Bonnie's Reviews > Blankets

Blankets by Craig Thompson
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's review
Mar 22, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: autobiography, graphic-novel, love, bildungsroman, christianity, coming-of-age, young-adult, brothers, nonfiction, religion, bullying, wla-2011
Read in April, 2005

** spoiler alert ** Craig Thompson tells his own story in this graphic novel. As a youth, he grew up with heavily religious parents in a midwestern town. Thompson is a social outcast, with questions and thoughts that don’t fit in with his classmates or fellow worshippers. As he grows up, he separates himself from his artwork and daydreams, until he meets Raina at church camp. Raina inspires Crutcher in both his artwork and to become an adult. Their relationship blossoms on the page as Thompson embraces his artwork again. Gradually he comes to realize that he must move out of his stifling environment and beyond the constraints of his family’s religion and beliefs. Though the story line with Thompson and his brother takes a backseat to the romance with Raina, it is touching and Thompson ends with it.

Thompson’s graphic novel has a plot that is powerful enough to stand on its own. However, the artwork really brings the story to life. The coming of age story is beautifully told and Thompson’s painful transitions are more evident through the medium. Thompson’s relationship with his brother does fade away for the majority of the story and, though he returns to it at the end, the reader misses the presence. We wonder what happened to change the relationship between the two boys. The depiction of the surrounding characters, from the hairy jocks to the devout teens, says more to the reader about Thompson and his life than he could spend an entire novel explaining.

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