I don't much like to read the blurbs on the back of covers nor book reviews. I'm not sure what I thought this book was about, but I certainly didn't kI don't much like to read the blurbs on the back of covers nor book reviews. I'm not sure what I thought this book was about, but I certainly didn't know it was going to be about WWII or Jews or the Holocaust. This may be the first book I've ever read that was more the persepctive of the Germans (though it's not told by a German) during WWII. Honestly, I loved it. All of its humanity, I just loved it....more
Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen is incredible and terrifying. I think it should be required reading for students in high school. I'm not a big fan of requiredNakazawa's Barefoot Gen is incredible and terrifying. I think it should be required reading for students in high school. I'm not a big fan of required reading lists, but students today are so far from the history of WWII and the dropping of the bombs that it's difficult to understand not only what happened, but how affected people were by one another's actions. Barefoot Gen removes any possibility of someone not being able to identify with the horrors of using a nuclear weapon on a civilian community. Its reality is disturbing and the visuals haunting. As Art Spiegelman notes in his Introduction, the quirks and idioms of Japanese comics are different from those in the Western hemisphere, but that doesn't negate the fact that "we think in comics." Though there are some aspects of Kakazawa's work that take some getting used to, it is understandable, relatable, and you cannot tear your eyes away, as much as you would like to ignore the brutality contained within it....more
My sister recommended this book to me, which normally isn't a good sign. It's not that she reads bad stuff, we just have different tastes in genres anMy sister recommended this book to me, which normally isn't a good sign. It's not that she reads bad stuff, we just have different tastes in genres and styles. I was, however, completely enthralled with this book. I couldn't stop reading it. The beginning was that perfect mix of "let me start four or five different story arcs and then bring them all together later." 900 pages later I was still reading.
The book is long, but it keeps your attention and Follett takes the time to really wrap up all his story lines (and does it in a way that doesn't try and cover everything in ten pages, hence the books length). Also, it's about the building of a cathedral in the 1100s. Stuff like that took a long time, so you can imagine that a story about it might be a little longer than normal. Granted, you could leave a little bit out here and there, but Follett simply chose not to do that. ...more
**spoiler alert** This first volume of the Barefoot Gen series introduces the Nakaoka family, chronicling their lives in Hiroshima during the ongoing**spoiler alert** This first volume of the Barefoot Gen series introduces the Nakaoka family, chronicling their lives in Hiroshima during the ongoing war against the Allied forces. Gen is a six year-old whose father believes Japan’s initial and continued participation in the war is both a mistake and a dishonorable move by Japanese leadership. A year of war having already passed, Gen’s parents struggle to feed a family of five children. Though it eases the burden on mouths to fill, it is no less of a struggle emotionally when one son is sent into the countryside for safekeeping and the oldest son disobeys his father’s wishes and joins the military, only to later realize that his father’s disgust with the Japanese government is well placed. All of these events occur around the misadventures of Gen and his little brother Shinji, a rambunctious pair that get into no end of trouble, though usually with the best of intentions. Becoming so familiar with such an emotional family makes the inevitable conclusion all the more horrific as the Enola Gay drops the first atomic bomb on the town and its inhabitants, destroying everything in its path and sending thousands to a painful, torturous death. The volume ends with this destruction, leaving the reader to discover what happens to the family in Volume Two: The Day After.
More fictional memoir than autobiography, Barefoot Gen is loosely based on Nakazawa’s experiences, the boy being referred to as his “alter-ego.” Where other graphic works often use narration to describe emotions and events, Nakazawa uses the manga style to place everything in plain view of the reader through action. Without a narrator, the reader gains a sense they are witnessing the story as it actually happens. Though the manga style can often be presented as more fantasy than reality, Nakazawa uses it as a device to make the situation more real, enhancing events to bring them closer to the reader. Ultimately, Nakazawa presents a case for peace and relates a story that leaves readers hoping such tragedies never happen again. ...more
This book is truly amazing. The life of Jesus has never been depicted with such reality and hilarity. Anyone who has ever questioned the four GospelsThis book is truly amazing. The life of Jesus has never been depicted with such reality and hilarity. Anyone who has ever questioned the four Gospels and the gaping holes that are in them absolutely must get their hands on this book....more
This really is an amazing work of humanity. Saramago takes many of the more modern theories of Christ's life and winds them into one narrative about tThis really is an amazing work of humanity. Saramago takes many of the more modern theories of Christ's life and winds them into one narrative about the Messiah. Instead of holy figure, you find a much more human depiction of Jesus.
I read this after Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore and was amazed by some of the similarities between them (save the hilarity involved in Moore's work). I think they may have come across some of the same research when looking into what many historians believe might have been that actual life of Christ, and not the concocted version passed on by tradition and controversy we so often hear in church.
This is really an amazing piece of literature that can be appreciated by all kinds of individuals, regardless of religious beliefs. ...more