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Carnet de Voyage

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  4,030 Ratings  ·  379 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)
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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
Rebecca Foster
A sketchbook Thompson kept on his combined European book tour for Blankets and research trip for Habibi in March–May 2004. It doesn’t really work as a stand-alone graphic memoir because there isn’t much of a narrative, just a series of book signings, random encounters with friends and strangers, and tourism. My favorite two-page spread is about a camel ride he took into the Moroccan desert. I could also sympathize with his crippling hand pain (from all that drawing) and his “chaos tolerance” o ...more
Andrew
May 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Ma'Belle
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Bandit
Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Random reading selection. I love both travelogues and graphic novels, though this was the first time I've come across of combination of the two in one book. Mixed results. The author does state that this is merely his travel journal and not really a book and it reads as such, as in not much of a story outside of a fairly reluctant traveler, encountering some civilized enjoyable locales and other much less so. Morroco is presented in a pretty bleak realistic way, it's refreshing to see someone no ...more
Hillary
Jun 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Kristy
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Sooraya Evans
Jun 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Loved his work on Blankets.
That's why I decided to give this one a try.
Overall, disappointed.
It's just boring. Artwork still OK though...

Daniel
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully enjoyable travelogue and an endearingly self-deprecating insight into Craig Thompson's mind.
Meg
I loved this book. His art is amazing, his thoughts interesting....and as a fellow traveler I found myself agreeing with his search for isolation while not wanting to be lonely. Craig travels to France (Lyon! Tu me manques!), Spain and Morocco...and I ate this book up. I would love to record my travels with a pen and a ink....but alas, I do not have the same talent.
Read if you love to travel, or you yearn to travel....or just need a break from life.
2017 Reading Challenge: A book with pictures
Axel Barceló
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am not a big fan of Mr. Thomspon's drawing style and, of course, the American perspective on France, Barcelona and Morocco was quite alien to me; yet, the book ended up winning me over. It is very honest and many aspects of international comics trade shows sounded very similar to the world of international academic meetings, so I identified with him many on those later European chapters.
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
Alyse Liebovich
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
"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
Lu Limón
Even though I really liked the author's drawings and sketches (the ones from Morocco are astonishing, and an accurate preview of Habibi), I missed a bit more of storytelling to wrap everything up. I know, it's a travelogue and it isn't supposed to be a narration, but still, sometimes the pictures don't make all the sense without their words. It's what I love about graphic novels: the fact that it's not a fight between writing and drawing, but a truce where they meet and make something stronger, ...more
Matt Richter
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
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
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic
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
Monica
Mar 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Walker
Jun 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Kirsten
Feb 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Kaimynas
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Ginny
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Emma Sea
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Sam
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Sérgio
Sep 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: bd
That was a really pleasant read, between sketchbook and auto-bio comic. Craig Thompson's art (Blutch influenced) is really beautiful and I liked his encounters with other cartoonists. It's a little bit too lightweight in my opinion, thought.

It's amazing that he did such a quality book during a couple of months while traveling.
Emily
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
It may not be a wholly together narrative piece like Blankets or Habibi, but this is still quite a raw intimate glimpse into Craig Thompson, his life and his art.
Travel and art are two of my favourite things, so to go on journey with him whilst experiencing both of these things through his sketchbook was really lovely.
Jacquie Fortin
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Raw and honest and beautiful. It made me simultaneously really WANT to go back out and travel again and make friends with strangers and really NOT WANT to go back out again, and just enjoy the easy comforts of home instead. It was lovely to see the world through his eyes/pen and connect to many of the travel struggles he described that I'd (on some level) experienced myself when I was abroad.
Noah
Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-reviewed
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.
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.
Sophie Brookover
Dec 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
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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...

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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.” 110 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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