Leslie's Reviews > Blankets

Blankets by Craig Thompson
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Feb 18, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novels
Recommended to Leslie by: Kateri
Recommended for: contemplative types who had to go to church camp
Read in April, 2008

This is a beautiful and true depiction of first love. One of the best of its kind, I think.

Thompson has said that he wrote and illustrated this - the longest graphic novel to date - in order to describe what it feels like to sleep next to someone for the first time ... a simple goal that he accomplishes with almost heart-breaking tenderness.

The novel's structure seems to me very important. After the first chapter establishes his isolated, rural, fundamentalist childhood, Thompson crafts all of the remaining chapters so they each contain some reference to his childhood (usually touching upon the squabbles or imaginative play that came from being forced to share a bed with his younger brother), juxtaposed with his struggle against lonliness as a young adult. And then he meets Raina.

Thompson's illustrative style seems somewhat spare, most of the time (though there are richly textured panels, to be sure). But the emotion on his characters' faces and in their "movement" is powerfully nuanced.

There elements of sadness, but it is not a sad book. There are moments of elation, but it is not a happy book. It's hard for me to put it into words, but this illustrated novel (the term Thompson prefers over "graphic novel") just makes you feel kind of peaceful and aware when you finish reading it.
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