Madeleine's Reviews > Footnotes in Gaza

Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 16, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: graphic-novel-comic, nonfiction, middle-east-north-africa
Recommended to Madeleine by: LJ
Read from January 05 to February 11, 2010 — I own a copy

This took me a very long time to read, partly because I wasn't sure what the hell I was going to say in my review, and partly because I found it extremely upsetting. This review isn't going to do the book justice, at all. I'll write a much longer blog-review in the next couple weeks, which may basically end up just being Madeline Ranting About Palestine/Israel (surprise)...I'll also link some interviews/articles about the book that I've listened to and read while reading it. For now, I'm going out of town this weekend and I want to get the book to the friends who are borrowing it to read next, so just a few thoughts.

I love all of Sacco's comics journalism books, but I don't know that Footnotes is better than Palestine or Safe Area Gorazde necessarily. Footnotes is, to understate things wildly, not a light read. History about forgotten atrocities (the "footnotes" of the title), layered with Sacco's portrayal of Gaza in the early 2000s, layered with knowledge of what's happening there now (that's not in the book, that's just in my head & impossible to separate). Powerful, educational, heartbreaking, is everything Sacco writes/draws. Footnotes tends a little more toward the heartbreaking and infuriating than his other stuff, imho. Enough so that at some points his self-deprecating humor was mainly what kept me reading--for me, the book edged very close to the sad and awful without any kind of takeaway that ordinary people reading it can take a stand and make a difference. That's my only criticism, really, and it's something I'd like to write more about.

Also: this is an example of how the term "graphic novel" can be really fail. Footnotes isn't a "novel," it's a nonfiction work of history and journalism. But we don't know what to call these books...

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Footnotes in Gaza.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

01/16/2010 page 179
41.44% "so sad but so good. joe sacco is pretty much a genius."
01/17/2010 page 200
46.3% "reading about house demolitions makes me think of district 6 & being in SA in 1995. i should write about it..."
show 1 hidden update…

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Madeleine Just read a friend's I feel guilty about not being more be fair, it really is "a triumph of investigative reporting" should read it...I should go to bed now and collect my thoughts and write more better later...

back to top