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Chicken With Plums

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  11,913 ratings  ·  1,015 reviews
In November 1955, Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran's most celebrated tar players, is in search of a new instrument. His beloved tar has been broken. But no matter what tar he tries, none of them sound right. Brokenhearted, Nasser Ali Khan decides that life is no longer worth living. He takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all of its pleasures. This is the story of the ei ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published October 12th 2006 by Jonathan Cape (first published 2004)
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Bruno Carriço "Do you think that if Romeo and Juliet have had 6 children, someone would have written a book about them?" .... my poor translation since I've read th…more"Do you think that if Romeo and Juliet have had 6 children, someone would have written a book about them?" .... my poor translation since I've read the book in Portuguese(less)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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Mutasim Billah
"To the common man, whether you're a musician or a clown, its one and the same."

Marjane Satrapi's account of the life and death of her uncle, the celebrated musician Nassar Ali Khan, portrays a very strange portrait of depression and melancholia.

The tale is one of a man in search of meaning in life drowning in melancholy. Nassar Ali Khan's story is slowly related over a week as he has given up on his life. One by one, loved ones and their memories come back to him, some telling him to "come
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chicken with Plums tells the heartrending story of a celebrated Iranian musician who gives up his life for music and love.

When Nasser Ali Khan, Marjane Satrapi’s great-uncle, discovers that his beloved instrument is irreparably damaged, he takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all its pleasures.
Over the course of the week that follows, we are treated to vivid scenes of his encounters with family and friends, flashbacks to his childhood, and flash-forwards to his children’s future. And
Pramod Nair
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
Marjane Satrapi is an author who needs no introduction. Through Persepolis she enchanted millions of readers across the globe with a brilliantly crafted graphic memoir detailing the events of her life and times. Her insights, keen eye for details, refreshing sense of humor and fantastic storytelling abilities made each of the cartoon frames in Persepolis brim with the essence of life.

Through Chicken with Plums, Marjane Satrapi once again wields her magic wand to weave an emotional and dramatic t
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story about Art, Love & Life...


Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marjane Satrapi has an amazing style for both of her writings and illustrations. It’s always something simple, drawn in black ink with some texts around them. But the stories told in this simplicity are something unique, something different.

In this book, she illustrates the story of Nasser Ali Khan who was deeply devoted to music. He had a problematic childhood as he was always more into music than regular studies. Time doesn't heal his pain but increases it when he gets rejected by the parents
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh boy, Marjane and I have been through some shit. I fell in love with her – her way of storytelling, her art, her humor, her charm – when I first read Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and the Story of a Return. Blinded by my new found love, I immediately sought out Embroideries – a humorous and enlightening look at the sex lives of Iranian women – but was eventually led down by its superficiality and its homophobic undertones. Despite this setback, I wanted to give Marjane another shot and ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christy by: Agir(آگِر)
On the face of it, Chicken and Plums is simply a story about Nassir Ali Kahn, a revered musician, who is on a search for a new tar because his favorite one has been broken. His search leads him far, including humor and disappointment, for one that will sound as beautiful as his former, beloved one did. Sadly, other tars, no matter how expensive, fail to satisfy him and he therefore decides life is not worth living and lies down waiting to die.

We learn much more though, as after he makes the deci
Nandakishore Mridula
This is another example of Marjane Satrapi's fictionalised family history, but there is a big difference. This is the tragedy of her great-uncle Nasser Ali Khan, the celebrated musician of Iran, who decides that life is not worth living after his guitar gets broken and starves himself to death in eight days.

The thing happened in 1955: so Marjane, who was born in 1969, had absolutely no first hand knowledge. The thing must have been a family legend. This gives her considerable poetic license to m
MJ Nicholls
I saw the movie of Satrapi’s Persepolis and found it deeply irritating. But, being a pioneer in the graphic novel form—hell, a lone populiser of the form—I had to read something by her. This graphic novella (must I start a separate shelf for shorter graphic works?) is a melancholy folktale about a poor musician whose wife snaps his tar (like a sitar) in two. Finding no replacement for his prize instrument, he takes to his bed to die, where he reflects on his thwarted life—marrying the wrong woma ...more
Caro the Helmet Lady
A couple of years ago I read Satrapi's Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and was quite charmed by her storytelling, if not by her art. It had everything in reasonable doses - humour, reflection, history, cultural commentary, even, and family history. Chicken with Plums is much thinner than Persepolis and I went through much faster, but it's equally delightful and this time it's concentrated not on Marjane herself, but instead on her great-uncle, an extremely talented musician who all of a sud ...more
This is a beautiful graphic novel about an Iranian musician who is heartbroken and who decides he doesn't want to go on living. Nasser Ali is unhappily married and is upset that his beloved instrument, a tar that was given to him by his teacher, has been broken. He tries to find a new tar, but is always disappointed in the quality. Nasser crawls into his bed and refuses to leave for several days. The only thing that gives him pleasure during this time is his favorite meal, chicken with plums.

Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-lit-2008
Another brilliant, graphic novel from Satrapi. This one is not long at all - in fact, I read the whole thing in less than an hour's time.

Chicken With Plums is a story about Satrapi's great-uncle, Nasser Ali Khan. Nasser Ali Khan is a musician who decides to die after his beloved tar is broken by his wife. His marriage is pretty much a disaster, and as the novel progresses, we find out exactly why this is so - and it just so happens to be the same reason for why Nasser Ali Khan is so very upset o
Valentina Vekovishcheva
I am far too old for this!!!
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: çizgi-roman
Sonu OneRepublic'in şarkı sözünü getirdi aklıma; "Heart still beating, but it's not working." ...more
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my. What a simple and brilliant story.
Sara Alaee
Sad familiar story about love and its being the inspiration to create music. Graphics are also great.
iko ikovski
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to iko ikovski by: Murat G.

"It has sabahattin ali's madonna have a fur coat swagger, an oriental story..."
Murat said this to me when he recommended me this book.
well, i agree.

not just a melancholic and artificer man who lost last piece of his love of life which is a trigger to shape his last days we read but a story tells much more like Iranian society and social revolution without getting too political.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Persepolis made me a fan, not just of the graphic novel, but also of Marjane Satrapi as an artist. I added a few of her books to my To Read list on Goodreads, and this was the first one that I've read so far. It is a moving account of a man who loses love and the decline to which such loss leads.
This book is less sweeping than Persepolis but no less personal or touching. It's about Marjane's great uncle, Nasser Ali, and the events that lead up to his death. Satrapi's illustrations are e
So I absolutely love Persepolis, it's one of my all-time favourite reads. I'm so amazed by how Marjane Satrapi can explore dark and grim stuff, like loss and societal discrimination, with light humour and hope.

Chicken with Plums is not very different, for me. The art and words are witty and heartbreaking at the same time, as Marjane tells the story of Nasser Ali Khan, a great tar player in Iran, who was also her great-uncle. After an incident with his tar (it's so unexpectedly funny what happens
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Chicken with Plums' is the story of Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran's most cherished tar (traditional string instrument) players. One day his tar is broken and Nasser Ali tries to replace it alas no other tar is good enough. That leads him to fall into a deep depression and decide to kill himself. The book then shares Nasser Ali's final 8 days interspersed with snippets of his and his family's lives from both past and future. A beautiful graphic novel in the same art style as beloved The Complete ...more
Emma Sea
Angsty! I thought this would be light and fun like Embroideries but this is not that book! A lovely, poignant story, though. ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely phenomenal. Breathtakingly sour and delightful at the same time.
Maria Fernanda Gama
I've been meaning to read this for so long and finally have, in the most unexpected of situations. While at a bookshop killing time and longing for books I can't afford (not until the next paycheck comes) I saw this and immediately picked it up because I've been so curious about it for so long and had never seen it in real life. I was just going to take a look at the first few pages but I was so enthralled by it that I read the whole thing then and there. I don't think I ever read a whole book w ...more
Satrapi relates the death of her great-uncle and celebrated musician Nassar Ali Khan with the cool detachment of a reporter. Her drawings and captions do not reveal how she views the events she shares with us. Her uncle took to his bed one day and decided he was going to die. It appears to have taken him eight days.

The explanation Satrapi offers us is that he lived for his music. When his beautiful instrument was broken by his wife in a moment of rage, he never imagined his talent would abandon
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chicken with plums, candies and gums, clapping and drums, laughter and jumps.

This is how the title makes you feel but believe me its far from it. Marjane Satrapi and her beautiful picture books can make even the most grim subjects a bag of laughter. She brings in the amazing human ability to laugh and live life even in the most hopeless situations.

This book is the testimony to it - as Marjane narrates 8 days before death of Naseer Ali Khan, his broken tar and heart. He lay there waiting for dea
Dani Shuping
"Chicken with Plums" is based on the true story of Satrapi's great-uncle, Nasser Ali, a famous Iranian musician, whose Tar is destroyed by his wife. After deciding that he has nothing else to live for he takes to his bed and waits to die. Eight days later he dies. In between Nasser's wife, brother, sister, and children all try to convince him to stay in the living world as he dreams of what the future might be.

"Chickens with Plums" has the same great artwork of Persepolis that places the focus o
This is a story of eight days in 1958 Tehran. A cranky old man has taken to bed to die. There are flashbacks and flash-forwards from several perspectives. The man's regret and sorrow are taken to his grave but revealed to us. As in her three previous novels, Satrapi portrays brilliantly funny and resolute characters. The main one here is more distantly related to her than the ones in her earlier stories. In addition, he is a man and I think that gender plays a part in Satrapi's characterization. ...more
A moving, psychological examination of a man facing suicide. I've been reading lots of Satrapi's work lately, I guess out of shame that I slept on her for so long. I really enjoy her stories and she tells them with lots of honesty and insight.

This could have been a digress chapter in Persepolis as it concerns one of Satrapi's relatives in Iran in the 50s and continues her exploration of society and culture in 20th century Iran.

Its a short book at only 80 pages, but it tells a complete story abou
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came to reading this short graphic novel via a circuitous route: I first saw the film the author co-directed based on it, because I like the actor who played the brother. I enjoyed the film, but felt I didn't really understand it, or what it was really all about, so thought maybe the book would explain things. The book DOES go into more detail, particularly on the political underpinnings - but I can't say I really understand it any better. :-( Still, I liked the illustrations and it literally ...more
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Play Book Tag: Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi - 4 stars 5 20 May 06, 2017 11:48AM  
Nasser Ali was the brother of Marjane's ... 1 19 Oct 28, 2012 01:39PM  

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Marjane Satrapi (Persian: مرجان ساتراپی) is an Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novellist, illustrator, animated film director, and children's book author. Apart from her native tongue Persian, she speaks English, Swedish, German, French and Italian.

Satrapi grew up in Tehran in a family which was involved with communist and socialist movements in Iran prior to the Iranian Revolution. She a

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