So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Barefoot Gen Volume Five: The Never-Ending War

Barefoot Gen Volume Five: The Never-Ending War by Keiji Nakazawa

The Barefoot Gen series of 10 graphic novels tells the story of the World War II atomic bombing of Hiroshima Japan through the eyes of a young boy Gen Nakaoka who relates the events lived through by the author Keiji Nakazawa. Book 5, The Never-Ending War starts in December 1947, two and a half years after the war has officially ended. Hiroshima is being repaired and is occupied by American troops. The Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission has set up labs to evaluate the effects of the blast on the people. Gen's father, sister and brother were killed during the blast, and his mother now suffers from radiation sickness. Gen's older brother Koji has to leave to work in a coal mine to earn money for the family, leaving Gen and his younger brother Akira to care for their sick mother and find food and medical care. Gen has befriended a group of street orphans who have been working for local racketeers and helps them escape a life of crime. This is a difficult book because it portrays the hardships that continue long after war is over. The Never-Ending War is the constant struggle that Gen, his friends and family must endure years after the war ended.

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