The Arrival

“Tan’s lovingly laid out and masterfully rendered tale about the immigrant experience is a documentary magically told.” — Art Spiegelman, author of Maus
“An absolute wonder.” — Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis
“A magical river of strangers and their stories!” — Craig Thompson, author of Blankets
“A shockingly imaginative graphic novel that captures the sense of adventure and wonder that surrounds a new arrival on the shores of a shining new city. Wordless, but with perfect narrative flow, Tan gives us a story filled with cityscapes worthy of Winsor McCay.” — Jeff Smith, author of Bone

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13 thoughts on “The Arrival

  1. Mrs Harris
    This is a beautifully crafted book and I loved it. It is obvious that the author has spent hours upon hours considering how best to convey the story through pictures without hindering or constraining the reader’s imagination to create their own story.

    I am far more used to reading books with words, where what is written down is the story. In this book I took time to consider different interpretations of the pictures, questioning my first response and actively deciding if that is how the story actually played out. I found myself deeply involved with the characters, just as if there were words – which was quite a surprise to me.

    This book made me think: about what was the oppressive power that caused the family to emigrate; what had happened to them before the main character left and how did their lives continue once reunited.

    I felt relief at the ‘happy’ ending and the sense that there are ordinary people helping others but was left with a sense that perhaps we should all do more to help those people who find themselves a long way from home.

  2. Anastacia 8T
    The Arrival is a spectacular graphic novel. The sad yet real tale of an immigrant is something that needed to be told, and Shaun Tan did a spectacular job at it. Not only was the main story line moving but the extra stories of children forced to go into child labor, war and fear, were an incredibly moving touch. Of course the story is up for the readers personal interpretation and with detailed drawings like these every single different story is bound to be a beautiful one. The struggle of this immigrants life. The end of this story truly made me smile. They aren’t just pictures, these have the power to change the way people think. I would thoroughly recommend this book, I am so glad I read it myself.

  3. This book is great as it allows the reader to interpret the story line in his own way.
    It is one of the few graphic novels that I have read but I think that they are just as fascinating.

    Arrival is amazing. As it is one of the few picture books that I have read I think that in some ways it is even more detailed than a book, ‘a picture tells a thousand words’. This lets the reader interpret the storyline in his own way from the brilliantly illustrated pictures which I think is fantastic.
    I definitely recommend it for you!

  4. A thrilling and captivating adventure, a must-read and a good start for someone who has never read a novel.

  5. Arrival is amazing. As it is one of the few picture books that I have read I think that in some ways it is even more detailed than a book, ‘a picture tells a thousand words’. This lets the reader interpret the storyline in his own way from the brilliantly illustrated pictures which I think is fantastic.
    I definitely recommend it for you!

  6. Arrival was an inspiring book that even without words was an enjoyable book, the animals were cool and I got lost in the book

  7. I think this book is very interesting and different because it is full of pictures. I was spending ages reading it and I could not put it down! I liked it very much.

  8. I love this graphic novel with no words. Although it is sad, it was a fantastic read and I love the little animals they all had.

  9. I must admit that at first I was very dubious about a graphic novel being part of the award, and then to find it had no words!

    I couldn’t have been more wrong –the art work is both beautiful, challenging and thoughtful.

    And this book , yes it is a book, not a “comic”, tells the story of how it must feel to emigrate to another country very well.

    As a reader –you are Reading the pictures -we feel for the émigré as he seeks to build a better economic future for his family. And we obviously can relate it to Britain today and how the Brexit vote felt to many Eastern Europeans living, working and actively contributing to our society in Britain.

    Then we are told the stories of those who fled their country for an alien land for political or security reasons!

    This certainly brings home the message that we should welcome and support everyone on our shores regardless of colour, or faith.

    I thoroughly recommend this novel.

  10. This is my favourite book it is so exciting .It is also good because I have never had to read a book with no words only pictures.

  11. This book is great, and mysterious, as you never are sure about what is going on. This is because it has no words – it is a picture book – which makes you have to think.

  12. This is an amazing book, everyone who reads it will come up with a different variation. The drawings are atmospheric and you are empathising with the characters at all the different stages of their journey.

  13. This book is absolutely fantastic!!!
    It makes you think a lot and as its only pictures,you could spend hours looking at it.I love it because you can think and make up your own story if you don’t understand.
    I thoroughly recommend this book.

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