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Barefoot Gen, Volume One: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima
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Archive: Other Books > barefoot gen (vol 1) | Keiji Nakazawa | 3.5-4 stars

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Idit | 1028 comments Barefoot Gen, Volume One: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima, yet another book I randomly picked up at the library - never hearing about it before

The author, Keiji Nakazawa, was a child at the end of WWII, and had survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima - being on his way to school. The wall of the school shielded him from the worse of it.
He had lost a parent and some of his siblings.
His father was one of the few who were vocal against the war while it was on - and was even in jail for it.
Few years later Nakazawa made a short autobiographical comics that was called 'I saw it'. His editor encouraged him - saying he surely have more to say about it, and so he created this 4-volume manga, from which I read the first book - the months before the bombing and the day of the bomb.

It is such an important topic to document, and such a hard topic to review. He's been there, it shadowed the rest of his life, he is spreading a peaceful message
I have some issues with the book, but at the end - it is good, gripping read that I recommend.
My main issue - I wish he kept it as an autobiography. The choices he made in fictionalizing it made it a bit shallower. The characters are much more black and white. especially the hero of the book Gen. He became this perfect, brave, good boy - It's almost like a fantasy of the author - some way of taking control of this insane situation.
But I would have rather read about HIS struggles and weaknesses, and mistakes.
Also: There's a lot of brutality and hitting in this book, but I'm accepting it as 'of its time' and as part of language of Manga and it did not bother me. but if you read it be prepared for very brutal story


message 2: by Sushicat (new) - added it

Sushicat | 804 comments I have this sitting on my shelf...


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