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4.4 49
by Craig Thompson

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Named one of Time's top 100 Best Young
Adult Books of All Time!

"...A rarity: a first-love story so well remembered and honest that it reminds you what falling in love feels like. ...achingly beautiful." - Time

Wrapped in the landscape


Named one of Time's top 100 Best Young
Adult Books of All Time!

"...A rarity: a first-love story so well remembered and honest that it reminds you what falling in love feels like. ...achingly beautiful." - Time

Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith. A profound and utterly beautiful work from Craig Thompson.

592 pages, Blankets may well be the single largest graphic novel ever published without being serialized first.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
In telling his story, which includes beautifully rendered memories of the small brutalities that parents inflict upon their children and siblings upon each other, Thompson describes the ecstasy and ache of obsession (with a lover, with God) and is unafraid to suggest the ways that obsession can consume itself and evaporate. — Ken Tucker
Publishers Weekly
Revisiting the themes of deep friendship and separation Thompson surveyed in Goodbye Chunky Rice, his acclaimed and touching debut, this sensitive memoir recreates the confusion, emotional pain and isolation of the author's rigidly fundamentalist Christian upbringing, along with the trepidation of growing into maturity. Skinny, na ve and spiritually vulnerable, Thompson and his younger brother manage to survive their parents' overbearing discipline (the brothers are sometimes forced to sleep in "the cubby-hole," a forbidding and claustrophobic storage chamber) through flights of childhood fancy and a mutual love of drawing. But escapist reveries can't protect them from the cruel schoolmates who make their lives miserable. Thompson's grimly pious parents and religious community dismiss his budding talent for drawing; they view his creative efforts as sinful and relentlessly hector the boys about scripture. By high school, Thompson's a lost, socially battered and confused soul-until he meets Raina and her clique of amiable misfits at a religious camp. Beautiful, open, flexibly spiritual and even popular (something incomprehensible to young Thompson), Raina introduces him to her own less-than-perfect family; to a new teen community and to a broader sense of himself and his future. The two eventually fall in love and the experience ushers Thompson into the beginnings of an adult, independent life. Thompson manages to explore adolescent social yearnings, the power of young love and the complexities of sexual attraction with a rare combination of sincerity, pictorial lyricism and taste. His exceptional b&w drawings balance representational precision with a bold and wonderfully expressive line for pages of ingenious, inventively composed and poignant imagery. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Starting with his sometimes-rocky relationship with younger brother Phil, with whom he had to share a bed for years, Thompson leads the reader into his life in rural Wisconsin with staunchly fundamentalist Christian parents. Young Craig faces bullies at school and disapproval from teachers for some of his imaginative writing, and he feels a distinct dissatisfaction for the lack of real explanations for anything religious. Drawing becomes a means of escaping the harsher realities of life that only get tougher in high school. Craig continues to explore his vivid imagination in his art while trying to reconcile it with the restrictive beliefs of those around him. Then he attends a winter church "Snow Camp" and meets Raina, another rebellious soul. She becomes his muse, and he even convinces his parents to let him visit her in Michigan during the school year. They become intimate but after the visit do not see each other again. When Craig leaves home after high school, he leaves behind everything—including his religious belief and anything to remind him of Raina. This book reads so compellingly despite the quiet tone of the story that the reader does not really notice until the end the vast length of the book. The story does not flow sequentially, but moves back and forth in time. Thompson's black-and-white art conveys emotion beautifully, and his faces are remarkably expressive. The art is not strictly realistic, yet the text and art together feel real. His wordless passages convey so much information and feeling that the reader forgets that there is no text. Certain scenes that are more graphic in nature make this title more suited to older teens. Thompson questions Christianity (or atleast the "brand" of Christianity he knows) and comes to a conclusion that might bother some readers, but it is honest and heartfelt. VOYA Codes: 5Q 3P S A/YA (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2003., Top Shelf Productions, 592p., Trade pb. Ages 15 to Adult.
—Kat Kan
Library Journal
Four years in the making, this is Thompson's follow-up to his first GN, the acclaimed Good-Bye, Chunky Rice. Here he enters the realm of autobiographical comics, intertwining the stories of his relationships with his younger brother, Phil (with whom he had to share blankets as a child), and with his first girlfriend, Raina (with whom he also shared a blanket). Raised by strict Catholic parents, Thompson struggles with his own faith, attracted to the message but repelled by the Church, and his black-and-white art makes use of Christian imagery. The art here is more realistic than that of Chunky Rice but sometimes erupts into angular, nightmarish images (like those of David B.'s Epileptic) or warm, paisley fantasyscapes. Among the trials and the happiness is another story, that of Thompson the artist: his youthful enthusiasm for drawing, his religion-inspired adolescent rejection of art, and his rediscovery of its power. That power is on full view here, in Thompson's masterly telling of a moving, deeply human story. The work contains some explicit nudity. More accessible than Chunky Rice, this is highly recommended for adult collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Thompson's Good-bye, Chunkie Rice (Top Shelf, 1999) offered readers well-realized but fantastic characters in a tale that nicely combined sentiment with adventure. This second, much longer work shares the acuity for character development and dynamic sensitivity that makes the author so compulsively readable. In Blankets, however, realism reigns supreme in both the story arc and in the humanity of its characters. Thompson himself is the protagonist, and this is his tale of growing up, falling in love (and realizing the physical and moral complications that can imply), discovering the texture and limits of his faith, and arriving at a point from which he can look back at those experiences. The snowy Midwest, peopled by overweight parents, hairy youths, and lovingly depicted younger siblings-including a respectfully and realistically treated minor character with Down syndrome-is energetically realized in Thompson's expressive lines and inking. Much of the story occurs when Craig and his brother Phil are young boys and includes images of such boyish pranks as peeing on one another. Older high school students who have reached an age when nostalgia is possible will warm to Thompson's own wistfulness. This is a big graphic novel, in concept and successful execution.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Top Shelf Productions
Publication date:
Edition description:
Not Appropriate For Children
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 2.10(d)

Meet the Author

Craig Thompson is a cartoonist and the author of the award-winning books Blankets, Carnet de Voyage, Good-bye Chunky Rice, and Habibi. Thompson was born in Michigan in 1975, and grew up in a rural farming community in central Wisconsin. His graphic novel Blankets won numerous industry awards and has been published in nearly twenty languages around the world. Thompson lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Blankets (New Hardcover Edition) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
zonde More than 1 year ago
In this graphic novel Craig Thompson has managed to make some of the most relateable characters I have ever read. Mostly the story of a first love from beginning flirtations to a bitter end, the story also takes you through the progression of mind and memory and how we become who we are. While reading there are a range of emotions that you go through and in the end you close the book and think about your own progression and growth. From the moment I picked the book up I did not want to put it down. The pictures and text work fantastically together. I stayed up all night to finish it. I recommend it to anyone who has ever questioned life, religion, love,or themselves and other; or anyone simply looking for an amazing work of art to read and revisit over and over.
sliprockdoc More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing: "footnotes" section should be read many times to appreciate his message. This could be used in a freshman philosophy class as a way of introducing the study of philosophy. Exceptional. Haunting. Can't stop thinking about it. Beautiful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that Blankets was ok, probably because I'm a little young. I also read it in one day, becuase it was so hard to put down. It was a little graphic, but beyond that, the story is beautiful and Craig and Phil as children are so innocent. It makes you think, and makes you find the meanings behind each picture. I got into graphic novels when I read this book.
DandyDan More than 1 year ago
Unlike many works of fiction that give you exactly what you want, this graphic autobiography speaks about life like it really is. A recommended read. For those of you Milwaukeeans there is a very recognizable frame about 3/4 of the way through!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brilliant realism. It is one of the few graphic novels that really made me look at my life and think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a powerfully written, beautiful, touching book. I absolutely recommend it. Difficult to put down, not a moment without interest. A love story that makes me feel optimistic about love and life in general.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Truly a work of great story telling and great art. The story would connect with anyone because they are universal stories of growing up. The author is careful to make the characters full-realized,personal people and not just symbols or caricatures of coming-of-age stories, the dialog is very personal and reads like it was taken directly from a diary, and sometimes borders on poetry. The drawings are absolutely beautiful and really carry weight and meaning in them. This is the first graphic novel i've ever read and it really drew me in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Truely the best graphic novel i have ever laid my eyes on. Great day-dreamy visuals while getting the point across more than clearly , as most everyone can realte to the tribluations and real life heartaches that craig thompson has expressed. truley moving and painful , this novel hides nothing about how harsh the real world is and how your experiences during your youth can affect the rest of your life. I read this novel in about 3 hours , and spent many more admiring the visuals. I look foreward to reading many more , surely great , novels and works from Craig Thompson. Highly recommened for everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book !! I read this book in 2hrs ! I love the honesty and I definitely related to his story. I have experienced the same feelings in regards to christianity. I have also seen how judgemental some 'christians' can be and how confused it can make you feel,especially when you are young. The illustration is beautiful- Craig Thompson is definitely gifted and I'm so happy he continued to draw eventhough people throughout his youth discouraged him. I look forward to more from him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the most powerful, moving novels I have read in a long time. The visual stimulation adds an incredible amount to the feelings of pain, suffering, love, etc. the protagonist experiences throughout life. I was crying before the second chapter began. Definitely a great read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is just about the most moving book i have ever read! i have yet to find a novel i enjoy more then blakets. it shares the life story of the author craig thompson and his childhood struggles of being molested and unloved, romance with raina, to his confusion about religion and what to do. the only part about this book that i didnt enjoy was the choice craig made to do without God. that was a terrible choice because without God we can do nothing! it was a little graphic so i recomend it to those older teens.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Blankets is one of the most moving novels I have ever read. Thompson's insights into teenage love, the pressures of school and religion are dead-on. He captures his experiences with amazing artwork that will touch you deeply. A work of genius.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nearly 600 pages long, but took me only 2.5 hours to read. That's how good it is! Granted, I will read it with more visual depth the second time around, Blankets is a truly remarkable graphic novel of heart-breaking proportions. From first love to childhood traumas to sibling squabbles, Craig Thompson captures the innocence that everybody inevitably loses. An extraordinary feat by one whom most would label as 'simply a comic book artist,' Thompson puts faith into artists capturing novels with pictures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought for my tween who loves graphic novels, read the back and thumbed through the beginning and the end, was not made aware of the explicit nature of sex scenes in the novel anywhere on the book...needless to say we will hang onto the book and revisit when he is 16+...would be nice to mention that stuff somewhere where a parent can pick up on it...I'm sure the book is lovely, but inappropriate for under 16.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I reread this book all the time and it never gets old!!!! Never
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is something perfect for those trying to get into graphic novels and may not be a fan of superheros, girly love stories, or anime faire. This is a re-telling of the authors first love and general life experiences. At times it can be gritty and depressing but it never ceases to be real and an endearing art style and message. If I ever see this book again at a store, I'm going to buy it and keep it to share with everyone I know.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding. This left me shaking.
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amberraylene More than 1 year ago
i can’t explain how amazing this book is craig thompson is an amazing artist and author it is a must read
Thorne2112 More than 1 year ago
An angsty look into the heart of the estranged young love life of Craig Thompson. A reflective book for any who write or have experienced early heartache.
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