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Canadian animator cum cartoonist Guy Delisle's graphic memoir of his two month stay for work in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea is probably the only illustrated travelogue of its kind capturing the absurdities of a totalitarian communist regime which shouldn't be existing in today's day and age- as a foreigner who has come for work Guy can only travel accompanied by a translator and guide....entertainment, food, travel, shopping everything is so stale and restricted that its totally stifling and the near obsessive way in which the dictator and his son are eulogised and worshipped in school text books, museums, all over the city and countryside, over loudspeakers, as portraits on walls and pins on everyone's chests can make you go crazy....indeed the North Korean civilians who survive and not sent to camps have been so throughly brainwashed that they are scared to lift a finger out of turn...Guy turns the story of this depressing nation into a black grey-in-pencil comedy through his everyday experiences with North Koreans, the city, the sights he gets to see and his experience working in an animation studio in Pyongyang ...a comic novel you shouldn't miss since in all likelihood you will never visit this country! Am now thinking of buying his Burma and Jerusalem Chronicles too!!!
Guy Delisle is a Canadian animator famous for his graphic novels about his travels to other other countries. Pyongyang is the chronicle of his two month stay in North Korea prior to 9/11. 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹 I read this in one sitting and was stupefied and amazed that such a country can even exist in today's free world.Guy Deslile has given us a witty ,sarcastic and intelligent novel with a wry sense of humour that had me laughing aloud at several places . 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹 Well,can you imagine living in a country where 1) no internet connection,radio and any other access exists to know what goes on in the outside world.In fact ,they will jail you if you even try to own a radio, 2) no cable TV is allowed and the only two channels will telecast programs about the greatness of Kim Jong and his father round the clock 3)Ordinary people cannot own cars (roads are empty) and minimum electricity is used 4)The people believe that Kim Jong and his father are Gods and every citizen has to wear a pin with their photos when they are outside 5)All the monuments are built for them and the papers are also about them 6) people work all seven days and only on jobs given to them by the government .7)Concentration camps exist and people happily betray each other for better jobs or privileges .Anyone can vanish anytime.8)No cinema,movies,pubs,amusement parks (anything which will corrupt the people)9) foreigners are always accompanied by a guide who never let's them sight.I think you must have got the idea 🙊🙊 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹 In fact ,Guy Deslisle says that common sense is a rare commodity in Korea and the reader will concur with him. The only con about the books was that we never get to see the culture or customs of the North Korean people. Maybe,the reason is that the novelist was not allowed to mingle with anyone as chronicled in the novel .All in all,an enlightening read😊😊😊.I would love to check out his "Burma" and "Jerusalem" books😀.
The art style is forgettable and there is no story at all it seems like a crass memoir with an insensitive tone, the author is trying to cash in on the shock value just by suggesting a setting of North Korea but never bothers to delve deeper.
It honestly feels shallow and rushed up. The author missed a great opportunity to deliver a story that could have focused on the troubles and stresses of complying to lies under a strict regime but instead dismisses the plight of the ones in shackles in a very "don't bother me attitude".
I would have liked a more philosophical and mature approach in handling the propaganda of the regime and juxtaposing it against the democracies of the world. A more deeper look and empathetic handling of what it is like to grow up in such a controlled environment.
And the art style, I mean really? Apart form a few structural drawings depicting a depressing and sad atmosphere the rest is not even required, it would have been better if was just a book with the drawings just popping up in between rather than a "Graphic Novel".
If you still do not believe what I say try comparing it to "Fax from Sarajevo", honestly I was looking for more serious tone here.
I really enjoyed reading this book and I learnt a lot of things about North Korea that I did not know before. His stories, written almost like they are diary entries, are very interesting and its fascinating to see how he changes from the start to the end of the book, progressively becoming bolder. The art work is very simple so don't expect anything amazing in that department but it doesn't need to be because the narration and text drive the story.The only negative thing I can say about this is that a lot of chapters just fizzle out, meaning there is no amazing conclusion to what happened at the end of each tale that he is telling from his trip. But still I very much enjoyed the journey he took me on and I will be reading the rest of the books in this series.