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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  6,618 ratings  ·  797 reviews
How does one survive when all hope is lost?

In the middle of the night in 1997, Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André was kidnapped by armed men and taken away to an unknown destination in the Caucasus region. For three months, André was kept handcuffed in solitary confinement, with little to survive on and almost no contact with the outside world. Close to
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by Vintage Digital (first published September 16th 2016)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,618 ratings  ·  797 reviews

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Kevin Kelsey
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Posted at Heradas Review

I’m convinced that graphic novels are the perfect form for historical accounts and memoirs. Like film it’s partly a visual medium, but it’s free from the tropes, narrative boundaries, and language of film. It’s also firmly in the realm of literature, but free from the usual trappings of that medium as well. It has all of the strengths of both, and few of their weaknesses. The story can be presented in a simpler language, straightforward and raw, and this often gives it a
Michael Finocchiaro
Guy Delisle always does a great job with understatement and can pass beautiful and strong messages with minimalist drawing and text. I loved his books on Shenzen, Pyongyang, Burma and Jerusalem where he was working as a cartoonist and they were autobiographical accounts. This one was quite different as it dealt with the kidnapping and captivity of a humanitarian activist, Christophe André held for over 100 days in 1997 in Chechnia. It is told simply with a spare black, white, grey and occasional ...more
Paul Bryant
How the paradoxes multiply – a very fast read about an excruciatingly slow passage of time; a visual medium used to tell a story of which the main feature is that a guy is chained to a radiator – not much to see in that godforsaken room; and yes, the sophisticated art form of the graphic novel this time discloses the brutal human-reduced-to-a-chunk-of-maybe-valuable-maybe-not meat that is your grotesque fate if you’re ever crazy enough to work for an international charity in a famously dangerous ...more
Jon Nakapalau
Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André tells the story of his kidnapping in Ingushetia (North Caucasus) in 1997. His story is both heartbreaking and inspirational: his struggle to maintain his humanity in a situation that stripped him of the ability to make even the most basic decisions (urinating when you have to) yet moving past despair, to trusting his fellow man again, is a powerful story of survival and redemption.
Dave Schaafsma
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delisle is known for his autobiographical comics and cartoons, chronicles of his experiences in different countries he visits on his wife's professional trips, and more recently, amusing cartoon collections of his own bad parenting. Hostage is by far his most ambitious work to date, based on an oral history account he audiotaped of the kidnapping of Christophe André, who was held captive for over 3 months in 1997 in Chechnya.

The book is 432 pages, in which very little happens (though as you mig
Reading_ Tamishly
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this memoir! Kidnapped and how the author survived those days have been illustrated really well. It may seem repetitive but I was more curious and enjoyed every page except for the last few pages. My heart was pounding with each page. It's really liberating to read this memoir. The art and the colour hues totally synched with the theme. I never thought I would enjoy such a read. Wow!

I couldn't come in terms with the last part. Like it doesn't seem real at all. But nevertheles

It's huge, and most of its pages are repetitive, yet Hostage held my attention. This is the true story of Christophe André, an administrator with Doctors Without Borders who one night in July 1997 was kidnapped from his bed and held hostage somewhere in Chechnya. His captors handcuffed one of his hands to a radiator and locked him in an empty room for three long months. He spent a lot of time dozing on a straw mattress, and when awake, a lot of time wondering--why he was taken,
Sam Quixote
In July 1997 while on a mission for Doctors Without Borders, French worker Christophe Andre was kidnapped in the Russian Caucasus by Chechens and held for a $1m ransom. He thought his release would be secured in one or two days, not realising the months of captivity ahead of him!

Best known for his autobiographical comics about his travels in dangerous regions like North Korea and Jerusalem, French-Canadian cartoonist Guy Delisle’s graphic adaptation of Christophe’s account is also his longest b
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-bio

This was my night time read for a couple of weeks, and boy was it bleak! As you can see from the picture, it was a hefty book. It didn't send me off into slumberland with pleasant dreams. Christophe is kidnapped from the NGO he's working for in 1997, and held captive in Chechnya. While his captors seek a ransom from officials in Christophe's native Paris, he endures harsh conditions, and tries to keep from losing his sanity. The ending of this story, because he does live to tell it, was so i
With this new book released in the U.S. in the spring of this year, French Canadian graphic artist and animator Guy Delisle takes a departure from his more usual graphic novels about his life as the spouse of a Médecins Sans Frontières physician to tell the story of a real innocent abroad, Christophe André, on his first assignment for MSF in Ingushetia, in the North Caucasus in 1997.

Christophe was taken hostage, driven across the border into Chechnya, and outside of Grozny he was held for ransom
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, first graphic novel I read since I was 13 . It was refreshing to read a book in which I don’t have to put too much of an effort. The story deals with a NGO worker that was kidnapped by CHechnyan forces and kept there for 3 months, the graphics help the story move along and the color pallet of the comic strips do feel in tone with the story .
In 1997, an NGO worker, Christophe André, was held hostage in Chechnya.

His horrifying story is told in this book in a graphic novel format. The art and storytelling are both wonderful. It did get a bit repetitive, but that’s done intentionally, in order to show how repetitive and painful his days were. It perfectly matches his own experience.

I have such admiration for his strength and perseverance, how he was able to keep himself together, and not break down mentally.

Christophe André worked with MSF (Doctors without Borders) in 1997, stationed in Chechnya. Staying late at the office one evening, his complex is raided, and he is abducted by a group of separatists. Delisle graphically depicts the 3+ months that André was held hostage in various villages in Chechnya.

It's mostly an internal journey, although there are some notes about Chechnya and its people. Throughout all of this time of confusion, of hunger and weakness, André remains (largely) hopeful that h
You will have to pardon my snorting a little when I read 'How does one survive when all hope is lost?
In the middle of the night in 1997, Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André was kidnapped by armed men and taken away to an unknown destination in the Caucasus region. For three months.....' from the GR blurb for the book. Not to take anything away from this one, but I couldn't help it, for the day before I discovered this story....
Elizabeth A
3.5 stars.

Translated from the French by Helge Dascher.

Moved this up my TBR for non-fiction November. If you are familiar with his oeuvre, you know that the author usually writes graphic memoirs about his life as the spouse of a Doctors Without Borders administrator in various parts of the world. This book departs from his usual fare and tells the true story of Christophe Andre, a man kidnapped on his very first MSF assignment. You know that Christophe survives because he is the one telling the s
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Hostage is the true story in graphic novel form of the 1997 kidnapping of Frenchman Christophe André, who was working with a charity organization in Chechnya. He was kept hostage for three months while his kidnappers shuffled him from house to house while trying to work out a way to exchange him for money. Not knowing why he was taken, how long he would be in captivity, or how he would be treated by the rotating cast who kept him chained and barely fed, Andre kept his wits and sanity by working ...more
Nazr A
The majority of the book is set in rooms and as reading it, I felt that I too was trapped, isolated, hopeless and anxious. I even stopped to search the song 'Aicha' in Russian on YouTube but couldn't find it (will resume later). This graphic novel also made me think of what I would have done if I face the same situation-- probably the same.

An excellent read.
Stewart Tame
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Christophe André, who had been working in the Caucasas for three months during his first stint for Médicins Sans Frontières when he was kidnapped. He was held for over four months, often handcuffed to a radiator or bedpost.

What makes this book sing is the pacing. André had almost nothing to do but sit and think during his ordeal, and Delisle rises brilliantly to the challenge of depicting monotony while keeping the story compelling. Yes, André imagines various escapes, but d
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think I could get so anxious over a comic book. The color palette really helped build this almost claustrophobic sense of anxiety.
The date, then the day, the radiator, the light bulb and the soup.
Somehow G. Delisle turned repetition into some of the most tense reading.
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Depicted in minimalist illustration – this graphic novel is based on a true story of an NGO worker and humanitarian activist, Christophe André. Specifically, his account of his abduction in Nazran in the summer of 1997. It's a bit of a torture to read because of the inaction but still a distressingly good experience. I love how the colour palette and repetitive tone achieved a claustrophobic feeling that helps you get absorbed into the story and make you feel like you're the one being held capti ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is actually the first graphic novel I've bought and not just read from the library, I had pretty high expectations specially coming from one of my favourite authors, and it actually delivered.
The story is really engaging, at times I thought it could get repetitive, but it didn't, it managed to keep me interested and in suspense. The ending is just amazing, one of those you end up like... did this really happened for real?

Easily recommend it, such a great story and narrative.
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

This book is amazing, but not necessarily one I feel like everyone needs to read. It’s basically Christophe André’s story when he is taken hostage. How he coped, how he didn’t lose hope, how he stayed strong. The art is simplistic and sends the right “vibes” I feel. You can feel his desperation, and him trying to be patient. Not too much happens, but I’m glad I read it.

Also, a little side note, I love that despite the traumatizing event of being taken hostage for a couple of months (he
Matt Asher
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Delisle is one of the greatest graphic novel journalists of all time, a master at giving a feel for the locations where he and his wife live and helping us understand the culture, all the while amusing us with his own personal narrative of life events, mostly small but occasionally big. In this book, in frame after similar frame, we experience the culture of being a hostage. It's exactly how you would expect: boredom, frustration, discomfort and anxiety punctuated by moments of adrenaline. But m ...more
Sooraya Evans
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The artwork is undeniably repetitive. The routine scene progression gets old after a while. Nevertheless, understandable given the plot of a locked up hostage. At least, the subtle switching between dark and light tones in the coloring was well thought. Giving the reader a sense of night and day. Storywise, the main character had plenty of opportunities to escape. But the constant weighing of risks made him ever so reluctant. I guess anyone in his position would end up doing the same as this is ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A unique kidnapping

What a story ... you ask yourself how would you react under similar circumstances. Recommend. As my first Delisle work I've read, I was not disappointed. Looking forward on reading his other graphic novels.
This is a graphic novel memoir about Christophe Andre's kidnapping and time in captivity. While serving as an administrator for Doctors Without Borders, he was kidnapped by armed men and held for ransom for three months, spending most of his time chained to a radiator in a small room, lying on a mattress stuffed with straw. Illustrated in a series of gray tones, DeLisle shares Andre's thoughts and worries as to what is happening, who is responsible, and whether he will be ransomed, rescued or ki ...more
Kelly (kellyreadingbooks)
Aug 29, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I was flipping pages so desperately, so hooked on this man’s safety and journey of his kidnapping. Crazy!
Nick Nguyen
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Delisle takes his talent for observing the quotidian absurd to greater heights in his recounting of the experience of being taken hostage. Total admiration for his deliberate decision to respect the dead time of the situation by stretching out repetitive sequences across pages to build a rhythm that works up to a satisfying epilogue. Hard not to read in one sitting.
Rod Brown
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Major kudos to Guy Delisle for making this story, which is essentially a man sitting alone in the corner of a room for hundreds of pages, so compelling and dramatic. I stayed up way too late in order to finish this ASAP. I have nothing but admiration for the endurance and courage of Christophe Andre.
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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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