Monday, February 29, 2016

Mike's Place by Jack Baxter, Joshua Faudem and Koren Shadmi

genre:  graphic non-fiction

When Jack goes to Tel Aviv, he's planning on making a documentary on the crimes of a local Palestinian leader.  What he ends up filming, instead, is about Mike's Place, a beachfront restaurant and bar that plays live local music, where customers are invited to leave politics and religion at the door.  One month into filming, a suicide bomber targets the bar and this book tells the story of Mike's Place, its employees and clientele as well as the aftermath of disaster.

I like graphic non-fiction.  Obviously, it's a pared down version of actual events but I like the overview just the same.  I was able to follow the story and care enough that it was actually upsetting when tragedy did strike, even though I knew it was coming.  It's hard to wrap your brain around terrorist attacks in general, but even harder sometimes here in my cozy little suburb.  To read this and know these were REAL people, leading REAL lives, just trying to find some happiness and purpose and then have strangers just literally blow it up - how do you come to terms with that?   Some of the little side plots didn't super interest me (the relationship ups and downs etc) but I am glad that I took the time to think about the Middle East for a while and remind myself that while there are some out there who are willing to kill themselves and others for their beliefs, there are far more of us who want to just peacefully live and let live.

note: this is not a book for kids - there are some upsetting images/sexual references

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