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Chicken With Plums by Marjane Satrapi
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Chicken With Plums (2004)

by Marjane Satrapi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8363710,778 (3.65)42

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This review and others posted over at my blog

From the back of the book: We are in Tehran in 1958, and Nasser Ali Kahn, one of Iran’s most revered tar players, discovers that his beloved instrument is irreparably damaged. Though he tries, he cannot find one to replace it. In despair, he takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all its pleasures, closing the door on the demands and love of his wife and children.

Nasser Ali selfishly decides to die, but before he does so, he reflects back on his life and we are given a look into his thoughts during the eight days before he passes. This book was fantastically dark and depressing, yet also very poignant and revealing. I didn’t know whether to like Nasser Ali or not – but he felt so human. He plays favorites with his children, argues with his wife, can’t get over the girl who got away, resents his brother for being their mother’s favorite. What shocked me most was the fact that music was such a large part of his life and when he couldn’t find a replacement tar he literally decided to die and die he did! Satrapi packed a lot of emotion into just 84 pages, primarily doing so through her illustrations. I have a lot of respect for her as an author and I’d be hard pressed to say whether I enjoyed this or her Persepolis stories more. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Sep 20, 2014 |
It's impossible for me to dislike anything Satrapi's created but this beautifully told and illustrated tale was spoiled by my intense dislike of the protagonist. ( )
  Ceilidhann | Sep 20, 2013 |
A tale of death from a broken heart beautifully told. ( )
  AmyMacEvilly | Sep 5, 2013 |
pretty good. ( )
  mahallett | Mar 31, 2013 |
A bit disappointed actually. I really adored Persepolis and was probably expecting the same kind of storytelling here, but I felt very meh about the main character Nassir (Satrapi's musician uncle who died over love and music). I was anticipating a much better story, but I kind of really disliked the mopy and rather shallow Nassir. He was probably much more complex than the novel suggested, so maybe it was a case of too much story told in too few pages. ( )
  h_d | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Nasser is also visited by his children and his brother, thinks about the pleasures of the world — including his favorite dish, which gives the book its title — and reviews old hurts to his reputation and how others treated him. His suicide through neglect is a bit over-glamorized here, but it raises important questions of the nature of suffering in art.
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marjane Satrapiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Singh, AnjaliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Téhéran 1958
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375424156, Hardcover)

In her acclaimed Persepolis books and in Embroideries, Marjane Satrapi rendered the events of her life and times in a uniquely captivating and powerful voice and vision. Now she turns that same keen eye and ear to the heartrending story of her great-uncle, a celebrated Iranian musician who gave up his life for music and love.

We are in Tehran in 1958, and Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran’s most revered tar players, discovers that his beloved instrument is irreparably damaged. Though he tries, he cannot find one to replace it, one whose sound speaks to him with the same power and passion with which his music speaks to others. In despair, he takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all its pleasures, closing the door on the demands and love of his wife and his four children. Over the course of the week that follows, his family and close friends attempt to change his mind, but Nasser Ali slips further and further into his own reveries: flashbacks and flash-forwards (with unexpected appearances by the likes of the Angel of Death and Sophia Loren) from his own childhood through his children’s futures. And as the pieces of his story slowly fall into place, we begin to understand the profundity of his decision to give up life.

Marjane Satrapi brings what has become her signature humor, insight, and generosity to this emotional tale of life and death, and the courage and passion both require of us. The poignant story of one man, it is also a story of stunning universality–and an altogether luminous work.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The author relates the story of her great-uncle, Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran's most acclaimed musicians, who discovers that his beloved instrument has been irrevocably damaged and renounces the world, its pleasures, and life itself.

» see all 2 descriptions

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