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The Complete Persepolis Paperback – Black & White, October 30, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is strictly autobiographical, rendered as a memoir of childhood and young adulthood. Satrapi begins her story at age ten, the daughter of well-educated and well-off parents who put a premium on their daughter's religious and academic independence. Marjane's parents prod their pre-adolescent daughter toward a liberal education and encourage her to speak out. However, being a rebel against oppression in Iran leads inevitably to trouble and expulsion from school. Her parents recourse is to pack young Marjane off to Austria, isolated and alone in a foreign and far more secular culture. A series of mostly negative experiences leads her back to her homeland and an unsuccessful marriage during the early years of Iran's fundamentalist revolution with its growing religious oppression. When the young adult Marjane and her parents finally realize that her future lies not in Iran but in Europe, she heads off to France where she still lives today.
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Like the Oscar-nominated film, PERSEPOLIS is told with a lot of humor, sadness, and often anger. I could not put the book down. I found myself deeply engrossed in Marjane's life as as child as well as an adult. I enjoyed the animation. I liked how fluid the shapes of the characters flowed. If you have seen the film adaptation of PERSEPOLIS, the book version is definitely worth reading. There is quite a bit of information from Marjane's life that just couldn't fit into the time constraints of the film.
Included here are Satrapi's internationally-acclaimed graphic novels, PERSEPOLIS: The STORY Of A CHILDHOOD and PERSEPOLIS 2: The STORY Of A RETURN. Combining clear analysis with a sharp sense of humor, the first volume tells the story of Marjane and her family's experiences during the final years of the Monarchy, its downfall, and the subsequent rise of Khomeini and the Islamic Republic. A more personal volume, PERSEPOLIS 2 follows Marjane's student years in Vienna and her later return to Iran.
Together with Vincent Paronnaud, Satrapi also co-wrote and co-directed the animated film version.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a type of book I've never read before. A graphic novel is essentially just a very long comic book, with a typically more serious plot line. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Camp Runamok
I highly preferred the scenes where Marjane was living in Iran over the scenes where she was living in Europe. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Paul Bulger