Cover image for Road to America
Road to America
Baru, 1947-
Personal Author:
lst edition.
Publication Information:
Montreal : Drawn and Quarterly, [2002]

Physical Description:
45 pages : all color illustrations ; 29 cm
General Note:
"Road to America was originally serialized in English in Drawn & Quarterly volume 2, #'s 4, 5, and 6, "--T.p. verso.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Graphic Novel Central Library

On Order



The acclaimed series from Drawn & Quarterly is finally a graphic novel.

An alumnus of Art Spiegelman`s RAW and one of France's most exciting talents, Baru has created with twitchy, nervous lines and washes of pale color the tense, sun bleached atmosphere of colonial Algeria in the 1950s. Together two Arab brothers wander the narrow streets of the capital. Tearing the family apart with their loyalties and ambitions, one brother goes underground and joins the fight for his country's freedom from French rule. The other brother takes to the boxing ring and makes a career of fighting with his fists that will make him a European sensation. A graphic novel with cinematic sweep and richly expressive art, the story explodes with the force of a punching fist or a car bomb.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This graphic novel about ambition, freedom, and prejudice is set in the context of Algeria's war for independence from France in the 1950s. French fight promoters take boxer Said Boudiaf from his Algerian hometown because they see in him a potential European champ. While his brother joins the revolutionary forces, Boudiaf fights his own war for independence. Trying to focus on his boxing career, he finds it difficult to remain neutral when everyone around him has chosen sides. Boxing takes a backseat to Boudiaf's personal struggle, which comes to a head during the 1961 police massacre of Algerian demonstrators in Paris. This first English translation of one of French artist Baru's books must be one of the most attractively produced graphic novels ever, with its subtle, muted colors on heavy paper greatly enhancing Baru's fluid, expressive drawings. The story, however, with its abrupt transitions and confusingly introduced characters, seems rushed. That may limit the book's appeal to serious fans of the medium. --Gordon Flagg

Publisher's Weekly Review

Set mainly in late 1950s Algeria and France during Algeria's war of independence, this work tells of young, working-class Algerian Said Boudiaf, whose first offer to box professionally comes as car bombs explode in the street nearby. His brother joins the resistance against the French, while Said leaves for France to fight professionally. When Said arrives in the Paris train station, a gendarme hits him and calls him a "dirty Arab" before the apologetic French Minister of Sports greets him. Fighting his way to the championship, Said avoids taking sides in the conflict, convinced sport is beyond politics. The French government and the Algerian resistance use Said as a propaganda tool, but Said only wants to box. Agents of the Algerian National Liberation Army trail him, threatening his life, and when Said wins the French Boxing Championship, the crowd erupts in rioting, French against Algerian. Said makes it to America and qualifies to fight for the world title, but when he returns to Paris during the intervening months before his title fight, he's caught up in the turmoil of October 17, 1961, the day thousands marched in Paris's streets to protest curfews against Algerians and faced violent repression by police. This intriguing book brings a sad, tumultuous slice of history to life with vivid artistry. Printed in Italy on a near card-stock paper, it is artfully drawn, with Baru's fluid line and masterful panel work, and Daniel Ledran's subtle, rich color. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved