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Barefoot Gen: The Day After, Vol. 2 Paperback – Sep 10 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Last Gasp (Sept. 10 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 086719619X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0867196191
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #397,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

American comics readers, used to superheroes, science fiction or fantasy, may not be prepared for the raw honesty of Nakazawa's semi-autobiographical novel of destruction and hope. This grim tale begins in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 7, 1945, the day after the detonation of the atomic bomb, and depicts a singular level of wartime social dislocation. The city is rendered, in an instant, a ruined hell littered with tens of thousands of rotting corpses. The Nakaoka family is virtually wiped out, leaving only Gen, a young boy, and his pregnant mother. In this gruesome landscape of incomparable suffering and death, young Gen, bald from radiation sickness, struggles to find food and provide solace to his mother, his newly born sister and a succession of dispossessed characters in the doomed city. The simplicity of the black-and-white drawings and the theme of uncomplicated faith and its betrayal are in vivid contrast to Gen's fearsome experiences. The author of this disturbing testament was seven years old when the bomb hit his city, and this is the second volume in his continuing re-creation of wartime Hiroshima. While the publishers intend that its message be shared with children as well as with adults, the novel's intense realism makes the fulfillment of that expectation unlikely. The volume is as gripping and horrifying in its portrayal of death and pain as it is poignant in delineating Gen's bewildered decency and determination to survive. Nakazawa has produced a stark, relevant documentation of the consequences of nuclear war.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xb66a11b0) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb6635cc0) out of 5 stars Powerful Aug. 27 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I stumbled across this graphic novel in a used bookstore, not having any idea the impression it would make on me. This is an incredibly powerful story, very effectively told through the medium of comic art. It is an affirmation of the power of visual media, and an example of how comics can be used for much more than funnies and fantasies. It is also probably the most effective anti-nuclear material I have ever come across.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb5d40f30) out of 5 stars Series continues strongly. Sept. 20 2006
By Robert Beveridge - Published on
Format: Paperback
Keiji Nakazawa, Barefoot Gen: The Day After (New Society, 1988)

The story of Barefoot Gen, spunky atomic bomb survivor, continues in this second volume of the four-part series. It's not a stretch to predict that how you feel about The Day After will probably reflect how you felt about Barefoot Gen, without much variance.

The Day After (which, in fact, covers the next two days) opens just after the end of Barefoot Gen, and is concerned entirely with the survival of Gen, his mother, and his baby sister Tomoko. Gen's task during this time is to find food for the family, and this quest takes him on a number of small side adventures the present a much larger picture of the greater Hiroshima area after the bomb than the first book provided of Hiroshima before the bomb. Gen meets a number of different people, helps some, and learns that even after the bomb, when everyone around him is shrouded in misery and horror, the banality and prejudice around him doesn't disappear-- in fact, people are worse than they were beforehand. Nakazawa, as is his wont, tells us all this in his stories, and never allows his messages to get in the way of his storytelling. Ironically, Barbara Reynolds' introduction to this edition is a perfect contrast to Nakazawa's story; it's awfully-written, ham-handed, flat-out wrong (Reynolds harps on about American denial of responsibility for Hiroshima, and she's writing ten years or more after the release, and vast popularity, of John Hersey's Hiroshima) polemic whose sole purpose in inclusion, it seems, is to highlight how subtle Nakazawa is. Skip the introduction. Or, if you're a completist, read the book first and come back to the introduction afterwards, so it won't taint you.

This is very good stuff. Well worth your time. *** ½
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb5d40660) out of 5 stars The triumph of the human spirit May 9 2003
By F. Orion Pozo - Published on
Format: Paperback
Barefoot Gen: The Day After is volume two of a four part series. It tells the story of the day after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima as seen through the eyes of seven year old Gen Nakaoka. Based on the real-life experiences of the author, Gen, his mother, and his newborn sister face the horrors of the day after the bomb. They have no food or shelter and are surrounded by the dead and dying. Even the soldiers sent in to gather and burn the dead bodies are succumbing to the radiation sickness and dying. No one understands what is happening and there is no one to turn to. Gen goes in search of food for his mother whose breast milk has dried up from malnutrition. Alone he faces the horror of the devastation and the destitution of the people of Hiroshima. This the hardest of the four books to read because the carnage of the day after the bomb is almost beyond belief. Gen's compassion, humanity, and determination makes this an inspiring book about the strength of the human spirit. Although the graphic scenes may turn some people off, this is still an important book for its message on the dangers of nuclear war.
The work has been wonderfully translated from the Japanese original: Hadashi no Gen. It was originally published in serial form in 1972 and 1973 in Shukan Shonen Jampu, the largest weekly comic magazine in Japan, with a circulation of over two million. The drawings are all in black and white. This US edition was published as part of a movement to translate the book into other languages and spread its message. It is a wonderful testimony to the strength of the human spirit and the horrors of nuclear war. There are a few introductory essays at the front of the book that help to put this book into perspective. It is a powerful and tragic story that I highly recommend for anyone interested in the topic.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb5d43120) out of 5 stars Masterly and painful Sept. 9 2007
By Torger Dahl - Published on
Format: Paperback
Barefoot Gen Volume Two picks up where volume one leaves Gen just after the explosion of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima. It a gripping and very painful story of survival in the fist terrible time after the bomb devastated Hiroshima. For those that survived the bomb and the deadly radiation, life has now become a desperate fight for survival in a harsh and brutal world. If you have read Volume One, you cannot skip this one, just as you have to read Volume three and four too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb5d433d8) out of 5 stars A Poignant Comic Oct. 11 2010
By Bruce Roth - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just by glancing at its cover, Barefoot Gen appears to merely be a cheery Japanese comic book, or manga, as the medium is called in Japan. But the actual contents belie the surface of this exceptionally sad memoir. A story of the hard times war brings that culminates in the nuclear annihilation of Hiroshima, Barefoot Gen was written by an actual survivor of the bombing: Keiji Nakazawa.

This true story of a little boy in wartime Japan presents a view of what life was like for Japanese civilians at the height of World War II. It shows in great detail (a picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes) the effect the war had on the Japanese: malnutrition, bombings of almost all cities, etcetera, while still keeping in mind that Japan was also guilty of war crimes. But the end of Barefoot Gen is a nightmarish vision of the worst war crime of all: the dropping of a weapon of mass destruction on a heavily populated, civilian town.

The images of injured, haggard victims of the atom bomb moaning and weeping that are shown in this comic are terrible, but far more terrible still is the knowledge that this isn't fiction, it's a memoir. This really happened to women, babies, children and all other unsuspecting civilians. Although Barefoot Gen is not widely known, it is still arguably one of the best anti-war books on the subject, and highly recommended reading. By Elizabeth DeAngelis for Daisy Alliance

For Daisy Alliance by Elizabeth DeAngelis