Saturday, October 07, 2006

Chicken With Plums - Marjane Satrapi [September/06]

I have previously posted about reading and enjoying Persepolis 1 and 2 by Marjane Satrapi. So, when I saw that she had a new book coming out, I requested it from Random House. It's out now, so anyone that likes Satrapi might want to looking into reading it.

From Random House:

In her acclaimed Persepolis books and in Embroideries, Marjane Satrapi rendered the events of her life and times in a uniquely captivating and powerful voice and vision. Now she turns that same keen eye and ear to the heartrending story of her great-uncle, a celebrated Iranian musician who gave up his life for music and love.

We are in Tehran in 1958, and Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran’s most revered tar players, discovers that his beloved instrument is irreparably damaged. Though he tries, he cannot find one to replace it, one whose sound speaks to him with the same power and passion with which his music speaks to others. In despair, he takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all its pleasures, closing the door on the demands and love of his wife and his four children. Over the course of the week that follows, his family and close friends attempt to change his mind, but Nasser Ali slips further and further into his own reveries: flashbacks and flash-forwards (with unexpected appearances by the likes of the Angel of Death and Sophia Loren) from his own childhood through his children’s futures. And as the pieces of his story slowly fall into place, we begin to understand the profundity of his decision to give up life.

Marjane Satrapi brings what has become her signature humor, insight, and generosity to this emotional tale of life and death, and the courage and passion both require of us. The poignant story of one man, it is also a story of stunning universality–and an altogether luminous work.

I could have reviewed this before now, but to be honest. I don't know what to say. The flap tells you pretty much all there is to say without revealing the whole story. I will express, though, that I did not really like this book as much as the two previous graphic novels I read by her. The art was good, and the story was different, but not something that I couldn't put down. It really is a just "okay" attempt. But some people might like it, because it is not terrible, it just didn't speak to me like her other novels have. I do hope to read Embroderies by her eventually, though. I think that one is more up with her previous two works.

My recommendation to everyone, this is a book that you might want to read because you have enjoyed other Satrapi novels, but it just didn't capture me like her others did. I would either get it from the library or wait a year until it is out in soft cover.

I just have to say, though, of all the Random House books that I have requested in the last few months, this is the only one that I didn't enjoy immensely. I have good taste, most of the time anyways.


For more information about purchasing a copy of your own, click here.

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