Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Review:The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

For a long time, I was under the impression that graphic novels and superhero comics were synonyms but after reading this phenomenal novel by Satrapi, I realized how wrong I was. I am so glad that I chose this book to introduce me to the world of graphic novels. The beauty about this form of storytelling is that the images stay with you forever.
                                                                                Persepolis is a story about a young girl (Marjane  Satrapi)who lived  in Iran during the Islamic revolution. The book lets the reader view the hypocrisies of war through the eyes of a 10 year old. As the story progresses, Marjane transitions from a precocious child to a benumbed adult and the reader realizes how difficult it is to grow up in a war torn fundamentalist country. During her childhood,Marji was always confused as to how the ruling regime would manipulate Iran’s history to suit their own propaganda. As she grew older, she started to detest the Islamic fundamentalism and tried to resist it in every possible way. Her parents sent her away to Vienna to escape the war but after four years of drugs and depression, she came back to her homeland, pursued a diploma in art, got her life in shape but ultimately left Iran and settled down in France.
                                    This story is not about the Iran war.It is also not about religion. It is about how an unstable political situation of a country can impact its youth, can take away their freedom and snatch their individuality from them. We often associate the Middle East with terrorism and oil wars but this book throws light on the day to day oppression the citizens’ face in a fundamentalist Islamic regime. At a time when Iran was fighting a never ending war with Iraq, the citizens were fighting their own battles with the compulsory veil, the no make up rule, ban on western music and movies, the empty shelves in supermarkets and the frequent bomb raids.
            Unlike most of the autobiographies, this story does not sugarcoat unpleasant events. The author is blunt and straight forward. The narration is sad,poignant,tragic and funny at the same time. The visual illustrations are black and white which suits the story. Like all graphic novels, at certain stages of the story, I found the images made a stronger point than the words. This is definitely a must read for all history and memoir lovers.


  1. I completely agree. I think we've forgotten that there are humans just like us living there, facing terrible conditions and brutality, and who have no choice in the matter. Persepolis could just as well be the story of every girl and woman living in masochistic, power hungry regimes all around the world.

    Nice reviews by the way! Will watch out for more :)

    1. True.More often than not,we take our freedom for granted.

      Thanks for checking out the blog.It is still in a nascent stage.
      Something I started recently to stay in touch with the bookworm inside me.