The Arrival

Monday, February 7, 2011


The Arrival

by Shaun Tan
★★★★

This was my first experience with a wordless graphic novel. It takes some serious talent to portray a complicated story of one man’s journey to a new world and his struggles there without using a single word, but Tan does it beautifully.


(Illustration from the Graphic novel)

The illustrations are mesmerizing. They walk you through the story of a man leaving his wife and child to immigrant to a foreign futuristic land. Even though the creatures and buildings look like something from a sci-fi film, you can still immediately recognize their equivalent to Ellis Island.

The main character is working to make a new home for his family, just as so many real life immigrants have done. Tan captures feelings of loneliness and hope on each page and the story transcends dialogue. If you’ve never experienced a wordless GN I’d definitely recommend this one.

10 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I am completely besotted with graphic novels, and can't wait until the TBR Dare is finished so I can go pillage my library again. This one has been on my radar...the illustrations are just breathtaking.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

A wordless graphic novel?!?!? =D The whole concept sounds fantastic! And I totally believe what you say about the story transcending dialogue: that single picture you've included in this review really is worth those thousand words!

Kristi said...

I had no idea that such wordless graphic novels even existed. That sounds fascinating. I have only read one graphic novel and enjoyed the experience. I really need to read more. I'll have to try out some of the wordless ones as well. Maybe I'll start with this one.

Jessica said...

I have had this for a long time and its a beautiful book. Surprising though that you really have to carefully look through it to get everything.

Nymeth said...

Such a beautiful book.

Brenna said...

I've never heard of a wordless graphic novel. I'm intrigued.

Charley said...

My favorite image from this book was the one with the two people in the boats shaking hands.

Elisabeth said...

I love, love this book! Tan's other books are good as well!

Avid Reader said...

I was a bit skeptical of a wordless graphic novel at first. Really, isn't that just a picture book? Then I read it and I was so moved by the images and the story. I can't wait to read more from Tan.

Amanda said...

I adored this one!!