Jessica's Reviews > Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
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Sep 30, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novel
Read in June, 2008

Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi has been on my TBR list since the movie was nominated for an Oscar earlier this year. It moved up on the list because of the good reviews I’ve read on book blogs. When Dewey announced that latecomers to her Graphic Novel Challenge could join and read half the books, I requested Persepolis from the library.

Persepolis is a memoir in graphic novel form. It takes place in Tehran, Iran from about 1978-1983. It covers the fall of the Shah, the Iranian Revolution, and the Iran/Iraq War from the perspective of a preteen/teen. It’s actually a pretty good history lesson.

This book got to me. The combination of the pictures and the honest reactions were, at times, very effective. It was a fast read, and I was immediately emotionally involved. Also, I felt like the perspective of the narrator was true to her age. In other words, it felt like a 10-14 year-old was actually writing the book and telling us exactly how she felt.

Though I liked this book, I’m pretty sure graphic novels are not going to become main fare in my reading diet. I tend to process the words and the pictures separately. I sometimes became confused and frustrated when the words and/or pictures weren’t clear. For example, the pictures are all drawn in black and white and it was sometimes hard to tell the mother from the daughter. The reckless use of dangling pronouns only added to the problem. I often had to go back and read whole pages to confirm who a pronoun was referring to and sometimes it wasn’t clear after a reread. (Also, a note: the book did have some profanities and dealt rather bluntly with torture.)

Whew. Now that I’m done ranting about pronouns, I will say that this book was well done. It was honest. It was touching. The ending almost made me cry. I’ve put Persepolis 2 on reserve at the library.
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