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Berlin, Vol. 1: City of Stones (Berlin #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,518 Ratings  ·  230 Reviews
Berlin: City of Stones presents the first part of Jason Lutes' captivating trilogy, set in the twilight years of Germany's Weimar Republic. Kurt Severing, a journalist, and Marthe Muller, an art student, are the central figures in a broad cast of characters intertwined with the historical events unfolding around them. City of Stones covers eight months in Berlin, from Sept ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published June 1st 2000 by Drawn and Quarterly
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David Schaafsma
I was not looking forward to reading this book. The roots of fascism and Naziism in twentieth century Germany? I feel like I know something about this, and have read my share of Holocaust literature, but I just had read Lutes's first book, Jar of Fools, and this was said to be his masterpiece, this trilogy, and it kind of looks like it is! I liked his first book and most of what I have read from him, but this is a step up to greatness, and it is only the first of the trilogy! The idea of the nov ...more
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Frankfurt
Recommended to Mariel by: Hamburg
Berlinerluft is the special air of Berlin, like a magic atmosphere. Or love or being drunk or high. Staying up all night and feeling like you didn't waste a moment and the day ahead of you isn't seen through raccoon eyes that want to scurry inside the nearest trash bin tingles up your spine. If Los Angeles smog turns people in Tom Hanks and they go diving into volcanoes what happens to Berliners? They walk into fog and come out in love? They make the best David Bowie albums and are as supremely ...more
Seth T.
Sep 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Every now and again, a comic comes out that assures me that the medium can tell certain kinds of stories in a way that no other medium can touch. Every now and again, a comic comes out that despite its natural humility asserts itself as a model to which the medium should aspire. Every now and again, a comic comes out that just flat-out knocks me off my feet and makes me think that everything is going to be alright after all.

That comic this time round is Jason Lutes' Berlin: City of Stones.

It's n
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic, realism
Not a great read for me personally: I am already familiar with the history covered in the book, and was not particularly engaged by any of the characters/subplots.

But it was well done insofar as it went, and if you want an easy intro to the political issues and social milieu of Weimar-era Berlin, this would certainly be a painless way of learning.

Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-now
το graphic novel ξεκινάει αργά και οι πρώτες του σελίδες δε με άφησαν ενθουσιασμένο, όμως όσο προχωρά τόσο πιο συναρπαστική και βαθιά γίνεται η ιστορία αυτών των λίγων μηνών στο Βερολίνο του μεσοπολέμου. νομίζω πως αν ενδιαφέρεται κάποιος για το τι έχει συμβεί σε αυτή την πόλη, τότε το έργο του Lutes δε θα τον αφήσει αδιάφορο

εννοείται πως θέλω να διαβάσω και το Vol.2 πρίν βγει το 3ο και τελευταίο κομμάτι της σειράς
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic
Lutes has vividly captured Weimar Republic Berlin in this ambitious historical graphic novel. It's impossible to read it and not have a heightened sense of the cultural, political, and economic forces clashing within the city. Some of the characters struggle to find enough to eat while some ponder how unimaginable it would be to work; some are gradually drawn into politics while others attempt to stay out of the fray. Lutes succeeds at creating this swirling, animated Berlin, where characters' l ...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book starts the series Lutes has devoted years to creating, the story of Germany between the wars. The story follows the lives of several people, a journalist riling against the rise of fascism, a young art student conflicted with her feelings of love for other women, a married woman who is thrown out of her family by her husband for her leanings toward communism, as well as others. The story shows rallies for various political parties as well as peoples' feelings for Hindenburg and of cour ...more
Dani Shuping
Oct 23, 2011 rated it liked it
The first thing that I noticed about this novel was the artwork. I like the simple clean cut lines that give us such depth and emotion to the characters and the worlds around them. Jason captures the gritty city life well in decaying buildings, the rooftops where the art students hang out, and the traffic circles. The one thing that did trouble me was that some of the faces were...manish in appearance. I had to look at the clothing and the hair style to see if it was a male or female character ( ...more
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Si buscas una versión intimista y centrada en los personajes del período de entreguerras del siglo XX, Berlín es una opción perfecta. Porque más allá de las tácticas y las grandes batallas, son los ciudadanos los que sufren las contiendas bélicas, y aquí se refleja perfectamente.
14th book for 2017.

If I didn't live in Berlin and find the inter-war period in Berlin particularly interesting I would probably not have enjoyed this book as much as I did.

The drawings of the Berlin landscape were good, but the images of the characters were less so. Many felt cliched and too similarly drawn to be told apart. This was perhaps made worse by the German edition I read, where the images are printed too small, making it almost impossible to read some of the finer text boxes.

I don't t
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
È la prima graphic novel corale che leggo e ho scoperto che è più confusionaria di un romanzo corale, genere che invece apprezzo molto. Forse il problema è dovuto al fatto che i disegni non sono un granché e i personaggi sono difficilmente distinguibili. Spesso ho fatto confusione anche sul sesso di appartenenza! Questo ovviamente complica non poco la comprensione perché non si riesce a individuare immediatamente chi siano gli attori delle scene in corso.
Il progetto era davvero interessante e av
Tanvir Muntasim
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
An extremely underrated Graphic novel, set in the critical time in Berlin when fascism and communism were going head to head. A wonderfully evocative literary story depicting the lives of the common people and how they are affected in the watershed moments.
Josef Horký
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Zdařilé - taková drobná mozaika několika osudů v Berlíně v době, kdy všechno nezvratně směřovalo do kopru. Těším se na další.
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Compelling. A finely tuned exploration of the origins of the Third Reich and the pressure-cooker called Berlin
May 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Let me start this review exactly as I started my review of Lutes' Jar of Fools.


"Honestly, I don't know what all the hoopla is with Jason Lutes' Berlin, because Jar of Fools is where it's at."

Not that Berlin is a terrible book by any means, it's just boring and uneventful most of the time. While this is just the beginning of what will be Lutes' trilogy on the Weimar republic and Germany in between wars, Book 1: City of Stones can be quite a frustrating read. It's essentially a mishmash of
Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
this was a great way to spend an afternoon. lutes' berlin: city of stones is an atmospheric panorama of weimar germany and its uncertain inhabitants. there are a lot of characters to keep track of for such a short graphic novel, and i'm glad that there are two more installments in my future (eventually... only one is published at the moment from what i gather) through which he might flesh all of them out. instead of sadistic nationalists and communist zealots, lutes establishes a world of troubl ...more
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Un comics vraiment bien pensé, bien construit et bien écrit. A travers une galerie de personnages très bien dépeints, on s'immerge dans le Berlin post-Diktat et défaite, dans cette république de Weimar à peine née et pourtant déjà agonisante. On sent le pouls de la ville, la moiteur des tensions et, évidemment, le fait que l'on connaisse la fin de l'histoire donne à ce récit une dimension dramatique et tragique incomparable. Jason Lutes manie tout cela avec une grande intelligence et réussit des ...more
Nick Kives
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pretty interesting read. Takes place in about a 6 months span between 1928-1929 in Berlin. Events and the lives of people during the switch of power from the Kaiser and to the Labour party. This was originally supposed to be a 3 books series, but the 3rd never came out, so I'm curious what happened. This takes me back to reading Maus, not sure because of a similar story, but a non-fiction story dealt in a very serious way. Though this deals with much less hardships than Maus did.
Peter Knox
Dec 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2015
Very much enjoyed this fast historical fiction read. The drawing is lovely, the characters well developed, the actual history and philosophy building - I wanted more.

But it wasn't necessarily groundbreaking. I appreciated the book more having visited Berlin early this year and studied quite a bit of their history. Seeing that come to life is inspiring. Want to read the whole collection.
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel perfectly captures the exuberance, tumult, and foreboding that defined life in Weimar Germany, the crucible of 20th century modernity (as well as of modernity's discontents). There's even a nice little love story thrown in. Very much looking forward to book two.
I did not read this. I don't know why its here. While you ponder this, I will presently eat a small apple and lounge in my lounge recliner which is made of bones.
Nov 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Some beautiful art, particularly some lovely wordless spreads. But the dialogue isn't great, and the drawings of people are (a) not great, and (b) somewhat too interchangeable.
very impressive
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Whenever I visit a metropolis I'm keen to walk around as much as I can through the various neighborhoods to get a feel for the differing rhythms of life. This is the closest I've gotten to walking the streets of Berlin between the two world wars.

Berlin is the main character. We know what will happen to her, and we are a telepathic eye in the sky left to sonder through the city, our attention and vision directed by Jason Lutes.

The author provides us narratives limited within the bounds of what
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One would think that a comic book / graphic novel about the historical and political events in Berlin that lead to WWII would be dull and boring - after all, it's nothing that the history books haven't covered; but no! The story is so wonderfully drawn and beautifully told that you completely lose yourself in the telling.

As with all historical fiction, the story of the main and supporting characters are set within real events. Kurt Severing and Marthe Müller are the main characters, who have a
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Berlin.

Jason Lutes does something very unique in this series. The over-arching narrative details Germany's inner turmoil in the aftermath of the First World War and how supercharged politics, fear, and misgivings marched the state towards the Second World War. But instead of the usual Nazi and Hitler-focused media, Lutes focuses on the every day lives of random citizens most of whom are "regular" people just trying to get by. We follow a number of Berlin's denizens and their intersecting
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the first (chunky) graphic novel in a series of three. It has been sat in my "to read" box for a while. I dug it out because I'm going to Berlin in a couple of weeks and it seemed appropriate to finally read it.

My lack of enthusiasm to read a graphic novel I'd bought is interesting, considering they aren't a big time or brain commitment. Partly it is because I read a lot of them from my local library, so those always have priority and they also scratch that itch. But in this case it was
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Simply drawn but complicatedly written, Berlin, Vol 1 is a groundwork graphic novel. Jason Lutes tackles 1920s Berlin and the unrest there which arguably allowed Adolf Hitler to come into power and do everything he did. Lutes gives us both sides, so the reader can begin to try to understand how every day people got swept up in such evil hate and malice. There are times where the narrative gets very very dense - but I suppose what better medium than a graphic novel to give a history lesson in 192 ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read it because my daughter brought home a thin comic book version of the first chapter that she had gotten free at a comic book store giveaway. I was hooked. Still am. Need to read next volume. I like the realism, the storytelling, the new kaleidoscopic view of the city on the verge of catastrophe. From world capital of art, culture, and civilization to the the continental headquarters of hate and mass murder. We see people from all walks of life struggling to survive, accommodate, resist. The ...more
How was Berlin in 1928? History tells us that conditions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles were systematically violated, the Nazis were on the ascent, anti-Semitism was on the rise, the Communist movement was trying hard to become a force and above all it was period of debauchery for the rich. Lutes, in the first part of this trilogy, covers the period from September 1928 to the Labour Day shootout of May 1929. Through sketches, Lutes brings the cityscape to life through the interconnected liv ...more
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