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The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis #1-4)

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  42,748 ratings  ·  2,888 reviews
Here, in one volume: Marjane Satrapi's best-selling, internationally acclaimed memoir-in-comic-strips.

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high schoo...more
Paperback, 341 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Pantheon (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I sat down to read a little of this during lunch, and ended up sitting in the restaurant for an hour after I was done eating. Eventually I felt guilty and left, but my plans were shot for the afternoon, as all I could think about was finishing this book.

I wish there were some mechanism on Goodreads to occasionally give a book more than five stars. Something to indicate when you think a book is more than merely excellent. Like for every 100 books you review, you earn the right to give one six-st...more
Jan 25, 2008 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of memoir
One of the things I loved about this book was Marjane's very individual voice and how it transformed from the start of the book when she is 10 to the end, when she is 22. Ten-year-old Marjane, by the way, is about the most awesome kid I have encountered in print. She reminded me of Harper Lee's Scout, except Marjane was cuter and more hilarious. Also, more political.

Most readers are unlikely to be really conversant in 20th Iranian political history and it is absolutely fascinating to be introduc...more

My first memories of Iraq and Iran consist of mixing the names up, having nothing more than the vague knowledge from television talkers that someone was fighting someone and we, the United States, were fighting everyone. Persia was where my best friend in first grade was from, a place she once told me didn't exist anymore before she changed schools in third grade and we completely lost contact with each other. The intervening years between then and now filled up with reports of war and terr...more
Apr 18, 2014 Rowena rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Rowena by: Kirsty
This was brilliant: a graphic novel depicting the coming-of-age of a young Iranian girl living in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, who is eventually sent to live in Austria for 4 years for her safety. It shows the horrors of living in a war-torn nation, as well as how terrifying it must be to live in a country run by religious fundamentalists/fanatics. The Muslim leaders recruited 14 year old boys in the war effort, closed down schools, targeted intelligent people and women wearing jeans and...more
Adrianne Mathiowetz
Mar 02, 2008 Adrianne Mathiowetz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Adrianne by: Book club
A question I heard a lot while I was reading this book was "how does it compare with Maus?" -- and if I were to answer that question, I would say, I suppose, that I thought that Maus was more compelling, with more classically heroic characters, detailed, careful artwork (and-I-mean-come-ON it was about the holocaust, haven't we all agreed that's the official trump card?) -- but I'm not sure that it actually makes much sense to compare this book with Maus. Sure, they're both graphic novels whose...more
4.5 stars - Spoilers

-Brilliant, this was so much more than what I expected. I knew I'd enjoy Persepolis but I had no idea that I'd find a story about a girl (Marji) growing up in Iran at the time of the Islamic Revolution so immersive, gripping, relatable and moving. It was simple yet powerful.

-Marji's struggles in Iran were portrayed so well, I believed everything I was reading. One of the main issues I have with fact based or autobiographical novels is that I always feel things are exaggerated...more
Ugh. I am deeply ambivalent. First, I found the political side fascinating. If you're interested in Iran's history, the graphic novel format is really accessible. However, I really disliked Marjane. I feel a little guilty about this, as she's a real person. While she and her family were proud that she was outspoken, I found her rude and obnoxious. They believed she was raised to be "free." I certainly appreciate their hugely liberal views in such a repressive environment, but their version of "f...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Originally published in France in four separate volumes, and later in the US in two, The Complete Persepolis brings them all together for the first time. It is the story of the author's youth, growing up in revolutionary Iran before moving to Austria at 14, and then later returning to Iran before escaping again, this time to France, where she still lives.

Her story is both familiar and alien - a story of being a child enjoying her childhood during the revolution of '79, and how it impacted on her...more
I remember renting a copy of the film adaptation of this graphic novel back in 2005, and really enjoying it. The bonus footage featured an interview with Satrapi, and I remember admiring her fortitude and outspokeness, even as a child.

In all honesty though, the film didn't move me as much as the book did. It spoke volumes, and I came away with an appreciation for Satrapi, her strong and supportive family, and the nostalgic love she has for her country and its people. With so much propaganda that...more
3 and 1/2 stars

I enjoyed this, especially appreciating its outspokenness, but I feel the beginning is much stronger than the later sections. I could have also used some more explanations, particularly with the timeline of her early schooling in Iran.

I liked the illustrations, which fittingly change somewhat as Marjane grows up, but I felt at a remove with some of her later actions. Perhaps there is a bit too much mocking by the adult writer of her younger self; or perhaps it's because I recentl...more
I think this is will be more response than review. Satrapi's Persepolis fulfills its purpose as a memoir, but I will tell you right from the start, that it is indeed overhyped, particularly if you have read the rave critical reviews. Perhaps, since the field of graphic novels as memoirs is relatively new, a work like this could be called ground-breaking. Persepolis as a memoir is an interesting read. I say this only as a result of having read Part Two of this book, The Story of a Return . If I h...more
Crystal Starr Light
Jun 17, 2013 Crystal Starr Light rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Crystal Starr Light by: Ferdy
"Persepolis" is the autobiography of Marjane Satrapi, a young Iranian girl living in Tehran. She was a middle-class only child and had your typical childhood dramas. But she also had to deal with the oppressive Iranian Revolution and Islamic Regime. Eventually her parents sent her away to Europe - and then she had to figure out who she was, a foreigner in a foreign land.

Way back when I lost my job, I found myself going to my library (it was within walking distance) and checking out a lot of movi...more
I try to refrain from reading the reviews of books I am near finished with or books I have finished but not yet made any final decisions towards, to involve rating or writing a review or commenting in any way. But this book left me feeling something rather iffy. I could not quite place my finger as to why I was not wholly sucked into the story, why I never fully connected with Satrapi. Then I read new_user's review and was suddenly able to smash my finger on what was bothering me. So, instead of...more

Pochi sono i casi in cui storie ambientate in paesi dell' oriente durante le guerre che li hanno sconvolti nel secolo scorso, e che continuano tutt' ora a infiammarli, sono riuscite a coinvolgermi e ad emozionarmi. Molte volte ne leggo, con interesse sì, anche con un certo dispiacere, ma è lo stesso dispiacere che provi quando ti parlano di una disgrazia accaduta a qualcuno che conoscevi poco o non conoscevi affatto...
Ci sono stati solo due casi in cui le...more
When “Persepolis” opens, Marjane Satrapi is in grade school in Tehran. To her, the Islamic Revolution means now she has to wear a veil. Her French non-secular school closes and she must attend a gender segregated school. It means that when her mom is photographed by news agencies demonstrating in the streets, her mom must dye her hair and wear sunglasses to avoid recognition and subsequent retribution. While her parents protest, young Marjane rallies her friends and poses as Che Guevara for her...more
There are few testaments more accordant with the underdevelopment of our species than the sad and bewildering ubiquity of dogmatism and, in the case of Persepolis, the dogma in question is (ho-hum?) religion. It may be fashionable, though still dangerous, to speak out against one's own misogynistic theocracy these days but such was not the case in the years immediately following Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. When undaunted women like Marjane Satrapi chose to spit upon their hands and play agai...more
I don't know what to call Persepolis. It's a graphic novel, of course, but it's also an autobiography and a history and a social commentary. Marjane Satrapi takes an honest and sometimes severe look at her childhood, teenage years, and early 20s. Her graphics are striking and tell as much of the story as her words. Sometimes I became so engrossed that I had to force myself to step back a bit and remember that I was reading someone's history -- that Satrapi had lived and survived the heartbreakin...more

The best graphic novel I have read... not unreasonable to compare with Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, which I am pretty sure influenced it. Also very illuminating about what it's like to live in Iran. Terrific book. The film, which Satrapi also worked on, is just as good.
Wow!!! Amazing!

Like Art Spiegelman's brilliant ''Maus,'' this is a ''graphic memoir''. Marjane Satrapi describes her life from the age of 9-to-22 years old.

This book is so engrossing. What an incredible life Marjane Satrapi has led. Unbelievable.

Marjane is a descendent of the last Emperor of Iran. Her parents are pseudo-communists. She is only 9-years-old when religious fundamentalists overthrow the Shah of Iran and the Ayatollah Khomeini is named supreme leader.

Under Khomeini's rule, Sharia...more
Oct 10, 2007 James rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: graphic-novel
This is a graphic story that is worthy of all the hype attributed to it. Persepolis is an autobiography of Iranian artist Marjane Satrapi, and accounts her childhood into womanhood which takes her from Iran to Europe to Iran and ultimately back to Europe to the eventual present day. Many aspects of the work aid in pushing this work far beyond other autobiographies, and its not just the illustrations that accompany it which, though at first glance seem simple and childish, are actually complex an...more
Aug 22, 2008 John rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: memoir, graphic-novel
I read this after listening to Marjane Satrapi speak in Portland.
This is one powerful story. Marjane is a very intelligent person and a great storyteller who lived through the Iranian revolution and watched it turn against her and her family. When war with Iraq breaks out her parents send her to she study abroad in Austria where she becomes unhinged, lost in a culture she can't relate to. Back in Iran the war grinds to a halt, as she becomes a mature woma...more
I'm so glad I overcame my aversion to graphic books and picked this up. I've read several Iranian coming-of-age memoirs but this is definitely one of the better ones, maybe even the best.

Satrapi uses expressive cartoons to show the progression of her life, from early childhood listening to her parents anxiously discuss the Shah, to the Iranian revolution, to being sent to Vienna for school at 14 without family or friends and her often ill-fated attempts to find herself in a directionless existen...more
I read Persepolis for the first time during the first semester of my freshman year in college. It was on the extra credit reading list for my World Religions class. That class fascinated me, unfortunately, my professor and I shared an animosity toward one another that I can only conclude came from his narrow-mindedness and my own immaturity (18 year old's think they know everything...oh, how I have learned).

So I read this book, and turned in something or other to prove that I had read it, and...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

The farther we progress into the early 2000s, the more convinced I am of how in the future, this period of history will be seen as one where Americans finally started more and more understanding the Middle East in the same semi-complex way they currently understand, say, Europe; because make no mista...more
Sampurna Ray
Ever since I read Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, I was looking for graphic novels worth reading. And Persepolis is definitely awesome! Totally hit the gold mine!!!

What I absolutely LOVED about this book: Little Marji was my favourite, cute and inquisitive. I particularly enjoyed Marji's conversations with God, and her insight into the simplest things. Even with a premise of political unrest, this novel made me smile :) The illustrations were beautiful and mostly better than the text...more
Emily May
I keep promising to write a full review for this but never get around to it. Basically, I read Persepolis for my Gendered Communities course and I think it's one of those rare reads that actually gets better when you study it for the historical, cultural and political context. There are depressingly few Middle Eastern women whose books are read on a large scale so the insight which Persepolis offers into this part of Iran's history is very important. It offers a perspective we don't get to see t...more
Mar 04, 2014 Sera rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sera by: Christopher
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the remainder of the series.

Satrapi is a head strong, young woman (which I thought was great) who wrote about her experiences of being an Iranian woman while living in Iran and later living abroad. She also does a good job telling her story within the context of what was happening politically and culturally within Iran, and in particular during the 1970s and 1980s. What's unfortunate about the country is its inability to find a ruler that c...more
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
Ummm... I didn't know shit about Iran and wars and the Islamic Revolution before this book. Frankly, I have avoided non-fiction books for so long because, as I saw it, newspapers and news channels and history books were enough. Definitely not. I love what Independent on Sunday had to say:

The magic of Marjane Satrapi's work is that it can condense a whole country's tragedy into one poignant, funny scene after another.

In this sense, the story or its conveyance is reminiscent of The Diary of a You...more
Last year I read Reading Lolita in Tehran and didn't much care for it. Persepolis covers very similar ground and delivered the gut punch I had expected but never received from RLiT. Persepolis does a wonderful job of presenting & humanizing Iran & Iranians. The artwork (especially the character design) reflects childhood cartoons, though some aspect of the stylization seemed to also capture a certain Persian flair. There is something horrifying about seeing cute little cartoon p...more
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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 Farsi, 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 att...more
More about Marjane Satrapi...
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis, #1-2) Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return (Persepolis, #3-4) Persepolis, Volume 1 (Persepolis, #1) Embroideries Chicken with Plums

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“The regime had understood that one person leaving her house while asking herself:
Are my trousers long enough?'
Is my veil in place?'
Can my make-up be seen?'
Are they going to whip me?'

No longer asks herself:

Where is my freedom of thought?'
Where is my freedom of speech?'
My life, is it livable?'
What's going on in the political prisons?”
“It's fear that makes us lose our conscience. It's also what transforms us into cowards.” 98 likes
More quotes…