Review: Persepolis

I finally understood why I felt ashamed to sit in my father’s Cadillac. The reason for my shame and for the revolution is the same: the difference between social classes.”

-Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Synopsis: Marjane Satrapi grew up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, and this graphic memoir details what she witnessed and felt during the movement. It goes beyond explaining the history to show her personal account and involvement in the country’s political climate.

The Good: I loved how Satrapi emphasized contrast–both in herself vs. her peers and the country’s old culture vs. the new regime. The art plays directly into this contrast because it is shown in black and white, highlighting how concrete these events were to her despite how other perspectives might color the history. While the graphics lack color, they don’t lack expression, and the art is phenomenal.

The Bad: The writing is good, but I still found myself struggling to get into this book entirely because of how much content is historical and political. I’m not that into history, and Satrapi’s personal touch wasn’t enough to overcome the “history thing.” I usually tear through graphic novels, but I didn’t get the same can’t-put-it-down feeling that I get.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

Challenge(s) satisfied: #13, read a book that is set in the Middle East.


Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood is book 4 of my Read Harder Challenge. You can also check out my reviews of Roller Girl and Memoirs of a Geisha.

An affiliate link is used in this post. All opinions in this review are my own and are not influenced by the affiliate.

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