would be in a traditional novel. The characters aren't fleshed out in the narrative because we have the visual element available. And the visual element is wonderful. Through the relatively simple drawings the fear, turmoil, frustration and even humor of Marjane and her friends and family are easily identified and enrich the story tremendously.

At first I had a problem with the writing style - with the direct and simple prose. However, the more I read the more I became comfortable with the style, pacing and rhythm.

I would definitely recommend that these books be read together as a valuable introduction an overview of the history and traditions of Iran, as well as for the wonderful story of a little girl growing up in an impossibly complex and frightening environment.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honesty and Brilliance, June 4, 2007
By 
working stiff (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Persepolis Boxed Set (Paperback)
Of the 4 Satrapi Books I have read these two are by far her best. They truly should be read together. I love her blunt honesty which is a rare trait in the community, and she draws her inspiration from the best of the best in the business (Art Speigleman).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Persepolis 1 & 2, December 4, 2007
By 
W. B. McCart (Oakland, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Persepolis Boxed Set (Paperback)
In Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi tells a story in words and pictures of her life in Iran. The first book covers Satrapi's life from early childhood, until 14, when she leaves to study in Austria, and the second book covers her time in Europe, and her return to life in Iran up to her late 20s. This period covers the last years of the Shah, the revolution that overthrew him, the consolidation of the Islamic Republic, the war with Iraq, and through to the present. A tumultuous time indeed.

You would expect any account of growing up in Iran in the last generation to be heartbreaking and terrifying, and Satrapi's story is, but it is also funny in a grim sort of way that can only be told from inside a nightmare. Most impressive is that the author does not spare herself. She writes as unflinchingly about her own flaws, petty cruelties and bad decisions as she does about those of all those around her. The lessons learned are not idealized, and sometimes they are only partially learned, so her travel through life feels very real and very human.

Part of the appeal of the story to Westerners, of course, is that Marjane is a very modern Iranian woman. Raised in a very modern family that is upper middle class by Iranian standards, she struggles with social mores and the education system and we root for her because Westerners (particularly Americans) love stories about individuals overcoming adversity to become their own person. But that doesn't explain all of the story's appeal. What makes it so satisfying is the insight into the issue of modernity, and how it manifests through the life of a interesting and all too human character. We come to understand that being modern and being Western aren't the same thing. The West is an undeliably strong influence on Marjane and other modern Iranians, but in the story, simply copying Western ways proves unsatisfying at a minimum, and sometimes disasterous.

Ultimately, the story is about finding -- actually creating -- a life that is both modern and Persian. It is a tortorous path, and one that Marjane often has to tread alone. Marjane's friends follow the regime's draconian moral code in public, but break out the party life in private. Yet Marjane eventually comes to see this as a kind of adolescent rebellion against a parental force that cannot, at present, be overcome. An incident that illustrates this is her revelation to her closest friends that she's having sex with her boyfriend. Their shock and disapproval jars her into the realization that modern is a relative concept even amoung modern Iranians.

Marjane weathers her trials and emerges with a sort of wisdom. We admire her for it because she earned it the hard way. But we also hope, fervently, that people like Marjane will thrive, for they are the ones who will lead Iran into the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars low resolution images and texts, August 1, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Persepolis I & II (Kindle Edition)
The pages of the book are with so low resolution which makes it almost impossible to read the texts in the cartoons. I am using kindle software on my mac.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book; not for Kindle, January 22, 2011
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This review is from: Persepolis I & II (Kindle Edition)
It's a great book, interesting and well written. But the low resolution makes it almost impossible to read on kindle. Buy the hard copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hmm..., January 3, 2010
This review is from: Persepolis I & II (Kindle Edition)
Funny, clever, unique and many other positive adjectives. Undoubtedly a fantastic book but one which is not well suited to Kindle. The frames are rendered far too small, making it almost impossible to read the captions and speech bubbles. Your eyes would rather you pick up a copy off the shelf... Or maybe from some sort of internet-based bookstore.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and moving work!, February 8, 2008
By 
rareoopdvds (San Diego, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Persepolis Boxed Set (Paperback)
I loved every minute reading this book. Being a comic or graphic novel, whichever one prefers, I was both invested in the life of Marjane Satrapi as well as the illustrations. The drawings really brought the whole story to life with her incredible enthusiasm of how the expressions on the faces really matched what was being said. The story of her life is so compellingly told that one is caught up in her passions and pains.

I just loved it! I laughed with her. I cried with her. I cheered her on! She is a woman with a unique voice, both in her experiences of standing up for herself by being straightforward and blunt (and quite rational in her reasoning), but also in her own narrative. It is swiftly told, but not leaving it too general or to overlook any of the details. Being a Westerner and having little knowledge of Persian history, it was actually a very welcome introduction to what has happened in the Middle East. She is roughly my age so I identified with her and the time period she grew up in (despite the social climates being so different).

Satrapi tells the story of things from her point of view. What I did enjoy about it was that she was fond of her own country, but also recognized its own shortcomings. Her fears were real and she stood up to them when she felt it most necessary. She challenged authority at every corner. And, if you ask me, she won!

But I think what also moved me was that is was told in a graphic narrative. The illustrations, as I said, were spot on. I think her style of art supports her story and helps relate the happenings much better than if were just a book. To me it made the book more enjoyable and humorous.

It has just been released as a movie and I am excited to see the film as it matches the style of book perfectly. I don't see anyone who reads even the first 20 pages would be able to stop. I am glad someone suggested the books for me to read as I now want to buy a copy for myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Persepolis, September 2, 2010
This review is from: Persepolis I & II (Kindle Edition)
This book is amazing. The art is beautiful and the writing is witty and profound. Apparently graphic novels haven't been prepared properly for the Kindle. Buy the hard cover and you will not be disappointed.
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Persepolis Boxed Set
Persepolis Boxed Set by Marjane Satrapi (Paperback - October 25, 2005)
$27.90 $21.10
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