Là où vont nos pères
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Là où vont nos pères

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  22,553 ratings  ·  2,129 reviews
David Small, Caldecott Medalist in a heartbreaking parting gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He's embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life- he's leaving home to build a better future for his family.
Shaun Tan evokes universal aspects of an immigrant's experience through a singular work of the imaginati...more
Hardcover, 116 pages
Published 2007 by Dargaud
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I never expected to like this picture book. In fact, I don't like many picture books. I have no problem making up a story for the pictures; I just like it more when a story is provided. But when I opened up THE ARRIVAL, I instantly knew there was something different about this book.

This is the story of what I can only imagine is the way millions of European immigrants felt as they left their homelands and ventured forth to become part of America.

With each page, I thought of my grandfather, Hil...more
Jul 31, 2014 Anasylvia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
The Arrival by Shaun Tan is the most beautiful graphic novel that I've ever seen. It contains beautiful stunning pictures that speak for themselves which is a good thing because The Arrival contains no words. I breezed through the book in thirty minutes, only to re-open it, and read it again. I can't get enough of how extraordinary Tan's images are. I am not in any way an artist, but I would recommend it solely for the artwork. That doesn't mean the story leaves anything to be desired, however....more
A surprisingly moving story about hope and yearning in the context of immigration. The lack of words really forces the "reader" to try to apprehend what is happening without any understanding of the full intent or meaning behind the characters' body language. Of course, this puts the "reader" in the position of the main character, an immigrant who cannot understand the language of his new homeland and is unfamiliar with its customs. This creates a funny kind of reverse-metafiction that effective...more
Now, enough Robert's Snow illustrators mentioned Shaun Tan in their interviews that I finally picked up a copy of his new graphic novel The Arrival. And I have to say, hands down, it is *worth* all the buzz.

This is a story about immigration, and belonging, and finding a new home. The main character leaves his family, and takes a long journey to a strange land in the hopes of finding a better life for his family. This is a story we all know. In America, at least, there have been countless re-tell...more
This book is magnificent!

A wordless graphic novel that the tells the familiar tale of an immigrant, and somehow makes the story new and exciting.

A man says goodbye to his wife and daughter, and sets out, taking only a suitcase containing a precious photograph of his family. He leaves a dark and ominous city for a journey across the sea. Days pass, each depicted by a drawing of the sky. The ship enters the harbor and a strange new world is revealed. The man is examined, catalogued, and labeled. T...more
First of all, this piece of music (Erik Satie - Gnossienne 4) should definitely be the soundtrack of The Arrival:


This is an amazing book, although it has no words. The narrative is slowly building from the wonderful drawings of Shaun Tan and from the imagination and sensibility of each reader. I could not believe that I was experiencing such a complex display of feelings just by looking at some images: I was elated, then I was sad, then I was happy, then...more
Maggie Stiefvater
Jul 20, 2008 Maggie Stiefvater rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who liked The Invention of Hugo Cabret, who like magic realism
Shelves: recommended
When people recommended The Arrival to me, I thought it would be of academic interest. You know, as an artist, I would find it visually appealing, as a YA author, I would find it stylistically interesting, etc. So it took me a long time to pick it up, and I'm so glad that I did.

The Arrival is a graphic novel (told in illustrations, not in comics) telling the story of an immigrant coming to a new land. The metaphor is brilliant: Shaun Tan sensitively illustrates a very human protagonist coming to...more
The Arrival is a stunning wordless graphic novel. The story follows the journey of a man from his unnamed home country to a confusing new world which, despite presenting immense obstacles, offers the hope of a better life for his family. Because there are no words, the sepia-toned drawings carry the narrative, relying on the reader’s interpretations to complete the experience. I think this is what I appreciated most about the book: There are a lot of images and concepts that don’t make sense on...more
The imagination of this author is unbelievable. The imagery is spectacular, the message is clear. From the beginning when we see the father of the little family packing his suitcase, wrapping his most treasured possession – a photograph of himself with his wife and daughter – carefully in paper and string; through the confusion and despair he encounters along the way – a journey across the ocean, through storms and wild seas; to a wonderful ending – this book has got it all.

With no words whatso...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This is one of the most beautiful, amazing, clever, brilliant, gorgeous, splendid, awesome books ever - truly it is impossible to stick to just one adjective when describing this book.

The Arrival is a graphic novel told only in illustrations, incredibly detailed pencil sketch illustrations that are as vivid as photographs - indeed, some are modelled on actual historical photos. The story, told in "snapshots" or in large, full-spread drawings, is about a man who leaves his wife and young daughter...more
This book is told entirely by drawings - and the most achingly beautiful drawings at that. It is clever, witty, poignant and any number of other heart-felt adjectives. In many ways it is a book that defies description. I have never seen anything quite like it before. If graphic novels are anything like this, then we need many, many more of them.

The detail and care and love that went into making this book alone deserve for it to be considered a classic. The story, one so common to the lived exper...more
The first morning that I woke up in France, I felt like I’d been lobotomized. Lobotomized, and then shoved in a spaceship and abandoned on a distant planet where the only thing I had in common with the alien residents was that we were both bipedal. I had started off the day trying to speak with my host-mother, only to realize that I was mistakenly still talking in English, whereas she (surprise!) was fluent only in French, Spanish and German. The shower was on a timer of some sort that I couldn’...more
Lisa Vegan
This book is amazing and brilliant and unique, and a challenge to classify. (I’m putting this on my art and picture-books, but not my comics, shelves; I don’t have a graphic-novels shelf.) It’s a novel told through (mostly monochromatic black/gray/brown) pictures (not comics as I think of them) and they’re unusual and wonderful pictures. The story is of an immigrant, a man who’s trying to create a better life for his family, but it’s really a universal immigrant story. The man and book communica...more
Wow - calling all goodreaders with Christmas present problems - look no further. Buy this one for anyone! They'll never have seen anything like it, and they'll love it. Flinty grandfathers and surly 9 year olds will all love this. It's an entirely wordless story about emigrating and trying to make a new life, with a twist of Jules Verne steampunk. Shaun Tan is absolutely brilliant. The world he creates is familiar and strange and heartbreaking too. Let the rest of this review be wordless too.

aljouharah altheeyb
رواية صامته أو قرافيك نوفل .. “كنت أتوقع أن فقط اليابان لديهم هذا النوع من الروايات xD “
مُذهلة جداً رائعه جداً ومعبره .. !
مازلت في بداياتها وقد تطرقت “كما فهمت” لثلاثة مشاكل مُهمة وأحدثت شرخاً في الإنسانيه !
التلوث البيئي، إستبعاد البشر “النساء والأطفال” و أيضاً الحروب ..
كيف صورت هذه المآسي الثلاثة بمربعات صغيره صامته لا تتخللها أية كلمة وبهدوء شديد دون أن تشعر بأية إرتباط عاطفي خاص مع أية شخصية مع حماسك الشديد ورثائك لهم !
مُذهلة !

كيف يُمكن لفصل مشاعر الشخصية الرئيسية عن سير العمل ودمجها مع...more
Colleen Venable
Stunning. Just stunning. The best book of last year, and perhaps even the best graphic novel I've ever read. A touching book on the immigrant experience with artwork so lush you want to jump into it. The factory scenes in particular really got to me. Would someone please change the Caldecott rules? Please!

Cried the first time I read it. Cried the second time I read it. Made it through the third time and then closing the book noticed the beautiful end papers...doh.
Wordless, very attentively drawn, sepia-toned depiction of an immigrant's experience as a stranger in a strange, futuristic, 19th century Lower East Side–like, Boschian, hyperindustrialized, nightmare utopia. Fantastic drawings, charming, innocent, surreal. A superfamiliar story post-literately retold.
Brenton Nichol
I don't need to say much about The Arrival beyond the fact that it is one of the most beautiful and imaginative books I've ever opened. Few artists make me take as long to turn a page as Tan. His intricate pencil drawings are evocative, but not explicit - minutely detailed yet open to interpretation. These drawings operate in two ways. First, in terms of composition, they instantly evoke American history with which we are all familiar - that of the Ellis Island experience, and New York City in t...more
Seth Hahne
The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The immigrant experience isn't the kind of monolithic thing that can actually be described using definite articles like "the." It's not as if every immigrant's entry into a new culture follows a singular, well-trod path. The circumstances of each individual's introduction to and incorporation into a new national heritage are as diverse and variegated as the expatriated themselves. Still, there are certain commonalities that often crop up in every new experience—every immigrating instance—whether...more
There’s so much praise surrounding this book that I was afraid it wouldn’t live up. So silly were my concerns!

This book is so beautiful, both for the eyes as well as the soul. It’s a wordless tale of immigration and how scary and wonderful it can be.

I love the friendships that are built, the dedication and hard work that’s portrayed, and the sense that you can succeed if you are willing to try hard enough.

You do have to engage yourself with this type of book. And as expressive as Tan’s illustrat...more
Feb 18, 2009 Amanda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: comics
Heartbreaking and beautiful. How inventive to tell an entire story without words and yet that story is perhaps more rich for what it seems to lack. I particularly love the series of thumbnail pictures demonstrating the father's attempts to communicate with inspection officials after first arriving in his new homeland. The last three in the series are haunting and speak volumes about his frustration and pain. Also, love the incorporation of fantasy into the immigrant experience. Wonderful book.
R.S. Carter
Jan 01, 2014 R.S. Carter rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all children
This is one of my GoodReads discoveries.

I saw a review for this book on GoodReads and immediately ordered it for my son for Christmas. We read it together and completed it in about a week. There are no words in the book, but a series of beautiful imagery about the life of an immigrant.

And what better way to describe the life of an immigrant, who enters a strange new world without knowledge of the language, than to show the journey through a graphic set of images. And it's a beautiful tale.

This i...more
Aug 06, 2011 jo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jo by: everyone under the sun
i read it, or looked at it (there isn't a single word in the whole book; wait, there are words, but i didn't have the key). i was disturbed by the fact that the copy i got from the library was all battered. i thought poorly of public library users until i realized that was actually the design. it wasn't battered at all.

anyway, i'm done. it's taken me two renewals and a starbucks' latte's worth of late fees. once i actually cracked it open it took me only maybe a week. it's a beautiful book and...more
I have yet to open this with my boys but I plan on doing so this weekend. I am curious to hear their opinions. I think I will guide them as little as is possible. I plan to mostly ask about feelings, such as what do you think he is feeling in this picture? Why do you think he is feeling that?

The Arrival is one of those stories all ages will enjoy and be able to relate to on some level, even people who do not normally enjoy picture books, as this really is more of a picture book than a graphic n...more
I want an extra star. Can I get an extra star please? Anybody.

On an emotional level the arrival appeals universally. With out any text, this story is instantly understood, not simply on grounds of comprehension... the reader FEELS what the immigrant feels (or immigrants as the narrative's net expands). The loneliness, alienation, and determination to make one's own world a better world is so clear to the reader. The intent and rhetoric are as clear as the story yet never preachy. It's a celebra...more
Mar 23, 2011 Alan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alan by: Ceridwen Robot Smash
Beautiful book, lovely to hold and look at with great drawings, (some) based on photographs, with a turn of the century feel (19th/20th centuries, rather than 20th/21st): sepia in colour and deliberate discolourations/scuff marks to add to that. Ceridwen’s great review sent me to it. (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...) It was in the children’s section, but recommended for all ages. There are no words. They’re not needed, emotions are conveyed by the looks on faces, the shrugs and gestures...more
Adam Floridia
I first quickly read this in my school's library and thought "Amazing what a story can be told with pictures. Very moving. I encourage all to "read" this :-)." Then I came home and told my wife about it and decided she needed to read it. Then I decided that just taking it out of the library wouldn't be enough: we needed to own it. Then it came in the mail and I re-read it. Now it gets 5 stars!

The pictures are beautiful and so intricate and their placement/progression tell such a powerful story....more
I'd give this ten stars if I could! This wordless story of a man's journey to a strange new land is one of the most beautiful books I've ever seen/read. I think I'd rank it higher than The Invention of Hugo Cabret on my Ultimate Favorites List, and that's saying something.

What this book does so brilliantly is put every reader in the shoes of an immigrant. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be unable to read any signs, speak to anyone, or recognize plants, animals, and clothing? What...more
Mar 29, 2014 Roos rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Miss Leli and Kals
Recommended to Roos by: Syl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Shaun Tan (born 1974) is the illustrator and author of award-winning children's books. After freelancing for some years from a studio at Mt. Lawley, Tan relocated to Melbourne, Victoria in 2007. Tan was the Illustrator in Residence at the University of Melbourne's Department of Language Literacy and Arts Education for two weeks through an annual Fellowship offered by the May Gibbs Children’s Liter...more
More about Shaun Tan...
Tales from Outer Suburbia Lost and Found: Three by Shaun Tan The Red Tree The Lost Thing Eric

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