REVIEW:The Arrival, Illustrated by Shaun Tan

The Arrival by Shaun TanThe Arrival (2007) is a graphic novel told without words. It is simply a beautifully illustrated novel whose wordless narrative gives readers an insider’s view of what the immigrant experience is like.

The story follows one central character in a documentary like fashion, as he leaves his wife and young daughter to make the long and arduous journey to a world that is completely unfamiliar. Courageous and brave doesn’t even begin to describe the sacrifice that it takes to leave your family behind and to rebuild your life someplace new. This graphic novel may lack words but it speaks a universal language in  conveying the confusion, the frustration and the sense of displacement of living in a new country.

Why did I pick this up? Well, this novel grabbed my attention because it was apart of my Amazon recommendation list. I read the synopsis and was intrigued. Saw the Amazon five star glowing reviews and was curious. Lucky for me, my library had a copy sitting on the shelf. This was a quick read but I did go back over some of the imagery of shadows and symbolism the author uses throughout the novel to convey the sense of urgency or fear that is used as the impetus of change. I can’t say that I understood all of it but the overall message was clear enough. Of course it ends on a happy note for the family and starts the cycle over again with yet another fresh “arrival” off the boat needing help to navigate this bizarre new world.  If you enjoy illustrated novels then you should pick this one at your local library. Amazon lists this title as currently being unavailable. Remember, no narrative, just pictures. My grade, B because of my high expectations. This GN wasn’t what I thought it would be.

[tags]Graphic Novel Reviews, Shaun Tan, Immigrants, Illustrated Novels[/tags]

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8 Responses to REVIEW:The Arrival, Illustrated by Shaun Tan

  1. Marg says:

    I loved this book when I read it!

  2. vanessa jaye says:

    Oh I like the new look for the blog!

  3. Avid Reader says:

    Hi Ladies,

    Hey, Vanessa, thanks! I made a bet with someone that this theme will last me the year! I am done with trying to find that “ideal” look. I liked this one and I like how it handles content and images and blockquotes. This should suit me for awhile.

  4. vanessa jaye says:

    It’s clean, bright, nice layout so easy to see everything. And you can always change the look of the blog periodically by changing the picture in the header. But I’m almost willing to lay odds with that person you made the bet with. lol.

    erm… Maybe you should lend a hand over by the Ja(y)nes. 😉 Seems every time I drop in over there something else is screwy with the formatting/display. Might of been one of those ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ type deals. But I’m sure she’ll work out all the bugs eventually.

    Hey, only because the link to her site is right beside this comment box–hear anything from Maili? It’s a shame how she just disappeared, she was such a vibrant force in the community. I notice a lot of peeps (like you and me) haven’t removed her link, in the hopes she returns. *g*

  5. Avid Reader says:

    Maili, where is thou? I think she will return. Her domain is gone but I found her older theme with a lot of archived posts so if she were to return, I’d think she would show up there. Hopefully. I will periodically check from time to time. I’ve emailed her maybe once with no return reply.

  6. vanessa jaye says:

    Hope everything is okay on her end. She’s got a lot more fortitude than most of us to exit stage right with such finality. I’d like to think she’s lurking at least. I did notice that her site has been parked rather than over taken by pO4n spammers.

  7. ruba bouzan says:

    i have this book on my summer reading list, and thought it was really interesting, so i am going to read it and write a book report about it because it also counts as a grade for my next years 8th grade language arts class!

  8. Pingback: The Arrival by Shaun Tan | Books of Mee

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