Blankets Hardcover – Aug 25 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Revisiting the themes of deep friendship and separation Thompson surveyed in Goodbye Chunky Rice, his acclaimed and touching debut, this sensitive memoir recreates the confusion, emotional pain and isolation of the author's rigidly fundamentalist Christian upbringing, along with the trepidation of growing into maturity. Skinny, naive and spiritually vulnerable, Thompson and his younger brother manage to survive their parents' overbearing discipline (the brothers are sometimes forced to sleep in "the cubby-hole," a forbidding and claustrophobic storage chamber) through flights of childhood fancy and a mutual love of drawing. But escapist reveries can't protect them from the cruel schoolmates who make their lives miserable. Thompson's grimly pious parents and religious community dismiss his budding talent for drawing; they view his creative efforts as sinful and relentlessly hector the boys about scripture. By high school, Thompson's a lost, socially battered and confused soul-until he meets Raina and her clique of amiable misfits at a religious camp. Beautiful, open, flexibly spiritual and even popular (something incomprehensible to young Thompson), Raina introduces him to her own less-than-perfect family; to a new teen community and to a broader sense of himself and his future. The two eventually fall in love and the experience ushers Thompson into the beginnings of an adult, independent life. Thompson manages to explore adolescent social yearnings, the power of young love and the complexities of sexual attraction with a rare combination of sincerity, pictorial lyricism and taste. His exceptional b&w drawings balance representational precision with a bold and wonderfully expressive line for pages of ingenious, inventively composed and poignant imagery.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Thompson's Good-bye, Chunkie Rice (Top Shelf, 1999) offered readers well-realized but fantastic characters in a tale that nicely combined sentiment with adventure. This second, much longer work shares the acuity for character development and dynamic sensitivity that makes the author so compulsively readable. In Blankets, however, realism reigns supreme in both the story arc and in the humanity of its characters. Thompson himself is the protagonist, and this is his tale of growing up, falling in love (and realizing the physical and moral complications that can imply), discovering the texture and limits of his faith, and arriving at a point from which he can look back at those experiences. The snowy Midwest, peopled by overweight parents, hairy youths, and lovingly depicted younger siblings-including a respectfully and realistically treated minor character with Down syndrome-is energetically realized in Thompson's expressive lines and inking. Much of the story occurs when Craig and his brother Phil are young boys and includes images of such boyish pranks as peeing on one another. Older high school students who have reached an age when nostalgia is possible will warm to Thompson's own wistfulness. This is a big graphic novel, in concept and successful execution.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
'Blankets,' at its core is a simple, timeless story (coming of age, first-love, alienation, anxiety, pursuit of spiritual identity, teen-angst) told thousands of times over the millenia (books, poems, songs, movies, television) but perfectly captured, perhaps for the first time, in comic-strip form. This book is exquisitely plotted, paced, written and drawn and by the end of it all one can't help but be left dazed at the sheer artistic excellence demonstrated by Thompson, from start to finish, through thousands of panels. Visually, the black and white artwork is a stunner but perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of all is Thompson's gift for prose with not a wasted word to be found in his minimalistic narrative that still manages to be filled with layer after layer of subtext.
This truly is a title not to be missed by anyone with an appreciation for the written word, not to mention the graphical novel format. The stylish cover design and paper quality also lends itself very well as a gift-giving item.
You have to read it to find out.
That is really all there is to say. I just sat down tonight and read all 582 pages in one sitting. This is not to brag mind you -- I am not a fast reader (truly this took most of the night). I am having to force myself not to re-read this book TONIGHT. It is that good. But I must go to work tomorrow and so I need sleep. But I seriously considered calling in sick tomorrow, just to read it again tonight.
This is one of the best introspective and thoughtful, well-paced, books I have ever read. Ever. And it is so accessible. If you have ever dealt with issues with your family, spiritual things, or romantic love, then you will definately get something out of this book -- even if it is just the book getting some tears out of you. But it won't be. There is WAY more to this book than just a rollercoaster ride of emotions. What depth.
Well, i guess i could go on ranting about this book, but then your reading this would just take up time that you could be using to read this book. No, time that you SHOULD be using to read this book. Sufice it to say that this is easily one of the best books that i have ever read in my life. And in addition, it is one of the most relivent to life in general.
This book is, without question, a must-read.
Feelings and emotion are aspects that are rarely PERFECTED in the medium of the Graphic novel, but seems to be at least close to perfection here. Additionally, there's only few comic books or Graphic Novels that I would be quick to rave about, but this one seems to make the list. Since I've had the book, I've read it three times, and the first time I literally couldn't put it down until I finished (which, at 500+ pages, means it's not always the best idea to start this one around 11:00 at night, like I did...)
I've also lent this book to three friends already, and all of them have either bought the book (2), or I've had to literally STEAL it back from them because they were also as fond of the story as I.
The fact of the matter is that this graphic novel is beyond words. I can't tell ASPECTS of the story without feeling like I'll do it an injustice. I can relate, as just about everyone can to some extent, but I just can't put the words to paper the way I'd like to. I can't even begin to explain how much I liked the story, and my writing ability isn't good enough to give it the credit it deserves...
I will say this, this is a story of relationships, growing up, and just life in general. If you think graphic novel means superheros in tights, this isn't for you, but if you think you'd like a story about growing up and the little things that come along with it, don't miss this book, regardless of whether or not it's a graphic novel, because it's just one of the best stories I've read in a long time (and the fact that it's a graphic novel doesn't deter from the story at all, in fact, it definitely makes it better)...
Most recent customer reviews
It's about some mopey guy that is at summer camp who gets a crush on a girl. While being an emo dork about it all, he fondly remembers getting into literal pissing matches whilst... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ian Aspden
This book already has plenty of reviews but I really enjoyed this. It's a book about the author growing up. It hits you hard with emotional hardship and playfulness. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Wade A
If you've been in young love, this book will recall back to those times.
A beautiful book, beautifully illustrated.
I wasn't 100% sold on this book, the style didn't suit my taste so I took a while to crack it open. Once I did I din't stop until I was finished. It's absolutely brilliant. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jasmine
Came in perfect condition. This book is absolutely beautiful, and is going to make a wonderful gift!Published 19 months ago by Zahra Syed
Its pretty good, a little odd but still pretty good nonetheless. However the book is absolutely beautifully drawn and illustrated and is definitely worth purchasing on that alone.Published 22 months ago by Andrew P.