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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis #1-2)

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  101,982 Ratings  ·  5,212 Reviews
A New York Times Notable Book
A Time Magazine Best Comix of the Year
A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, yea
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Hardcover, 153 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Perfection Learning (first published 2000)
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Popular Answered Questions

Ale Yes. It covers the life of author Marjane in revolutionary Iran from age six to fourteen, so it's pretty suitable.
Katelyn Around 150 pages, but it goes really quickly because it's a graphic novel.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anne
I knew a little about Iran. Not much, but a little. I knew it had been through a lot of changes, and that most of those changes had been steps backward when it came to personal freedom.
Here's a cool little 1 minute video that gives you a visual look at some of the changes in style, if you're interested.

Alright. What I didn't know was the hows and whys. And to be honest, it never occurred to me to delve much deeper.
There was a revolution, some religious nutters took over, and then everyone start
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Bookshop
Jul 29, 2007 Bookshop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They are among the rare books that I give a 5 which means:
a. they will come with me wherever I go
b. I will read them again and again until I remember every single sentence
c. I will not lend them to people :p.

Tita introduced me to these books. I have been very interested on Iran and was even contemplating to read the autobiography of Farah Pahlavi, the Empress of Iran. After repeated visits to the bookshop to flip the pages of this autobiography, I wasn't sure if I wanted to part with my money fo
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Chicago commercial photographers

Of all the banned books I’ve read over the years, THIS one might be the one that I really can’t figure out a reason for banning. There have been some selections that my children aren’t quite old enough to read or fully understand, but they are still tiny humans. In a couple of years I’ll gladly let them peruse my bookshelves and read whatever all of the nutters tell them not to. It was thinking of those nutters that left me shaking my
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Pramod Nair
“In life you'll meet a lot of jerks. If they hurt you, tell yourself that it's because they're stupid. That will help keep you from reacting to their cruelty. Because there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance... Always keep your dignity and be true to yourself.” – Advice to Marjane’s from her grandmother.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood’, the first volume, is the intimate memoir of a spirited young girl who had to grow up in the chaos of a society under a stiffly ruled regime whi
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Paul Bryant
Well, having read the book, I went also to see the film last night. But I will probably not wish to go to see the musical or buy the soundtrack of the musical with specially commissioned songs by Sting and Bono and Madonna and Cher and several other rock stars who only have one name, all their other names having been given to their favourite charities to auction off.
I didn't read Persepolis Book Two so was interested that the film incorporates both books. However my joy turned to large bananas
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Tatiana
"Persepolis" is a widely acclaimed memoir/graphic novel, it was rated highly by several of my fellow readers and therefore I've had my eye on it for a while. Sadly, now, after reading this book, I am a little underwhelmed by it.

As a graphic novel, it is a notable work. The cartoonish style of the drawing is superb, the subject matter is very current, the combination of tragedy and humor is clever.

However, as a political memoir, "Persepolis" lacks. I don't know exactly why, but I never got a gri
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Roya
Mar 19, 2015 Roya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: okay
I HATE ALL OF THESE DEPRESSING IRANIAN ENDINGS. Ugh. So irritating. Review to come.

EDIT:

Two points that should be made.

1. This book will make you sad.

2. That's okay.


Persepolis is the first book in a graphic novel series about the childhood of Marjane Satrapi, the author of this book.



In this book, Satrapi reminisces her life in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution and the Iran–Iraq War - a time of oppression and dejection. Of course, with the Islamic Revolution came the arrival of the high and m
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Forrest
Dec 15, 2012 Forrest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I intentionally avoided the movie version of this book. I wanted my reading experience to be unspoiled, even by trailers. Now, having read the book, I shall have to go see the movie.

I am the same age as Marjane Satrapi. As I reflect the events of this book, I remember my perception of events in Iran: the revolution, the hostage crisis, the war with Iraq. Having lived in Italy from 1977-79, I feel a little closer to these events than I would have, had I been "buried" in American concerns at the t
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drbarb
May 15, 2007 drbarb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans, women, Republicans
I am as middle class (we call it affectionately, the "poor rich" where I live.) I am intellectual. I am like Richard Rodriquez and bellhooks because education took me away from my roots, but gave me who I am today.

So, how could Iranian middle class intellectuals and professionals in the late 1970s have been so different than me and my family? For the young, under the Shah, there was a strong and progressive, very Western group of middle class Iranians. Just like me and mine.

So, how could these p
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Melissa Martin
Dec 06, 2015 Melissa Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
I thought this book was very sad, I felt sorry how Marjane had to grow up.

I'm going to link this to a friends review that can tell it better :)

Anne's Review
Abeer
Extremely clever and genuine book about a young middle eastern woman going through an oppressive misogynistic extremist regime, something I relate to a lot. It gives me strength and hope and makes me love and relate to people I, as a person who grew up in sunni saudi arabia, was always told were enemies or at least people who don't wish us well, that's the picture that's been painted. luckily i was introduced to irani art pretty early on, particularly cinema, so I've felt nothing but admiration ...more
Jessica
We complain about the religious fanatics in this country, and definitely we should keep an eye on them, because man oh man, things sure could be worse.

I liked this. It was cute but in a substantial way, interesting, and emotionally compelling. Satrapi made a point of representing her childhood self as kind of an asshole in a realistic and endearing little-kid way, which I thought was cool and served the book well. In a lot of stories about political repression the heroes are saintly people, but
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Nojood Alsudairi
I got this book in Arabic. Any one who is interrested could borrow it from me (if you are in Jeddah that is!)
أنهيت قراءة الكتاب ليس لأني سريعة في القراءة و ليس لأنه كتب بالعربية و لكن لأسباب أخرى؛ أولها أننا كنا في الطائرة ننتظر مكان للوقوف لمدة ساعة تقريبا(بسسب الحجاج رعاهم الله) و ثانيا لأن الكتاب مصور! أكثر ما شدني في الكتاب، عدا عن كونه مصور، هو استطاعة الكاتبة أن تنقل لنا أفكار طفلة بتفاعلها مع مجتمعها و سياسة بلدها و إيمانها بربها بطريقة جميلة. أحسست و أنا أقرأ بأني كنت بالفعل أقرأ طفلة لي
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Jason
Jan 20, 2008 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cultural relativists as far back as Sextus Empiricus or Michel Montaigne, or as recent as William Graham Sumner or Gilbert Harman, often make compelling arguments that there are no objective standards for judging other societies/beliefs. Yet Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis achieves in 153 pages what cultural relativists deny as possible and what most political pundits can never fully articulate: an informed and justifiable criticism of an existing cultural paradigm. Satrapi's method is deceptively ...more
Samadrita
Here's why you should read Persepolis :-

i)Satrapi talks about the pleasures and pains of being born as a female in a country under a most repressive Islamist regime, without ever sounding too serious or preachy.

ii)Iran's history during the growing years of Marji is summarized for you in a few pages along with the political and socio-cultural background of the times.

iii)This book features, by far, the coolest pair of parents that I've ever read about in a novel or book (or that I can think of at
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Francisca Viegas
“One can forgive but one should never forget.”


This is the story of Marjane Satrapi as a child growing up during the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
It is so moving and deeply touching to actually see and read what she went through, as well as witnessing the gradual loss of innocence that came with living in war.
I recommend this to everyone. It shows a different side of the history of Iran - one that I knew very little about.
Corinne
Marjane spent her growing up years in Iran, the daughter of wealthy-ish middle class parents. Her formative years were during the Iranian Revolution, in which her immediate and extended family took an active part. Politically, it was a time of great unrest and uncertainty and, if her book is any indication, she spent much of her time mulling over the things she sees and hears as an only child.

She's an interesting character - at times naive and idealistic, and, as she grows older, very aware of t
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Joe S
Feb 24, 2008 Joe S rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
It was a decently told story, with small shining moments. I don't feel it was worth all the hype, though, and I wonder if it would have been such a success if this weren't the perfect time to tap into liberal, anti-war, pro-vaguely-Middle-Eastern sympathies throughout the West.

In the end, I think the marketing was better than the story-telling.
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3.75* of five graphic novel, 5* of five film

The Book Report: So this is the lightly fictionalized life story of Iranian emigre Satrapi, as she grows up in the waning days of Shah Reza Pahlavi's rule, the revolution, and the subsequent theocracy. She emigrates first to Vienna, for school at the Viennese Lycee Francaise, and then after a time back in Tehran, off to Paris. We meet her delightfully outspoken grandmother, her neither-fish-nor-fowl mother, her drippily emotional father, and a
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Caroline
Oct 12, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One can forgive but one should never forget

THIS book was like an educational experience for me because honestly I don't know that much about Iran and the Iranian Revolution that took place. What I know is what I have seen on TV and in movies. But I also know that the account presented is often very one sided and doesn't portray Iranians in a favourable light. I had wanted to read Persepolis for ages because I have a friend who raves about it but also because I thought it would be really interest
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Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Feb 23, 2013 Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone ever
Recommended to Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* by: My professor I guess, because it was required for my class
I had been meaning to read this book for years. I think the first time I heard of it was when the movie came out (which I still need to see), and everyone was raving about it, etc. And I soon found out that it was based on this graphic novel (or, from what I've heard, Marjane Satrapi prefers the term "comic book"). So, since I tend to always read the book before seeing the movie, I intended to read this. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was one of the very first books I added to my "to-read" list her ...more
Melissa
Mar 20, 2007 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: repeatreads, memoir
This book was not at all what I expected -- it was so much more. Normally, I have a large amount of disdain for stories told form the child's persepctive, for I find the children to be a little too wise, a little too precoscious (I know it's spelled wrong, but it's late and I'm lazy), a little too learned, a little too in tune with their fate, etc. (think Mary Anton in "The Promised Land" -- to this day, it is the most tedious piece of self-indulgent crap I ever had to read and the only reason I ...more
Hillary
Mar 03, 2008 Hillary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, it's surprisingly excellent. Remember when you finally, grudgingly read _Maus_ after hearing it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and then it turned out that it was at least comparable to the greatness of bread being already sliced? This is like that. When you see "wise, funny, and heartbreaking," up above in the description, you probably can hear the violins swelling and the announcer saying, "Not since Cinema Paradiso..." but what makes _Persepolis_ so good is its unflinchingness. ...more
Jamie
Sep 28, 2015 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one may have won me over to graphic novels.....

I read this in honor of Banned Books Week, as this was the 2nd most frequently banned or challenged book of the last year. Apparently objections primarily stemmed from language (the word "fucked" is used once) and being "politically offensive". This book is about a girl growing up in Iran in the 1980s, during and after a political revolution that made extreme Islamic views the law of the land, and the beginning of the conflicts between Iran and
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
A blurb on the back described this "graphic memoir" as the "Persian love child of Art Spiegelman and Lynda Barry." Through childlike simple and whimsical black-and-white comic strips Marjane Satrapi gives us her memoir of what it was like growing up in Iran's Islamic Revolution from the ages of six to fourteen, before she was sent by her family out of the country.

I'm not really much of a fan of the graphic novel. For me it just can never have the richness of film or text. A friend of mine who d
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erry
Oct 16, 2008 erry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-story
Persepolis adalah sebuah ibu kota kuno dari Kekaisaran Persia, terletak 70 km timur laut Shiraz, Iran. Dalam bahasa Persia kuna, kota ini disebut Parsa. Persepolis adalah bentuknya dalam bahasa Yunani.

Perang, revolusi dan pertikaian internal adalah kata yang biasanya terkesan ‘seram’. Tetapi di dalam novel grafis ini, kita bisa tertawa sekaligus mengerenyitkan dahi. Lucu, apa adanya, sekaligus menyentuh. Penuturan yang unik dari seorang Marjane Satrapi berdasarkan pengalaman pribadinya sendiri.

R
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Zorena
Oct 06, 2013 Zorena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
War and revolution viewed from the eyes of a child I wonder how much is truth and how much is childhood imagination. After reading a few online articles about early Iran I think it's a good blend of both. If this book had been written as a regular book as opposed to it's graphic novel format I don't think it would have had near the impact this did on me. The simple but well done black and white art works well with her memories. Also seeing Marjane wrestle with her own version of god and stand up ...more
Caro Márquez
Jul 31, 2015 Caro Márquez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, 2015-reads
Smart, funny, painful and self-ironic. Highly recommended.
Kelly
Two star ratings really aren't what I would call positive ratings, but by Goodreads standards (i.e. "it was ok"), and in the case of my rating for Persopolis, it most certainly isn't a negative rating. I think what ultimately made this novel fall flat for me is that I was prepared for something more along the lines of "thought-provoking" and "eye-opener" and instead finished this feeling rather disappointingly underwhelmed.

I found the author's idea of writing her autobiography in the form of a c
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Jake
Dec 20, 2015 Jake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I'm so glad my English teacher had us read this. I now have an appreciation for Iraq and its culture and I'm glad I now understand all they have been through.
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2016 Reading Chal...: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi 1 21 Jan 04, 2016 07:15PM  
Marjane the Feminist 4 12 Dec 15, 2015 12:23AM  
discussion on summer reading 1 7 Sep 06, 2015 07:14PM  
Thoughts on Persepolis 8 25 Sep 01, 2015 09:25PM  
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Marjane Satrapi (Persian: مرجان ساتراپی) is an Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novellist, illustrator, animated film director, and children's book author. Apart from her native tongue Persian, she speaks English, Swedish, German, French and Italian.

Satrapi grew up in Tehran in a family which was involved with communist and socialist movements in Iran prior to the Iranian Revolution. She a
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More about Marjane Satrapi...

Other Books in the Series

Persepolis (4 books)
  • Persepolis, Volume 1 (Persepolis, #1)
  • Persepolis, Volume 2 (Persepolis, #2)
  • Persepolis, Volume 3 (Persepolis, #3)
  • Persepolis, volume 4 (Persepolis, #4)

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“In life you'll meet a lot of jerks. If they hurt you, tell yourself that it's because they're stupid. That will help keep you from reacting to their cruelty. Because there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance... Always keep your dignity and be true to yourself.” 480 likes
“One can forgive but one should never forget.” 97 likes
More quotes…