A wordless graphic novel by Shaun Tan
about an nameless immigrant in a strange land. Drawn in beautiful hyper-realism, the book incorporates fantastical landscapes and an invented alphabet to convey the confusions of a new place and unfamiliar language.
This work contains examples of the following tropes:
- American Dream: In the first, more positive flavor. In the backstories of the protagonist and others, they are running away from terrible situations in their own countries, and become much more successful and happy in their new home. In this case, Tan is drawing from the experiences of acquaintances, thus 'Australian Dream' would be more accurate.
- An Immigrant's Tale: With the twist that the place he's immigrating to (and the one he's immigrating from) isn't at all real.
- Book Ends: Near the beginning of the novel, the confused protagonist asks a stranger for directions; at its end, his daughter gives directions to a newcomer.
- Fish out of Water
- Funny Foreigner: The protagonist, at first and from the point of view of others.
- Scenery Porn: It's Shaun Tan, what's your next question?