Drawn & Quarterly

May 12, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Find It At: AMAZON

In the dead of night on July 2, 1997, a group of men kicked in the door to Christophe André's room, dragged him out of bed, shoved him into a car, and drove off. What began as a bewildering, confusing few minutes soon proved to be an experience far more harrowing. André, a young man on a Doctors Without Borders service mission, had been kidnapped from his NGO compound in the Russian republic of Ingushetia and smuggled into Chechnya. He would spend the next six months locked in various tiny, dark rooms, often chained to the floor with no freedom to even stand except when released to eat and use the restroom. Guy Delisle's Hostage is the gripping account of André's struggle to maintain his wits throughout his seemingly inexplicable and unending ordeal.

In his author's note, Delisle writes that Hostage took him a decade and a half to produce. The book's superb script, expert pacing, and simple yet evocative visuals are a testament to the fact that Delisle failed to overlook no detail in those 15 years. Setting a 430 page graphic novel in essentially just a few roomsand, frankly, almost entirely in one man's headis no simple feat. It requires mastery and a stylistic approach far harder to achieve than to envision. Yet, Delisle deftly crafts the tale of André's saga, employing a vast gamut of angles, shading, and depth throughout, rendering each panel uniqueeven when many of them depict André chained in the same position. Hostage is as riveting as it is flawlessly executed. This will surely prove one of the best graphic novels of 2017. (

Author rating: 8/10

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