Title: The Complete Persepolis
Author: Marjane Satrapi
Genre: Graphic Novel, Memoir
Publication Date: October 30, 2007
Review Date: April 5, 2022
Number of Pages: 341
My Rating: 5/5
While Satrapi’s art and writing is beautiful, the story she conveys is often anything but. I think all human beings undergo experiences that influence them in a variety of ways, but few are as observant or introspective as Satrapi.
Learning and expanding your worldview is one of the best things we can do with our lives, and books like The Complete Persepolis simultaneously remind us of this fact and broaden our perspectives at the same time.
Here, in one volume: Marjane Satrapi’s best-selling, internationally acclaimed graphic memoir.
Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming–both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.
Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom–Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.
When I started reading this book, I didn’t know what to expect. Firstly, because I don’t often read graphic novels. Secondly, I don’t read memoirs at all. Plus I’d never heard of a graphic memoir so I was completely out of my reading comfort zone. I’m so glad I took the leap.
What a beautiful book. It took me two months to finish it. I read multiple books at a time, so I was reading this while simultaneously reading others. I’m glad I chose to continue that reading style for this. Because this is not a binge-read sort of book, for me. This is a book you want to take your time with. Savor and learn. Not two words that come together very often, but here they do. I truly enjoyed the heart and depth of this book. The illustrations are so important and add a lot to the substance of this book. Satrapi is an accomplished illustrator and can convey a lot with a few strokes of her pen.
While Satrapi’s art and writing is beautiful, the story she conveys is often anything but. Her narration of life as a child growing up in Iran when it suddenly comes under Islamic rule shows how drastically so many lives changed. Her few years in Vienna as a teenager also shaped her life in so many different ways. I think all human beings undergo experiences that influence them in a variety of ways, but few are as observant or introspective as Satrapi. This is so much more than your standard memoir, and I know it will leave a lasting impact on me. I haven’t been a teenager for a while, but I have much to learn from Satrapi’s life, including her teenage years, her twenties and beyond.
Life is about understanding things that are bigger than us, coming to terms with things that are beyond us, and learning things that we never even thought of. Learning and expanding your worldview is one of the best things we can do with our lives, and books like The Persepolis simultaneously remind us of this fact and broaden our perspectives at the same time.
People who love memoirs and/or graphic novels, people who have never read memoirs and/or graphic novels before, fans of coming-of-age stories. Whether you’re looking for a different perspective or a political backdrop, this book will give it all to you, and more.