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Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  13,088 ratings  ·  973 reviews
Guy Delisle expertly lays the groundwork for a cultural road map of contemporary Jerusalem, utilizing the classic stranger in a strange land point of view that made his other books, Pyongyang, Shenzhen, and Burma Chronicles required reading for understanding what daily life is like in cities few are able to travel to. In Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, Delisle ex ...more
Kindle Edition, 333 pages
Published May 16th 2014 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published November 16th 2011)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  13,088 ratings  ·  973 reviews

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Paul Bryant
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paul by: Rose

I love these graphic autobiographers and their concentration on the miniscule humdrum realities of their ordinary lives. ( On Thursday I tried to find a playgroup for my kids. On Friday I went to this really dull party.) I would buy all of them, every one, except that these are the least value-for-money books ever, they're always really pricey and you can read them in a couple of hours. But they're soooo nice.

This one is an account of a year as a "trailing spouse" in Jerusalem. Mr Delisle's miss
Michael Finocchiaro
Guy Delisle has moved around a lot with his animation job and nearly each place he goes, he leaves us his impressions and experiences in a comic book. Chronicles of Jerusalem is his 3rd and is a wonderful and pertinent tale of his experiences working in that crucial and controversial city. The artwork is beautifully understated and the storyline captivating and compelling. I really enjoyed this one.
Jun 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book would be more accurately titled "a bunch of random journal entries by an Ugly American in East Jerusalem." Delisle spends a year in East Jerusalem with his girlfriend and their children while she works for Doctors without Borders. The book is his travelogue of that time, but Delisle manages to spend a year in an incredibly diverse and vibrant city and not be changed in the least by it. He shows contempt for almost everyone he meets and seems continually surprised when things are differ ...more
This is an appropriate time to take another look at Jerusalem, and Guy Delisle’s book can explain to you the in and outs of what U.S. President Trump is seeing while he is visiting.

Guy Delisle is a graphic artist who accompanies his wife, a Médecins Sans Frontières physician, to hotspots around the world. While in the past he has been able to work as an artist while overseas on assignment, every posting is different, and the one in Jerusalem did not lend itself as easily to sketching outside, te
Greta G
"Thank you God that I'm an atheist". That's what Guy Delisle thinks when he witnesses the spectacle of the religions in the region of Jerusalem.
His character in the book is a rather silly guy. At least, he wants you to think he's an idiot who is surprised with everything and everyone he encounters in this Holy Land. His observations are down-to-earthish and unjudgmental. He's like a curious child discovering new things, asking a lot of questions and making remarks like a child would do. Questio
I started this book over a year ago and put it back on shelf... don't know why. For me it was a great reminder of why I find Israel and Palestine so fascinating and scary as well.
If you're in need of easy but very informative introduction to life/history of Israel and Palestine, pick it up. It's served with a bit of humour and even the most drastic elements are left to imagination rather than exhibitionistically display on pages... Great and very informative graphic journal...
Brown Girl Reading
This graphic novel is about a man who narrates his time living in Israel. He follows his wife over who is a doctor with MSF(Médecins sans Frontières = Doctors without Borders) This man basically becomes the house husband taking care of the kids and the house, while trying to go out and draw what he sees around him in this country full of complexities and paradoxes. This graphic novel will have you laughing, shaking your head, and reflecting over all that you will learn. The artwork is simple but ...more
If you asked me a year ago what I wanted from the graphic novel world I would have said: a more colorful Guy Delisle travelogue. And here it is! A fantastic book with more color, more humour and more depth than his previous ones and big enough that I didn’t feel it went by too fast or that it wasn’t worth the money. It left me with a feeling of completion and the satisfaction that I got a solid and visually appealing account of a year in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is Guy Delisle’s fourth travelogue an
Guy Delisle spent a year in East Jerusalem and found it nerve wracking and infuriating.

Because he lived in the Muslim quarter, buses that serve Jewish communities will not go there and routes aren’t connected. Road blocks and check points add to the difficulty of getting around. Water, garbage collection and electrical services are not reliable; They are fine in other areas despite the equal taxes paid by all residents.

Delise notes the unusual religious customs. For the Jews it is a sin to thro
Jun 09, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is disturbingly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli. The author makes zero effort to learn about his host country's rich culture and history. He shows contempt for Israel and seems continually shocked when things in Israel are different from his hometown. He simply shrugs with apathy as helpless dog is chained up in a cage for days and probably abused by one of his neighbors.

When the author learns about the thousands of deadly rockets Hamas fired onto the houses of Israeli civilians, he
Feb 12, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The cartoonist author, Delisle, spends a year in East Jerusalem with his girlfriend and their children while she works for Doctors without Borders. The book is his travelogue of that time, but Delisle manages to spend a year in an incredibly diverse and vibrant city and not be changed in the least by it. He shows contempt for almost everyone he meets and seems continually surprised when things are different from a more secular international city. He never asks why people do what they do, just is ...more
Julie Ehlers
I’m not gonna lie to you, my high-school education in history and current events was really terrible, and then I went off to college where the professors kind of expected you to already know what had happened and when, and I just kind of faked my way through my two required courses and left it all behind. So now, of course, I’m always playing catch-up, trying to stuff as many facts as possible into my aging brain. When it comes to the whole Israel/Palestine situation, I try to read as much as po ...more

-Disappointing, but not without merit. I was expecting something more emotional, thought provoking and impactful but sadly that wasn't the case — mainly because the author/illustrator/narrator (Guy Delisle) was an utterly charmless character who didn't seem to care about anything but his own little problems.

-I only picked this up because I wanted to know more about Jerusalem and Palestine. I thought a graphic novel would be a quick and easy way to 'educate' myself on the struggles in Isr
Marsha Altman
Oct 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jewish, art
Such a well-traveled author should have known better than to portray Muslim women as ridiculous prudes and Hasidim as monkeys. Extremely disappointed in a formerly favorite author.
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read the book in English. My kids read it, and they thought it was weird, mostly because they couldn't understand why he was living in Bet Hanina when he kept complaining about living there. For me, a recent immigrant to Israel with strong opinions about what goes on here, it was good to see a different perspective on "the situation," and it emphasized that things are not black and white, to the point where he does not want to shop in the stores in the nearby Jewish community, but then he sees ...more
Beautifully drawn, well-observed travelogue from Delisle who details his year spent in Jerusalem. If you've read his other travelogues, you will know what to expect - but Jerusalem goes further - a step up in the quality of drawing, writing and anecdote material.

Drawing upon a year's experience of Jerusalem life, it would have been easy for Delisle to have used the political as the narrative for this travelogue - but that is not his style, instead pointing out similarities between different grou
Emily May
Definitely much lighter than Sacco's Palestine. Delisle approaches this book about Israel/Palestine as more of a tourist than a journalist, casually observing and recording his observations in a lighthearted, sometimes funny, manner. It doesn't contain as much depth as Palestine, but I suppose it presents a more balanced view of the conflict and showcases what everyday life is like for foreign residents.

The artwork is simpler, too, though this is not necessarily a bad thing.

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This is another excellent graphic travelogue from Guy Delisle. He and his family spent a year living in Jerusalem while his wife worked for Doctors Without Borders. I liked seeing his drawings from the region, and he did a nice job explaining the history of each site he visited. Delisle says early on that he isn't religious, so he has an outsider's perspective of the ongoing conflict. At times he gets disgusted by the violence and the never-ending irritation between Jews and Muslims, in addition ...more
Sam Quixote
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guy Delisle travels to Jerusalem with his partner and their two kids for a year. His partner is an administrator for "Doctors Without Borders" and Delisle spends the year working on his comics, looking after the kids, and exploring/trying to understand the city of Jerusalem and its peoples.

If you've read Delisle's work before you'll know he goes to hard-to-reach places and reports on his time there (North Korea, China, Burma) and that the resulting travelogues are always entertaining and enlight
Dave Schaafsma
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gn-memoir
The best work I have read from Delisle yet. He is no Joe Sacco; in other words, someone withe deliberate intent to political journalism. And I prefer Sacco. Delisle eschews direct commentary; he does subtle critiques, he is doing travel comics. Something about his tone annoys me, but less so in this book than on previous ones, and I admit my liking this book may have something to do with my liking his parenting book quite a bit. His art is terrific, as always.
After reading a couple of graphics leaning on either side of the Israel Palestine conflict, this was refreshing.
A casual take depicting his day to day living experience in Jerusalem.
Felt irked in the beginning because of a lot of non-trivial strips with no relevance whatsoever.
Got a hang of it eventually, and those "irrelevant" pieces might be the reason for liking this book more than I thought of :)
Here I am with my next Guy Delisle book! This is Delisle’s last travelogue (he and his wife decided they will stay put in France for a while for the children, sob sob) and is probably one of the most complex of all of them.

As with his previous travelogues, Delisle follows his wife, Nadege, to her next posting as an MSF worker. Delisle and his family live in Jerusalem for a year and he documents his stay with his characteristic deadpan humour. Given all the political instability, Jerusalem is no
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fell in love with Guy Delisle and his style when I first read "The Burma Chronicles." After that I had to read absolutely everything I could get my hands on of his. Though I'm not a huge fan of his "Albert and the Others" style, his graphic novel travelogues are nothing short of brilliant. They are funny, charming, disturbing, and thought-provoking all at once. As a warning, this isn't that much of a solid through-line, other than the chronology of Delisle's own year spent in Jerusalem. Things ...more
Mark Schlatter
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author_track, own
An amazing read.

Now, I've been a big fan of Guy Delisle travel graphic novels for some time, but this one kicks it up a notch. Guy and his family spend a year in East Jerusalem as his wife works for Medicine Sans Frontieres. There are still the vignettes of family life and the trials of adapting to a new culture, but an overwhelming theme is one of separateness. Delisle not only shows the separated nature of Israel and Palestine (through coverage of maps, checkpoints, and the wall), but also emp
Elizabeth A
I'll start this review by saying that as a kid growing up in Kenya, I was very pro-Palestinian. As an adult I consulted with a tech company in Tel Aviv over the course of eighteen months or so, and visited Israel a total of five times. It took me actually being on the ground to realize the complexity of the situation, and the atrocities committed by all sides made uncomplicated opinions a relic from my childhood.

The author is an artist and stay-at-home-dad, and ends up in various parts of the wo
মাহাতাব রশীদ
a slow burn Graphic Memoir (definitely not a novel), The most sacred and crucial place on earth in the eye of a stranger. Delisle's exploration of Palestine/Israel as a comic artist is honest, witty and quite thought-provoking. ...more
Jonathan Funk
Guy Delisle has an uncanny ability to capture those small moments that we tend to take for granted.

In the very first scene (flight to Israel), a stranger on the airplane provides some unprompted comfort to Guy's child, and winds up casually engaging the youngster for the duration of the flight. In the grand scheme of things this is just a brief intersection of lives that will never touch again, and yet touch they did. Each character having a small, but memorable impact on the others before parti
Kumar Anshul
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guy Delisle is a famous graphic travelogue artist and after covering Burma (Myanmar), North Korea and China, the ancient city of Jerusalem is his latest project. He visits Jerusalem with his girlfriend (who is working for Doctors without borders) and children and has written an enriching account of the daily humdrum of lives in the mystical city that stands at the crossroads of three abrahamic religion- Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The tone of this graphic novel is curious and humorous and t
Tom LA
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
5 stars to the quality of the drawings: beautiful, minimalistic vignettes, a confident trait, efficient coloring and page structures.

2 stars to the Italian translators: poor translation + many misspellings.

1 star to the content: I was already familiar with Delisle's superficiality, and to me that is a problem in itself. But beyond that, unfortunately he fails at trying to provide an "open minded" and "fairly balanced" account of the social and political situation. Especially within the final 50
May 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Has to be my favorite of the Delisle travelogues until now. (Completely coincidental that I chose to read this right before the ongoing conflict)
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Born in Quebec, Canada, Guy Delisle studied animation at Sheridan College. Delisle has worked for numerous animation studios around the world, including CinéGroupe in Montreal.

Drawing from his experience at animation studios in China and North Korea, Delisle's graphic novels Shenzen and Pyongyang depict these two countries from a Westerner's perspective. A third graphic novel, Chroniques Birmanes,

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