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Um Contrato com Deus

(The Contract With God Trilogy #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  9,812 ratings  ·  433 reviews
Four powerful dramas recall tenement life in 1930s New York--an absolute must for fans of Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth,and Isaac Singer. The storytelling is straightforward: sometimes heart warming, sometimes heart breaking. It's printed in a single sepia-colored ink, which adds to the nostalgic feel of the book and includes "A Contract with God," "The Street Singer," "The ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Levoir (first published 1978)
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Julia Gordon-Bramer This is not a book to aid in the Christian perspective. If anything, it's existential and nihilistic. It is a book that looks at disillusionment,…moreThis is not a book to aid in the Christian perspective. If anything, it's existential and nihilistic. It is a book that looks at disillusionment, frustration, loneliness, sex and violence in a mixed culture sharing a community of poverty. It's powerful, gritty and real. But don't look to it for faith or spiritual inspiration.(less)

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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,812 ratings  ·  433 reviews

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Pramod Nair
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pramod by: Ginesh
Shelves: graphic-novel
A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories’ written and illustrated by Will Eisner, one of the giants in the sequential arts arena, is a perfectly executed graphic novel, which provides the reader a peek at the American experience during the early 1930s. Through four interconnected graphic stories, Eisner provide insights into the human condition while drawing on the memories of his growing up in New York during that time period.

A brief look at Will Eisner as a master graphic artist

Born in
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
"They are true stories. Only the telling and the portrayals have converted them to fiction."

Will Eisner`s A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories is simple, intense and deep.

An amazing storytelling with wonderful art!
book #10 for Jugs & Capes! And essay #3 for CCLaP! In fact, someone from Will Eisner Studios actually contacted me to say they enjoyed the review. Neat!


Ah, Will Eisner. Undoubtedly the father or the modern graphic novel, his influence has been huge and sweeping. I mean, that's what they tell me; I'm sure that 90 percent of the people reading this review know a hell of a lot more about Will Eisner than I do. But I do know that 1978's A Contract With God is an incredibly important work in a
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Dio esiste e vive nel Bronx

Cosa rappresenta Contratto con Dio di Will Eisner?

1. il primo libro di un genere, quello della Graphic Novel. Anno 1978
2. Un fumetto dove per la prima volta non ci sono eroi in calzamaglia, ma persone comuni che vivono, pregano, sognano, soffrono
3. Un insieme di disegni con uno stile inconfondibile che esce dai soliti canoni del fumetto
4. Un libro con interessanti riflessioni sulla fede (le persone passano la vita a pensare che se rispetteranno le regole, ossia il
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Will Eisner's legendary graphic novel (one of the first of its kind) is a semi-autobiographical collection of four sad, sometimes downright bleak and depressing stories centered around the residents of one tenement in the Bronx in or around 1930's. Eisner's storytelling is masterful, the characters are full of life and the stories still resonate despite being decades old at this point. It's not a very pleasant read since most of these stories are about human suffering and misery, but there's no ...more
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults.
Recommended to Helen by: No-one.
This is a grim graphic novel consisting of four intertwined stories of characters and lives in a 1930s Bronx tenement - basically autobiographical, by the great comic book artist and graphic novel genre creator Will Eisner.

The introductory essay by S. McCloud was well-written and placed the work in context, as well as conveying information about the life and career of Eisner. The lead off story ("A Contract with God") reflects the author's anguish at having lost his only daughter at age 16 eigh
Review of A contract with God

This was one of the first Graphic Novels I've read, and it has always stayed with me. I'm not sure why. I've reread it a few days ago and I still don't know why this story affects me. The story wasn't that great, and it was also rather short.

In the book, an orthodox jew loses his faith after his daughter dies. He doesn't understand, because all he ever did was serving God and after all, he had a contract with God, written on a stone.

I think the mere idea of a contr
Alex Cunningham
Jul 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: searchers
Eisner himself admits in his multiple introductions to this volume that "A Contract With God" was in some ways an experiment which led him to develop the skills he'd use in a far more serious way on "Dropsie Avenue." "Dropsie Avenue" is indeed the superior work.

That caveat out of the way, "A Contract With God" is one of the more moving, deep, and visually surprising graphic novels ever, despite it being the first. The writing is sensitive, empathetic, and poetically simple. The images are master
George K.
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Βαθμολογία: 9/10

Υποθέτω ότι δεν θα είμαι ούτε ο πρώτος ούτε ο τελευταίος που γνώριζε τον Will Eisner μόνο από τα σχετικά βραβεία που δίνονται κάθε χρόνο. Δεν είχα διαβάσει τίποτα δικό του μέχρι τώρα. Να, όμως, που πριν λίγες μέρες αγόρασα την έκδοση της Απόπειρας στην τρομερή προσφορά που μπορεί να βρει κανείς σε Πρωτοπορία/πολιτεία, και σήμερα την διάβασα και την απόλαυσα μέσα σε δυο ωρίτσες. Εξαιρετικότατο κόμικ, από πολλές απόψεις.

Πρώτα-πρώτα, το σχέδιο! Ασπρόμαυρο, ρεαλιστικό, σε σημεία έντο
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Mai prima d'ora la vita e i drammi quotidiani delle case popolari negli anni Trenta e Quaranta sono stati rappresentati con tale vividezza e vitalità...Contratto con Dio tesse un arazzo di storie su personaggi che potremmo essere noi tutti."

Il titolo della storia si riferisce all'esplorazione del rapporto tra Dio e gli uomini. "Fin dall'inizio sappiamo tutti che Dio ci punirà o ricompenserà a seconda di come ci siamo comportati in conformità con un patto stipulato con lui" scrisse Eisner. Quand
Elina Mäntylammi
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: luetut
Talo Bronxissa sisältää realistisia, nopeita tarinoita 1930-luvun New Yorkin köyhistä juutalaiskortteleista. Will Eisnerin kynänjälki on elävää ja tarinat rujoja ja koskettavia. Ajankuva on kiehtovaa.
Mar 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the non-violent sides of Stray Bullets and Scorcese
Shelves: comics
Considered to be the first graphic novel, this tells the story - in 4 parts - of New York circa the Great Depression. The characters are caricatures of lives from Eisner's past, and while it is a primarily Jewish neighborhood, I think anyone with a brain and heart pumping blood, etc can identify with the scenese painted here. It tackles those subjects that stuff like "The Wire" still tries (and fails) to capture today - those sinews that bind each life together, and ultimately keep them bound if ...more
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El cómic que puso en el tapete el término novela gráfica. Para entonces estaba a mitad de camino entre un cómic y un cuento ilustrado. Tres historias en sepia que pueden ser autobiográficas o circundantes del autor en su infancia. Tres historias sobre la primer generación nacida en territorio americano descendiente de la gran inmigración de hace ya más de cien años. La ambientación es la Brooklyn pobre en un momento mucho más pobre, la gran depresión. Dan la sensación de que pudieron haber sido ...more
antónio alves
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: banda-desenhada
"(...) em muitos casos deixei que uma página inteira se transformasse em painel. O texto e os balões ficaram interligados com a arte. Vejo-os a todos como fios de um tecido único e exploro-os como uma linguagem. Se tiver tido sucesso, então não haverá interrupção no fluxo da narrativa, porque imagem e texto estarão tão interdependentes um do outro, que se tornarão inseparáveis, nem que seja por um momento." (do prefácio, pelo autor)

Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Each story ends in tragedy, excepting the last one which is hilarious in comparison. They are independent from one another with only a street address in common.

Frimme's story has a tragic ending - his adopted daughter Rachele dies. He remembers his youth and his good deeds that got him to write a contract with God on a small stone. He continued to live his life in wholesome way, thinking himself and Rochelle protected by the contract. God tests his faith when Rachelle dies and Frimme fails miser
João Carlos
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A 26 de Fevereiro de 2015 teve início a publicação do primeiro volume da nova Colecção de Banda Desenhada "Novela Gráfica" do Jornal "Público" em parceria com a Editora Levoir - “Um Contrato com Deus” de Will Eisner (1917 – 2005).
No prefácio da edição Will Eisner refere: “Este livro contém histórias tiradas daquela corrente infindável de acontecimentos tão típicos da vida na cidade. Algumas são verdadeiras. Outras poderiam ser verdadeiras.”
São quatro contos gráficos – “Um Contrato com Deus”,
When I read really old comics, I'm usually unenthused. Before reading Hergé's Tintin, I heard all about its groundbreaking and influential place in the history of graphic books. But reading Tintin is an altogether disappointing experience. The art is dull and simplistic, the stories are poorly written, and the whole experience is uninspiring. I'm sure that someone smarter than me can explain its merits, but they are not self-evident.

A Contract with God, however, is the exact opposite. It does no
Jun 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Jewish history
I read this for a course I'm taking at the local library in July about Jewish literature, identity and imagination - the course is being taught solely through graphic novels. So far, the course is terrible, but this book was intriguing. Since I'm not Jewish, I didn't have a ton of context behind my reading. I found the main story to be allegorical - man is good, makes a contract with god, which all Jews have from birth. Life takes a bad turn, man loses faith and, in the story, literally tosses i ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, fiction
A Contract with God by Will Eisner is a master class in comics. The text becomes a part of the art – lettering dripping wet with rain or as shown as laundry hanging on the line. Eisner’s use of black backgrounds that create panels by contrast alone asks the viewer to engage with the gutter/lack of a gutter in a way I have not seen before. The smooth transition between panels and panel-less pages is so well executed it took me a few chapters to even see it.

I found many of the plot lines very unse
Nov 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is intense. The storytelling is strong and is matched with expressive art. Among other things, I appreciated the use of space: the arrangement of panels and the interplay of lettering and drawing. The subject matter, the characters, the setting make this a substantial collection of tales--real stories, human stories. My favorite was the multifaceted drama of "Cookalien." The title story, "Contract with God," was intense, thought-provoking. "The Street Singer" I didn't like as much but for t ...more
Henrique Vogado
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bd
Uma excelente iniciativa do jornal Público/Editora Levoir, por publicar uma coleção de novelas gráficas.
E começa bem com um inédito em Portugal do Will Eisner.
As estórias são muito boas, à volta do bairro da juventude do autor nos anos 30 do século XX. Gosto muito do grafismo, da composição e do desenho. Ponto negativo para as alterações nas feições dos personagens em cada situação. As personagens não estão muito bem definidas visualmente.
Um livro pioneiro.
Rui Alves de Sousa
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Quatro histórias sobre vidas, ambições e modos de pensar distintos. Tal como no magnífico "New York: Life in the Big City", Will Eisner elaborou um mosaico de personagens e situações delirantes, mas simbolicamente representativas de todos nós. Um espantoso e genial retrato das ambiguidades humanas e das injustiças sociais, através de um único prédio e de todos os seus habitantes (e daqueles que o rodeiam), numa avenida banal da América do passado.
review later
Romain Blandre
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Un pacte avec Dieu est le nom d'une des quatre nouvelles qui composent cet ouvrage au format bien connu maintenant des amateurs du créateur du genre roman graphique. Quatre histoires qui ont toute la particularité de se situer dans le Bronx, dans cette fameuse Avenue Dropsie, si chère à l'auteur, où vit dans des conditions précaires, toute une population cosmopolite, issue de l'immigration.

La première histoire, celle qui donne son nom au recueil, débute pourtant dans la Russie tsariste, à la to
I didn't know I was picking up the master of graphic novels when I picked up this one. Such beautiful artwork, with details to show what the protagonist feels in every panel, gripping narration making you feel for the characters and interwoven plots on the same panel - this book is different from every other graphic novel I've read. And now I know why Eisner has awards named after him.
The preface sets the tone for the book, and you know the stories are real, the people are too.
And that makes i
Artur Coelho
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Um homem pio e virtuoso, de luto pela morte da filha adoptiva, rasga o contrato que firmara com o seu deus e dedica-se a prosperar. Mas a venalidade não o satisfaz e regressa aos caminhos do virtuosismo, para falecer fulminado por um ataque cardíaco quando decide renovar o seu contrato com a divindade. Uma diva perdida, afastada de fenecidas luzes da ribalta, encontra na voz de um cantor de rua uma possibilidade de regressar aos palcos. Oferece-lhe comida, promessas e o seu corpo, que o homem es ...more
Britton Summers
I usually don't like books like this, books that try too hard to change the game of comics, such as Maus. But luckily, Will Eisner is one who knows about sincerity and doesn't try to hide the silly origins and influences of modern comics such as some 'alternative' comic creators do. Eisner is more like a Gaiman, McCloud, and Moore rather than a Spiegalman or Clowes. One that truly did change the game, but didn't do it so that they can try and appeal to a 'literary mainstream' that doesn't accept ...more
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I picked this book on my first visit to a public library, when I almost robbed their entire graphic novels section. I was picking up anything that looked remotely interesting(given that I am not a man of many books) and somehow this book made the list of 30 books that one is allowed to rob.

I had not heard of Will Eisner before and it was only in the Preface of this book did I realize that this book is considered(albeit controversially) one of the precursors of the modern graphic novel(if there
May 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, that was extraordinarily tense and unexpected. I've tried to The Spirit before, but never took much of a liking to it; due to that, I was hesitant about picking up A Contract With God. A friend recommended it to me, though, so I felt a bit bound to go through with giving it a try. I'm actually rather happy that I did.

While comics like Maus take a view of the Holocaust and bring it home in the graphic form, A Contract With God did wonders with the dirty 30s tenement lifestyle. The art was f
Nicholas Whyte
Oct 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition[return][return]This is very good. The title story in particular (I have actually been to the synagogue in Tbilisi/Tiflis, where the main character starts his life), and the last story, "Cookalein" which juggles about a dozen characters and storylines and stays on top of them all in only 50-odd pages are very memorable; I was a bit less satisfied with the middle two, which both feature nasty male characters who exploit those around them and then get their co ...more
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Will Eisner was born on March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York. By the time of his death on January 3, 2005, Will Eisner was recognized internationally as one of the giants in the field of sequential art, a term he coined.

In a career that spanned nearly eight decades -- from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics - Will Eisner was truly the 'Father of the Graphic Novel' and the 'O

Other books in the series

The Contract With God Trilogy (3 books)
  • A Life Force
  • Dropsie Avenue: The Neighborhood