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Alan's War

by Emmanuel Guibert

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Alan's War (1-3 in English), La Guerre d'Alan (omni)

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2211793,555 (3.92)10
Memoir of an American soldier fighting in Europe in World War II, done in the style of a graphic novel.

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» See also 10 mentions

English (14)  French (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
A very beautifully and subtly illustrated account of an ordinary soldier's experiences in the late stages of the war. The text is drawn directly from interviews the artist did with the elderly veteran (they became friends in the 1990s) and the story is very low-key and often moving. Very interesting watercolor/ink wash techniques used in the art, worth looking at the videos on Youtube of how Guibert works. ( )
  francoisvigneault | May 17, 2021 |
Memoir as matter of fact revalation told through simple yet involving art in graphic novel form. Cope's memories of WWII involve very little actual combat but reveal a lot about the other aspects of army life at that time. Most of the memories are brief but add up on the whole to a life in progress. The novel in most linear though there are some dips here and there to earlier and later in the subject's life. Some of the moments shared are pivotal to that life, others merely gentle revalations of what it is to be human. The simple images are like a framework that the reader is encouraged to fill in with their own take on the memory--as a reader of any novel creates their own images. And of course the war of the title does not only refer to WWII but also struggles of identity involving religion and nationality. A good read, like a long, comfortable conversation drifting into the wee hours of the morning. ( )
  KurtWombat | Sep 15, 2019 |
Dull as dishwater. ( )
  bostonbibliophile | Jan 14, 2018 |
Beautiful drawings and great snippets of life and history. You shouldn't expect a tight overarching story-arc, though it does take you through some very significant parts of Alan Copes' life from his beginnings as a soldier through to getting old and seeing his friends also get old.

The episodic nature of the story-telling meant it was easy to put down at points and I can imagine not necessarily getting round to picking it up immediately, but the fantastic drawings and anecdotal materials means you could dip into it any time. ( )
  comixminx | Apr 5, 2013 |
I confess to not finishing this. I'm afraid that Alan's war was too personal, too microcosmic to hold my interest for long enough to hook me. I wanted to like it more than I did. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
It's a picaresque memoir of a Californian soldier who was shipped to Europe during the last days of WWII, just in time to see the comic, banal, and wrenching scenes associated with the wind-down of hostilities.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Oct 28, 2008)
Die Geschichte erzählt die Erlebnisse vom Soldat Alan Cope, einem Amerikaner aus Kalifornien. Die Berichte sind von seinem Leben mehr als aus dem Krieg. Der Krieg ist hier Metaphor für Leben. Alan Cope, als er 18 Jahre wurde, wird er in zweiten Weltkrieg einberufen. Er wird eine Ausbildung als Funker in Armee gelernt und wird eigentlich nicht in realität gegen Nazis gekämpft. Der Kampf ist der Kampf von seines Lebens, mit Alles und gegen Alles. Er wird mit seine erste Liebe beschäftigen, mit viele anderen ersten Erfahrungen kämpfen. Von Charakter des Alans Cope hat man gefüfht, diese Lechtigkeit des Seins. Er erzählt das ganze Leben über alltäglichen Erlebnissen. Er würde nicht nur über alltägliche Erlebnissen erzählen, sondern auch über Banalitäten, die er erfuhr. Die Geschichte schreibt über der Leute, der Cope auf dem Weg, im Zug, oder zufällig an der Straße traf. Es ist interessant, die Entwicklung von verschiedenen Charakteren in ungefähr 30 Jahren zu beobachten. Das Buch ist ein beobachtender Dokumentation. Auch die Skizzen sind ausführlich skizziert, wie ist für Emanuel Guibert schon charakteristich, fehlt nicht das Foto von Charakteren des Buches.

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emmanuel Guibertprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pulver, KathrynTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When I turned eighteen,

Uncle Sam said

he'd like me to put on a uniform

and go fight a guy by the name of Adolf.

So I did.

Alan Ingram Cope
Alan wanted this book to be deicated to the memory of his grandmother, Ione Ingram
I dedicate it to my parents,

Jean and Jacqueline.
First words
I met Alan Cope by chance, asking him for directions on the street. (Preface, 2007)
I remember the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Originally published in French in three volumes.  All three were united in Alan's War.
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Wikipedia in English


Memoir of an American soldier fighting in Europe in World War II, done in the style of a graphic novel.

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Book description
“When I was eighteen, Uncle Sam told me he’d like me to put on a uniform and go off to fight a guy by the name of Adolf. So I did.”


When Alan Cope joined the army and went off to fight in World War II, he had no idea what he was getting into.  This graphic memoir is the story of his life during wartime, a story told with poignant intimacy and matchless artistry. 


Across a generation, a deep friendship blossomed between Alan Cope and author/artist Emmanuel Guibert. From it, Alan’s War was born – a graphic novel that is a deeply personal and moving experience, straight from the heart of the Greatest Generation – a unique piece of WWII literature and a ground-breaking graphic memoir.

[retrieved 10/27/2014 from Amazon.com]
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