Let’s talk about a book today.
I don’t know how the weather is like where you are, but over here, it’s pretty cold. I mean, cold for me. Which means under 8°C outside. I’m shivering and I can’t feel my feet anymore when I’m typing this. If your situation is closed to mine, well, I’m sorry to hear about that. But maybe you could warm your heart with Blankets by Craig Thompson.
My boyfriend lent me this book earlier this year when we were not dating yet. Now it’s been like 6 months since that day and it’s still on my desk. Not that I just read it, I actually devoured it when he gave it to me. But it’s such a beautiful item that I want to keep it. Whenever my eyes meet Blankets, I’m like “aw man, I should give it back to him, I have it for a while… BUT I DON’T WANT TO, WHAT SHOULD I DO?” and then I forget about it. Anyway.*
Blankets is an autobiographical graphic novel, out in 2003. The size of the book might frighten you. Actually, it looks like a dictionary. There are about 600 pages. No, you didn’t misread and no, I didn’t mistype. It well is six hundred pages. But the story telling is so amazing that you read it fast.
Blankets tells about Craig Thompson’s first love story. At this time, he’s a teenager who is devoted to religion. He meets Raina at a Bible camp and immediately falls for her. But this book is not all about teen love. Thompson tells about his childhood, his severe father, his little brother who sometimes annoys him, and the sexual harassment that him and his brother suffer from their babysitter. He also tells about how he’s being bullied at school because he’s thin. Or because he has long hair. He tells about culpability and fear. He tells about how he found comfort in religion. And how he found love thanks to it. He tells about how this relationship evolves, from their first to their last kiss. And he tells about how he feels about it years later.
The book covers a great period of Thompson’s life. It’s all about flashbacks and backs to the love story time. But at no point you’re lost. It’s well structured and you don’t get bored when you read it. And if you’ve already read one of Thompson’s book, you know how beautiful the drawing is. Feelings are so well transcribed through the characters facial expressions and landscapes are incredible. It’s so detailed and streamlined at the same time.
It took me about 3 hours to read it in one go. You’re so drawn in the story that you can’t take your eyes off of the pages. It’s moving and sensitive. Sometimes it’s harsh to read and you can’t hold your tears. I remember sending messages to boyfriend as I was reading. A message about how funny was that quote. One about how mean was that character. One about how wonderful was that strip. One about how sad was that part. And one to say how much I cried.
Take this book and a hot chocolate, and go read Blankets in your bed. Think about listening to Sufjan Stevens, Kings of Convenience or Keaton Henson when you’re reading and the moment is perfect.
* sorry love if you’re reading this. And thank you so much for this book.