Kengo's Reviews > Stitches

Stitches by David Small
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U_50x66
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Mar 20, 12

Read in March, 2012

Stitches by David Small is a award winning graphic novel for mature readers which depicts the childhood of a boy who has been virtually muted. It starts off with David appearing as a small 6 year-old boy. It is said that he had problems with his sinuses and digestive system when he was born. As his dad was a doctor, he knew what to do gave him x-rays not knowing the risks of giving a baby high amount of radiation. Several years later when he was 11, he finds out that he has something like a growth in his throat. Although he went to the doctor it was said that it was just a cebaceous cyst. His mother didn't like the idea of having to spend money for a operation, so she just left it as it was. 3 and a half years after his first diagnosis, he has an operation. The doctor said it went well although David has to take a second operation. HIs mother comes to pay him a visit and says she'll give anything that he wants. So his mom gives him a book that he asked for. After his second operation, he finds out that one of his vocal cords were taken away and that he had a massive stitch on his neck. He also finds out that without a vocal cord, he can only make sounds like "ack". A few weeks later he finds out that he had cancer and that he was expected to die, through a letter that he found. There he finds out all the mysteries behind his families weird actions. As he starts living normally again, he finds out that without a voice his practically invisible. He starts to get angry at everything that happened and gets sent to jail, gets sent to an all boys school and sent even to seek psychiatric help. When he turns fifteen he meets a doctor and there, he slowly opens up his thoughts. Then after that, his dad finally tells him the truth about how his x-ray gave him cancer. When he was 16, he ran away from home and started living in a one-room apartment. There he meets people like him and he learns art which he describes as the thing that gave him a voice. And later he meets his mom on the verge of death in a hospital but neither of them can say anything. In the last part he describes a dream he had showing his mom sweeping a path which goes to a hospital in which David's grandmother is in.

I liked the whole book but I have 3 which I liked the most.
1) When David sees what happened to his neck.
I liked this part because that was when I finally found out why the book was called stitches. The expression on David's face is unforgettable as he looks startled at what he sees in the mirror. The picture of his stitch is drawn up close and his eyes look hollow unable to believe what he sees. Since its a graphic novel, I could understand more than what I would in a normal novel.

2) When David finds out that he had cancer.
I liked this part because it was a surprising moment when all the mysteries got unfolded. It was interesting how the author/illustrator drew the letter in one box and drew a few more boxes with 1 word in each box with the face of david reading the letter which made the sentence "Of-course the boy doesn't know he had cancer". It made clear why his mother was so nice to him before his 2nd operation and that he was supposed to die on high risks.


3) When David is told by his father that he was the one who gave him cancer.
I liked this part a lot because it was interesting how his dad apologized for giving him cancer in such a way. He first tells David how he as a doctor gave him x-rays,a was the normal treatment in his time which gave him loads of radiation. His dad after a pause says this line, he says "I gave you cancer'' and walks away. David stays still unable to say anythings and just looks blindly into the air.

I really enjoyed this book although it a bit hard to understand what the reader was trying to tell us by his drawings. I would recommend this book to people above the age of 13 as the story line is a bit shocking and scary. It is a hugely addicting book and the really good fact is, that it is a graphic novel.
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