PYONGYANG recognized by the Young Adult Library Services Association

“Young Adult Library Services Reviews” / Young Adult Library Services / Young Adult Library Services / January 30, 2006

PYONGYANG: A JOURNEY IN NORTH KOREA by Guy Delisle is among YALSA’s Best Books For Young Adults, announced at the ALA conference in Texas on 01/24/06.

From the ALA website: “YALSA has announced its 2006 recommended list of Best Books for Young Adults. The list, prepared annually, was released during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, Texas held January 20–25, 2006. In beautiful San Antonio the 15-member committee worked hard to narrow its list of 217 official nominations to the final list of 91 significant adult and young adult titles. The books, recommended for ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and reading appeal for teens...The winning titles make up an extremely diverse list that includes non-fiction, science fiction and fantasy, graphic novels, contemporary and historical fiction and verse novels.”


Best of 2005:,, CBC Radio One "Talking Books", San Antonio Current, Vancouver Courier and the Edmonton Journal

“Delisle has drawn an unforgettable picture of Pyongyang.”–TIME MAGAZINE

“[Delisle] cloaks his tale with a compassionate cynicism that cushions the bleak horrors of this totalitarian Lost in Translation. Grade: A-”–ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“Great stuff - and proof that the comics panel can be another kind of window on the world.”–THE GUARDIAN UK

“News coverage from North Korea is scant - the regime of the world's last true totalitarian state is not exactly welcoming to foreign journalists. But a new graphic novel gives a rare, tragicomic, glimpse into everyday life in the drabbest of world capitals.”–INDEPENDENT, UK

“The episodes are smart, sharply observed and funny, without downplaying the untold horrors (death camps, starvation) that lurk around every corner.”–GLOBE & MAIL

“ North Korea is not only awful, but absurd, Delisle does manage to inject a surprising amount of wit into his illumination of one of our world's darkest corners.”–JAPAN TIMES

“While most of the literature about North Korea is decked in punditry, Delisle's ‘Pyongyang’ is a first-person account of a place most of us would never want to see with our own eyes. Delisle's drawings make an apt envoy. Gray cells are rarely this colorful.”–ASSOCIATED PRESS

“[Delisle’s] clever drawings reflect the city's institutionalized paranoia (‘You have to turn down your jazz! It could have a bad influence on the others!’), but also great civic pride, notwithstanding shortages of everything and mandatory volunteerism."–WASHINGTON POST

“In the case of ‘Pyongyang,’ I can't think of a more personal, entertaining way to introduce Westerners to what is surely the most bizarre, pathetic and spooky nation on Earth.” –HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN

“Delisle, a French animator, documented his trip to Pyongyang to oversee the production of a cartoon...The result is a fascinating and highly personable glimpse” –SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN

“’Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea’ not only gives a peek inside one of the world’s most secretive nations, it’s also downright hilarious.”–GEORGIA STRAIGHT

“Delisle’s account is consistently hilarious...At first read, ‘Pyongyang’ is a page-turner, a perfect blend of anecdote, reflection and pitch-perfect atmospherics."–BOOKSLUT

“Delisle recreates the absurdist nightmare that North Korea's leaders have created in a simple graphic novel, the simplicity of which would be charming if the subject matter wasn't so eerie. It's ‘Persepolis’ meets Kafka.”–OTTAWA CITIZEN

“Tinged with black humour, his observations of the country's bleakness and the mind-boggling way in which state propaganda is swallowed offers a perspective no straight-up print journalism could.”– NATIONAL POST

“[Delisle’s] experiences make up this book, a surreal and rather frightening look at life under one of the only utterly totalitarian regimes left on the globe.”–HARRISBURG PATRIOT-NEWS

“The story of his visit, his wry observations of this mysterious territory and his experiences as an outsider, are rendered appropriately in shades of grey in a book drawn entirely in pencil.”–CALGARY HERALD

“Delisle is a wry but unsparing guide to his Axis Of Evil destination...”–THE ONION

“Delisle’s first-person vantage is fresh and curious.”–MONTREAL MIRROR

“Delisle is a skilled observer and cartoonist, able to convey the reality of what he was able to see with a sense of wit and cynicism.”–NASHVILLE CITY PAPER

“Delisle employs also a deft sense of humor that serves as counterpoint (for the reader now, as it did for the author then) to the prescribed earnestness of his surroundings.”–AUSTIN CHRONICLE

“Wry impressions of this most insular city...”–ST. PETERSBURG TIMES

“Entertaining and instructive.”–WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“Pyongyang proceeds like an eerie visit to the dystopia described in George Orwell’s 1984, which Delisle naturally brings with him on the trip.”–BALTIMORE CITY PAPER

“With a delicate pencil and a droll, occasionally outraged sensibility, he captures the inanities and insanities of Pyongyang....”–VILLAGE VOICE

“An incredible work that is both appealing from an entertainment standpoint, as well as a political statement and cultural assessment. Delisle might not have the background of a highly trained North Korean scholar, but his book offers an honest view of the country and doesn't get bogged down in pedantry.”–WASHINGTON EXAMINER

“’Pyongyang’ is a true eye opener. It is an intelligent and incisive look at a place where there are mysteriously no disabled people and the elderly are few...”–METRO NEWS, Toronto

hardcover. ISBN 1-896597-89-0. 184 pages. b/w. $19.95 US. $24.95 cdn

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