Blankets Paperback – Aug 18 2003
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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.
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
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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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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If you've been in young love, this book will recall back to those times.
A beautiful book, beautifully illustrated.
Came in perfect condition. This book is absolutely beautiful, and is going to make a wonderful gift!Published on July 15 2014 by Zahra Syed