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Aaron and Ahmed. Jay Cantor, Writer

3.05 of 5 stars 3.05  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  28 reviews
What causes terrorism? After his fiancee dies during the 9/11 attacks, this question plagues Aaron. It makes him give up his career as a doctor to become an interrogator/torturer at Guantanamo Bay. Overseeing experiments of how meme theory might program people to becoming suicide bombers, he meets Ahmed."
Published June 1st 2011 by Titan Publishing Company (first published April 12th 2011)
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This is a graphic novel I randomly picked up at the library. I was attracted by the cover even though the plot seemed a bit different from what I usually read.

This book is a train wreck. You keep reading it even when you wish you could stop. I am not saying I didn't like it. It has a powerful message that will kick you into your gut and steal your breath. Yes, memes are real, as well as coding, hypnosis, torture, etc. This book didn't shy away to show it all when it comes to war. And underneath
When I was finished I sat there in shock,shaking for a full minute. A really powerful book about both sides of the terrorist coin. I wish I could write something profound but I don't have the words. Read this book!!!
This is actually a pretty subversive little story, for a variety of reasons. I'm a little curious as to why it was written in graphic novel form, as it seems like a traditional novel would have served the story a little better, but that said I still enjoyed reading it. The central characters have a really nicely complex relationship, making for a very interesting and often surprising read.

On the downside, the story feels a little outdated. The central question of "what makes a suicide bomber do
Jonathan Lu
What an odd graphic novel picked it up at the reco of the library as it sounded really interesting. An army psychiatrist who volunteers to become a Guantanamo interrogator after the death of his wife during 9-11, and the relationship he builds with a prisoner. Attempts to delve into the root causes of manipulation for how men could be driven to terror and suicide bombings, through planting meme powerful concepts in their head. Aside from the showing how desensitized we have become to horror thr ...more
I didn't see myself going where Jay Cantor took me and found myself punched in the brain. We all know about memes, and how they can take a life of their own. What if they could be primed like a rocket and set on a collision course trajectory? Cantor writes, through the dialogues of Aaron and Ahmed, that suicide bombers aren't merely fearless religious fanatics, but are as unaware of their intentions as we are. You find out about programming and deprogramming the psyche. You find that just maybe ...more
What starts off as a seemingly cliched critique of Gitmo, quickly turns very bizzare...unfortunately, it just stays as weird, rather than gripping. The love story between the two main protagonists, while being odd as being between an interegator and his prisoner (and then oddly flipping), never really feels compelling, or even interesting.

I usually like weird and different, but this also stayed flat, despite its attempts (or perhaps because of their inadequacies) to tackle the big questions of
An insightful book about how infectious ideas can be and how they can lead people down very dangerous paths. Set in the time shortly after 9/11 in Guantanamo Bay, this book does not shy away from controversy.
Brendan Howard
Mar 19, 2012 Brendan Howard rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brendan by: Stories of 9/11 moral confusion, strange ideas, foreign culture
Shelves: comic-books
A Grant Morrison-esque tale of terrorists, memes, and the ideas in your head.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reading this lame excuse for a graphic novel reminds me of my experience with the Matrix series. While the first one is a pretty good movie, though it most certainly doesn't deserve half the accolades it receives for its less than deep philosophy. While I digress from what might seem an unnecessary addendum, what makes the first Matrix movie of the series a good movie is that while it attempts to have some deep ideas behind it, it doesn't try to hard along these lines. This is the failing of the ...more
The premise of this novel made me want to race out and buy it.
Addressing 9/11 in an engaging way? Yes!
Investigating the root causes of terrorism? Yes!
Exploring theories on terrorism? How cool!

I'll start out with the illustrations, however. I'm not a religious graphic novel reader. I'm not familiar with James Romberger. Illustrations that are landscape or scenic are very well done. The montage involving the Old Man, were slightly surrealistic, and enhanced the theoretical mind-altering experi
Eric Piotrowski
The illustrations are excellent; color palettes are intriguing and illuminative. The dialogue is well-paced.

Okay, that's all the good stuff out of the way. Sorry, but I was decidedly unimpressed by this book. Let's use 9/11 as the starting point for a really torturous and opaque exploration of "memes". Along the way we'll sidestep all of the myriad political, social, economic, and personal reasons for terrorism, and boil it all down to brainwashing and "love".

Don't bother. If you want a good gra
Doctor Aaron Goodman was a military therapist, working with veterans of various wars. Following his wife's death during the 9/11 attacks, Goodman chooses to utilize his mental tricks at Guantanamo Bay. Asked to crack a particulary difficult prisoner dubbed Ahmed, Goodman connects with the man over theories about terrorism. Determined to understand the root cause of the suicide bomber mentality, two men escape the prison camp and travel to Ahmed's training facility in Pakistan. As Goodman falls f ...more
One of the best GN I've read all year. Amazing mind-f of a story line that will make you re-read to be sure you read it right. A look at terrorism and religious extremism, especially as influenced by meme psychology. Also, a gay love story.
Kyra Young
What started out as interesting, took an odd turn at bizarre and never came back. I'm sure the trippy psychological mumbo jumbo was supposed to be Highbrow, but I just found it unintelligible and forgettable.
Haunting and awful.
I have to think about this book. This was one of those books where I wasn't quite sure whether I was missing the point because I'm ignorant about these issues, or if the book itself is confusing. It's certainly engaging and I'll certainly remember it.
Stewart Tame
Probably not as racy as you're imagining. This is one of those books whose primary mission is to provide food for thought. That said, it also functions fine as just a story. Honestly, I'm a bit underwhelmed, but this was at least an interesting read.
An okay comic, just not to my taste. overwrought post 9-11 story speculating on the roots of terrorism that misses the mark, in my opinion. I can usually figure out who I would suggest books to, but I'm not sure who the audience is for this book.
Just curious about the graphic novel world.
sweet pea
a provocative read i cannot wait to discuss. it's hard to say much without revealing key elements. suffice to say it's a wild ride and an intriguing take on terrorism, torture, current events, and love.
Jun 26, 2011 !Tæmbuŝu marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
Reviewed by Broken Frontier
Ty Melgren
Jul 01, 2011 Ty Melgren rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ty by: Mario
Pretty good and pretty weird story about how all teams are fake teams (as opposed to imaginary teams).
An interesting look at terrorism, brainwashing, and the God meme and whether it could be a virus.
Agggg I wanted so much more, but in a way that the book was doing its job.

(read: 49)
Ryan Andrew
Ryan Andrew marked it as to-read
Sep 17, 2015
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