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A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return (Single Titles) Paperback – August 1, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
In a Game for Swallows Zeina writes and draws about one particularly memorable day when she was little and living in an apartment near the demarcation line. The streets were lined with metal barrels, with walls of sandbags and cinder blocks to act as shields from sniper bullets. Zeina's parents regularly traveled the dangerous streets to visit her grandmother who lived a few blocks away.
Zeina, with her parents and little brother lived in a apartment in East Beirut. The only room they used in the apartment was the foyer because it was the safest place. They slept there, ate there and entertained other apartment dwellers there. There is a taxi driver, a newly married couple with a pregnant wife waiting for their papers to emigrate to Canada, the old nanny, and a whole host of other interesting apartment dwellers. Many of whom had suffered losses of family members and property.
A Game for Swallows is told in stark black and white artwork. Each detail is so fine as the story is told minute by minute, hour by hour. The facial expressions change in increments as Abirached captures wartime. The reader learns what it is like to live in a war zone from a child's perspective. No where to play, fearful for your family and scared of loud noises. Living life in a tiny space called home that is filled with love and support from everyone in their apartment building.
I am always looking for graphic novels that have historical significance and take place in far away places.Read more ›
I think what’s most interesting and confusing about the novel is that Zeina and her brother are presented as the main characters but they’re hardly in the book. They’re simply observers as the adults talk politics, worry about the coming bombs, and wonder why Zeina’s parents haven’t arrived home yet. While I really liked how most of the book was situated in the space of one day, giving a snapshot of life underneath this oppressive war, I think knowing more about the family dynamics would have been an improvement. It would have also been nice to see, perhaps in flashback, more about Zeina and her past as it relates to her perception of the terrible present.
The art was a little unconventional but I think that it worked for the book. It wasn’t my favorite style but I could certainly appreciate its presence in the narrative as it added a lot to the story.
I’d recommend this book to people who enjoy graphic memoir or are interested in historical accounts. It’s a quick read so even if you’re wanting to read something out of your typical genre, you could pick it up and sample it quickly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The illustrations create a feeling of being cramped in the tiny apartment with the characters. You feel simultaneously the physical and emotional closeness of the people.Published 8 months ago by Matt
In ways that traditional books cannot, graphic novels seem to have the ability to express difficult things so that they cannot be dismissed. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Elizabeth Schulenburg
Short and sweet. Good companion to Persepolis or other non fiction graphic novels. Very interesting artwork. I liked it and recommend it.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer