Friday, 19 November 2010

Objects of Desire; Barefoot Gen 1 - 10

This is Keiji Nakazawa’s all-ages but still powerful account of the bombing of Hiroshima and the aftermath. I encountered the first two volumes of this over twenty years ago when Penguin planned to translate the entire series but stopped after only two volumes, much to my frustration. In recent years, Last Gasp has re-translated the books and, this time, published them all, thank the Lord.

Barefoot Gen is made all the more powerful due to Nakazawa having been in Hiroshima during the bombing at the end of the war. The book recounts his own experiences as well as those of others through the characters of Gen and his friends. The stories are devastating, when I re-read the opening volumes three years ago I was crying within twenty pages and the Americans hadn’t even dropped the bomb at this point, but also life affirming thanks to the exuberance and determination of the young cast. It’s a series of books that absolutely should be read by everyone.

Budgetary stats: All of the volumes seem to be available from
Amazon, averaging at about £10 each. Forbidden Planet UK don’t currently have them all but those they do have retail for £7.58 each plus post and packing.

1 comment:

  1. For some reason, I have never read any of these but they are also books that I desire!