Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Persepolis and the Omaha Bookworms

Persepolis: The Story Of A Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
160 pages
Published June 2004 by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Source: I bought this to read with the Omaha Bookworms

Satrapi was ten years old when, in 1979, Iran began to experience a period of revolution against the then-Shah. Persepolis chronicles the revolution through the eyes of a young girl in graphic novel form. Satrapi, whose parents initially demonstrated in favor of the overthrow of the Shah, chronicles life as her parents go from hopeful to fearful, as she herself experiences ever changing feelings about her country, and as the country becomes a more and more dangerous place to live.

Linda recommended this one to the Bookworms and I thought it would make a perfect summer read since it would be a quick read being a graphic novel. It was indeed a quick read but only partially because it was a graphic novel. The truth is that I would have read this book in one night even if it had been twice as long. Satrapi does a marvelous job of, literally, illustrating the full range of emotions Satrapi and her family went through from the start of the revolution until the day her parents put her on an airplane bound for Austria. Her family didn't shy away from telling her the truth of what was happening and Satrapi doesn't shy away from showing her readers the full horror of living through that time in Iran. She skillfully balances that with a moving portrait of what it was like to be a citizen of Iran during the revolution and war with Iraq.

All of the Bookworms really liked Persepolis and several of us are planning on reading Satrapi's followup. Well, done, Linda! Not only did you pick a book that I really enjoyed but you found that book that has changed my mind about graphic novels.


  1. I just WANT to read this series so badly. I know I keep on promising to buy it, but I never do :( I have to once my book-buying ban is over.

  2. I have been reading good things about Persepolis for years, and have never ventured out of my comfort zone to give it a try. Graphic novels are pretty much an untried genre for me, and I think that if I ever got into them, I would love them. I did read Shaun Tan's Lost and Found and thought that it was great. I might just have to get this one from my library. Thanks for the excellent review!

  3. I read this one in my previous bookclub. We put the option out there to read both of them but I only read this one. I really liked it a lot too. I haven't read any graphic novels since but it certainly makes the reading experience different, lighter somehow....even if the subject matter is heavy.

  4. I'm really happy that you enjoyed this one!! Yay!!

  5. So glad that you loved this one!! Yay! Her follow up is just as amazing. And then you should read her "Chicken with Plums" and "Embroideries".

  6. It's been a while Lisa (blerg) but I love the look of your blog! So clean!

    Anyway, I really loved this (read The Complete Perspolis) and it absolutely changed my mind about graphic novels as well. The illustrations are so powerful aren't they? If you haven't read Maus, I really recommend it. Subject is WWII Holocaust.