All the feels you guys, all the feels…
I did not think a graphic novel could pull me in this quickly and keep me satisfied for so long. “Blankets” was one of those books I took a chance on, and I’m so glad I picked it up and read it! It’s a hefty piece of work (592 pages), and I made it through in decent time. (The only reason it took me most of August to finish was because I couldn’t haul it with me on vacation; otherwise, it would’ve been finished long before now.)
I don’t re-hash books in my reviews; I mainly just gush and guffaw and recommend. Usually, (and depending on mood), if I take the time to review a book it’s because it’s touched me in some way or made a difference in my reading life. “Blankets” is one of those books, and its format was simply delightful. I honestly don’t know if I could’ve maintained interest in the story had it NOT been in graphic novel form. I found myself very wrapped up in the story, and I think this is mostly because Thompson is a very talented artist who brought the characters to life so clearly through his drawings.
I’ve only read a handful of graphic novels so far, and I’m glad to count this one among them. Craig Thompson’s story is beautifully-rendered and very special. Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:
Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith.
Thompson writes his own story here, taking us deep into the heavy-hearted confusion that seemed to abound in his adolescent years. He writes and illustrates honestly about his experiences, so honestly in fact that it felt almost like a voyeuristic endeavor on my part as the reader. His adolescent confusion regarding his fundamentalist religious faith, family relationships, and budding romantic interest were (collectively) completely overwhelming at times, but nonetheless enjoyable. I can’t say much more than that; it is just a beautiful book, and I recommend anyone pick it up and start reading it. The almost 600 pages will fly by like you wouldn’t believe!
*Don’t judge my reasoning here, but the only reason it wasn’t a 5/5 star read for me is 1) because I’m not a die-hard graphic novel fan (yet?), and I’m still learning how to read and experience a graphic novel. (The graphic novel reading experience is just not the same as with novels but I’m learning to adjust.) And 2) because, while the subject matter was beautiful and I will read his other books, I couldn’t exactly relate to Thompson’s individual experience (the crazy-strict fundamentalist religion, the sibling relationships, etc.) do not apply to my life in the least. I was very much an outsider looking in, and that’s just fine :-)
Tell me what you’re reading as we merge into September!
Keepin’ on with the keepin’ on,