The Arrival

Shaun Tan

fiction Comics Fantasy Graphic Novel
adventurous emotional medium-paced

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A man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He's embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life--he's leaving home to build a better future for his family.

Shaun Tan evokes universal aspects of an immigrant's experience through a singular work of the imagination. He does so using brilliantly clear and mesmerizing images. Because the main character can't communicate in words, the book forgoes them too. But while the reader experiences the main character's isolation, he also shares his ultimate joy.

What the community thinks

summary of 748 ratings (see reviews)


emotional 83%
reflective 58%
hopeful 50%
inspiring 37%
adventurous 33%
sad 25%
funny 16%
mysterious 16%
challenging 12%
informative 12%
tense 12%
dark 8%
lighthearted 4%
relaxing 4%


fast 50%
medium 29%
slow 20%

Strong character development?

Yes: 70% | It's complicated: 11% | No: 11% | N/A: 5%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 77% | It's complicated: 16% | No: 5%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 82% | No: 11% | It's complicated: 5%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

No: 43% | It's complicated: 31% | N/A: 18% | Yes: 6%

Average rating


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