Blankets by Craig Thompson

4/5 Stars
Genre: Graphic Memoir/Nonfiction
Release Date: August, 2003
Source: Library – Borrowed

This is a story about sibling rivalry, first loves, loss, and winter in Wisconsin. Thompson writes about his personal experiences growing up, what they taught him, and what they left him with. This graphic memoir catalogs a short amount of time linearly, but so much more happens and is explored during that time. This is a moving memoir that will surely pull on your heart strings and remind you of the feelings that are associated with coming of age. A heartbreaking and heartwarming story all at once.

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I had been meaning to read this for a while, but after seeing it crop up among some friends, I knew I had to make it more of a priority. So, the next time I came across it at the Library, I checked it right out.

I’m glad I did. Even though this is a quick read, it’s a deep, meaningful one. Sure, it’s easy to skim the surface and finish it in an hour or two. However, this book goes so much deeper than that, and I think if you’re going to read this, you should look fully into its depths.

There is so much going on in this story. It’s nonfiction, but it’s so beautifully written and illustrated that it’s often easy to forget that you’re not reading something fictional. Thompson has a way with words and pictures and that love and talent come across easily on the page. I was fully invested in this story and read it all in one sitting.

I found myself connecting emotionally to the young Thompson. Having been born and raised in Wisconsin, I understood many of the elemental aspects of the story. That wasn’t where my comparisons ceased, though. I found myself having some very similar experiences same as what some of Thompson’s were. However, they weren’t the same experiences, and I think Thompson writes in a way that makes his struggles so relatable. Thompson writes in a  vulnerable way as well as unapologetically, and I believe that makes the story even stronger and more understandable for the reader.

Still, I couldn’t quite give this story the full 5 stars. It’s hard to explain exactly what was missing, and I’m not even sure I know what it was that was missing, but there was still a wedged distance that I couldn’t quite cross. I’m not saying I wish Thompson would have done anything differently. I never wish for authors to share more than they want to, and he really poured his heart onto the page.

Still, there is just something that wasn’t all there for me. My god I wish I knew what it was so I could explain better why I couldn’t give this 5 shining stars. Maybe somebody else had a similar experience?

I’m not sure. Anyway, I highly recommend this book. It’s a beautiful memoir and a story that deserves to be read. Thompson’s words and illustrations are beautiful and deserve to continue to circulate. Maybe if I ever read it again I’ll discover what that missing piece was. Until then, please, please read this book.

Book Depository – $27.20


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