Hostage

Hostage

Graphic Novel - 2017
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"In the middle of the night in 1997, Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André was kidnapped by armed men and taken away to an unknown destination in the Caucasus region. For three months, André was kept handcuffed in solitary confinement, with little to survive on and almost no contact with the outside world. Close to twenty years later, award-winning cartoonist Guy Delisle ... recounts André's harrowing experience in Hostage, a book that attests to the power of one man's determination in the face of a hopeless situation."--
Publisher: Montréal, Québec :, Drawn & Quarterly,, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781770462793
1770462791
Branch Call Number: GN DELI
Characteristics: 432 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Dascher, Helge 1965-- Translator

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emilyklapstein
Sep 10, 2019

Great book

e
Eloquentress
May 21, 2019

I finished reading this in Dec. 2017, a stimulating comic novel, Hostage by Quebec cartoonist Guy Delisle that was featured on the paper back in MAY. I tore off that article and kept it with me. A few months later, I borrowed the book from the library, and was surprised to see the book thick.

This is a graphic biography that recounts the story of Christophe André, a French aid-worker who was abducted in Nazran in the summer of 1997, and his experience being tied to a radiator inside an empty room in Chechnya. For 400+ pages of panels, I felt as trapped as Christophe, especially reading his narrative in the events of his inactivity. There was a scene where the opportunity of escape presented itself, and I gasped, "OMG" loudly as I read that in the train. It was suspenseful. I recommend picking this up if you're into light reading. Definitely a page turner.

JCLIanH Jun 06, 2018

Just your average story of a Doctors Without Borders worker kidnapped by Chechen rebels and held hostage. Christophe Andre spends the first couple weeks of his hostage situation assured that his release is in the process of being arranged. But the book is 430 pages long and you can see that it's going to be a while and, yeah. This is a totally harrowing and amazing story that puts you right in the terrifying drudgery of being chained to a radiator and not knowing if you will be released or taken out into the middle of nowhere and shot. Delisle perfectly capture's Christophe Andre's spirit and resolve, and his pacing is incredible. We spend so much time locked up with Andre, that when the endgame is suddenly upon us it is absolutely exhilarating (much like the scene of Andre coming across a clove of garlic after months of eating nothing but thin vegetable soup). My heart was pounding out of my chest. It's outstanding stuff, and easily my favorite book of the year so far.

j
joshua7279
Dec 20, 2017

An interesting look into what its like to be a hostage. It's fascinating to see how he kept himself together mentally through the whole ordeal.

m
MelissaBee
Oct 10, 2017

Guy Delisle is a favorite graphic novelist of mine, both for his fresh and accessible illustrations as well as his clear and inquisitive voice . I consider him a fine journalist in both senses of the word--as an avid observer and chronicler of his own everyday life and as a reporter detailing the political and social landscapes of the many non-western locations he has spent time in, seeking to understand peoples and places.

"Hostage" is a bit of a diversion from this tradition in that the author himself does not appear in the story and not much detail is provided about the people or the political atmosphere in which the action takes place. Rather, Delisle focuses claustrophobically on the experience of captivity as lived by Christophe Andre, an administrator with a humanitarian NGO, kidnapped in Ingushetia and held in Chechnya in 1997. As I read, I often found myself wishing for more context for the story, but I grew to appreciate Delisle's decision to focus strictly on the feeling life of Andre as he endured the boredom, pain, and uncertainty of his situation. Delisle's sparse, shadowed drawings echo the emptiness of Andre's existence as he attempts to survive not only the constraint of his physical body, as he is kept handcuffed to a radiator or locked in a closet, but also the worry that eats at his wellbeing as his mind tries desperately to make sense of his situation, working on any little bit of information to try to make a picture of when his suffering might end. As a very casual student of mindfulness, I could not help but notice Andre's valiant struggle to keep his mind from increasing the pain he already felt due to circumstances he could not control.

This book may not capture the reader looking for a fast paced story or a more fact filled description of the events in Chechnya that occur in parallel to this account, but the reader who enjoys exploring the human condition, especially how we may survive events we can not control, will find this book of interest.

librarymovieguy Jun 28, 2017

Don't let the 432 page length deter you--you'll turn them very quickly. Guy Delisle is a bare-bones storyteller here. An outstanding graphic novel.

k
kwsmith
Jun 25, 2017

In 1997, Christophe André was working as an administrator for Médecins Sans Frontières in Ingushetia before he was kidnapped by armed militia living across the border in Chechnya. This book details the three months that Christophe spent chained to an iron radiator before his daring escape. Guy Delisle is a master observer of places and people so his art style beautifully captures the dramatic isolation and fear that Christophe experienced during captivity.

s
sat_a2z
Jun 10, 2017

Long but worth reading; graphic retelling of the experience (and escape!) of a hostage.

kim_biblio Jun 07, 2017

Incredibly emotionally claustrophobic. Amazing read.

m
mclarjh
Jun 07, 2017

Usual great drawings and dialogue. But the story, by necessity, is boring, taking place almost entirely inside with little action or conversation.

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SpartanPalace
Jul 26, 2018

SpartanPalace thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over

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