Hostage

Guy Delisle

Book - 2017

"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 ma...n's determination in the face of a hopeless situation"--

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Subjects
Genres
Graphic novels France
Graphic novels
Published
[Montreal, Quebec] : Drawn & Quarterly 2017.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
French
Item Description
Translation of: S'enfuir.
Physical Description
432 pages : chiefly color illustrations, color map ; 23 cm
Awards
A Junior Library Guild selection, August 2017.
ISBN
9781770462793
1770462791
Main Author
Guy Delisle (author)
Other Authors
Helge Dascher, 1965- (translator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

In a departure from his acclaimed graphic travel memoirs, French cartoonist Delisle relates the harrowing experience of Christophe André, a Doctors Without Borders administrator working in the Caucasus in 1997, who was kidnapped in the middle of the night. For three months, he was kept handcuffed to a radiator in solitary confinement, unable to communicate with his Russian-speaking captors. Except at mealtimes, André is alone with his thoughts, left to wonder if his employers and family have even been contacted by his abductors. For this straightforward account of André's ordeal, Delisle moderates his usual cartoony style, befitting the grim situation. Although the confined setting limits the graphic possibilities, Delisle maintains visual interest by varying angles and panel sizes. At any rate, most of the narrative is conveyed through captions filled with André's increasingly despairing interior monologues. While Delisle's fans may miss the quirky observations and idiosyncratic touches of his darkly comic travelogues, the drama of his riveting depiction of André's struggle to stave off hopelessness holds equal appeal. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In 1997, Christophe André was working in Chechnya for Doctors Without Borders when armed men kidnapped him. Based on André's firsthand account, prize-winning cartoonist Delisle's (Jerusalem: Chronicle from the Holy City) work depicts the entire ordeal, as André is held in solitary confinement with almost no contact with the outside world for three months. This may be the most suspenseful book you'll ever read in which very little happens—André spends most of his days ruminating on his kidnappers' motivations, thinking about his family, and trying to find a comfortable position to sit with one arm chained to a wall. And yet the story is a true page-turner, as Delisle brings the reader so fully into André's world that a simple change in his routine becomes either harrowing or hopeful, and the mundane details of his daily existence, saving a piece of bread from his morning meal for a snack, enjoying some music drifting through the wall into his cell, become heroic acts of defiance. VERDICT Delisle's previous books have gained him a loyal following among fans of highbrow cartooning, but this may be the masterpiece that elevates his name to the ranks of legends such as Art Spiegelman and Lynda Barry.—TB Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Delisle (Jerusalem) departs from his usual subjects and artistic style in this quietly powerful graphic "as told to" hostage story. Christophe André, a volunteer with Médecins San Frontières in Chechnya, was kidnapped on July 2, 1997, and held for 111 days. Handcuffed and isolated for almost all his captivity, he can only speculate on his fate and the possible progress of imagined negotiations. A change in his food, such as that brought by some stolen garlic, is a high point, as are the few occasions on which his captors share a drink or bring him out of his room to watch television. Despite the lack of action, Christophe is an admirable figure, facing boredom, fear, and a complete lack of information about his status for months while managing to keep his head and, eventually, rescue himself. Delisle perfectly captures his subject's inner monologue of pep talks and mental diversions, creating an indelible portrait of an ordinary person facing a frightening ordeal. (May) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Recounts, in graphic novel format, the harrowing story of Christophe Andrâe, an administer with Doctors without Borders who was kidnapped and held by armed men while working in the Caucasus region.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In this graphic novel, the best-selling author and artist behind Pyongyang recounts the harrowing story of Christophe André who was kidnapped and held by armed men while he was working for Doctors without Borders in the Caucasus region.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

APPEARED ON BEST OF THE YEAR LISTS FROM NPR, WASHINGTON POST, PASTE, AND MORE!How does one survive when all hope is lost?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 (Pyongyang, Jerusalem, Shenzhen, Burma Chronicles) 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.Marking a departure from the author’s celebrated first-person travelogues, Delisle tells the story through the perspective of the titular captive, who strives to keep his mind alert as desperation starts to set in. Working in a pared down style with muted color washes, Delisle conveys the psychological effects of solitary confinement, compelling us to ask ourselves some difficult questions regarding the repercussions of negotiating with kidnappers and what it really means to be free. Thoughtful, intense, and moving, Hostage takes a profound look at what drives our will to survive in the darkest of moments.