Saturday, June 23, 2012

Book Review: Jerusalem

If you've wondered what it would be like to live in Jerusalem for a year, especially as an American father with young kids, this book will answer your questions better than text. As a graphic novel it can convey the different scenes with a few lines (conversion rate, 1 picture = 1000 words?). Delisle has a nice way of conveying the sense of a place with a minimum of detail, and I am fully convinced that I know what it would be like day in day out in that unique place. Not "holy" place -- Delisle is an amiable atheist and has only an academic interest in the myriad of sects and sectarians he encounters -- but he is more committed to journaling the experience than processing it for us, and it's what his eyes see that conveys the most. Although the result is somewhat superficial (and ahistoric!), I still feel like I've been on a few urban hikes through the area, and that itself is worth the price of admission. A few of the excursions stand out, especially his visit to the Samaritans and a series of contrasting tours he takes to the same place with ideologically opposite tour guides, and it might be nice to have those excerpted somewhere because this book is long, but I personally enjoyed every page.

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