Publishers Weekly Starred Review for Hostage

“Starred Review” / Publishers Weekly / May 1, 2017

Delisle (Jerusalem) departs from his usual subjects and artistic style in this quietly powerful graphic “as told to” hostage story. Christophe André, a volunteer with Médecins San Frontières in Chechnya, was kidnapped on July 2, 1997, and held for 111 days. Handcuffed and isolated for almost all his captivity, he can only speculate on his fate and the possible progress of imagined negotiations. A change in his food, such as that brought by some stolen garlic, is a high point, as are the few occasions on which his captors share a drink or bring him out of his room to watch television. Despite the lack of action, Christophe is an admirable figure, facing boredom, fear, and a complete lack of information about his status for months while managing to keep his head and, eventually, rescue himself. Delisle perfectly captures his subject’s inner monologue of pep talks and mental diversions, creating an indelible portrait of an ordinary person facing a frightening ordeal.

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