The Arrival

The Arrival by Shaun Tan (2007)
128 pages
Rating: 5 out of 5
I didn’t know what to expect when I put this book on hold at my local library. I just heard that it was a pretty good book to read. What an understatement.
The Arrival is a wordless story about an migrant’s journey from his country to the new world, leaving behind his wife and child. In the new world armed with just a handful of money and a suitcase, the man finds various jobs, a place to live, and also food to eat. You watch as he struggles to learn the language, the customs, and find his way around. Along the way our main character meets others who tell him their journeys to the new world. Soon he learns how to belong in this strange new world he now lives in and how to make it a home. Tan captures perfectly what a migrant probably goes through coming to a new country and trying to learn the customs. You see the main character learning to eat unfamiliar food, trying to tell time a new way, and even how to mail a letter.
The pages of this book are so stunning, so beautiful. I guarantee you haven’t seen beauty like this before. Though it is a graphic novel, I think it’s best appreciated by anyone nine and over. This is my first encounter with Shaun Tan and it won’t be my last.
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3 thoughts on “The Arrival

  1. I’ve had this for months. And it doesn’t have any words. And I am a Shaun Tan fan. Why have I not read this yet?!!?!?

    I think putting it on a shelf I don’t peruse often was part of the mistake. I’ve got to get this out and read it, now!

  2. Get it out and read it, Carl. It’s such a great read. You would be so fascinated by the pictures, that you’ll stop and stare.

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