The Jewish Chronicle reviews Exit Wounds

Vivid pictures of violent street life

The Jewish Chronicle    |    The Jewish Chronicle Staff    |    February 23, 2007

Brownsville, by Neil Kleid and Jake Allen, dramatises the history of Jewish gangsters in New York City from the 1920s to the 1950s. Exit Wounds, the first graphic novel from award-winning Israeli artist Rutu Modan, depicts how a bombing up-ends the life of a Tel Aviv taxi driver. Both graphic novels explore family connections, especially relationships between fathers and sons.

[D+Q excerpt:]

Rutu Modan’s book, Exit Wounds is also about families, but set in contemporary Israel. It focuses on a son’s search for his missing father.

Koby Franco is told by a female soldier that his estranged father may have been the victim of a bombing in Hadera: a body remains unclaimed and unidentified since the incident.

Moved into contacting his father after a silence of many years, Koby finds his father’s phone line disconnected and his apartment empty. As Koby then tries to discover whether or not the badly burned body could be his father, his search reveals his father’s proclivity for detachment and disappearance.

Ultimately, it changes how Koby views his father, his background, and his own identity. Modan creates a portrait of a dispersed, dysfunctional family, and, at the same time, one of modern Israel — a place where violence and political events disrupt and transform the lives of individuals.

Modan has said that Natalia Ginzburg inspired the way that she tells stories and Ginzburg’s influence is certainly evident in Exit Wounds.

This is a satisfying graphic novel of suspense and mystery containing stories of love and families, one beginning as another ends.

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