Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi

July 23, 2009 § Leave a comment

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Being the rather ignorant person that I am, I never really knew about the existence of these two books even after I had watched Persepolis the animation not too long ago. Not until I read on my friend’s Facebook status that she enjoyed the graphic novel immensely did I realise that I had been missing out on the original edition of Persepolis!

Naturally, I started out with high expectations. Not only because of the many praises I have heard being given to this series, but also because I enjoyed thoroughly the animation version of the book. I found the animation very lively, very vivid, and yet lost none of the significance of the story that was being told.

The two graphic novels tell of Marjane’s story. She is more fondly refered to as Marji in the book. In book one, it tells of Marji’s journey from being just a regular kid, wanting no more than heroes in her family, to becoming a rebel in her own right, finding out for herself what she deems right and wrong, and facing the difficulties along the way.

Book two tells of Marji’s days outside of Iran, and also of her journey back to her hometown after years of studying overseas. She comes home, hoping to find relief and comfort, only to find out that those niceties have long since disappeared together with the war and revolution.

Though the story is still told in a very enchanting way, somehow I feel that there is something lost in translation. No doubt that the story, especially Book One, has been told through the eyes of little Marji as she was just coming to terms with the new Iran, however I felt that I wanted to see a lot more than what I was allowed to through the graphics and story-telling.

I had enjoyed the second book slightly more than the first, perhaps also because the perspective taken was slightly shifted. This time the story was told through the mind of a rather more mature and grown up Marji, facing the confusions of lost identity in a foreign land. It was easier for me to relate to this Marji, and hence was easier for me to empathise with her.

Conclusion: Overall, the two books were very enjoyable. I can’t say that it makes the list of favourites, but it is definitely in the list of books that I had enjoyed immensely.


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