Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Palestine” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Palestine (Palestine #1-2)

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  10,941 Ratings  ·  658 Reviews
Prior to Safe Area Gorazde: The War In Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995—Joe Sacco's breakthrough novel of graphic journalism—the acclaimed author was best known for Palestine, a two-volume graphic novel that won an American Book Award in 1996.

Fantagraphics Books is pleased to present the first single-volume collection of this landmark of journalism and the art form of comics.


Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 17th 2001 by Fantagraphics (first published 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Palestine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Palestine

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan Philipzig
Old-School Journalism

Over the past few decades, journalism has lost much of its credibility and almost all of its punch. Shallow, commercially-minded infotainment dominates, feeding us the "blue pill" (in Matrix terms) that makes us forget all those unpleasant realities out there. Why would media conglomerates fund costly in-depth research when a fluffy little human interest story not only feels better but is also much better for the bottom line? Mmmm, the blissful ignorance of media myths and i
Mar 28, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time getting through this graphic novel. It was a tough read due to the subject matter. I also wasn't fond of the art on a personal level.
I did immensely appreciate Joe Sacco's motivation for writing this graphic novel. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Joe Sacco said:
"I grew up thinking of Palestinians as terrorists, and it took a lot of time, and reading the right things, to understand the power dynamic in the Middle East was not what I had thought it was... And basically, it upset
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
book two for Jugs & Capes, my all-girl graphic novel book club!

Whew. This is a really, really devastating book. Part of the problem (and obviously part of the point) is that it is relentlessly awful, with story after story after story of death, destruction, skirmishes with soldiers, dead sons, dead husbands, maimed daughters, displacement, oppression, poverty, and pain.

It's so painful, horribly, that I actually started to get a little jaded; or that's not what I mean exactly, but the storie
Palestine first appeared as a series of nine comic books, but is collected here in a special edition that also includes a foreword by the late Edward Said and an introduction by the author. Sacco writes that he was compelled to visit the Palestinian territories for two main reasons. First, he realized that the taxpayer dollars he paid as an American were being spent in financial aid to Israel, perpetuating the occupation. Second, after pursuing a degree in journalism, he became aware as to the o ...more
We in the States are always told that we have to support the Israelis. Remember what the Jews have endured with the Holocaust! Why didn't we stop Hitler (there are always those that insist we had the chance)?? We need to make it up to the Jews! They need to have their own homeland as reparation for their terrible suffering!

Yes, the Jews suffered terrible things. It was awful and horrific, and I hope with every fiber of my being that something like the Holocaust will never happen again.

But what a
Jul 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Joe Sacco is a comics journalist, or as he describes himself in this book, an "action cartoonist," entering areas of political turmoil to make documentary comics. Despite some occasional dips into free-wheeling personal anecdote reminiscent of Kerouac or Crumb, Sacco is predominantly a documentarian, not terribly concerned with narrative, but more focused on recounting the individual stories of the people he interviews. And there are a lot of interviews, conducted over countless cups of tea in i ...more
Huda AbuKhoti
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Palestine is a one of a kind graphic novel, at least to me. This is the first book I've read for Joe Sacco and I loved it!

This book takes place between 1991 and 1992 in several Palestinian cities, Cairo and Tel Aviv from the Israeli side. The main focal point of the book was showing the occupied land's people point of view of the story, because in the west this other side of the story is pretty much invisible.

The art style was really amazing, all the drawings were very supportive to the content
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Superb book by Joe Sacco, regarding his journalistic cartooning and narration on the stories that are located in Palestine. It's a subject matter that I have avoided for a long time now. Due to the fact that Israel has close ties to the American culture and the feverish defense and anger towards that country. It is better to look away. Luckily, Sacco doesn't turn his head around, and here we get an interview after interview of Palatine dwellers and what it is like to live in and on an occupied l ...more
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
pretty much a masterpiece on every possible level.

first off, because sacco wisely lets the people he encounters do the talking. it's a warts-and-all first person account of people's lives in palestine, and almost all embellishments and social commentaries come from the mouths of the people he talks to, rather than from things he learned reading edward said or whatever.

at the same time, he allows his own story to weave throughout. we are privvy to his own frustrations and fascinations along the
Magrat Ajostiernos
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cómics
Un reportaje periodístico totalmente subjetivo, cargado de un sarcasmo brutal que llega a resultar incómodo. Sacco busca respuestas para el conflicto israelí-palestino centrándose en la tragedia de los refugiados y la penosa vida que llevan, habla de vejaciones, injusticias, tortura y muerte. Cuenta lo que vio y recoge testimonios de primera mano.
Es una novela gráfica impresionante, tan solo echo en falta el punto de vista de los israelíes.
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Non fiction readers, graphic novel lovers
For the love of God everyone needs to read this book. Americans are so ignorant when it comes to the struggles of the Isralies and Palestinians. THis is something we need to know about and Sacco presents it in a real person to person manner that will leave shocked and horrified, as you should be. If more people read this book the world would be a better place, because people would have to stand up and fight!
Joe Sacco delivers a scathing piece of comic-journalism with Palestine. The Arab side of the story is fully ignored by the Western media since, well, the beginning of the conflict.

The treatment inflicted upon the Arab refugees is horrendous, but the Western media is never going to acknowledge it. They come and kick you out of your home. There are almost no Arab youngsters above 16 years of age who have not received a jail term. The soldiers can hold you up for 6 months. Without reason. And that
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to rate this higher, but I'm a harsh critic with my books lately and ultimately it was more of a 'like' than a 'really like'. This book just didn't hit me like I wanted and if I'm honest, I felt slightly underwhelmed by the end. The artwork looked good, with nice varying layout styles, but it was nothing amazing to my graphic novel novice eyes. I really enjoyed the subject matter and reading about Palestinians lives, but there was something lacking for me. I'm used to reading heart wren ...more
Shaimaa Ali
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sacco is really raising the bar for any other so-called: Comics!

This is a real Master Piece!! Not an ordinary Comic that you are going to forget once you turn over its last page!
With the eyes of a foreigner, Sacco illustrated what he saw in Occupied Palestine. His illustrations spoke a thousand words besides his commentary on the plot. It was so real that I felt when I'll raise my head from the book I'll find those characters moving in front of me!
He addressed lots of issues, the occupation his
Nura Yusof
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
There's plenty of literature out there that talks about the many injustices imposed on the Palestinians by the Israelis. This book is another but with a difference. This time it comes in comic book form.

Is it one-sided? I would think so. Being a Muslim, I can empathise with what the Palestinians are going through which is basically a real estate dispute with a lot of violence thrown in. But one has to admit, the book is very heavily sympathetic towards the Palestinian. I am curious about the Isr
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A human, moving picture of Palestine in the early 90s. Diametrically the opposite view of Leon Uris's "The Haj" or modern thrillers in which Palestinians r usually depicted as evil. And thus, while it provides a view from the other side portraying Jews as evil, I remain sceptical. Also, reminded me of Basharat Peer's "Curfewed Night" on Kashmir (also loosely filmed as Haider) which I know told a partisan story.
But, worth a read since a neutral person is telling a lesser known aspect. Will be rea
Georgina Koutrouditsou
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Δεν μοιάζει με κανένα GN που κυκλοφορεί εκεί έξω..ίσως 2ο καλύτερο από το "Χαιρετίσματα από τη Σερβία".
Ο Joe Sacco μας γνωρίζει την Παλαιστίνη έτσι όπως δεν θα το κάνει κανένα ειδησεογραφικό κανάλι..
Οι ασπρόμαυρες εικόνες του επιτείνουν την τραγικότητα που βιώνουν όχι μόνο οι άνθρωποι στην περιοχή,αλλά και ευρύτερα η Ανθρωπότητα όταν πέφτει θύμα πολιτικών αποφάσεων.
Δεν διαβάζεται ευχάριστα,ίσα-ίσα προβληματίζει!
Anita Nasr
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea the comic book format would provide such a perfect means to tell this story. Joe Sacco’s approach is genius.
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
the best comic book I've ever read!
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ένα από τα (αν όχι το πιο) σημαντικό graphic novel που θα διαβάσετε ποτέ.
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The graphic novel has now reached a state of widespread acceptance as a literary form, but graphic non-fiction, also known as ‘comics journalism’ has a long way to go before it is seen as a credible format. Even the label ‘comics journalism’ seems oxymoronic, and in many settings ‘graphic non-fiction’ is limited to little more than editorial cartoons and public service or politically (and occasional other) pedagogic forms of publication. If there is anyone who could alter this perception, it is ...more
Sooraya Evans
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's very rare to get a glimpse of the Palestinian side of the story. But this book does it well.
As one would expect, the overall tone is indeed depressing. One sad story after another.
I love Joe Sacco's art style, especially his detailed splash pages. With everything the author had witnessed, there is no valid point to justify the occupation over there.

Towards the end of the book, two characters really stood out. The sightseeing young jewish lady from Tel Aviv and the old jewish woman, sittin
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
How do you say you have enjoyed a book that is filled with heartache, abuse, violence, inhumanities against your fellow man? I can however say I am richer for having read this. But, how do you know if what you have read is accurate without having lived it? Fortunately this is a biographical experience for the artist and so presumably it is an accurate presentation as he perceives his experiences in Palestine.

Reading this you are inundated with hardship and atrocity, and the reading process simul
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Every time the mid-east crises is stoked up in a conversation, a normal and most common response is "I don't know. I just want peace." Peace is such an evasive word which can guise many a horrors of war. This book was not a good read at all. But there are many things to be learned from the text (It's a very worded novel). I'll number a few points that I've found shrieking out the loudest from the book.

1. The book only narrates stories from the Palestinian side while author snuggles himself into
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2016
When you see a city/country/area/geography in conflict, you keep wondering why some of those people just don't move away from the said conflict. You don't understand how people can go out, walk into a small hotel, meet some friends and order some tea while being fully aware that there is a great possibility the hotel might be blown up before the tea is served. Sacco walks among people who lead their everyday life laced with worry and tries to draw them. He succeeds in capturing their everyday te ...more
Sharm Alagaratnam
Dec 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
My last recommendation was Joe Sacco's 'Palestine', an illustrated collection recounting his two month trip to the area between 1991 and 1992. Sacco travels to various refugee camps and interviews many of its residents, detailing their stories and grieviances in painful detail.

I have to say the book made for uncomfortable reading to start with, with its stark images and severe telling of the Palestinians' every day lives and troubles, including graphic descriptions of torture and imprisonment by
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: purchased
Joe Sacco's brilliant look into the Israel-Palestine conflict with a special focus on the loss of humanity and the unparalleled harshness of violence, "Palestine" is a very hard hitting graphic novel and can be quite disturbing at times. The time spend by Sacco as a photojournalist in the conflict zone is beautifully rendered in the comic book format.

Although he focuses more on the atrocities inflicted in the Palestine people, the author doesn't pick overt sides and tries to explain the reader a
Mar 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Well. I think this should be required reading in high school. It's cool (graphic novel), it's controversial (not everyone is interested in the Palestinian side), and it's informative (I defy anyone to look at the pictures and say you knew this--and walked away without saying anything). Whatever you believe about the Israel-Palestine question, this is a book that will challenge your powers of argument. Quite apart from the situation on the ground in Israel/Palestine, the author shares his fears, ...more
Maryam AlNasser
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf, 2017
it's so sad that 20 years after this book was written, the circumstances are still the same.
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A work as important as Maus.

Artistic excellence, amazing attention to detail and a punch in the face for those of us who know nothing or perhaps not enough of what is happening in that side of the world.

Joe Sacco has a degree in journalism and this is a war journal, a refugee journal, a documentary that becomes alive - the faces jump out of the pages and stay with you. There is room for human nature, humor even in the bleakest of situations, bitterness and "life goes on" attitude. All wrapped i
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
ehm.. 7 108 May 04, 2017 02:06PM  
  • The Photographer
  • Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China
  • Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories
  • Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography
  • The Contract With God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue (The Contract With God Trilogy, #1-3)
  • Berlin, Vol. 1: City of Stones
  • Kafka
  • Epileptic
  • Locas
  • Our Cancer Year
  • The Acme Novelty Library #18
  • How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less
  • Fax from Sarajevo
  • Barefoot Gen, Volume Two: The Day After
  • Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths
  • Zahra's Paradise
  • Low Moon
  • Hicksville
Joe Sacco was born in Malta on October 2, 1960. At the age of one, he moved with his family to Australia, where he spent his childhood until 1972, when they moved to Los Angeles. He began his journalism career working on the Sunset High School newspaper in Beaverton, Oregon. While journalism was his primary focus, this was also the period of time in which he developed his penchant for humor and sa ...more
More about Joe Sacco...

Other Books in the Series

Palestine (2 books)
  • Palestine, Vol. 1: A Nation Occupied
  • Palestine, Vol. 2: In the Gaza Strip

Share This Book

“I don't remember when exactly I read my first comic book, but I do remember exactly how liberated and subversive I felt as a result.” 58 likes
“Some of the world's blackest holes are out
in the open for anyone to see....”
More quotes…