- Hardcover: 592 pages
- Publisher: Top Shelf Productions; New edition (Aug. 23 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1603090967
- ISBN-13: 978-1603090964
- Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 4.8 x 23.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 58 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #231,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Blankets Hardcover – Aug 1 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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Although incredibly gorgeous, the illustrations were black and white, allowing tough subjects like: bullying, the sexual guilt that Christian upbringing can have on children, and long-distance relationships to become the center of attention.
I recommend reading this book on a good day.
'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.
Blankets is not only my pick for graphic novel of the year, but it is an instant literary classic for both world literature and the illustrated novel. The Library Journal has just named Blankets as one of the "Best Books of 2003", and this is the first time they've ever picked a graphic novel for this list: "Crystallizing desire, despair, joy, redemption, and other fleeting emotions with voluptuous lines and a barrage of cross-hatching, Thompson
has produced a triumph for the genre." -- Library Journal
While reading this 582 page epic, I felt joy, anxiety, sickened with humanity, hopelessness, faithless, lost, aroused and praying for everything to be okay for every character in this book. Blankets follows Craig and his little brother, Phil, as children growing up in a small town. I don't want to give the story away as it deserves to be discovered alone, but trust me when I say that anyone who reads this will be moved deeply. There are also so many magical moments in this story-too many to name here and I wouldn't do them justice. Craig Thompson has written the perfect story in both genres with his artwork complimenting his literature and his literature complimenting his art. Reading doesn't get any more magical than this.
You can display Blankets proudly on your bookshelf right next to Frank Miller's Elektra Assassin, Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, Dave McKean's Cages, Farel Dalrymple's Pop Gun War, David Gilmour's Lost Between Houses, George Pratt's Enemy Ace, and Maureen Medved's The Tracey Fragments. It's that good!
Hands down, this is a sacred work and storytelling at its finest!
Richard Van Camp
Author of The Lesser Blessed
and Angel Wing Splash Pattern
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Most recent customer reviews
A beautiful book, beautifully illustrated.