A Travelogue From China

Book - 2006
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The follow-up graphic novel to the acclaimed Pyongyang: A Journey to North Korea
Shenzhen is entertainingly compact, with Guy Delisle's observations of life in a cold urban city in southern China that is sealed off from the rest of the country by electric fences and armed guards. With a dry wit and a clean line, Delisle makes the most of his time spent in Asia overseeing outsourced production for a French animation company. By translating his fish-out-of-water experiences into accessible graphic novels,Delisle is quick to find the humor and point out the differences between Western and Eastern cultures. Yet he never forgets to relay his compassion for the simple freedoms that escape his colleagues by virtue of living in a Communist state.

Publisher: Montreal : Drawn & Quarterly, 2006
ISBN: 9781894937795
Branch Call Number: GRAPHIC NOVELS SHE
Characteristics: 148 p. :,chiefly ill


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JCLIanH Oct 17, 2019

Much more ramshackle than Pyongyang, but you can definitely see Delisle's raw travelogue-ing excellence underneath the roughness. I think one of the main issues here is that he doesn't really get into what Shenzhen is, and it's mostly just a recollection of living in a grubby, alien locale. However, Delisle brings a lot of humor and charm to his books that make you want to go anywhere with him.

Mar 01, 2019

Not bad, but perhaps a rather out-of-date representation of mainland China, at this point. The author/illustrator worked in Shenzhen for 3 or 4 months back in 1997. As someone who has lived in China (granted, in the north) over the past decade, my impression is that a lot has changed in 22 years and someone exploring for their first time NOW might have a much better time of it than the author did. Also, the book doesn't leave one with the impression that the author made much of an attempt to learn the local language, which is really KEY to endearing oneself to locals anywhere. Once locals see you're trying, like AT ALL, to adapt to or learn about "their" ways, they usually start to take pretty good care of you. That's been my experience anyhow. The author, unfortunately seems to have had a much more alienating experience, and I kind of feel like his choice to use NO color in the illustrations feeds into the overall depressive, alienated feeling. I found China to be notably colorful, most of the time (winter can be pretty bleak). I did like this book though, and he makes some observations (like a pretty GROSS one on page 60!) that I completely agree with. Overall a fair to good graphic travelogue.

Jan 17, 2017

Entertaining, but I felt a bit sorry for the guy after a while. He's here for work, no family yet. Seems a bit lonely.

Sep 03, 2015

Great travelogue, keen eye for details, strong pencil drawings.

Mark_Daly Aug 05, 2013

Delisle straightforwardly depicts the gnawing alienation he experiences during his stay in a business-friendly, but tourist-unfriendly, city in southern China. NOTE: This is billed as Delisle's follow-up to PYONGYANG, but it actually was published first (in French).

Jul 30, 2013

One of my favourite books. Delisle's way of combining art into the genre of a memoir makes reading this book a very unique experience. A funny, witty, and perceptive book, I highly recommend reading this.

Aug 08, 2012

Funny and interesting book about living in China, drawn like a comic strip.

Jan 28, 2010

I came across this book while searching for China travel info. This was a really cute, sweet, graphic novel.

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