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Là où vont nos pères

4.32  ·  Rating Details ·  32,754 Ratings  ·  3,020 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
Hardcover, 116 pages
Published March 2nd 2007 by Dargaud (first published January 1st 2007)
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May 27, 2016 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely and amazing.

Re-read this In May 2016 with my little son.

My thoughts?

If I could buy everyone in America a copy of this book, I would.
Lola  Reviewer
There were no words in this graphic novel. No dialogs. No written sentences. No words.

But, as I realized throughout my read, they weren’t needed. The mesmerizing art was enough.


And what illustrations! Never have I read such a graphic novel before!

It was a fast-read. I don’t think I’ve even spend thirty minutes to get through it. The story was poignant and I loved how realistically it portrayed immigrants and how metaphorically and fantastically the author drew the world-building and settings.

Jul 31, 2016 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
The Arrival begins with a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean.


We follow his struggles being away from home, and entering into a new life where not much is understood or explained. The Arrival tells a universal story of immigration.

It was a little hard at first depicting each picture without text, but the more I got into the story, the more I understood.

This book is a wordless story told through capturing images. It is be
Jan Philipzig
Shaun Tan`s Universal Masterpiece

Shaun Tan's graphic novel The Arrival tells the story of the refugee experience, depicting its sense of deprivation, danger, loneliness, discovery, and wonder.

The book's wordless language - rooted in the picture-story tradition that predates the modern comic book - mirrors the protagonist's inability to communicate though words in his new environment; the surreal images provide the story with universal relevance.

Brilliantly conceived and masterfully realized, The
Sep 02, 2016 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, comics, 2016

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

arrival 1

How did we get from a golden door to prison bars?


Shaun Tan doesn't engage in political polemics. He has no need of words at all. His silent surrealist paintings are more eloquent that all the ghostwriters, TV anchors and political commentators that try to convince us that black is actually whi
Feb 01, 2016 Kelli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I'm glad that other people know how to put pictures of the pages of this book into their reviews because if I had that kind of knowledge, I fear my entire review would be page after page of the breathtaking artwork in this wordless graphic novel. That description is so fitting, as this story has no words, yet you read it like you would read a novel. The pencil drawings tell the whole story and a touching, mystical story it is. I believe the author more than achieved what he set out to accomplish ...more
Maggie Stiefvater
Jul 20, 2008 Maggie Stiefvater rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Apr 27, 2016 TK421 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 23, 2012 Melki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 04, 2013 Forrest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Paul Bryant
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.

May 05, 2016 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels

This is a beautiful book: an immigrant leaves his family and embarks to a new land, where he knows no one and doesn't speak the language. Tan paints this as a beautiful, strange, and fearful experience, filled with jarring moments and acts of kindness. The book is wordless, to mirror the protagonist's experience, so I'm going to follow suit. The beauty of of this book is in the images, so I'll let them speak for themselves:

Dec 25, 2015 Kaitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly one of the all-time best graphic novels I have ever read and considering it's all pictures, no words, just flawless!!
The artwork is all pencil style drawings and it focuses on literal and figurative immigration and experiences. Truly an experience in itself to read through and adore.
Almost every page was emotional, heartfelt and touching or exciting, vibrant and fresh and there were so many little stories weaved into one that I just couldn't help but to admire it from page one. I was
May 07, 2016 jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 07, 2016 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Daniel by: Ivan
Prosto predivna prica koja uspeva bez i jedne linije teksta da nam prikaze kako je to kada neko imigrira u totalno nov i prosto vanzemaljski svet.

Iskreno citajuci (gledajuci :) ) ovo odlicno se dobije osecaj kako je bilo originalnim putnicima koji su bezali iz evrope za ameriku ili u modernije vreme ljudima iz sirije za evropu.

I naravno sami crtezi su odlicni sa pregrst maste koj vas prosto uvlaci da dalje listate strane.

Svaka preporuka.
সালমান হক
অ-সা-ধা-র-ণ !! গরাফিক নভেল সমপরকে আইডিয়া থাকলেও, সাইলেনট গরাফিক নভেল সমপরকে কিছুই শুনিনি আগে । কিনতু এই বইটা পড়ার(কিনবা দেখার?) পরে শুধু এটুকুই বলব - আমি মুগধ।
পুরো গলপটা বলা হয়েছে ছবির মাধযমে। কোন সংলাপ নেই। আর ছবিগুলোও একেকটা! আর এত সরল একটা গলপ এই ছবিগুলার মাধযমে এমন ভাবে বরণণা করা হয়েছে যে, তা গেথে যাবে মনে। একজন বাবা তার পরিবার রেখে পারি দেয় দূর এক দেশে। ভাগয পরিবরতনের আশায়। যেখানে সবই ভিনন। মানুষ, অদভুত কিছু পশুপাখি। জীবন যাতরার ধরণটাই অনযরকম। সেখানে এই বিরূপ অবসথায় পরিচয় হয় কয়েকজন বনধুভা
Jul 31, 2014 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jubilation Lee
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
Sarah Churchill
Absolutely stunning. Beautiful artwork that's not just lovely to study, but somehow manages to convey deep emotion without the use of a single word. We have a main character, his family and a number of supporting characters, and all of their stories and struggles are conveyed clearly without detracting from the MC in any way.

The main theme of the story is immigration, escaping horrors to begin a new life in an alien place where the language, food and society are all confusing. The really clever
Apr 05, 2011 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
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
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
The irony that I’ve read The Arrival, a graphic novel about struggling immigrants, on 9/11 doesn’t escape me.

Because although it’s so easy to escape the real world when you’re reading a book, you can’t keep reality away when you read this novel. Without words Shaun Tan is able to explain the personal struggles of immigrants who arrive in a foreign land with only his incredible drawing talent. His art-style feels familiar to that of Jheronimus Bosch with a bit of M.C. Escher thrown into it. It po
Now this was strange experience.This is graphic novel in true sense since there are no dialogs just images and even that is done in unusual way.Visuals are stellar and they present one bleak world during industrial revolution and they tell story about a man that crosses the ocean to alien world in order to provide for his family.
David Schaafsma
The Arrival is Shaun Tan's (so far) masterpiece, a completely silent tale for all ages though ostensibly written for children. A silent book, it's about immigration and the wonder and largely dark strangeness and anxiety of that passage. In the U.S. the present conservative outcry about immigration is one that has lasted for at least 150 years. "Give us your tired, your poor, you hungry . . . . " well, that Statue of Liberty was built in different times, eh? The concerns expressed by residents ( ...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
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
Dec 22, 2015 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love picture books and graphic novels, yet it never occurred to me that they're part of a spectrum and that a book could fall somewhere in between. The Arrival does just that. A story told purely through images, short but not lacking in complexity, focused on an adult character but accessible to a reader of any age.

This is the story of an immigrant's experience: the separation from family, the language barrier, the almost-everything-else barrier, and the crossing of paths with other immigrants
Oct 11, 2007 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 13, 2016 Jokoloyo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jokoloyo by: Ivon
So beautiful!

This silent book reminds me of Charlie Chaplin's movies, with sad yet beautiful and full of hope theme. If you just want to know what kind of book it is, you could finish "reading" this book in under 10 minutes. But the beauty of the art and stories within story in this book could make you re-enjoy this book again and again.
Sep 25, 2016 Tilly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a journey! Beautiful, detailed, emotional and all this without the use of just a single word. I could not get enough of the art work and the stories of the people the main character met. It is just an oustanding masterpiece in the comic scene and I would highly recommend it! 5 stars obviously.
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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
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