elissa's Reviews > Habibi

Habibi by Craig Thompson
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 30, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: graphicnovels, 2011favorites, adultnovels, my_10s_reads, spirituality, survival_stories
Read from November 04 to 07, 2011

Definitely my favorite book of the year, and it's hard to imagine another book getting anywhere near it before the year's over. I'll need to read this again at least once, but I'm not sure how long it'll take me to be able to do that. I've already told Steve that I'm handing it off to him now, and that I really want (maybe need?) to talk with him about it. I felt the same way about Thompson's BLANKETS, and our discussion about it is probably one of the things that makes it one of my favorite books ever. (Maybe I should go back and add something about that to my "review" of BLANKETS.) When a graphic novel works this well for me it REALLY works (PERSEPOLIS is really the only other one that's on my favorites of all time list, but STITCHES is pretty far up there, too), and Craig Thompson has done it again for me. My mind is blown, but I can't even begin to comprehend how blown it is right after finishing it, and I'll have to let this one seep in slowly, just like real changes in life have to be patiently unfolded and absorbed. Since patiently absorbing is the phase that I'm already in right now, this book is coming along just at the right time for me. Along with its beauty, it's also a very harsh book, and includes so much that it's pretty much impossible for me to describe. It's about love, and it's about religion (and spirituality and faith), and it's about how we treat our world and each other, and there aren't many bigger topics than these (if any). I have no idea how Thompson was able to put all of this together so successfully in one book, but it did take him 7 years to write and draw, so obviously he didn't just dash it off. The Islamic symbolism, words, and designs are so lushly gorgeous, and the comparisons between the Koran and the Bible are fascinating. I knew that the two were closely related, but I didn't have any idea just how closely, and the most fascinating part is the slight differences, among the major stories (particularly the Abraham story, which Thompson concentrates on). Life is so full of mystery, and it's amazing that a graphic novel can express that so deeply. This is one that will not cross over so easily for teen readers, although I could see an older teen who enjoys his other work getting something out of it. Thompson worked on this from his early to mid-30's until his mid to late-30's (he was born in 1975, so he would have started working on this when he was about 33), and the mid-30's+ ideas that he's expressing would be read on a different level by teens.
2 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Habibi.
Sign In »

Quotes elissa Liked

Craig Thompson
“You're more than a story.”
Craig Thompson, Habibi

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by June (new) - added it

June There's a waiting list so it might be a while before I can get it.

elissa I doubt that either you or Steve will like it as much as I do, but I'll be interested to hear what you think. Have you read BLANKETS?

elissa Oh, and I put a hold on it last week, and it came in within a few days.

message 4: by June (new) - added it

June No, do you recommend reading it first? It's on my to read list, but I think it sounded to serious for me at the time.

elissa HABIBI is even more serious, so I'd start with BLANKETS if you want a taste of his writing, and move on to HABIBI if you like him. Steve likes BLANKETS a lot, too, probably much more than he'll like this recent one, but we'll see...

message 6: by June (new) - added it

June It's in and I placed it on hold, so I'll try it first.

back to top