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Notes for a War Story

by

Notes for a War Story Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"The war arrived in our village on the 18th of January. Obviously there were other wars going on, but they didn't have anything to do with us. There were wars for blacks. Wars for Arabs. Wars for Slavs. Our war started on the 18th of January, and in a few days, everything had changed."

So recounts Giuliano, a loner among outsiders, one of three young drifters caught up in the whirlwind of a war in the Balkans. The three boys are like passing shadows; they live in abandoned houses, dodge the occasional bomb, and steal car parts for money. Meeting Felix — a powerful, fast-talking mercenary — changes everything for them. Felix is an expert manipulator; he speaks to their ambition and to their desires for power, wealth, and purpose. They're instantly hooked, especially the trio's unofficial leader, Stefano, and they soon escalate from petty crime to working on behalf of a mafia-style militia, bullying and extorting money in Felix's name. But as Giuliano comes to realize, they don't know what they're fighting for — if they're even fighting for anything.

Notes for a War Story is an astonishing look at life in a lawless, war-torn nation, heightened by the harsh, moving, pencil and watercolor artwork of Italy's best graphic novel author.

Review:

"'Award-winning Italian graphic novelist Gipi (Garage Band, The Innocents) returns with this bleak tale of three young drifters making their way across the war-torn landscape of an unnamed Balkan country. Told from the point of view of protagonist Giuliano, the narrative traces his path as he is forced to go through the peripheral results of war as a deadening day-to-day struggle to find food and shelter while avoiding the occasional stray bullet. Falling in with Felix, a sleazy criminal kingpin, Giuliano and his companions soon serve as executors for Felix's extortion racket and later move up the underworld food chain into endeavors in a city removed from the hardships of the war, petty thuggery slowly escalating to murder. Gipi keeps the war itself off screen, instead allowing the conflict's effects upon the young men to play out in numb, soulless detail, a storytelling device that affords the tale a stark and depressing realism further driven home by the 'cartoony' illustrations. While not easy reading, the affecting story is made even more powerful by the understated execution. Winner of the Best Book prize at the Angoulme Comics Festival in 2005.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"As grim as could be, from the bleak narration to the intentionally gruesome, black-and-white art, War Story never loses track of the fact that these are children, swept up in a situation too difficult for most adults to grasp." Booklist

Review:

"Far from the fantasy world of many graphic novels, this volume will surprise and challenge readers." VOYA

Synopsis:

"The war arrived in our village on the 18th of January. Obviously there were other wars going on, but they didn't have anything to do with us. There were wars for blacks. Wars for Arabs. Wars for Slavs. Our war started on the 18th of January, and in a few days, everything had changed."

So recounts Giuliano, a loner among outsiders, one of three young drifters caught up in the whirlwind of a war in the Balkans. The three boys are like passing shadows; they live in abandoned houses, dodge the occasional bomb, and steal car parts for money. Meeting Felix--a powerful, fast-talking mercenary--changes everything for them. Felix is an expert manipulator; he speaks to their ambition and to their desires for power, wealth, and purpose. They're instantly hooked, especially the trio's unofficial leader, Stefano, and they soon escalate from petty crime to working on behalf of a mafia-style militia, bullying  and extorting money in Felix's name. But as Giuliano comes to realize, they don't know what they're fighting for--if they're even fighting for anything. 

 
Notes for a War Story is an astonishing look at life in a lawless, war-torn nation, heightened by the harsh, moving, pencil and watercolor artwork of Italy's best graphic novel author.

Synopsis:

"The war arrived in our village on the 18th of January. Obviously there were other wars going on, but they didnt have anything to do with us. There were wars for blacks. Wars for Arabs. Wars for Slavs. Our war started on the 18th of January, and in a few days, everything had changed."

So recounts Giuliano, a loner among outsiders, one of three young drifters caught up in the whirlwind of a war in the Balkans. The three boys are like passing shadows; they live in abandoned houses, dodge the occasional bomb, and steal car parts for money. Meeting Felix—a powerful, fast-talking mercenary—changes everything for them. Felix is an expert manipulator; he speaks to their ambition and to their desires for power, wealth, and purpose. They're instantly hooked, especially the trio's unofficial leader, Stefano, and they soon escalate from petty crime to working on behalf of a mafia-style militia, bullying  and extorting money in Felix's name. But as Giuliano comes to realize, they don't know what they're fighting for—if they're even fighting for anything. 

 
Notes for a War Story is an astonishing look at life in a lawless, war-torn nation, heightened by the harsh, moving, pencil and watercolor artwork of Italy's best graphic novel author.
Gipis pencil and watercolor art is forceful, realistic, and evocative, the ideal medium for depicting the rough and raw subject matter of this graphic novel. He is also the author of Garage Band.
A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
Winner of the Best Book prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival

"The war arrived in our village on the 18th of January. Obviously there were other wars going on, but they didnt have anything to do with us. There were wars for blacks. Wars for Arabs. Wars for Slavs. Our war started on the 18th of January, and in a few days, everything had changed."

So recounts Giuliano, a loner among outsiders, one of three young drifters caught up in the whirlwind of a war in the Balkans. The three boys are like passing shadows; they live in abandoned houses, dodge the occasional bomb, and steal car parts for money. Meeting Felix—a powerful, fast-talking mercenary—changes everything for them. Felix is an expert manipulator; he speaks to their ambition and to their desires for power, wealth, and purpose. They're instantly hooked, especially the trio's unofficial leader, Stefano, and they soon escalate from petty crime to working on behalf of a mafia-style militia, bullying  and extorting money in Felix's name. But as Giuliano comes to realize, they don't know what they're fighting for—if they're even fighting for anything.

Notes for a War Story looks at life in a lawless, war-torn nation, heightened by the harsh, moving, pencil and watercolor artwork of Italy's best graphic novel author.

"In a nameless, wartorn, European country, three young men fall under the spell of Felix, a charismatic opportunist. Stefano, known as Little Killer, enthusiastically embraces Felix's lifestyle. Christian, an orphan, is just grateful to have a place to belong. Only Giuliano, an outsider by virtue of his more stable family, sometimes questions what they are doing. At Felix's behest, they engage in petty crime and profiteering, gradually escalating to violence. When Felix orders the three to head to the actual war zone, Giuliano realizes that they have no idea why they will be fighting and slips away to return home. Trying to find his feet in 'normal' life, he still feels ambivalent about his decision to abandon his friends. In this powerful graphic novel, award-winning Italian artist Gipi uses deceptively crude, black-and-white panels to portray a world sliding into chaos. Young men—for women appear only in the background—are left adrift as society unravels. Giuliano's recurring dream of headless men is a powerful metaphor both for the failure of those around him to think for themselves and for their lack of inner resources . . . Far from the fantasy world of many graphic novels, this volume will surprise and challenge readers."—VOYA

"Revisiting themes from his first American release, Garage Band, Italian writer and artist Gipi tells a much darker story of disassociated youth and the bonds of friendship. Giuliano, Christian, and Little Killer wander aimlessly about an unidentified Balkan country, avoiding the militia and the shelling that a ubiquitous war has brought to their homeland. When they get into the good graces of Felix, a charming, dangerous war profiteer, they become embroiled in his crime operations and sent to the big city, where their friendship and mettle are put to the test. As grim as could be, from the bleak narration to the intentionally gruesome, black-and-white art, War Story never loses track of the fact that these are children, swept up in a situation too difficult for most adults to grasp. Their youth—evidenced by their covetous enthusiasm for motorcycles and video games—exacerbates the class jealousies, which flair up repeatedly, and the braggadocio with which two of the trio head toward their disturbing and inevitable end."—Booklist

"On January 18th, in an unnamed Balkan country, war breaks out. Caught up in adolescence, Giuliano and his friends invent new measures of manhood. Can't walk calmly under threat of sniper fire? Points off. While trying to sell stolen goods, the budding criminals meet up with Felix. The epitome of 'man,' he is served well by the war. He exposes the teens to the lure of money, guns, and violence. Raised in a middle-class family, Giuliano struggles to fit in with his friends. Yet, he can't escape the nagging thought that it's not his war—neither the physical fighting nor the one that his friends are launching against their lower-class lives. As Little Killer and Christian race toward their fate, the protagonist must decide who he is . . . Gipi reveals the susceptible nature of teenagers during wartime. The oil drawings are tinged in gray, giving a sense of hopelessness as, years later, Giuliano doubts his decision. The all-male cast has sharp teeth and squinty eyes that reflect their rabid world . . . It's both a warning and an inevitable story about a boy becoming a man under the most extreme conditions."—Sadie Mattox, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, Georgia, School Library Journal

About the Author

Gipi's pencil and watercolor art is forceful, realistic, and evocative, the ideal medium for depicting the rough and raw subject matter of this graphic novel. Notes for a War won the "Best Book" prize at Angouleme, the international comics festival. First Second published his Garage Band in Spring 07.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596432611
Publisher:
First Second
Subject:
Graphic Novels - General
Translator:
Spectrum
Author:
Gipi
Subject:
CGN004000
Subject:
Balkan peninsula
Subject:
General
Subject:
Graphic Novels
Subject:
War
Subject:
Teenage boys
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Military
Subject:
War & Military
Subject:
Literary
Edition Description:
Graphic Novels
Publication Date:
20070831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
8.5 x 6.09 x 0.495 in
Age Level:
from 14 up to 19

Related Subjects

Biography » Reference
Business » Personal Finance
Children's » Comics and Graphic Novels » General
Engineering » Engineering » History
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Notes for a War Story
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 128 pages First Second - English 9781596432611 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Award-winning Italian graphic novelist Gipi (Garage Band, The Innocents) returns with this bleak tale of three young drifters making their way across the war-torn landscape of an unnamed Balkan country. Told from the point of view of protagonist Giuliano, the narrative traces his path as he is forced to go through the peripheral results of war as a deadening day-to-day struggle to find food and shelter while avoiding the occasional stray bullet. Falling in with Felix, a sleazy criminal kingpin, Giuliano and his companions soon serve as executors for Felix's extortion racket and later move up the underworld food chain into endeavors in a city removed from the hardships of the war, petty thuggery slowly escalating to murder. Gipi keeps the war itself off screen, instead allowing the conflict's effects upon the young men to play out in numb, soulless detail, a storytelling device that affords the tale a stark and depressing realism further driven home by the 'cartoony' illustrations. While not easy reading, the affecting story is made even more powerful by the understated execution. Winner of the Best Book prize at the Angoulme Comics Festival in 2005.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "As grim as could be, from the bleak narration to the intentionally gruesome, black-and-white art, War Story never loses track of the fact that these are children, swept up in a situation too difficult for most adults to grasp."
"Review" by , "Far from the fantasy world of many graphic novels, this volume will surprise and challenge readers."
"Synopsis" by ,
"The war arrived in our village on the 18th of January. Obviously there were other wars going on, but they didn't have anything to do with us. There were wars for blacks. Wars for Arabs. Wars for Slavs. Our war started on the 18th of January, and in a few days, everything had changed."

So recounts Giuliano, a loner among outsiders, one of three young drifters caught up in the whirlwind of a war in the Balkans. The three boys are like passing shadows; they live in abandoned houses, dodge the occasional bomb, and steal car parts for money. Meeting Felix--a powerful, fast-talking mercenary--changes everything for them. Felix is an expert manipulator; he speaks to their ambition and to their desires for power, wealth, and purpose. They're instantly hooked, especially the trio's unofficial leader, Stefano, and they soon escalate from petty crime to working on behalf of a mafia-style militia, bullying  and extorting money in Felix's name. But as Giuliano comes to realize, they don't know what they're fighting for--if they're even fighting for anything. 

 
Notes for a War Story is an astonishing look at life in a lawless, war-torn nation, heightened by the harsh, moving, pencil and watercolor artwork of Italy's best graphic novel author.

"Synopsis" by ,
"The war arrived in our village on the 18th of January. Obviously there were other wars going on, but they didnt have anything to do with us. There were wars for blacks. Wars for Arabs. Wars for Slavs. Our war started on the 18th of January, and in a few days, everything had changed."

So recounts Giuliano, a loner among outsiders, one of three young drifters caught up in the whirlwind of a war in the Balkans. The three boys are like passing shadows; they live in abandoned houses, dodge the occasional bomb, and steal car parts for money. Meeting Felix—a powerful, fast-talking mercenary—changes everything for them. Felix is an expert manipulator; he speaks to their ambition and to their desires for power, wealth, and purpose. They're instantly hooked, especially the trio's unofficial leader, Stefano, and they soon escalate from petty crime to working on behalf of a mafia-style militia, bullying  and extorting money in Felix's name. But as Giuliano comes to realize, they don't know what they're fighting for—if they're even fighting for anything. 

 
Notes for a War Story is an astonishing look at life in a lawless, war-torn nation, heightened by the harsh, moving, pencil and watercolor artwork of Italy's best graphic novel author.
Gipis pencil and watercolor art is forceful, realistic, and evocative, the ideal medium for depicting the rough and raw subject matter of this graphic novel. He is also the author of Garage Band.
A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
Winner of the Best Book prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival

"The war arrived in our village on the 18th of January. Obviously there were other wars going on, but they didnt have anything to do with us. There were wars for blacks. Wars for Arabs. Wars for Slavs. Our war started on the 18th of January, and in a few days, everything had changed."

So recounts Giuliano, a loner among outsiders, one of three young drifters caught up in the whirlwind of a war in the Balkans. The three boys are like passing shadows; they live in abandoned houses, dodge the occasional bomb, and steal car parts for money. Meeting Felix—a powerful, fast-talking mercenary—changes everything for them. Felix is an expert manipulator; he speaks to their ambition and to their desires for power, wealth, and purpose. They're instantly hooked, especially the trio's unofficial leader, Stefano, and they soon escalate from petty crime to working on behalf of a mafia-style militia, bullying  and extorting money in Felix's name. But as Giuliano comes to realize, they don't know what they're fighting for—if they're even fighting for anything.

Notes for a War Story looks at life in a lawless, war-torn nation, heightened by the harsh, moving, pencil and watercolor artwork of Italy's best graphic novel author.

"In a nameless, wartorn, European country, three young men fall under the spell of Felix, a charismatic opportunist. Stefano, known as Little Killer, enthusiastically embraces Felix's lifestyle. Christian, an orphan, is just grateful to have a place to belong. Only Giuliano, an outsider by virtue of his more stable family, sometimes questions what they are doing. At Felix's behest, they engage in petty crime and profiteering, gradually escalating to violence. When Felix orders the three to head to the actual war zone, Giuliano realizes that they have no idea why they will be fighting and slips away to return home. Trying to find his feet in 'normal' life, he still feels ambivalent about his decision to abandon his friends. In this powerful graphic novel, award-winning Italian artist Gipi uses deceptively crude, black-and-white panels to portray a world sliding into chaos. Young men—for women appear only in the background—are left adrift as society unravels. Giuliano's recurring dream of headless men is a powerful metaphor both for the failure of those around him to think for themselves and for their lack of inner resources . . . Far from the fantasy world of many graphic novels, this volume will surprise and challenge readers."—VOYA

"Revisiting themes from his first American release, Garage Band, Italian writer and artist Gipi tells a much darker story of disassociated youth and the bonds of friendship. Giuliano, Christian, and Little Killer wander aimlessly about an unidentified Balkan country, avoiding the militia and the shelling that a ubiquitous war has brought to their homeland. When they get into the good graces of Felix, a charming, dangerous war profiteer, they become embroiled in his crime operations and sent to the big city, where their friendship and mettle are put to the test. As grim as could be, from the bleak narration to the intentionally gruesome, black-and-white art, War Story never loses track of the fact that these are children, swept up in a situation too difficult for most adults to grasp. Their youth—evidenced by their covetous enthusiasm for motorcycles and video games—exacerbates the class jealousies, which flair up repeatedly, and the braggadocio with which two of the trio head toward their disturbing and inevitable end."—Booklist

"On January 18th, in an unnamed Balkan country, war breaks out. Caught up in adolescence, Giuliano and his friends invent new measures of manhood. Can't walk calmly under threat of sniper fire? Points off. While trying to sell stolen goods, the budding criminals meet up with Felix. The epitome of 'man,' he is served well by the war. He exposes the teens to the lure of money, guns, and violence. Raised in a middle-class family, Giuliano struggles to fit in with his friends. Yet, he can't escape the nagging thought that it's not his war—neither the physical fighting nor the one that his friends are launching against their lower-class lives. As Little Killer and Christian race toward their fate, the protagonist must decide who he is . . . Gipi reveals the susceptible nature of teenagers during wartime. The oil drawings are tinged in gray, giving a sense of hopelessness as, years later, Giuliano doubts his decision. The all-male cast has sharp teeth and squinty eyes that reflect their rabid world . . . It's both a warning and an inevitable story about a boy becoming a man under the most extreme conditions."—Sadie Mattox, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, Georgia, School Library Journal

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