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The Complete Persepolis Paperback – Black & White, October 30, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 316 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A memoir of growing up as a girl in revolutionary Iran, Persepolis provides a unique glimpse into a nearly unknown and unreachable way of life... That Satrapi chose to tell her remarkable story as a gorgeous comic book makes it totally unique and indispensable."
--Time

About the Author

Marjane Satrapi was born in Rasht, Iran. She now lives in Paris, where she is a regular contributor to magazines and newspapers throughout the world, including The New Yorker, and The New York Times. She is the author of Embroideries, Chicken with Plums, and several children's books. She cowrote and codirected the animated feature film version of Persepolis.
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Product Details

  • Series: Persepolis
  • Paperback: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1 edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375714839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375714832
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Koss VINE VOICE on January 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
THE COMPLETE PERSEPOLIS brings together in one softbound volume two graphic novels published earlier in English (translated from French): PERSEPOLIS 1 - THE STORY OF A CHILDHOOD, and PERSEPOLIS 2 - THE STORY OF A RETURN. As a single volume, Ms. Satrapi's work reads as a seamless story of an Iranian woman's maturation from a young girl in the Shah's (and Ayatollah Khomeini's) Iran to her high school years in Austria, back to the Iran attacked by Saddam Hussein and then transformed into a fundamentalist Islamic state, and finally back again to Europe as a young adult. The book's title is borrowed from the name of ancient Persia's ceremonial capital, dating back some 2,500 years, although Persepolis is in fact the Greek translation of the original Persian name, Parsa.

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.

Ms.
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Format: Paperback
Last weekend I had the joy of seeing the film adaptation of the comic book series PERSEPOLIS by Marjane Satrapi. I loved the film. I knew though that I was missing out some key points of Marjane's life so I decided to check out the complete version of PERSEPOLIS in paperback. Although the book is in the form of a graphic novel, the story is a memoir of Marjane Satrapi's life growing up in Iran as well as outside of Iran. I also got the impression that the story is a love letter to Marjane's late grandmother who was a huge influence on Marjane as a young woman. People can nitpick at the details of life in Iran during and after the reign of the Shah that Marjane has written in the book but lets keep this in perspective that this book is not a tome on Iran but an autobiography told from the personal point of view from the author. She told what life was like in Iran through her young, impressionable eyes.

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.
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Format: Paperback
As a child Marjane Satrapi lived through the 1979 Iranian Revolution and its aftermath.

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.
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Format: 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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