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Suite Française: Storm in June: A Graphic Novel

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Suite Française, an extraordinary novel about village life in France just as it was plunged into chaos with the German invasion of 1940, was a publishing sensation ten years ago; Irène Némirovsky completed the two-volume book, part of a planned larger series, in the early 1940s before she was arrested in France and eventually sent to Auschwitz, where she died. The notebook Suite Française, an extraordinary novel about village life in France just as it was plunged into chaos with the German invasion of 1940, was a publishing sensation ten years ago; Irène Némirovsky completed the two-volume book, part of a planned larger series, in the early 1940s before she was arrested in France and eventually sent to Auschwitz, where she died. The notebook containing the novels was preserved by her daughters but not examined until 1998; it was finally published in France in 2004 and became a huge international bestseller, including in the US, where it has sold over one million copies. This dramatic and stirring graphic novel, translated from the French and faithful to the spirit of Némirovsky's story, focuses on Book 1, entitled "Storm in June," in which a disparate group of Paris citizens flees the city ahead of the advancing German troops. However, their orderly plans to escape are eclipsed by the chaos spreading across the country, and their sense of civility and well-being is replaced by a raw desire to survive. A feature film version of Suite Française, starring Michelle Williams, Kristen Scott Thomas, and Margot Robbie, was recently released.


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Suite Française, an extraordinary novel about village life in France just as it was plunged into chaos with the German invasion of 1940, was a publishing sensation ten years ago; Irène Némirovsky completed the two-volume book, part of a planned larger series, in the early 1940s before she was arrested in France and eventually sent to Auschwitz, where she died. The notebook Suite Française, an extraordinary novel about village life in France just as it was plunged into chaos with the German invasion of 1940, was a publishing sensation ten years ago; Irène Némirovsky completed the two-volume book, part of a planned larger series, in the early 1940s before she was arrested in France and eventually sent to Auschwitz, where she died. The notebook containing the novels was preserved by her daughters but not examined until 1998; it was finally published in France in 2004 and became a huge international bestseller, including in the US, where it has sold over one million copies. This dramatic and stirring graphic novel, translated from the French and faithful to the spirit of Némirovsky's story, focuses on Book 1, entitled "Storm in June," in which a disparate group of Paris citizens flees the city ahead of the advancing German troops. However, their orderly plans to escape are eclipsed by the chaos spreading across the country, and their sense of civility and well-being is replaced by a raw desire to survive. A feature film version of Suite Française, starring Michelle Williams, Kristen Scott Thomas, and Margot Robbie, was recently released.

30 review for Suite Française: Storm in June: A Graphic Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    I have not yet read Suite Française, by Irène Némirovsky, an ambitious two-volume book that was just the beginning of a planned larger series, but I read the graphic novel based on the first volume. It focuses on the German invasion of France in 1940, which led the well-published and Jewish Némirovsky to escape with her family to rural France from Paris. After completing the first two volumes, she was deported to Auschwitz, where she died in 1943. The books came in the form of notebooks which we I have not yet read Suite Française, by Irène Némirovsky, an ambitious two-volume book that was just the beginning of a planned larger series, but I read the graphic novel based on the first volume. It focuses on the German invasion of France in 1940, which led the well-published and Jewish Némirovsky to escape with her family to rural France from Paris. After completing the first two volumes, she was deported to Auschwitz, where she died in 1943. The books came in the form of notebooks which were left in a box and not looked at until decades later. So: a publishing event, clearly! This first graphic adaptation, adapted and illustrated by Emmanuel Moynot, basically just tries to introduce us to four families who escape Paris as the Nazis take over. Autobiographical? Surely, in many respects, of course. That sense of initial denial, we'll be okay, they don't want us, and then the panicked attempt to escape. The art, in the manner of Jacques Tardi, is intimate, sketchy, as if journaled on the way out of Paris, in some respects, and I like it, but it’s not the ideal story for a one-volume graphic novel. The chaos and panic over time comes off as a little uneventful, which is not the effect you want for such an important story, since it is hard to keep all the characters straight. It’s just too ambitious, in this one volume and in the whole project, a magnum opus of several planned volumes. Still, if I see another volume from Moynot I might still read it. And read the original from Némirovsky.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    It doesn't happen too often for me to read a comic book that starts roughly and continues without interest, just to get intrigued right before the end. Suite Francaise has ~220 pages to describe how 4 different families/couples of over 15 individuals coped with the first days of the German invasion in France (1940). Too many characters, too little time to place them in without the reader forgetting who is who. Moynot failed miserably on that account, having me return to the first page with the ch It doesn't happen too often for me to read a comic book that starts roughly and continues without interest, just to get intrigued right before the end. Suite Francaise has ~220 pages to describe how 4 different families/couples of over 15 individuals coped with the first days of the German invasion in France (1940). Too many characters, too little time to place them in without the reader forgetting who is who. Moynot failed miserably on that account, having me return to the first page with the characters' portraits again and again to remember who is the one I'm reading now. That breaks off any connection the reader could possibly make with at least one of the protagonists and removes any notion of a proper character development. Emmanuel Moynot apart from a bad script adaptor, is a scetchy illustrator that never looked good to my eye. Just a Jacques Tardi on a huge discount. And Tardi's style is very personal in a love it-or-hate it manner, so go figure about Moynot's. Still Nemirovsky's book seems interesting, however unflattered it may be through the graphic novel. The only thing that saves this work from the 1/5 is the finale. Somehow it manages to tie-up all the sub-plots without messing it up. The end result, and as far as I'm concerned the only part, is actually good. Really odd for that to happen in any kind of written word, comic or literature.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Takoneando entre libros

    No puedo valorar en condiciones la novela gráfica ya que soy novata en lecturas de este tipo y no se si sería objetiva. Tampoco he leído el libro original y no puedo opinar de cómo se ha hecho el trabajo de transcribir la novela a viñetas. Sólo puedo decir que me ha gustado, me ha gustado la crítica social que deja, me han gustado algunos puntos de humor (a pesar del tema tan duro) y me ha impresionado la dureza de algunas escenas... Y eso que es en blanco y negro. Como punto negativo, creo que ha No puedo valorar en condiciones la novela gráfica ya que soy novata en lecturas de este tipo y no se si sería objetiva. Tampoco he leído el libro original y no puedo opinar de cómo se ha hecho el trabajo de transcribir la novela a viñetas. Sólo puedo decir que me ha gustado, me ha gustado la crítica social que deja, me han gustado algunos puntos de humor (a pesar del tema tan duro) y me ha impresionado la dureza de algunas escenas... Y eso que es en blanco y negro. Como punto negativo, creo que hay demasiados personajes para tan pocas páginas. No da tiempo a conocerlos y quedan bastante desdibujados

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

    I loved Suite Francaise (both parts) a few years ago when I first read the novel so when I found out the first installment (Storm in June) had been adapted into a graphic novel I was very excited to see how this translated. There are definitely times when I think the black, white and grey imagery drawn in a noir-esque style really draws home the starkness of life during World War II. However I had trouble (despite having read the novel itself and having read many comics and graphic novels in my I loved Suite Francaise (both parts) a few years ago when I first read the novel so when I found out the first installment (Storm in June) had been adapted into a graphic novel I was very excited to see how this translated. There are definitely times when I think the black, white and grey imagery drawn in a noir-esque style really draws home the starkness of life during World War II. However I had trouble (despite having read the novel itself and having read many comics and graphic novels in my life) following the different story lines in the graphic novel form -- I think this is because while reading the novel I had my own visions of the characters and the graphic novel illustrations in black and white blurred together - I had trouble remember which characters went with which plot lines.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mia Nauca

    2.5 estrellas

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aapo

    Sarjakuvaversio romaanista on lähtökohtaisesti ongelmallinen asia. Varsinkin kun tietää albumin pohjautuvan romaaniin, niin tahtomattaankin alkaa etsiä ongelmia. Tässä niitä oli ihan riittävästi, esim. liian kirjalliset tekstiruudut. Usein mietitytti, että tämä toimisi tekstinä paremmin. Monessa kohtaa sarjakuva kuitenkin toimi ihan mallikkaasti, eli ei tämä ihan turha yritys ollut. Luin esipuheen vasta lopuksi ja myönnän maalaisuuteni, että en muistanut/tiennyt teoksen taustaa (juutalaistaustais Sarjakuvaversio romaanista on lähtökohtaisesti ongelmallinen asia. Varsinkin kun tietää albumin pohjautuvan romaaniin, niin tahtomattaankin alkaa etsiä ongelmia. Tässä niitä oli ihan riittävästi, esim. liian kirjalliset tekstiruudut. Usein mietitytti, että tämä toimisi tekstinä paremmin. Monessa kohtaa sarjakuva kuitenkin toimi ihan mallikkaasti, eli ei tämä ihan turha yritys ollut. Luin esipuheen vasta lopuksi ja myönnän maalaisuuteni, että en muistanut/tiennyt teoksen taustaa (juutalaistaustaisen kirjailijan jäämistöstä löytynyt teos). Esipuheen lukemisen myötä arvostukseni myös tätä sarjakuvaversiota kohtaan kohosi, vaikka oikeastaan ansiot kuuluisivat alkuperäiselle tekstille.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Luis Domínguez

    Es cruda. Cruda, pero no como el sushi. Más bien como un pollo acabado de arrancarle todas las plumas y dado a comer. Comienza con un buen preámbulo. Está situada en la Francia del 1940 a la espera de la invasión alemana. Falta de narración le sobraba pero los caminos tomados fue presentar una serie de dibujos, a veces descontextualiados para recrear la historia. El resultado, ni los dibujos eran muy gráficos ni la historia fue interesante. Es decir, presentan tres familias y un serie de persona Es cruda. Cruda, pero no como el sushi. Más bien como un pollo acabado de arrancarle todas las plumas y dado a comer. Comienza con un buen preámbulo. Está situada en la Francia del 1940 a la espera de la invasión alemana. Falta de narración le sobraba pero los caminos tomados fue presentar una serie de dibujos, a veces descontextualiados para recrear la historia. El resultado, ni los dibujos eran muy gráficos ni la historia fue interesante. Es decir, presentan tres familias y un serie de personajes terciarios que no añaden nada a la historia. Hortense, le sobraba un mundo en la historia, Los Cortes no me aportaron nada. Los únicos con el potencial para explotarse y era por la versatilidad de sus personajes era la familia Péricard. Y se quedaron a medio camino. Es imperante que una novela gráfica a parte de servirse de los dibujos para contar menos también empleen los cuadros de narración. Muchos cómics lo hacen, te dejan pocas preguntas porque te están contextualizando todo lo que se proyecta. Pero otros como estos, reducen la capacidad de la narración para mostrar más y siguen quedando fuera de lugar, porque en este caso, hablábamos de historia. Debió ser mas descriptiva.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Naslha Espinal

    Would have loved to read the completed work Irène Némirovaky had planned for this novel. So sadden by her horrible end but this edition was beutiful and it would have made her proud. Emmanuel Moynot did a wonderful job.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steven Brown

    Beautifully realized graphic novel of the German invasion of France in 1940. I have not read the world-wide best seller on which this is based, but feel I'll see Moynot's characters when I do read it. It crackles with the tension shown in "Forbidden Games" or the Paris segments of "Casablanca." Beautifully realized graphic novel of the German invasion of France in 1940. I have not read the world-wide best seller on which this is based, but feel I'll see Moynot's characters when I do read it. It crackles with the tension shown in "Forbidden Games" or the Paris segments of "Casablanca."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Really 3.5. I enjoyed the book, the characters, the point of view, I just wanted more. More detail, more in depth focus, more information. I would’ve liked the book much more if it were 3 times the length.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    Kaks ja puol tähteä. Jätti vähän sekavan olon, kenties pitäisin kirjasta enemmän?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nadja

    2.5 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Electra

    Je n’ai pas trop saisi cette manière de passer d’une famille à l’autre. Cela a perturbé ma lecture.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Petra Hermans

    The Jewish people were confronted by a deep level of silent transformation.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Yasmien

    3,5

  16. 5 out of 5

    Light And Smell

    La Seconde Guerre Mondiale est une période qui m'a toujours interrogée, n'arrivant pas à saisir comment l'humanité avait pu sombrer dans une telle folie meurtrière. C'est donc avec plaisir que j'ai lu Suite française qui aborde une autre réalité historique : la débâcle française et l'exode qui ont conduit tant de personnes sur les routes. Dans Suite française, on suit ainsi différentes familles et personnages de la préparation de leur départ sur les routes à leur périple. La galerie des personnag La Seconde Guerre Mondiale est une période qui m'a toujours interrogée, n'arrivant pas à saisir comment l'humanité avait pu sombrer dans une telle folie meurtrière. C'est donc avec plaisir que j'ai lu Suite française qui aborde une autre réalité historique : la débâcle française et l'exode qui ont conduit tant de personnes sur les routes. Dans Suite française, on suit ainsi différentes familles et personnages de la préparation de leur départ sur les routes à leur périple. La galerie des personnages est variée mais, au final, la classe pauvre de la population française n'est pas forcément très représentée. A noter qu'en début d'ouvrage, un portrait des personnages principaux est proposé ce qui se révèle très utile surtout en début de lecture. Cela m'a permis d'entrer facilement dans l'histoire puisqu'au départ, il peut être difficile de se souvenir de tous les protagonistes. Certaines personnes comme le couple Michaud ont attiré d'emblée ma sympathie quand d'autres comme leur patron ou M. Langelet m'ont tout de suite semblé antipathiques. Pourtant, j'ai lu avec une certaine curiosité le voyage de chacun qui, bien que mus par le même désir de fuite, n'ont pas forcément la même perception de la situation de la France ni les mêmes priorités. Certaines situations sont ainsi surréalistes comme lorsque M. Corte et sa maîtresse sont en quête d'un bon repas malgré l'arrivée des Allemands. D'autres, quant à elles, se révèlent révoltantes et tendent à souligner que le manque de morale et la bassesse sont une réalité bien humaine que la guerre ne permet pas d'estomper, bien au contraire. Avant de commencer le livre, je m'attendais à un récit plus dur que celui présenté dans la BD. le contexte de l'époque veut que les personnages ne font pas des cabrioles à longueur de jour, mais on ne ressent pas non plus forcément une énorme tristesse ou désolation de leur part. On peut peut-être l'expliquer par le fait que tout est arrivé si vite que les personnages n'ont pas encore pris la mesure des événements. Mais auraient-ils vraiment pu se douter que la guerre et ses atrocités n'en sont qu'à leurs débuts et que le pire, l'imaginable est à attendre ? Quant aux illustrations, je ne les ai pas trouvées magnifiques, mais cela aurait été de toute manière quelque peu bizarre de retranscrire l'exode par une opulence de couleurs et de beauté. En revanche, elles se révèlent percutantes d'autant qu'Emmanuel Moynot a retranscrit, à travers le visage des personnages, tout un panel d'émotions. Si l'on ajoute à l'expressivité des personnages, l'utilisation harmonieuse de dégradés de gris par Chantal Quillec, on ne peut que louer la manière dont le lecteur est plongé dans cette BD et par extension, dans le contexte gris si ce n'est noir de cette période de l'Histoire de France. En conclusion, je ne peux me prononcer sur la fidélité de cette adaptation par rapport au roman, mais ce qui est certain c'est que Folio vous offre un livre de qualité qui vous happera dès les premières pages. Si vous avez lu le roman, vous serez certainement séduit par le fait de revivre l'histoire en images. Et, si vous ne l'avez pas lu, je suis certaine que cette BD vous donnera, comme ce fut le cas pour moi, envie de vous plonger dans l'oeuvre originale. Enfin, j'évoque rarement le prix des livres, mais je tiens à souligner l'excellent travail de Folio, qui avec sa collection Folio BD, vous offre des adaptations d'oeuvres connues à des prix plus que corrects. Je porterai dorénavant une attention particulière aux différents livres de cette collection.

  17. 4 out of 5

    kari

    I had a hard time getting to read "Storm in June", and finished it wishing I could like it more. But the fragments I enjoyed best were - as I suppose - direct quotes from the book, and the graphic novel didn't add much to them. I also hoped the artist's style would grow on me. I think I got the purpose right, the wartime uncertainty and messy lineart, but in the end, it was just confusing (and made it sometimes impossible to tell the characters apart). Still, I'm glad I read it. I had a hard time getting to read "Storm in June", and finished it wishing I could like it more. But the fragments I enjoyed best were - as I suppose - direct quotes from the book, and the graphic novel didn't add much to them. I also hoped the artist's style would grow on me. I think I got the purpose right, the wartime uncertainty and messy lineart, but in the end, it was just confusing (and made it sometimes impossible to tell the characters apart). Still, I'm glad I read it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ale Sandoval Tress

    Un libro escrito por alguien que vivió eso y no sobrevivió para contarlo. Su propia historia es una novela. Y leerla en novela gráfica fue interesante. Muy buenos dibujos, realmente muestran lo difícil que fue esa situación.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michael Lewyn

    Good for what it is- obviously not as deep as the book version, but then again I didn't expect it to be. Engaging, well drawn, a fast and easy read. Good for what it is- obviously not as deep as the book version, but then again I didn't expect it to be. Engaging, well drawn, a fast and easy read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Six

    No one does graphic novels like the French. Takes a bit to get into.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bryanzk

    Remembered that oil-stealer's story. But really can't love the drawing style. Remembered that oil-stealer's story. But really can't love the drawing style.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Oihana Blanco Amenabar

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susie Steadman

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelly L

  25. 4 out of 5

    Baroness Ileana

  26. 4 out of 5

    George

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aliisa Syrjänen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisette Robey

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cristina

  30. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Hanson-Brown

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