Pin It
Favorite

Book Review 

by Ted S. McGregor Jr.


Blankets is not a small book. It weighs in at just under 600 pages; and its themes -- Christianity, art, love, parents, sex -- are equally heavy. But Blankets is easily the best book I've read so far this year. It's a book that you'll finish in a single evening, despite its length. You'll probably re-read it, or at least parts of it. And for much of the experience, you'll be lost in the magic of books that you probably felt when you first started reading. It's that good.


Blankets tells the story of the author as a young man; he's raised by devout Christian parents, who practice economy and tough love when raising their two sons. Thompson's early relationship with his brother is mirrored by his developing relationship with Christianity, as he struggles to understand not what his teachers and friends want him to do, but what Christ wants him to do. Later, he falls in love. The rest of the tale, weaving together all the themes that Thompson has set in motion, is intoxicating and painful in the way that it captures first love, first independence and first enlightenment.


One of the reasons that Blankets is so extraordinary is that it's a graphic novel (and a mature one -- the theme and images are for adults or young adults). In one passage, the protagonist describes the intoxicating experience of being in love (long-distance) in high school. We see the object of Thompson's affection, sprawled on her bed at the top of the page, writing a letter. "Most revealing was her handwriting -- including the indentations traced on each page from the page above. (She must have been pressing her pen hard.)" Then, bisecting the page, we see examples. "An alluring line looped her 'l's. Her 'f's were 'l's that instead of linking with the next letter, fell." And then, breathtakingly, Thompson shows us one of her words -- "flirtation." The 'f' does dip down, and turns into the lower torso of Thompson, lying in bed, shirtless and fixated on his absent love.


This is a remarkable reading experience and shouldn't be missed by anyone. Thompson digs deeper than the story, and works wonders with the ways that narratives are told. Books have been giving us images in words for centuries. It has taken artists like Craig Thompson to remind us that they can also give us emotions in pictures.





Publication date: 11/13/03

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Rich Man, Poor Men
  • Rich Man, Poor Men

    Can the wealthiest U.S. president ever help the poorest U.S. citizens?
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • La Resistance
  • La Resistance

    Michael Moore, Congressional Democrats and local progressives: How they are resisting Donald Trump's agenda
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Must-See TV?
  • Must-See TV?

    Alternatives to the inauguration (and how to make watching more fun if you have to)
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Own It 2017: Empowering Female Entrepreneurs

Own It 2017: Empowering Female Entrepreneurs @ CenterPlace Regional Event Center

Sat., Jan. 28, 9:15 a.m.-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • The Watch List
  • The Watch List

    You'll learn a lot by watching some key people who could make or break Trump's presidency
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Fake-News Nightmare
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • BOOKS
  • BOOKS

    From Twin Peaks to the darkest reaches of our galaxy, there's a new book for everyone on your list
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • The Landed and the White

    How Americans followed tradition when they voted for Trump
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


marijuana


green zone


Politics


Readers also liked…

  • Extraordinary Ordination
  • Extraordinary Ordination

    Meet the first woman to be ordained as an Ecumenical Catholic priest in Spokane
    • Nov 19, 2015
  • Shake Down
  • Shake Down

    When an earthquake rocks Western WA, what will happen in the Inland Northwest?
    • Jul 22, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation