- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Random House UK (23 May 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1911214446
- ISBN-13: 978-1911214441
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.8 x 22.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,19,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Hostage Hardcover – 23 May 2017
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"Guy Delisle conveys great, slow-burning tension in this sublime account of what Christophe Andre endured as a hostage in Chechnya. Delisle’s controlled handling of claustrophobic physical and mental spaces – and the rhythm he generates – is the work of a patient master." (Joe Sacco)
"A book about a man trapped in the corner of a room should not be exhilarating, but somehow Delisle has managed to create just that. He takes us through Christophe André’s narrative of his time spent as a prisoner with an attention to detail that makes you feel like you’re right there with him, chained to a radiator, counting the days to keep yourself from losing your mind. My heart was racing by the end." (Sarah Glidden)
"A gripping visual narrative… You’re able to absorb the terrible accretion of time in a single glace – at which point you suddenly grasp just how well the comic serves this particular story. All this darkness and claustrophobia shouldn’t be exhilarating. The fact Delisle makes it so is yet another reason why he must be counted as one of the greatest cartoonists of our age." (Rachel Cooke Observer)
"Here, Delisle takes a back seat and interprets someone else’s extraordinary experiences… As a graphic novelist, working with a lone, often inactive protagonist and a minimum of bare props… Delisle draws each day in cycles of subtle variations… Readers will find themselves held hostage to the end by Guy Delisle’s immersive interpretation of one ordinary man’s extraordinary resilience." (Paul Gravett Times Literary Supplement)
"He deftly mines stillness and long stretches of inaction for uncomfortably taut drama. Delisle’s monochromatic palette only heightens the sense of captivity as a brutal mind game of uncertainty." (Michael Cavna Washington Post Sunday)
About the Author
Guy Delisle was born in Quebec City, Canada. His bestselling and acclaimed travelogues ( Pyongyang, Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, Burma Chronicles, and Shenzhen ) are defining works of graphic nonfiction and in 2012, Delisle was awarded the top prize in European cartooning when the French edition of Jerusalem was named Best Album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. He lives in France with his wife and children.
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With an ingenuous use of sublime tones of colour and a skilful narrative, 20 years later, Guy manages to capture the incredible true life story of Christopher Andre, a humanitarian worker with NGO Doctors without Borders in Chechnya who was kidnapped in 1997 and held for ransom.
As the Washington Post puts it
"What Delisle so brilliantly conveys here is the sensory experience of a life reduced to a room — and the effects on the brain when captivity lacks even the scheduled certainty of institutional incarceration. This is a highly confined purgatory that, without strength or will or hope, can become an emotional hell."
Reading this many of us will perhaps truly learn and appreciate what Freedom means and how dear it is!
Highly recommended from one of my favourite comic artists!!
Happy Independence Day !!
“Hostage” tells the story of Christophe André and his kidnapping in early July 1997 from his Doctors without Borders office in Nazran, a small town in the former Soviet Republic of Ingushetia. His kidnappers took him to Chechnya, where they tried to get a ransom of a million dollars. The story is of his captivity and how he managed to survive in the face of a hopeless situation – when he was moved from one place to another, when he didn’t know if he would live to see the next day or for that matter a random act of kindness from a captivator meant so much.
Delisle recounts André’s harrowing experience in hostage and not once the reader (of course me in question in this case) gets bored. Delisle conveys the psychological effects of solitary confinement through some brilliant use of colours, paneling and muted colour washes. Hostage had me hooting for Christophe and all I wanted was for him to go scot free without any injury. Your heart goes out to him as he is cuffed to a radiator, doesn’t know why he is here, doesn’t know whether his organization would pay for him and whether or not he will be able to attend his sister’s wedding or ever see her (heartbreaking in my opinion). I for one had goosebumps while reading this because I started wondering how I would behave in captivity. Would I be able to have any hope? Would I give up too soon?
The topic is grim and something that perhaps most people may not digest well. It being in a graphic form, in fact sometimes makes it only too real. Having said that, the book is compelling. Christophe managed to keep his sanity (you have to read to find out how he managed that) in an environment that was not conducive at all and yet is alive and managed to tell his tale to Delisle, which now is in the form of a brilliant graphic biography (I might even call it a memoir because all experiences are of Christophe after all and were narrated to the author). “Hostage” is a book that filled me with a lot of hope, troubled me at times and also made me see how easy it is sometimes for common folk to get into situations beyond their control. I also for one wouldn’t be surprised if someone decided to make a movie out of it.