Author: Craig Thompson
Genre: Graphic Novel, Memoir
Summary from Publisher’s Weekly (on Amazon.com)
This sensitive memoir recreates the confusion, emotional pain and isolation of the author’s rigidly fundamentalist Christian upbringing, along with the trepidation of growing into maturity. Skinny, naive and spiritually vulnerable, Thompson and his younger brother manage to survive their parents’ overbearing discipline (the brothers are sometimes forced to sleep in “the cubby-hole,” a forbidding and claustrophobic storage chamber) through flights of childhood fancy and a mutual love of drawing. But escapist reveries can’t protect them from the cruel schoolmates who make their lives miserable. Thompson’s grimly pious parents and religious community dismiss his budding talent for drawing; they view his creative efforts as sinful and relentlessly hector the boys about scripture. By high school, Thompson’s a lost, socially battered and confused soul-until he meets Raina and her clique of amiable misfits at a religious camp. Beautiful, open, flexibly spiritual and even popular (something incomprehensible to young Thompson), Raina introduces him to her own less-than-perfect family; to a new teen community and to a broader sense of himself and his future. The two eventually fall in love and the experience ushers Thompson into the beginnings of an adult, independent life. Thompson manages to explore adolescent social yearnings, the power of young love and the complexities of sexual attraction with a rare combination of sincerity, pictorial lyricism and taste. His exceptional b&w drawings balance representational precision with a bold and wonderfully expressive line for pages of ingenious, inventively composed and poignant imagery.
As the title of this post alludes, I finished Blankets by Craig Thompson–very quickly, too. I read the first chapter, about 60 pages, last night, and read the 520-some other pages today while giving a test at school. I just want to make sure this doesn’t make me sound too awesome–the book is a graphic novel, so it is much faster reading than any normal book.
As mentioned at the end of my last post, I first heard of this book from Michelle, who spoke very highly of the book. I was feeling in the mood for hearing about another person’s real life, and as this is a memoir, it worked perfectly. While I read it practically in one setting, I did not find it to be a 5/5, as far as ratings go. In order for a book to be a 5/5, I would have to be willing to go and buy it so I can reread it many times. As this fell just short of that, I give it a 4/5. I don’t think very highly of the anime graphic novels that seem to float around my high school students–but I should honestly not knock it before I try it. Are they really all that different from other graphic novels? Aside from the young adult content?
I finished this book earlier in the day, so I already re-started I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. I read the introduction to it a couple months ago, but resumed it just today. It’s interesting so far! (Not like the movie, which is good in its own right).