Telling of Satrapi's childhood in Iran, this is a simple but direct tale about the overthrow of the Shah and the beginning of the Islamic Revolution. Satrapi grew up learning that no one was safe, not family, not friends, no one. They could and did just disappear. And yet both her family and she as a young girl stayed politicized, quietly (and sometimes, in the manner of children, not so quietly) questioning the official line. The graphics are blocky and starkly black and white, reflecting the simplicity of a child's memories and also the growing horror of life under the regime.
While this sounds promising, I was unable to get myself past the prejudice I was trying to challenge. I simply don't love graphic novels. Having to stop and examine the art broke the flow of the narrative for me. I would have prefered more detail in words than the simplistic comic panels offered. While I do recognize that condensing a powerful tale into a book as minimal as this takes skill, I'm much happier with my wordier, less illustrated texts. I do have the second book sitting here and because I am this way, I am certain I will be reading it as well but unless something finally clicks for me, that will likely be my last graphic novel.