Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Title:       Pride of Baghdad
Author:   Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon
Rating:   ★★★★1/2
Availability: Fully BookedBook Depository | Barnes & Noble |Amazon

I haven't read since Thursday last week because I've been busy then I discovered the TV show gem that is Forever, and since Monday night I've started watching from episode 2 to the latest. My sister and I are definitely hooked.

After watching the heart-thumping 20th episode, I was looking to read something that would make me happy until I fall asleep. My friend had recommended Pride of Baghdad to me, so I started reading.

From one of America’s most critically acclaimed graphic novel writers – inspired by true events, a startlingly original look at life on the streets of Baghdad during the Iraq War.

In his award-winning work on Y THE LAST MAN and EX MACHINA (one of Entertainment Weekly’s 2005 Ten Best Fiction titles), writer Brian K. Vaughan has displayed an understanding of both the cost of survival and the political nuances of the modern world. Now, in this provocative graphic novel, Vaughan examines life on the streets of war-torn Iraq.

In the spring of 2003, a pride of lions escaped from the Baghdad zoo during an American bombing raid. Lost and confused, hungry but finally free, the four lions roamed the decimated streets of Baghdad in a desperate struggle for their lives. In documenting the plight of the lions, PRIDE OF BAGHDAD raises questions about the true meaning of liberation – can it be given or is it earned only through self-determination and sacrifice? And in the end, is it truly better to die free than to live life in captivity?

Based on a true story, VAUGHAN and artist NIKO HENRICHON (Barnum!) have created a unique and heartbreaking window into the nature of life during wartime, illuminating this struggle as only the graphic novel can.

I wanted to throw my reader afterwards! Don't get me wrong--it was awfully good. Too good, in fact, that it broke my heart.

I thought Pride of Baghdad was about the fight to survival between animals once they are freed. Then I thought that it was sort of like Planet of the Apes where the animals learn to overthrow all humans. Then I thought it was about the survival of animals after the end of the world.

Fie on me for not reading the synopsis, but I'm glad I didn't read know what I was getting into beforehand or I wouldn't have read it. Pride of Baghdad is heart-wrenching. It reminded me that not only humans are affected by wars. And that sometimes, we are so defensive and live in so much fear that we tend to hurt those who are only also trying to survive.

I was looking for something that made me happy -- I guess in a way Pride of Baghdad did make me happy. It reminded me of my humanity, of the fragility of life, of my emotions -- which is something I've been trying to run away from for the past few weeks.

Sometimes we end up reading something so unexpected that touches our hearts. The last time this happened to me was Thirteen Reasons Why.

I may not have found what I've been really looking for (which is fluffy happiness) but I found something so much more. Thank you, Brian and Niko, for Pride of Baghdad.

When was the last time a book really touched your heart?

**Quickstop Tuesdays is a feature in My Book Musings where I review books/comic books/graphic novels that have less than 200 pages, on Tuesdays.