Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Macedonia: What Does It Take to Stop a War? Paperback – June 26, 2007
|New from||Used from|
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
One has to imagine that Roberson, without any experience with the genre, wrote the entire script. Pekar tried to save it, but true salvation would have required a far greater investment of time, completely recasting the script as something far less "talky" and didactic. The book would have grown in length, too, in order to allow similar stories to be told through something other than shot-countershot frames of fillibuster.
To make a success of Macedonia would have required, at the very least, completely reconceptualizing the opening sequence. Page after page, the Heather character essentially lectures her non-responsive boyfriend about her interest in Macedonian politics.
In fairness to Pekar, Roberson's long narrative isn't exactly the "pithy vignettes on life" format for which Pekar is best known. Sure, Pekar wrote at greater length of Robert McNeil (*Unsung Hero*), but that's the exception proving the rule. Moreover, the McNeil project was likely initially conceived as a comic. Though Pekar did encourage Roberson early on to take notes for a possible comic book, she seems not to have approached the concept through the lens of comics.
The book does have its moments, however. Piskor ably presents Balkan history -- clearly the toughest assignment given -- and he moves admirably from those moments, to depicting Eastern European architecture, to Heather and friends dancing at a local disco. It is when Roberson's/Pekar's torrent of conversation finally slows, or when the words can be presented through voice-over, that Piskor finally finds a quite moment to do something more artistically organic.
Harvey Pekar's and Heather Roberson's "Macedonia: What does it take to stop a war" is two books in one. One book is about the country Macedonia. I have been there a few times, and since this is a graphic novel, I wanted to see how the country was pictured. The pictures don't misrepresent the nation, but don't capture it either. There are not many iconic images of the capital, Skopje, but the illustrator Ed Piskor has drawn one on the cover. However, if one were in this city square and faced in the opposite direction, one would see the older section of the city with minarets and ruins of a Turkish fort. Interiors--small, run-down apartments, internet cafes, bars--are convincing. But Macedonia is largely rural and mountainous, and those views are missing in this graphic novel which takes place in cities.
The other book in "Macedonia" is an attempt to show how a political arrangement called the Ohrid Agreement decentralized the national bureaucracies and transferred some power to minorities, primarily Albanians, and thereby avoided armed conflict. The main character, Heather, an American student, goes to Macedonia to research how peace, rather than war, can be intentionally implemented. She talks to a lot of people and records her reflections in a portable recorder. Unfortunately, this is where the graphic novel falters. There are a lot of rectangles of people talking. It seems as if one is reading a play without any clever or insightful lines performed under a strobe light. The text can be dense and the visuals unexciting. While the presentation may make some readers struggle, however, the dialog captures the simultaneous doubts and expectations of the Macedonians as they shift from belief in the future Ohrid holds to discomfort about the present adjustments which the Ohrid Agreement demands.
As quite a big fan of serious comics, I think this succeeds less well as a comic. I agree with other reviewers that you do not really get a feel for the country/ people, as much as you do the conflicts (although the language is spot on-- many of the funny English sayings made me laugh out loud as they are just so accurate).
However, if you need to get a feel for the country/ people there are a lot of other ways you can do that that WILL NOT give you as fair a picture of the recent conflict. This is a wonderful introduction to Macedonia, to the ideology of conflict, and invites readers to explore both, quite a bit more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bad cartoons and a political message. Boring now it won't go away. It must have been written by someone who thought they were cleverPublished 22 months ago by mary calvey
Book is a cartoon format. That is OK. The information is very well presented. There is little preamble to set the stage for the timing of the book and little follow up on what any... Read morePublished on January 22, 2014 by larry baker
One of the biggest problems with this book is that it is poorly structured as a comic--the narrator, Heather, spends the bulk of the comic lecturing either her boyfriend or the... Read morePublished on June 3, 2009 by Ellen
If you are looking for Spider-man or Captain America, then move on. Likewise, if your sole intention is to be entertained -- again, move on. Read morePublished on April 9, 2008 by Guillelmus