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The Photographer (Le Photographe #1-3)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  1,912 ratings  ·  286 reviews
In 1986, Afghanistan was torn apart by a war with the Soviet Union. This graphic novel/photo-journal is a record of one reporter’s arduous and dangerous journey through Afghanistan, accompanying the Doctors Without Borders. Didier Lefevre’s photography, paired with the art of Emmanuel Guibert, tells the powerful story of a mission undertaken by men and women dedicated to m ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by First Second (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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J.G. Keely
Non-fiction seems so easy some times. All you have to do is lead an interesting life and it's all taken care of for you: plot, characterization, twists, insights. All that remains is the compiling and editing, which is no minute task, but there is a sort of unpredictable depth in non-fiction which is hard to replicate. Many have tried, but verisimilitude is the mark of the master.

Here we have a foreigner--a Frenchman--who does not even speak the language, going on a very real modern adventure in
...more
Sridhar Reddy
Based on their title alone, it makes sense as to why Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. But I have to admit I knew very little of the organization itself and the true challenges of their work. It would have been far too simplistic to say it was a group of committed doctors who traveled to different global hotspots to administer medical aid. I knew it would be far more complicated than just voluntary service, but it wasn't until I read THE PHOTOG ...more
Matt
The concept used here - part graphic novel, part photo essay - is brilliant, and I hope the model is copied by others. The bounty of a French photographer's work in 1980s Afghanistan is put together with colored artwork to complete a narrative of his adventure. The best travel writing out there tends to stand out because it's written by great writers. This is just the opposite. Didier Lefevre is no writer, but his very other-worldly experience and his excellent photography are entertainment enou ...more
Jonathan Peto
French photographer Didier Lefevre's first trip to Afghanistan took place in 1986, the year I graduated high school and joined the US Army. The personal connection is important to me, I guess, because my memories of that time added something to the narrative as I read. The book is a memoir of Lefevre's experience accompanying doctors who entered the war zone. Lefevre's photographs and his account of the trip, combined with panels of illustration by Emmanuel Guibert and Frederic Lemercier, make t ...more
htanzil
Ada istilah yang mengatakan bahwa sebuah foto /gambar dapat berbicara lebih banyak daripada kata. Karenanya tak jarang sebuah foto dengan sedikit keterangan atau bahkan tanpa keterangan apapun bisa menimbulkan reaksi yang lebih fantastis dibandingkan sebuah kolom berita. Kenyataan seperti ini membuat semua media-media baik cetak maupun cyber selalu megedepankan para fotografernya dalam meliput sebuah berita atau peristiwa penting.

Didier Liever adalah seorang fotografer jurnalistik asal Perancis
...more
Malapata
De vez en cuando hay libros, cómics, como este, que te emocionan, te encogen el corazón, te hacen dejar de leer durante un momento para coger fuerzas.

El cómic es la crónica del viaje del fotógrafo Didier Lefèvre a Afganitstán en los años 80 acompañando a un equipo de Médicos Sin Fronteras. Un viaje que en aquel entonces, en plena guerra civil contra el gobierno sostenido por la URSS, significaba cruzar la frontera a escondidas y tener que hacer tramos durante la noche para evitar los bombardeos
...more
Sarah
This is a fantastic example of what can be done in a non-fiction comic for adults. As the subtitle states, Didier Lefèvre traveled with Doctors without Borders to Afghanistan in the 1980s. He photographically documented their mission to bring health care to rural villages on the frontlines of the war with Russia. He also kept travel journals. The illustrator Emmanuel Guibert filled in the blanks between Lefevre's photographs with his own depictions of the events Lefevre described. I'm not entire ...more
Hans
Books like this one have a powerful effect on me and only make me wish I had read it 10 years earlier. I found myself idly dreaming about the incredible adventure of being part of Doctors without Borders. I am still happy to have read it and for the insights I have gathered about Afghanistan from it. My wish is still that someday I will be able to be a part of something like this and write my own unique travelogue about the most barren and remote parts of the world.
Tabasco
A stunning work of beauty. The graphic structure is magnificent, to the point that I was often spending more than 5 minutes just looking at a single page, to absorb all the details. But also in terms of the content, this is a true modern day adventure with substance. The main charachter's ineptitude often sticks out, but in the end it's the same ineptitude that most of us westerners would display in those circumstances, and that makes it easier to get drawn into the narration and live the advent ...more
Bill Mutch
Full five stars...no ambiguity whatever! This is a graphic non-fiction combining the manga like art work of Emmanuel Guilbert and the edited photographs of the late photographer Didier LeFevre describing LeFevre's odyssey from Pakistan, thru Afghanistan and back again during the conflict between the mujahideen and the Soviet Union while on assignment with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders.) Under the leadership of a phenomenal woman identified only as 'Juliette,' A large caravan ...more
Liralen
Kind of a cross between a graphic memoir and a photography book -- Lefèvre was hired as a photographer for a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) mission to Afghanistan in the eighties, and some twenty years later he and some others sat down to turn the experience into this.

It's a different perspective than you might ordinarily get; Lefèvre was by definition there to observe, not to act. He's there to document the obvious -- the work that the MSF doctors do -- but also the stuff behind the magic, start
...more
Zioluc
Nel 1986 il fotografo Didier Lefèvre è aggregato a una missione di Medici Senza Frontiere in Afghanistan: questo è il suo diario.

Scoprire come lavorano i chirurghi nei "deserti sanitari" senza igiene né strumentazione, come vivevano e vivono gli Afghani tra le loro bellissime montagne, come lavorano i fotografi di reportage in condizioni difficili è appassionante (avvertenza: qualche immagine di persone ferite può fare davvero impressione).

Ma per me il vero interesse del libro è COME tutto ciò
...more
Josh
This is quite simply a first hand account of a naive French photographer documenting a caravan and mission into late 1980's Afghanistan, while the Soviets were still attempting to subjugate the country. This is a superb work of art that blends photography, art, and the journal notes of Dieder Lefevre on his journey. What makes the story even more compelling is that it is true - the account of one man in a new land. I will certainly be able to use this text in my courses, particularly those invol ...more
Jason
I purchased this book after seeing it on a list of great graphic novels in recent years. I paid no attention to its dimensions. When it arrived in the mail, I was shocked at just how large the book was. Flipping through it, I realized the large size accommodated all the photographs in this biography. Another reason I bought this book is because I teach The Kite Runner, so I thought this book would be a nice nonfiction companion novel for any students interested in learning more about Afghanistan ...more
Jacki
The brilliant concept (graphic novel meets photojournalism)is worthy of a glance, but ultimately this book disappoints in other vital areas.

I had to laugh when a character in the book said he pitied children learning to read in Afghanistan because the Qu'ran had such little print on such big pages, because that was my exact complaint about "The Photographer." A magnifying glass is needed for the tiny print and minuscule photographs. Perhaps color photos the same size would have been more easily
...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
This is a graphic novel with some actual photos included taken by the author. If you need to flesh out your knowledge of Afghanistan, this seems like a good choice to have on your list of informative books to learn about that terrible country. The comic book format is amazingly good and makes for a great memoir. I'm glad to have read it and recommend it to folks wanting a look at Afghanistan from a travelor's viewpoint. I have the greatest respect for the Doctors Without Borders organization and ...more
Matt
The idea of merging documentary with media that are not, by nature, documentary is one that continues to intrigue me. It's part of what made "Waltz with Bashir" so special - animation, being such a time intensive discipline, seems to be almost the polar opposite of documentary forms. Yet it was perfect for the movie, allowing it to move seamlessly between memory and fact. The Photographer pulls off a similar feat, in the graphic novel form.

The book follows a photographer, Didier Lefevre, on a D
...more
Wordwizard
Extremely powerful. The photos-and-cartoons format was interesting and well-executed. Very moving--I cried a few times. What these people did was really remarkable.

On the whole, the book is very understated, part journal/photo-journal and part factual recount. It is when taken as a whole that it gets its impact.

Didier's account is very much his own--his frustrations, admiration of the doctors, his own weaknesses. He may come across as spoiled during a few scenes, but I think that serves as a goo
...more
Angel
This is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. Like Robert speaking of the Afghans he lived and worked among, for reading this book, I feel a bit less dumb than I would've been. This book is not only a travelogue, but it is a piece of history as well. The story takes place during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and it is in that country that MSF is doing their work. Didier the photographer goes into the country not knowing a whole lot to be perfectly honest, and he grows per ...more
Lars Guthrie
Beyond a useful addition to reading that helps in understanding what is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan today, 'The Photographer' is a striking example of what the graphic novel (although this is not fiction and blends photography into its format) can be. Didier Lefevre was a French photographer who died of untimely heart failure at 49 in 2007. The book recounts a journey he took into Afghanistan in 1986, while the Russians were still fighting their war, with Doctors without Borders. Emman ...more
Anamarija
ovo je strip ceste, a putovanje njegovih Junaka nije samo fizicko (kao sto ni J u junacima nije pogresno). u odlicnom spoju fotografije i crteza kroz osobnu pricu doznajemo vise o Afganistanu, ratu i cudljivoj ljudskoj prirodi.
Angie Fehl
This is a graphic memoir which tells the story of French photojournalist Didier Lefevre, on his first major assignment documenting the work of Doctors Without Borders in Afghanistan during the Cold War of the 1980s. He starts in Peshwar, Pakistan and works his way through Afghanistan, traveling primarily by foot or mule. Didier's actual photography is incorporated in between the panels of artwork, a format I had not come across before but one that really held my interest!

For those not familiar w
...more
Kiwinyx
Hired by the french group Doctors Without Borders, a young photographer signs up for an adventure and perhaps a great chance at that elusive perfect shot. He had no idea what he was getting himself into but took the journey in his stride, following the lead of the remarkable people he was travelling with who had done the journey many times before and since.

Beginning in Pakistan, they prepare for the illegal night crossing into Afghanistan and the rendezvous with their team of mujahideen who will
...more
Zac
Well, this book was pretty incredible. It follows the adventures of Didier Lefèvre as he travels from Pakistan to Afghanistan and back as a photographer for Médecins Sans Frontières during the Soviet war of 1986. We meet a number of colourful Afghani characters, some kind and others exploitative, and learn much about the different cultures and landscapes of the areas they pass through. The incredible medical work the team does when they are finally established is very moving. Then, when Didier d ...more
Kathleen O'Grady
A well-crafted story, with fabulous comic illustrations. Though I found the photographs to be largely disappointing -- not so much in execution (photographically) but in presentation, being so small or poorly reproduced as to make them meaningless. For many of the key photos, you can barely see the details, and even the finest photos lose the appeal they may have had if as much care had been given to their reproduction as the story and the illustrations.

It was a curious decision, and I suspect
...more
Maheswaran
Loved this.
Loved the concept of filling in the gaps of photographic story with the comic book style of writing.
Loved the narration.
Loved everything about it.

My last read was also about doctors and what they did to improve things in surgery.
And this one is a photographer following a team of doctors ( Medicine Sans Frontiers ) into war zone of 1980s Afghanistan. He has done his job well.

Must read for any non-fiction reader.
Jennifer
I've been reading this book piecemeal over the course of several months in the reading room of a high school library. I'm so sad it is over! At first I was just flipping through it and I had no idea that the Afghanistan being chronicled was from decades ago. The little I know of Afghanistan makes me think that the challenges of medical care in the rural mountains are probably still the same. And I'm guessing the grace of the people too. It was amazing to follow Didier through mountain passes as ...more
PersepolisSleuth
The story of a photojournalist who accompanies Doctors Without Borders into war-torn Afghanistan in the mid-1980s. The journey is fraught with dangers - from the perilous Afghan terrain and weather, the threat of Russian bombs, and the hair-trigger sensitivity and aggression of Mujahideen who were suspicious and sometimes hateful of Westerners. A mix of actual photos form the journey with simple illustrations tell the story of the journey, the group's challenges and conveys a truly complex portr ...more
Karyl
With as much as Afghanistan has been in the news for the last decade or so here in the States, I admit I really knew not much about it, other than what I saw on the evening news. This book, taking place almost thirty years ago, during the Afghan-Soviet War, really brought Afghanistan to life. Lefévre's photos are absolutely stunning, and he gives his readers a glimpse of what life is like in a part of the world so far removed, in every way, from the modern West.

The use of drawn panels alternatin
...more
Laura Zurowski
The Photographer pairs the work of French photographer Didier Lefèvre with the art of Emmanuel Guibert to create a haunting, suspenseful, and memorable story about a 1986 Doctors Without Borders mission into the most isolated and war-torn areas of Afghanistan.

The narrative will keep you turning the pages (but be careful, the book is over-sized and a bit heavy! :-) and it's perfectly woven throughout the images - seamlessly providing a story in both words and images. The use of multiple media in
...more
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Emmanuel Guibert has written a great many graphic novels for readers young and old, among them the Sardine in Outer Space series and The Professor’s Daughter with Joann Sfar.

In 1994, a chance encounter with an American World War II veteran named Alan Cope marked the beginning of a deep friendship and the birth of a great biographical epic.

Another of Guibert's recent works is The Photographer. Show
...more
More about Emmanuel Guibert...

Other Books in the Series

Le Photographe (4 books)
  • Le Photographe - Tome 1
  • Le Photographe, Tome 2 :
  • Le Photographe - Tome 3
Alan's War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope Sardine in Outer Space Ariol #1: Just a Donkey Like You and Me Sardine in Outer Space 2 How the World Was: A California Childhood

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