Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Finally read: “Yossel” by Joe Kubert

Finally read: Yossel by Joe Kubert, 2003, 074347516X.

Kubert wrote and drew Fax from Sarajevo which I read earlier. I had this dang thing for about three or four months until I actually read it.

Kubert's family left Poland shortly after he was born in 1926. During the war, people in their hometown, Yzeran, were "slaughtered in the streets" by the Krauts. Yossel is Kubert's "what-if" story of his family staying in Poland and sent to the Warsaw ghetto.

Yossel is told from Kubert's imagined point of view as 15 year old Yossel. Kubert uses unfinished, rough drawings because he, "wanted to convey a sense that these drawings were in Yossel's mind, even though he may never have had the opportunity to put them all to paper." The unrefined illustrations are annoying at first but I got used to them and they do have a stronger impact.

The story starts in Warsaw with Yossel and other Jews hiding in the sewer from the dirty Nazis, then told through flashbacks of Yossel and his family and the story of a concentration camp inmate who escaped from camp during a thunderstorm and returned to Warsaw. This was a decent book but not that great.

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