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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Palestine by Joe Sacco

Blurb (from the jacket):

In late l991 and early 1992, at the time of the first Intifada, Joe Sacco spent two months with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, travelling and taking notes. Upon returning to the United States he started writing and drawing Palestine, which combines the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comic-book storytelling to explore this complex, emotionally weighty situation. He captures the heart of the Palestinian experience in image after unforgettable image, with great insight and remarkable humour.

The nine-issue comics series won a l996 American Book Award. It is now published for the first time in one volume, befitting its status as one of the great classics of graphic non-fiction. 

My take on the book:
This is my first published review of this year. Kudos for that. It had been a hectic year, the past one. During the latter half, I wasn't able to read much. There were End-Semester examinations, project submissions and other academic stuff. And, yeah, there was rigorous writing, too. Lot of emotional stuff to coup up with. Basically, it was a long gap since my last review.

There had been a lot of gap between my last Graphic Novel read. Being a non-fiction, it is kind of Persepolis, It was a milestone in the Graphic Novel Literature I was told. Joe Sacco is the first to mingle Journalism and Graphic Novels. More like cartoons we see on the front page of the Daily, sans the humour or mockery or satire. It is a reportage. Yeah, a graphical representation of a report of a place at a situation that stresses mostly on the political matters than the narration, the plot, the character, the witty comments and the like.

Why did I come to read this book? I need to mention that question because there was an apparent reason to start this book, apart from it being a milestone. It was Gaza-Israel conflict. Though it was doing damn havoc everywhere, I had very little knowledge about it. Not that I didn't try. I tried and miserably failed to keep up. The more I dug, the dirtier I got and the treasure sunk deeper. It was like they, both the nations were fighting ever since they were shaped. So in my pursuit to follow a lead of current affairs, I started this book.

Did it help? Very little. I forced my way out of the book. It is very abstract. Unclear and secretive. What is the author going to achieve by abstracting the information from the reader, I didn't know. It is an implicit narrative which suggests a beforehand knowledge what you are actually dealing about. Well, that's in the first place why I was reading the book.

About the graphic. The images were almost all alike. It gave the impression there are only about 10 different faces in the all of Palestine and the rest of them are just look-alikes of those 10 faces. Also going by the author's own illustration of himself, I thought he must be a African-American, which is not utterly the case, if you check out the author's image online.

Overall, I think I qualify to review the book as I don't possess the beforehand knowledge before reading the book. So I rate it by my experience...



Title: Palestine

Author: Joe Sacco

ISBN (edition I've read): 9780224069823


Read between: 05-01-2014 to 11-01-2014

Publishers: Jonathan Cape

Pages: 296

MRP: ₹ 700

The best deal for this book could be found here:  https://www.amazon.in/Palestine-Joe-Sacco/dp/0224069829/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=atrofwo-21&linkCode=w00&linkId=67WXKDGK5F3ZOJDH&creativeASIN=0224069829

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