Review – Chicken with Plums
Chicken with Plums
Marjane Satrapi (author/artist),Release date(s): 2004 by L’Association, March 20th 2016 by Fibra (reviewed) – available @ http://www.fibra.hr/
format( 88, HC, bw, Croatian), 80 HRK (approx. 11 EUR)
Synopsis: In November 1955, Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran’s most celebrated tar players, is in search of a new instrument. His beloved tar has been broken. But no matter what tar he tries, none of them sound right. Brokenhearted, Nasser Ali Khan decides that life is no longer worth living. He takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all of its pleasures. This is the story of the eight days he spends preparing to surrender his soul.
What makes a man live or decide not to live? When you read the synopsis you get to know what this story is about. In the first 18 pages you get to see where the story is going. Nasser Ali Khan is in a loveless marriage, finding joy only while playing his tar (Iranian stringed instrument). While in a heated discussion with his wife, she breaks the instrument and Nasser Ali Khan tries to find a new one. Unable to find one that produces a sound which he needs, he decides that he does not want to live anymore. Rest of the story follows his final days, relations and short stories about his family while awaiting his own death.
Do we question love, life, meaning of it all? The story raises the question of euthanasia and the decision of one individual to take his own life. Although the story is going into a tragedy (since we see where the story is going from the start), Satrapi’s storytelling is on a different level. She keeps the reader interested and entertained until the end. We have romance, tragedy, humor in just the right dosage. An interesting fact is that the main character, Nasser Ali Khan is Marjane Satrapi’s uncle.
The story is beautifully told, followed by a minimalist but Satrapi’s signature art. In such a short story, Satrapi gives you a heartfelt and unique experience that leaves you thinking after the last page. This is a story of a broken life, a broken heart and a broken tar.
Pros: Satrapi’s storytelling
Cons: art might be for some, maybe a bit too short
Conclusion: delivers a great story, but might come up short in terms of length for some . A solid 8/10.