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The Arrival

The Arrival 1

by Shaun Tan

Hardback Publication Date: 12/10/2006

5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $32.99 $26.75
Haunting, original and told entirely through exquisitely imagined black, white and sepia pictures, The Arrival is the story of one man's encounter with life in a strange new world. It's a timeless, universal story that will resonate with anyone, anywhere who has struggled to start again in a place that is different to the one they have always known.

Much loved around the world, The Arrival has also won numerous awards including the CBCA Book of the Year and 'Best Album' at the Augouleme Festival in France.

PRAISE for The Arrival:

'With this haunting, wordless sequence about a lonely emigrant in a bewildering city, Tan ... finds in the graphic novel format an ideal outlet for his sublime imagination.... few will remain unaffected by this timeless stunner.' Publishers Weekly (USA)

'His unique ability to capture the heart and soul of a story through images more than proves the truth of the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.' The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

'It is a magnificent and timely story of hope and persistence: deeply moving, disturbing and, at the same time, infused with quiet joy and a grand, buoyant openness to experience.' The Monthly (Australia)

'An imaginative triumph, and every home should have one.' The Times (UK)

'Filled with both subtlety and grandeur, the book is a unique work that not only fulfils but also expands the potential of its form.' Booklist (USA)

'an unashamed paean to the immigrant's spirit, tenacity and guts, perfectly crafted for maximum effect.' Kirkus Reviews (USA)

'a remarkable and skilful work of art' The Sunday Times (UK)

'This book should be 'read' by adults and children alike. It's astonishing.' The Bookseller (UK)
Picture books
Publication Date:
Hachette Australia
Country of origin:
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • Utterly brilliant!

    by on

    The Arrival is a graphic novel for young readers by award-winning Australian illustrator and author, Shaun Tan. The father is packing his case, taking his leave of his wife and daughter to travel far away. There’s the hint of something threatening that makes this necessary. A train journey, a ship takes him (and many others) a long way away (it must be a long way because there are sixty different cloud formations seen).

    Then they arrive, are processed, and suddenly, here he is, on his own, away from everything familiar. He needs a place to stay, food to eat, a job. But when he asks a local, they are helpful and friendly. He somehow acquires a helpful pet. Others, refugees too, who have come before him, share their stories of what they left behind. He is welcomed. He works hard, and eventually, he can send money to his family, so they can join him.

    Shaun Tan is such a talented artist and author! Without any words (well, any in a known language, at least) he tells this moving and heart-warming story. The pictures are evocative: from the passport photos on the endpapers, to the tiny images of detail that draw back to show their place in a larger image, to the stains and creases that make it look like a well-used travel document, to the fantastically different place of arrival, all are wonderfully done.

    It’s a story that those people who are grumbling about refugees need to read. And for anyone who has come from their home to settle in a strange land, a place where they know no-one, where the people dress differently, where the food and drink, the animals, the climate, the language, the customs and the people are all different from what they know, for these people, the story Tan so eloquently conveys with his art will strike a chord. Utterly brilliant!