Benjamin's Reviews > American Born Chinese

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
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Mar 28, 11

Read in March, 2011

A nice little graphic novel that begins as three disparate stories with similar themes (that of a person trying to not be themselves). Eventually the three stories combine to reveal that they all were connected. It has a very autobiographical feel, mainly brought on by one of the stories being told in first person. But it becomes clear that, as true as some of the stories are, this is fiction. (Which was kind of nice. I have a feeling a lot of what happened in the 1st person childhood part was based on the author's actual life, but fantasy elements about the Monkey King keep this from being the ho-hum, self-pitying autobiographical comic I hate.)

The drawing was crisp and clear, sometimes seemingly over-simplified, but always attractive and easy to read. It's a good book that just verges on 4 stars, but it fell short in being as complicated or thought-provoking as I would have liked. (Then again, this is a children's book, so its audience would need a less complex story.) Good read.
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