Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth—and frailty—of their connection.
At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.
I think that readers who are tempted to dip their toes in graphic novel waters may want to give Habibi a try. Thompson's longer format may be more appealing to those used to traditional books. Also, the drawings in this book are exquisite! Each page is extremely detailed in this tome...language swirls into art which transforms into religious stories.
However, be aware that this is a dark adventure story...a sobering tale of Dodola and Zam trying to avoid enslavement. There are a lot of issues brought forth in this tale such as poverty and power struggles. The most blatant issue to me while reading Habibi was that of gender conflict - which manifested in the story through physical trauma (FYI for the squeamish: there's lots of sexual violence in this book).
Recommended For Those:
- In the mood for a heavier/dark read
- Who enjoy graphic novels (the illustrations will blow you away).
- Who like Middle Eastern settings
- Who are attracted to stories of struggle and overcoming of squalid circumstances
Oh, and don't forget that my Follower Appreciation Giveaway ends in 5 days!