Tuesday, March 22, 2005


I just finished reading the graphic novel Blankets by Craig Thompson. This is perhaps the best book I have read in a long time. I was captivated from the beginning; I didn’t want to put it down. (My wife didn’t put it down – she read it in one sitting.) You don’t have to believe me. Time Magazine, Publishers Weekly, The New York Times Book Review (may require registration), and a host of others all rave about this book.

Blankets is a story about obsession, both religious and romantic. You cannot deny the impact Thompson’s upbringing in an ultra-conservative church background has on this story. But Thompson is able to look at that past, and at himself, with true honesty. He does not finger point in the ways many of us wish he would, though his portrayal of people in his church will certainly strike a chord with many of you.* Instead Thompson paints a beautiful portrait that captures your attention from the beginning.

Add this book to the top of your summer reading list. It truly is a work of art.

*If you want to read more of Thompson’s thoughts about his background, among other things, check out his great interview with Jason Dodd from Bandoppler.


bobbie said...

hey ben, welcome back to the blogosphere! we've missed your take on the world!

i loved blankets, and like your wife read it cover to cover. growing up in wisconsin fundamentalism at camp - it was the male perspective of my life.

just brilliant!

Wasp Jerky said...

I've been wanting to read Blankets for a while, although I didn't realize it was about Thompson's experiences with religious mania. Actually I didn't know anything about it, other than that it's a highly praised graphic novel (which automatically puts it on my must read list). Thanks for the heads up. I'll probably get to this much sooner now.

Kyle said...

I think that anybody who grew up Christian in the Midwest (and was the least bit of an outcast) can relate to Thompson's story. I love it for being an honest expression of one person's spiritual experiences. It's a little disappointing and sad to me, though, that he chose to give up his faith completely, as a result of his disillusionment. Also, I feel like Thompson exaggerates the narrow-mindedness of Christians a little too much, to the point that they are less real than the other characters in the story. I have my own problems with fundamentalism, but I can also recognize that real-life fundamentalists are complex, and often kind, people.

Those complaints aside, I agree that this is a masterpiece of the graphic storytelling medium.

allegri said...

Sounds like it was a good book, I'll have to go check it out. I found your site via Holy Weblog, and I just wanted to say hi, and that I quess that I might pass you by on the street someday, since I too will be attending Bethel starting in August! Happy Blogging!

allegri said...
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Anonymous said...

I loved that book! Really, one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. Really captures love as well as the outcast feelings. I've shared it with some people who are in the process of making sense of their religious upbringing.

Wasp Jerky said...

So I read Blankets this weekend and loved it. Thanks for the suggestion, Ben. It's been a while since I've read a graphic novel that good.

Paula said...

I originally blogged over from someone else's site and then bookmarked you. Like what you're writing, but you need to feed us a little more, Mister. RE: t-shirts. I have a post on my site prompted by a t-shirt I saw. It's the 3-2-05 post, "Stuntwoman" at www.xanga.com/praise117

Nicole said...

LOL! I'm so busy with school I didn't even realize that you read Blankets this past weekend, Kevin? Wow. I want to read it to, sound great. I bet it will ring true with this Southern girl, the Midwest isn't the only place in America that thinks it's too wholesome for it's own good.

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