Monday, October 30, 2006

Book-A-Day #106 (10/30): Chicken With Plums by Marjane Satrapi

Satrapi's fourth graphic novel, after the two volumes of Persepolis (about her own childhood) and Embroideries (a more loosely organized book about women's sexuality, more or less). This one is apparently the true story of Satrapi's grand-uncle, who willed himself to die over a week in 1959 in what I can only characterize as a pure snit.

I have very little sympathy for tortured artists, and that's what Nasser Ali Khan presents himself as -- a man too damaged to live once his wife breaks his precious musical instrument (a tar) during a fight (which seems to mostly be about how he's a self-pitying musician who doesn't do anything and leaves her to raise the family and make the steady income in the house).

You see this? This is the world's smallest violin, playing a sad song just for him.

Given that I thought the main character was an asshole, I didn't warm to this story much. It's a short graphic novel (84 pages), but it jumps around in time, perhaps because Nasser's story is pretty short and pointless to begin with.

I've liked each Satrapi book less than the one before (the first volume of Persepolis was her best work, I think), and I might just avoid her next one, unless I have a reason to believe she's reversed that trend. Perhaps a non-autobiographical story would reinvigorate her muse?

The Fabulous Book-A-Day Index!
Edited 1/2/07: the huge list of links was getting annoying, and screwing up my Book-A-Day searches, so I've killed them in these posts that had them.


Anonymous said...

I just read it and had the same reaction, basically.

See you soon!


Dating said...

I just read it !!!

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