Heidi's Reviews > The Arrival

The Arrival by Shaun Tan
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's review
Feb 19, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: by-nwp, graphic-novel, from-library-whs, 50books-poc-rnd1, want-to-own, easter-2009, fiction-fantasy
Read in April, 2009


I knew this book was going to be amazing. From the first time I looked at the first few pages I knew it. This book is - quite literally - beyond words.

I loved the other people's stories: I loved the references to Tom Roberts' Going South, and to Ellis Island. And the endpapers! It was just all done so beautifully. The emotion in this book is staggering, all the way through.

And the world to which the man goes is... awesome. In the true sense of the word. Some of those full-page spreads left me gaping in wonder. I rather want to know more about that world: even though Jack Kirby and the X-Man is/are right and there is no way I can imagine that this story could be done justice in words... I still would love more stories about this world, with its creatures and its vegetables and its paper-like birds and beautiful flowers.

I am, once again, in utter awe of Shaun Tan.

Like The Castle, The Dish, My Place and Rabbit-Proof Fence, I think that knowledge of this text should be compulsory for Australians, in particular. After all, most of us are in some way descended from immigrants who came here within the last two and a half centuries. It's not just recent migrants who can find this experience in their hearts. I think we almost all can find something to relate to in this.

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Reading Progress

04/13/2009 "Somewhere in part 2, I think."
04/14/2009 page 128
100% "Completely, outstandingly beautiful and wonderful."

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