You have got to be living under some rock if you haven’t heard of Yuval Noah Harari and his best selling book Sapiens. Sapiens was so popular that the president of Pakistan even tweeted about it and encouraged his followers to read this book. It is a brainy book to get through. Harari even came out with the sequel Homo Deus, and upon the release of the sequel, Sapiens popularity surged even further.
I remember it took me weeks to get through Sapiens (the actual paperback) because there was too much information to take in. I had to make notes on the side to keep track of his ideas. It was actually revisiting my history class, but this time there was wit and humour, is engaging and encourages us to pause and think about the ideas being talked about.
I love graphic novels, which is why I immediately picked up the Sapiens the graphic novel. I didn’t even bother reading up on the reviews- it was an impulse purchase.
I wasn’t aware but this book is Volume 1. The graphic novel covers just the first half of the source material. So there will be a Volume 2 coming out soon.
Secondly, I wasn’t too thrilled about the drawings itself. At times the visuals are just about good enough but other times I felt like it created a distance between me and the book. They weren’t just appealing enough to the eyes.
Thirdly, some places there’s just too much writing in the bubble above the character. It took away my focus from the visuals to the writtern word. Other places it’s fine and I can play the visuals in my head like a movie.
While it’s a lot of fun to get through this book, it’s not an easy read just because it’s a graphic novel. It is is however a huge help to see the visuals just as it gave me a frame of reference of what Harari wants to say. I also wonder why they needed to come out with a graphic version in the first place– is it help people who won’t necessarily sit down and read the book? Was it to make more money? Or are they giving fans of comics a version of one of the world’s most popular book? I am not sure about the reason but I feel there must have been a very strong and valid reason to come out with a graphic novel. It certainly made me want to get it!
I really liked Sapiens when I read it in paperback. The history. The people. The evolution. The shifts. That entire book is underlined and highlighted so much because I felt the information was and is brilliant. I did enjoy reading the graphic novel and because I had read the book, it was somewhat easier for me to get through this graphic novel.
In short, I would say, pick up Sapiens A Graphic History only if you are a huge fan of reading graphic novels, or of Harari’s work. Plus it looks nice on your bookshelf.