Blankets [Book Review]

Title: Blankets
Author: Craig Thompson
Genre: Graphic Novel, Memoir
ISBN: 1891830430
Pages: 592
Year: 2003
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Source: Library
Rating: 5/5

Graphic novels seem all the rage lately. Everyone is reading them. Except me. Last weekend during the readathon, I decided to change that. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to start with my plunge into graphic novels, but Nymeth from Things Mean a Lot‘s gushing review of Blankets sealed my fate. Blankets was to be that first graphic novel. And I was certainly not disappointed.

Blankets is billed as an illustrated novel, but I’m 99% sure it’s actually a memoir. It’s primarily the story of Thompson’s first love but the scenes jump around from his childhood spent sharing a bed with his little brother and eventually to his adulthood. Blankets is moving in a way that I didn’t realize graphic novels could be. This book made me want to fall in love for the first time all over again.

Blankets shows us two very different families and does not hide the ugly parts.  We see the pain in Raina’s parents and the authority in Thompson’s. It tackles the tough questions so many of us face growing up in religious families. Thompson, once destined for the ministry, begins questioning the absolutes he’s been taught, and the world his faith has created starts unraveling around him.

This story in a regular format would not do it justice. The illustrations convey so much emotion. Words alone cannot describe how amazing this novel is, so I must include some “excerpts.”

This is a story for anyone who has ever fallen in love, or questioned her faith, or even those who have yet to do either. Please, please, please go read this if you haven’t. It will only take you a couple hours. Then find me on here, call me, knock on my door and share with me your love for this book.

Buy It Now: Amazon; IndieBound; Powell’s

Other Reviews:

32 thoughts on “Blankets [Book Review]

  1. Dominique April 21, 2010 / 7:45 am

    This sounds really great. I’ve never read a graphic novel before so maybe I should give it a go. It must have been a nice change of pace during the readathon too.

    Like

    • Michelle April 21, 2010 / 11:33 am

      It was a great readathon book. And a good confidence booster.

      Like

  2. Emily April 21, 2010 / 7:52 am

    So glad that you loved this too! 🙂

    You’ve summed up why I love graphic novels too – talented artists combine the words and illustrations to convey feelings and emotions that can’t be described with just words. I think it’s a format that works especially well for memoirs, and most of my favorite graphic novels are memoirs.

    Have you decided what graphic novel you want to try next?

    Like

    • Michelle April 21, 2010 / 11:32 am

      I own Persepolis, so I might read that one next. I think I might also do a post asking for favorites from people.

      Like

  3. nat @book, line, and sinker April 21, 2010 / 8:08 am

    wow, what a great review! i’ve seen another review around the book blogs–can’t remember where–and meant to write down the title. now i’m dashing it into my book journal! i’ve only read one graphic novel so far but really enjoyed it. now i’m off to read another! thanks. 🙂

    Like

    • Michelle April 21, 2010 / 11:32 am

      I hope you enjoy it!

      Like

  4. Amy April 21, 2010 / 8:18 am

    I saw the review you mention and now with your added praise I might have to move it up the wish list… even if it is a graphic novel and I haven’t read many! It looks interesting.

    Like

    • Michelle April 21, 2010 / 11:32 am

      It was a good beginning graphic novel for me, so I hope you enjoy it as well.

      Like

    • Michelle April 22, 2010 / 2:00 pm

      I’ll add yours above (I like that we included the same pages).

      Like

  5. Kristie April 21, 2010 / 3:09 pm

    This sounds like a wonderful book! I have read graphic novels before, but only a “series” by one author, Marjane Satrapi. She has three graphic memoirs: Persepolis, Persepolis 2, and Embroideries. I don’t think they were written in that order, for sure, but that’s how they go if you’d like to read them as memoirs of her life. I love them! They’re essentially growing up while Iran was going through all of the changes in the past half-decade or so. So I find the topic interesting, even if they weren’t memoirs. I have also been meaning to read Maus, another memoir I believe. I think I’ll have to check this Blankets book out. You’ve sort of sold me on how great it is :o) Glad you enjoyed your first graphic novel.

    Like

    • Michelle April 22, 2010 / 2:02 pm

      I have Persepolis and might make it my next GN.

      Like

  6. Bina April 21, 2010 / 3:46 pm

    That sounds really wonderful! My library even has a copy of it. Might be very interesting to read it soon since I´m taking a graphic lit class this semester and then can look at how the theory of comic books is put into practice 🙂

    Like

    • Michelle April 22, 2010 / 2:03 pm

      I bet that’s an interesting class. 🙂

      Like

  7. Buried In Print April 21, 2010 / 4:13 pm

    This really is a wonderful story. The romantic relationship is sooo well done, but I also thought the familial relationships were engaging. I loved that it was long, too: I’m sure it’s expensive to produce graphic novels of that length, but I wish more of them were that long, especially when so well done.

    Like

    • Michelle April 22, 2010 / 2:03 pm

      Even at that length, it still only took me a couple hours to get through. I would have been disappointed with anything less. I wanted it to go on forever.

      Like

  8. Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict April 21, 2010 / 6:47 pm

    I’ve seen reviews on this one. It has peaked my interests. I’m not sure about graphic novels, but I would like to give them a chance. Great review! I think i’ll have to give this one a try.

    Like

    • Michelle April 22, 2010 / 2:04 pm

      I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

      Like

  9. Heather April 21, 2010 / 9:18 pm

    So glad you loved it too! Blankets is one of my favorite graphic novels. 🙂

    Like

    • Michelle April 22, 2010 / 2:04 pm

      I’m going to be asking for other favorites soon. I hope you check back and let me know what else to read.

      Like

  10. Lenore April 22, 2010 / 4:36 am

    I browsed through this at the bookstore, but it was in German translation so I didn’t get it. I’ll have to order it!

    Like

    • Michelle April 22, 2010 / 2:07 pm

      I think it’s probably hard to browse and understand the amazingness, German or not.

      Like

  11. Iris April 22, 2010 / 7:29 am

    I think I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews about this book. I don’t often read graphic novels, but I think I’d love to read this one.

    Like

    • Michelle April 22, 2010 / 2:08 pm

      I highly recommend it as an intro to graphic novels.

      Like

  12. Susan April 22, 2010 / 1:41 pm

    You make me want to give graphic novels a shot, though it’s not a medium I’ve ever read or wanted to read…

    Like

    • Michelle April 22, 2010 / 2:08 pm

      Do it! It will take you approximately 15 minutes to read.

      Like

  13. Vishy April 23, 2010 / 3:59 pm

    Glad to know that you liked ‘Blankets’. I have it on my ‘TBR’ list. Graphic novels are so wonderful, aren’t they? A couple of years back I was on a graphic novel reading spree, and it looks like this year the bug has bitten me again 🙂

    Like

  14. Nymeth April 24, 2010 / 8:30 am

    I’m so glad you loved it too, Michelle! And oh, how I love those panels you posted. It makes me want to read it agan!

    Like

  15. Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict May 19, 2010 / 8:09 pm

    My friend just gave me this book, and I was shocked at the length. It’s much bigger than I expected. I’m looking forward to read it.

    Like

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