Exit Wounds

Title: Exit Wounds
Author: Rutu Modan
Pub Date: December 2008
Pages: 168
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fiction

Koby is a cab driver in modern Tel Aviv. He's twenty-something and lives with his aunt and uncle. From first appearances, it seems fair to assume that Koby has little aspirations. Life's not very interesting, and he's pretty okay with that.

Then one afternoon someone makes a call requesting him as their driver. He drives up to the location to meet Nuni, a young female soldier, who believes that Koby's father was killed in a bombing at the train station. This causes Koby's world to come crashing down, not specifically because his father might be dead, but because he hasn't really had a relationship with him in years.

Nuni, his father's younger lover, begs Koby to assist her in seeking answers about his mysterious disappearance. Koby is resistant at first, he is still angry at his father and questions how he might feel finding out if his dad really was dead. Still, after finding out from his sister that she hadn't talked to him in three months and going to his father's apartment only to find it trashed and dishevled, he agrees to help for a bit.

Both Koby and Nuni make discoveries over the course of the following weeks - about themselves, each other, and their relationship with Koby's dad.

This isn't really a political graphic novel, even though the story line is embedded within political events, but rather, it is a story of a young man who has to deal with the realization that you can love someone that you don't necessarily like.

My Thoughts?

I'm feeling a little lukewarm about this novel. There were many things that I gave kudos for, mainly how the relationship between Koby and his father is portrayed. I really thought that the emotional processes (or lack of at times) were fairly normal. Through the graphics, behaviors, and dialogue, Modan did an effortless job at "showing not telling".

Alternatively, I wanted a bit more exposition than what I was getting. I wanted the backdrop, so to speak. I wanted to know more about the dad and his life. Ultimately, I wanted to be more inside the head of the character's. (Or at least Koby).

I had no idea what to expect when picking this one up from the library. As I began reading it, however, I truly appreciated that it didn't become "political". Hmmm....I'm not quite sure how to put this, I guess, it's like, I know there's a lot going on in the middle east, but I would hate to live anywhere and be identified by my country's conflict all the time, you know? I'd like someone to tell a tale about a human experience that anyone could relate to, even if bombs are going off in the background, because those human dysfunctions still exist. This graphic novel does just that.

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