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Carnet de Voyage

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  3,273 ratings  ·  321 reviews
Craig Thompson spent three months traveling through Barcelona, the Alps, and France, as well as Morocco, researching his next graphic novel, Habibi. Spontaneous sketches and a travelogue diary document his adventures and quiet moments, creating a raw and intimate portrait of countries, culture and the wandering artist.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 3rd 2004 by Top Shelf Productions (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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notyourmonkey
This is one of those ratings that I fully admit may not be equally applicable to everyone picking up this book. Yes, it's very, very good, but what makes it a five star for me may not hold true for everyone else. But oh. For me? For me, this is the book I never knew I wanted to read until I held it in my hands, and once I did, I couldn't imagine not having read it before, much less not known about it before.

It's a graphic novel (check) slash travel journal (check) that's as much about a mental
...more
Ma'Belle
I read this not knowing what to expect, knowing that it would be a side project illustrated travel diary, and that the author has inserted a great, humble disclaimer as the introduction.

This would be the second book I'd read by Craig Thompson; the first was Blankets, which astounded me with its honest and affectionate autobiographical depictions of adolescence in Fundamentalist Evangelical American culture in the Midwest. More than anything, my jaw dropped and alternately lifted into a smile bec
...more
Hillary
I probably preferred this to Blankets, partially because of lowered expectations, due to the form, a loose travel journal/sketchbook. Also, it helps that Thompson seems to have become a little less uptight, and the whining tends to be undercut with self-conscious acknowledgment and mocking of it. That's not true, however, for his use of the term "lover" throughout, which makes me cringe, accurate or not. The art is pretty wonderful, though, and inspiring (it would be more so if I could or wanted ...more
Andrew
Oct 24, 2014 Andrew rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Andrew by: andrew.edwards91@gmail.com
Thompson makes the point of stating that this is not his "next book" but a nice diversion in his catalog. That being said, I don't know why he decided to publish his travel diary. I have a few travel diaries, the most recent of which was recorded while hitchhiking across Canada. It's full of the interesting characters I met and the strange activities I engaged in (being picked up by a drunk driver, sleeping in a cemetery in downtown Regina etc.) Maybe I should publish it too!! All I'd need to do ...more
Kristy
I didn't mean to read this loosely formatted travel journal of comic artist Craig Thompson's 2004 European book tour as quickly as I did, and honestly, I didn't expect it to be as engaging as it was. Thompson is such an emotionally touching artist -- his drawings of scenes in Morocco, Paris, Barcelona, and elsewhere are more real than any photograph, and his drawings of the friends and strangers he meets along the way give the reader an immediate sense of the real person behind the drawing. Havi ...more
Rubi
Los dibujos son muy buenos; con ellos me he sentido como si estuviera en las ciudades que describen. Pero... una novela gráfica, es eso, una combinación de ambas cosas y desgraciadamente, la parte de novela se queda cortísima. Un diario monótono en el que el autor no deja de autocompadecerse y de quejarse. Sí, pobre, su amante pasó de él, pero no creo que sea como para que nos lo esté diciendo constantemente.
En fin, que vale como cuaderno de viaje porque los dibujos se salvan; pero desde luego,
...more
Alyse Liebovich
"American girl I look at you and you do nothing!" a robed Moroccan man screeched at me in Tangiers before smacking my ass.
The feeling of wandering around Barcelona by myself, becoming immediately obsessed with everything Gaudi, and of meandering around Paris with my best friend, Amy, a few days after the Atocha train bombings in Madrid.
These are memories that drifted back into my mind while reading Carnet de Voyage. This is a non-fiction graphic novel I came across at the high school library w
...more
Kaimynas
Very strange ( in a good way for visual novel) read. It's basically 3 months long travelers journal which is mostly about authors mental journey while still traveling physical one.

You don't really have to know or like any other Thompson's work in order to appreciate it's art, though knowing that it's mostly diary with drawings is mandatory as you can be disappointed if you picked it after reading Habibi or Blankets expecting another great story.
That doesn't mean that writing in this one is bad
...more
Daniel
Wonderfully enjoyable travelogue and an endearingly self-deprecating insight into Craig Thompson's mind.
Kristin
I really loved this book. However, I still have critiques, so they must be of reality rather than the book, since it's REAL. So, while reading, I just kept thinking, Dude, you are a shameless womanizer. He's ostensibly in love with his ex-girlfriend, but he strikes up conversations with every pretty girl he sees and ends up in bed or something with a significant number of them (hard to tell sometimes because it's only implied, but still). Then, he proceeds to express how socially incompetent and ...more
Matt Richter
i found this illustrated travel journal utterly engrossing! It's a brutally intimate, open and honest insight into so much more than just Craig Thompson's travels through Europe and Morocco. It basically acts as a window into his very soul, allowing the reader to see incredible personal depth. When I read Thompson's master-work 'Blankets' a few years ago, I remember feeling such a strong connection with him and I felt every bit the same way reading this Carnet. My enjoyment reading this was heig ...more
Brittany
It is strange to think of Craig in the context of each of his books. Goodbye, Chunky Rice still sticks out from the others in my mind. Maybe because of all the animals. Anyway, Craig is still pretty privileged. Not only as a guy who's way has been paid through all of his travels, but also because he is a man. He mentions meeting a solo girl in Morocco who says she enjoyed it but would return with a friend (a.k.a. body guard!) next time. Also he's always meeting tons of people. Do guys do that? O ...more
Walker
Jun 10, 2007 Walker rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: expatriates
Posing as a travel diary, this book ends up being about two thirds as much of a confessional bit of autobiography as was Blankets. Craig Thompson is a pretty likeable guy, at least on paper, and there's no reason not to root for him as he stumbles through a book tour of France and research trip through Morocco, plagued by loneliness, arthritis, and heartbreak.

I suppose this was the right time for me to read Carnet de Voyage, since I am also in a foreign country where I don't know many people, an
...more
Monica
This book reminded me of two things that I wish I could do/do more often-draw and travel, respectively. Seeing as how neither of those are likely to occur in the near future, "Carnet de Voyage" provided the perfect escape to foreign and exotic locales, namely, France, Barcelona, Morocco and the Alps. Intended to be a sort of in-between breather to award-winning, "Blankets" and his highly-anticipated upcoming novel, "Habibi," I thought "Carnet" was the perfect interlude between the two. It was a ...more
Kirsten
This book is really either for people who already love Craig Thompson's work, or for those who love travel writing. This is an illustrated travel diary of the several months Thompson spent in France and Morocco. He writes about his emotional state and about his impressions freely, and the illustrations are gorgeous and skillful, even when he admits that he's drawing with crappy felt-tip pens because his other supplies have disappeared. Some people might find his fits of depression and self-loath ...more
Ginny
The sketches are gorgeous -- Thompson is clearly talented. This is his travel journal, so he's clearly allowed to feel how ever he wants to feel, but he's awfully whiny (on an amazing adventure traveling to amazing foreign countries!), and is self-aware enough to notice, but not enough to do anything about it. Odd. Also, I found it frustrating that he was only really happy traveling after he had hooked up with some girl. Relationships should help you be a happier person, that's true, but life's ...more
Marc
Carnet de Voyage is Craig Thompson's sketchbook from when he visited Morocco and Europe, researching what would become his next book, Habibi, and doing a book tour for Blankets. Thompson is pretty down on himself for even publishing this in the first place, but I found it to be very enjoyable, much more than Habibi. While I don't take anything away from the huge accomplishment that book is, Carnet de Voyage has a lot more "soul" to it, for lack of a better word. This is not a meticulous, neuroti ...more
Patricia
I have now slowly made my way through most of Craig Thompson's published graphic novels. I really like his work. It's beautiful, raw, painful and very interesting. This is not a novel but a travel journal. I wish it included the final month of his tour of Europe, but he explains at the end of the book why he doesn't.

These were my favorite parts of the book:

"21 avril 04 It's sunny in the south of France, and I've abandoned my neurosis for the day. --Shared breakfast with Sebastien & Marion,
...more
Sam
I rather enjoyed this book, it is written and illustrated as a travelogue as Thompson tours France, Spain and Morocco promoting his book, Blankets. It is open and honest and shows the joys and difficulties of life on the road and the pressures (and pains) of many many signings and PR events. I love Thompson's artwork and illustration style as he captures the essence of the places he visits and the people he meets in a simple and understated while still making an impression on the reader.
Emma Sea
Although ostensibly it's a travel journal, it's probably more accurate to say it's a diary of an internal voyage, more than an external one. There's more angst in here than in an m/m novel, but I do like the open endedness, and the subtle exploration of various purposes to life.

I'm not a huge fan of the line quality from those Pentel brush pens Thompson uses. The pages from Morocco where he loses them and has to use a substitute are by far my favourite in the book.
☺Trish
Thank goodness Craig Thompson's self-deprecating sense of humor comes across loud and clear in his travel diary, Carnet de Voyage, or else readers might assume that he is a self-absorbed, whiny, wussy, ugly American tourist. For one thing, this was very much a "working" journey for Thompson - doing book signings and a promotion tour for his published books, Blankets and Goodbye, Chunky Rice, and doing research for his next, Habibi.
I really appreciated the fact that Thompson told it like it is -
...more
PersepolisSleuth
Craig Thompson’s beautiful book, Carnet de Voyage, is a travel journal written in comic form that chronicles a two-month trip he made to Paris, Switzerland, and Morocco to attend book signings, give interviews, and promote his work. On his trip Thompson is seized with illnesses, fatigue, severe hand pain, loneliness, and heartsickness, and he captures all of it with the most stunning, detailed, exquisitely rendered drawings. The section in which he visits Morocco is particularly impressive - his ...more
Sj
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Noah
Inspired me to travel. Well, maybe not travel - more like, explore my corner of the world and document it via sketches. I actually got a sketchbook and have sketched like 3 things already. Also, reading this made me more interested in Thompson - made me like Habibi a little more, by getting a better sense of the author.
Caitlin
In terms of form, Carnet de Voyage was not meant to be more than a travel journal, and readers should understand this up front. Thompson himself makes such a note, writing in a disclaimer at the very beginning that Carnet is a "self-indulgent side project." But it's much more valuable than Thompson lets on. It's been amplified and crafted into more of a catalog of musings than a sketchbook.

Thompson's collection of quick and intimate sketches offer a glimpse of his 3-month adventure and serve as
...more
Sophie Brookover
I will read anything by Craig Thompson. This isn't the equal of Blankets, but it is a beautiful, self-revealing travelogue. A little whiney at times, but well worth a read, and a good stopgap til the next book.
Malbadeen
My life is so full of Bougoisse bullshit right now that I don't have time to explain why I filed this book under, "Bougoisse bullshit". But, please, I implore you, try and sleep until I can get back to this.
Keri (JD)
Craigs view on life is just beyond reproach beautiful. He comes to conclusions I often find myself at when traveling, and makes life just seem beautiful despite expressing its ugliness.
Becki Iverson
I am a HUGE Craig Thompson fan, and somehow in blitzing through his bibliography I missed this little gem of a travel journal.

Written while he was on tour to promote "Blankets," and inspiring the later masterpiece of "Habibi," Thompson chronicles his journey throughout Europe and Morocco ten years ago. As always, Carnet is beautifully drawn and consistently evokes truths about the human existence in ways that aren't as well expressed in text alone. The Moroccan section of "Carnet" is particular
...more
Laura
One of my favorites of all time. I want to marry Craig Thompson.
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Craig Ringwalt Thompson (b. September 21, 1975 in Traverse City, Michigan) is a graphic novelist best known for his 2003 work Blankets. Thompson has received four Harvey Awards, two Eisner Awards, and two Ignatz Awards. In 2007, his cover design for the Menomena album Friend and Foe received a Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package.

More about Craig Thompson...
Blankets Habibi Good-Bye, Chunky Rice Dark Horse Deluxe Journal: Craig Thompson's Angels and Demons Kissypoo Garden: The Shorter Works of Craig Thompson

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“You have so many layers, that you can peel away a few, and everyone's so shocked or impressed that you're baring your soul, while to you it's nothing, because you know you've twenty more layers to go.” 84 likes
“You and I are so much the same...

You have so many layers, that you can peel away a few, and everyone's so shocked or impressed that you're baring your soul, while to you it's nothing, because you know you've twenty more layers to go...

... But we're the ones that are most scared, and need the most love.”
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