Thursday, December 6, 2012

Barefoot Gen, Volume One- Keiji Nakazawa

Title: Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon story of Hiroshima
Author: Keji Nakazawa
Source: Bought new
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

This harrowing story of Hiroshima was one of the original Japanese manga series. New and unabridged, this is an all-new translation of the author's first-person experiences of Hiroshima and its aftermath, is a reminder of the suffering war brings to innocent people. Its emotions and experiences speak to children and adults everywhere. Volume one of this ten-part series details the events leading up to and immediately following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

This book was hard to find. I searched my library and they didn't have it and none of my local book stores carried it. I finally found it through Chapters, but I had to order it online. I originally heard about this from The Claude Reads. She gave it such an amazing review that I knew I had to read it. 

It took me a little while to get into this book, there is a lot of back story to get through, and there is a lot of characters to remember but once I got past that it got really good. It was really sad. The visual section of the book really added to the story, it made it seem to much more real. Gen takes a little time to get used to, he seems a little selfish. His father raises his children to believe that the war is a waste of time and that everyone should be treated equally. He is punished and called a traitor. The children and everyone else in the country are starving and suffering from malnutrition due to the fact that there was not enough food to go around. 

The part that really got to me about this story is it is an autobiography. I love historical novels but this one made me especially sad. I have watched a few documentaries on Hiroshima but I still cannot comprehend how someone could do this to another human being. The bomb "little boy" was dropped on civilians, women and children were killed and the after affects of the bomb were horrendous. People suffered from radiation poisoning which caused issues for generations.

I want to continue with this series, I believe the second book is a continuation of the story after the atomic bomb has been dropped.  I hope that I get completely absorbed into the book like I did with this one. I read it in an afternoon. 

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