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Aaron and Ahmed. Jay Cantor, Writer

3.02  ·  Rating Details ·  153 Ratings  ·  33 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 16, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel, arc
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 review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 03, 2011 Aj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
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
May 26, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
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.
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 liked it  ·  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).
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
Dan Stinton
Dan Stinton rated it it was ok
Aug 21, 2011
Aug 25, 2011 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
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.
Sep 08, 2011 Jays rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 13, 2011 Alden rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Brendan Howard
Mar 19, 2012 Brendan Howard rated it liked it  ·  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.
Oct 27, 2011 zxvasdf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 29, 2012 M rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 16, 2012 Frank rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Feb 29, 2012 Dan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tom rated it it was ok
Apr 12, 2012
Faith Roncoroni
Faith Roncoroni rated it liked it
Jul 24, 2012
Jai Hamid
Jai Hamid rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2013
Tracy Box
Tracy Box rated it it was ok
Feb 13, 2013
Stewart Tame
May 02, 2013 Stewart Tame rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jonathan Lu
Jul 31, 2013 Jonathan Lu rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 05, 2014 Aryeh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 24, 2015 Kyra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 03, 2015 Fox rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 06, 2016 Meepelous rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fiction book that read like nonfiction. My biggest complaint about this book is that it leaned too far towards the preaching to the choir side of things. If you believe the kinds of things that this book is espousing you will like it; if you don't, or just have no clue what they are talking about it, you will not really learn anything by reading this book. I am sort of stuck in the middle on this one so I feel pretty inspired to look into it more, but there wasn't even a suggested readin ...more
Read this hoping not to find Islamophobia, and while it did exist as part of the story of how the typical American views and misunderstands Jihad, Muslims, and the War on Terror, its driving message did not communicate anything negative or hateful of the religion. It focused more on how humans use religion to become puppets unknowingly. It is an extreme depiction of the power of memetic theory and seeks to answer the question of how someone could be a suicide bomber. It makes a much bigger state ...more
Vincent Powell
Jun 15, 2016 Vincent Powell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've been flipping through the comic book section of the library recently, and I have come across some great stuff. I've also come across some pretty mediocre stuff. This is one of the latter, which is a shame, because it looked really promising from the first ten pages. Afterwards, however, the plot turned from the conflict/connection of Aaron & Ahmed to this conversation about memes and ideology and how someone can be convinced to become a martyr. This idea sounds interesting, but in the b ...more
Oct 07, 2016 Arwynne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I'm not sure how I feel about this book, or how to rate it accordingly, but it does feel ambitious on several different levels, even if it doesn't succeed on all--or even most--of them. The post-911 tale of a Guantanamo Bay psychiatrist/torture-enabler and one particular prisoner-patient wants to be a spy story, a psycho(-sexual?) thriller and maybe it has something to say about the origins of extremism, "counter-terrorism" and the "transference" inherent in the relationship of oppressors and op ...more
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