I think this is going to be my last book review for the year 🙂 I was hoping to finish forty books this year, but because I had two not-so-good reading months in succession, I couldn’t get there. But thirty-six is not a bad number – it is better than last year 🙂
I discovered ‘Exit Wounds’ by Rutu Modan through Bina from ‘If You Can Read This’, who recommended it highly. As I haven’t read a book by an Israeli author before and as this was a graphic novel too, I couldn’t resist it. I finished reading it in nearly a day. Here is the review.
Summary of the story
I am giving below a summary of the story as given in the back cover of the book.
In modern-day Tel Aviv, a young man, Koby Franco, receives an urgent phone call from a female soldier named Numi. Learning that his estranged father may have been a victim of a suicide bombing in Hadera, Koby reluctantly joins Numi in searching for clues. As Koby tries to unravel the mystery of his missing father, he finds himself not only piecing together the last few months of his father’s life, but his entire identity.
What I think
‘Exit Wounds’ is the story of a quest – a quest for a missing person, a quest to discover secrets and also in some ways a quest for love. When Koby and Numi go on this quest, they discover interesting surprises and also strange things happen to them, as can happen to two people who work closely together when they go on a quest. What is Numi’s relationship to Koby’s father? What secrets do they discover about Koby’s father? What does the quest do to them individually and to their friendship (or should I say acquaintance)? For answers to these you have to read the book 🙂
‘Exit Wounds’ was named as one of the top 10 graphic novels by Time magazine in 2007. A richly deserved accolade. The illustrations in the book are interesting – Rutu Modan uses simple lines and also the artwork is in colour, which is rare for a graphic novel (well, not really rare, but graphic novels seem to be in black-and-white by default. I have read just two graphic novels in colour – ‘V for Vendetta’ and ‘Logicomix’. ‘Asterios Polyp’ was also in colour, but it was not ‘colour-colour’ :))
‘Exit Wounds’ reminded me in some ways of the movie ‘Random Hearts’ (starring Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas) where the two leading characters go on a quest and are afraid of what they might discover.
‘Exit Wounds’ was originally published by Drawn and Quarterly, the same company which published the ‘Berlin‘ series by Jason Lutes. They seem to be publishers of fine graphic novels, going by the evidence of these two books. My own edition is published by Jonathan Cape (I am glad that they didn’t change the title and the cover!) – I am surprised that Jonathan Cape is publishing graphic novels now! It is really wonderful!
I loved the character Numi – she was cool, she didn’t give up till she found the answers, she was positive in her search and she had a wonderful sense of humour. One of my favourite scenes was towards the end of the book – it shows why Numi is such a wonderful character. I am trying to give an excerpt here. It is a bit spoilerish, and so be sufficiently forewarned.
I enjoyed reading ‘Exit Wounds’. Rutu Modan is clearly a very talented writer and artist. I can’t wait to explore her other books.