Sophia's Reviews > Metro: A Story of Cairo

Metro by Magdy El Shafee
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‘People are numb. Nothing has any effect on them. They put up with so much. They just say, “Well, that’s how things are in this country of ours.”’

I raced through Magdy El Shafee’s graphic novel, Metro, which I enjoyed hugely. Written prior to the uprisings in the Arab world that began in late 2010, the novel reads as both a precursor to those events and the frustrations that prompted them, as well as a depressingly relevant account of Cairo after those same events, given the dismal political situation in Egypt today. The novel follows Shehab, an angry and disaffected young man, as he plans to beat the system that is crushing him. Much of the action takes place in tunnels and in metro stations throughout Cairo and there’s a suitably eerie subterranean feel to the narrative. I don’t read nearly enough graphic novels, but each time I do I’m struck by what they can do that ordinary novels can’t. In particular, El Shafee uses the page to express the chaos and corruption of Cairo, making it all the more vivid by letting the images do as much work as the words do.
Most of the graphic novels I’ve read are by very well known authors, such as Marjane Satrapi, Joe Sacco and Art Spiegelman (all of them brilliant) and so it was great to read a much less popular title.
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Reading Progress

November 15, 2017 – Started Reading
November 15, 2017 – Shelved
November 20, 2017 – Finished Reading

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