Monday, June 21, 2010

Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan

I loved the colors of Exit Wounds. All that red contrasted with muted Ikea colors really suctioned my eye to the page.

The story--a man, Koby, is contacted by a young woman, Numi, who claims his absent father was killed in a cafeteria bombing and convinces him to go on a reluctant journey to find the truth—had its weaknesses, especially in the character development and plotting areas, but it moved along swiftly and I kept wanting to know what happened next.

For an outsider, Exit Wounds gave some insight into Jewish life in Israel through characters’ casual conversation. There is a running gag throughout the book about bombings—where the Hadera bombing that that two are investigating keeps getting confused with a larger one in a town called Haifa-- that shows the way a culture accommodates regular, extreme, violence into everyday life by becoming matter-a-fact about it. We also peek into the food, topography and customs of Israel, including a very unusual scene, to my American sensibilities, in which a man identifies his father, a bombing victim, by his ears over CC tv, then requests a video of the body for his mother.

Sometimes Modan’s detailing of faces in Exit Wounds veers towards cartoon-y, which undermines the character work she does, especially with the women in Numi’s family. This jars with the serious tone of the work and pulled me right out of the story in some cases.

I borrowed Exit Wounds from the library, and based on it, would check out more of Modan’s work in the same way.

*photo from drawn & quarterly

1 comment:

Derek Neuland said...

I've always wanted to read Exit Wounds. The art looks amazing. Your review made me want to rush out and buy it now! Thanks :)