by Craig Thompson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375424144
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/20/2011
Pages: 672
Sales rank: 117,193
Product dimensions: 7.44(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.92(d)

About the Author

CRAIG THOMPSON’s previous graphic novels include Blankets (for which he received three Harvey Awards for Best Artist, Best Graphic Album of Original Work, and Best Cartoonist; and two Eisner Awards for Best Graphic Album and Best Writer/Artist); Goodbye, Chunky Rice; and Carnet de Voyage. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Habibi 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Berly on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Habibi by Craig Thompson. I think I can thank Mark for recommending this one! It is only my third graphic novel and I so appreciated the art in this one. It was an amazing love story, a fascinating exploration of the symmetries between Christianity and Islam and a juxtaposition of brash modern industrial noise and the seemingly timeless harem world. I probably should give it a straight up 5, but the sexual violence bothered me. Then again, this story wouldn't exist without it. Highly recommended. 4.5
alsatia on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I don't give many 5 star reviews. This book earned it. It's not a pretty story. It is a harsh tale honesty told, with magic and alchemy and myth keeping the characters afloat and alive despite the hardships they endure. You'll need some tissues at the end. Highly recommended.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Lush, visceral, and sensual, this masterpiece of a book is about the power of story and the power of love.
BrittDonohueWhite on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Habibi is a breathtaking masterpiece. Thompson uses incredible artwork, stories from the K'oran and the Bible, and present day environmental and civic blight to tell the epic story of Dodola and Zam (Habibi). Intertwined with present day narrative are flashbacks, fables, instructional text all presented in intense text and lush artwork.
AramisSciant on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The good - this book is amazingly beautiful. The way the author combines Islamic designs (arabesques, Arabic scripts, etc.) is absolutely fantastic. I kept coming back and again to enjoy my favorite panels (rain made from an Arabic poem comes to mind). However, I felt the "novel" part in "graphic novel" was not as good. The characters are a bit too simple and while I liked the flashbacks and back stories, I felt there were way too many digressions to what felt to me like "Islamic culture 101". I also felt he picked from the Islamic traditions manly those stories that would be familiar to a Western audience with a minimal knowledge of biblical stories. Despite its shortcomings, I enjoyed this graphic novel most of the time.
BenjaminHahn on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Another amazing book by Craig Thompson. Simply amazing artwork which is crucially woven into the text of the story. This is clearly an adult graphic novel, I will be putting this up on the high shelf until my kid is old enough to reach it, but it done tastefully and honestly. Sexuality is a major theme running through the book. There are some fairly intense scenes depicting child birth, rape, and brutality. But there are also pages and pages of love and curiosity. Thompson clearly did a lot of research to try and delve into the complexities of Islam and Arabic myth and folklore. He also has done a great job of synthesizing the art styles of Islam, particularly that of geometric patterns and the Arabic language. This is a huge leap from Blankets, which was also amazing. I am looking forward to any future projects that Thompson invests his energy into. Habibi was easily worth the wait. My thanks to my friend Tom for gifting me this book for my birthday. Great choice as usual.
Capfox on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I'm not really a particularly visual person, and so for other people, I think the idea that the nature and style of art can really add not just texture and flavor, but content to a story, is probably not too remarkable. I've read it a bunch of times in reviews, after all. This book, though, is the first time where I've really understand that idea. It's really a masterful piece of work, and I think the prettiest graphic novel I've ever read.This is the story of Dodola and Zam, two people living around the fictional Arab city state of Wanatolia, and follows both of them from childhood to adulthood. Dodola is 9 years older than Zam, and was sold over as a wife at a very young age; at the early end of her marriage, she takes up Zam, an orphan, and they live in a beached boat within the desert. What follows is their story through thick and thin; for each of them, they make their way through the village, the city, the sultan's palace, an industrial zone... together and apart, the decisions they make tend to have the other in mind. Their relationship evolves over time, as well; not necessarily in the most comfortable ways, for me, but it feels realistic enough.The story treats each of them roughly, and the reader should be prepared for that; in a lot of ways, it's not happy. But it is beautiful - all the Arabic influenced art, the rich, detailed pictures, and all the stories from the different religious traditions that Dodola tells Zam, that flesh out their story through other people's stories, and how they inflect people's lives. And this is a realm of different sorts of stories: there are caravans of camels and a sumptuous sultan's palace and eunuchs... but there are also high-rise skyscrapers and trucks and planes. I think perhaps this is meant to give it a timeless feel, but it does make it feel a bit disjointed sometimes.All told, this was a richly told, interesting story, even with some small reservations I have for it. And oh my, is it pretty.
labfs39 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Habibi is an ambitious undertaking, with the author attempting to portray many of the world's ills, from the treatment of women and Africans in the strictest (unnamed) Muslim country to environmental concerns such as water pollution and garbage dumps. In addition, the author attempts to depict similarities between stories in the Hebrew Bible/New Testament and the Quran. For instance, he compares the story of Abraham and the sacrifice of his son in parallel religious traditions in a visual and simple way. I found this thread of the story to be the most interesting. The main characters of the story are Dodola, a young girl sold into marriage at a very young age, and who subsequently is forced into prostitution and sexual slavery. And the orphan toddler, Zam, whom she rescues from a slave auction and nurtures until he is twelve. The two are then separated for six years, and when they are reunited they form an unusual love relationship.Habibi is a beautifully drawn graphic novel with extensive calligraphy and Islamic design elements. I decided to read the book simply from it's cover and a glance at a few pages. For this reason alone, I would recommend reading it. However, I found aspects of the story to be disturbing, especially the transition from a maternal relationship to a sexual one. In addition, I often felt adrift, as the novel takes place in an unnamed place in a time that seems to be both historic and modern. Unfettered with any ties to the real world, the novel seems to move in arbitrary ways that push the plot forward, but in ways that feel surreal. I think a push from the editor for narrative clarity and purpose would have been helpful. I also think that it is a beautifully designed book that could attract readers who wouldn't typically read a graphic novel. Qualified recommendation.
alexann on LibraryThing 5 months ago
One of the most visually stunning graphic novels I've seen. It's truly beautiful! Very interesting comparisons between the Qu'ran and the Bible Old Testament throughout. Plot a little weak, but the book is so satisfying to hold and look at, that it doesn't make much difference in the overall experience.
fremd on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Loved the artwork, but was a few times thrown off by the message and story of the book, which, while often beautiful, felt to me in several places heavy-handed or too shallow.Artistically and thematically, this is a much, much more ambitious project than Thompson's previous works and as a fan, I was very pleased with it. I think though if I were to recommend a book for a reader dipping their first toes into Thompson, I would recommend 'Blankets'.
jnwelch on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Habibi by Craig Thompson, a lengthy graphic novel, is impressive in ambition, scope and execution. It centers on Dodola and Zam (Habibi), who are orphaned and victimized in the Arab slave trade, but manage to stay true to each other through some fairly horrific occurrences. It features many links to Muslim religion and Scheherazade-type storytelling, and travels from the desert to a harem to a modern dam to a waste-spewing modern city, with a riot of characters and life sketches. The drawing is high quality, and takes a variety of forms, including religious illumination and near-abstract.I liked Thompson's very personal graphic memoir Blankets a lot, and wanted to like this one. Instead, I respected it. The reading experience was more "meh" than I hoped. Having said that, there are a lot of folks who feel much more positively about this book, and it certainly has all the indicia of a masterwork. Just not captivating enough for me.
Daniel.Estes on LibraryThing 5 months ago
My experience with graphic novels is new and at present I'm enamoured with their gorgeous possibility. Habibi by Craig Thompson is a love story at heart, the title itself is Arabic for "my beloved."
krizia_lazaro on LibraryThing 5 months ago
All I can say is this book is one of the greatest love story I ever read. Its really all about LOVE. Love you thought was impossible. its love between different races. Its also love between two religions. I'm Catholic but I'm enamored with Muslim culture after reading this book. Their stories and writings are so rich. I can read this all day! After this one I would love to learn how to read and write Arabic. Its a language so beautiful and so well-thought off. Everybody must read "Habibi".
drmarymccormack on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book is fantastic. The story is quite unusual and brilliant. The art is amazing! Really exquisite! I really wish I could read the calligraphy because it is so beautiful. It's about two orphans who take care of each other. They go through tremendous trials to survive. They lose each other and then find each other again. One cannot live without the other. The storyline is interrupted with tales from the Qur'an. I've never read the Qur'an, so many of the stories were new to me. I loved it!
msf59 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is tale of a journey, following Dodola and Zam, two orphaned slaves, bound together by necessity and love. We accompany this unlikely couple, through deserts, industrial wastelands and royal palaces, populated with the downtrodden, the wicked and the wealthy. This is a big sprawling story, told in illustrated form. There is beauty here, but there is also much darkness; Dodola, a comely young woman, is featured much of the time unclothed and is sexually abused repeatedly and is dominated by a host of mostly unappealing men. I understand most of this is reflective of the time and place but it can still make the reader squirm.The drawings are both raw and lovely and the sweeping narrative is incredibly ambitious. It¿s a book I do recommend but if you are unsure because of my comments, you might want to think twice.
wcarter on LibraryThing 5 months ago
An intensively illustrated novel with a convoluted plot of love, slavery and survival that takes elements from 1001 Arabian Nights, Greenpeace, the Koran, Japanese Manga comics, The Old Testament, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Kama Sutra. A fascinating new genre.
kkisser on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The story of two refugee children who find each other when being sold at a slave market. Dodola escapes with the young boy, Zam and creates a home for them in the desert, though their life is anything but idyllic. Their story is told through beautiful illustrations and layers of stories within stories relating to the characters life and hardships to that of the stories from the Quran and the Bible and Islamic culture, but also reminiscent of the the 1001 Arabian Nights tales. Craig Thompson weaves an amazing story with visuals layered in the Islamic culture and art that is mesmerizing.
mikewick on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is a simple book. Despite all of the intricate weavings of Muslim mysticism, ornate calligraphy, reworking of Biblical and Qur'anic stories, and past, present, and future events that fold into each other, the story at the heart is beautifully simple. Much like Blankets, it's a story of love.
zzshupinga on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Craig Thompson, best known for his graphic novel memoir Blankets, has created yet another epic masterpiece that spans across time and space. Set in the Middle East and drawing inspiration from Islamic history and the Qur'an, we follow the epic story of Dodola and Zam, two orphans that escape the Arab slave trade. Their story begins together in a boat abandoned in the middle of the desert set in between a town in poverty and an opulent city where the Sultan dwells, where stories are told and dreams are born. Over nine years Zam and Dodola grow up together on the boat (Zam is 3 in the beginning and Dodola as 12) till the day things come crashing down...and Dodola is kidnapped into the harem of the Sultan. And Zam is left to fend for himself and gets lost amongst the city. Their stories separate, each under going their own trials and tribulations, yet each crying out for each other in the darkness of the night. Each broken and molded in new ways and yet, when their paths cross again each is happy to claim the other yet again. And the story continues on, in a new boat, and in a new sea.First of all this is just an absolutely beautifully designed book. I just keep getting lost in looking at the design of it, even before I open the pages. The letter are embossed in gold lettering into the cover; with white insets, one on the front cover, the back cover, and one on the spine, depicting the characters at three different points in their lives; and the design around the insets and over the cover are like calligraphy from a lost scroll. It just feels and looks like something that you would find only in the most opulent library in the world, and yet you get a chance to hold it in your own hands. And while the end pages when you open the book may not look like much, you soon come to realize just how important they are to the story.This is an epic love story told over time, and the type of love changes as the story moves forward--from brother/sister, to maternal, to love between two people. We know that Thompson worked on this story for a long time and its clearly evident that it's a labor of love to him. What isn't evident at first is how all of the pieces of the story fit together. When I first started reading this it felt like the story didn't flow smoothly together, at least not as smoothly as Blankets did, because Thompson is constantly blending in the past and the present and feeding us different bits of information--such as how Arabic script is drawn. But I should have known that Thompson had a plan and as you move further into the story all of the parts weave together to form one epic tale. And by the end you'll be blown away by how well the story is woven and told.Not only was the writing a labor of love for Craig, but it's clear the artwork is as well. Everything single detail is hand drawn, nothing copied. And while that might sound trivial, as you open the book and get into the story you begin to notice just how much Arabic script and pattern are put into the story. And you can begin to imagine just how long it took to get just the right stroke of the brush to produce them. Thompson's artwork has improved since his time with Blankets, especially in capturing the human figure. The expressions on the characters faces, the way that the bodies move, is absolutely fantastic and makes the characters almost leap off the page. The line quality in figures in some ways reminds me of Will Eisner's work, and just his ability to capture the human figure with ease. But it still retains Craig's style and you can see elements of Chunky Rice and Blankets in the way the sands of the desert are drawn and the look in the characters eyes. All together the artwork is fantastic.There's a quote from Neil Gaiman on the band around the book, where he says that this book should be held in the same regard as Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. And yet...I holder it in even higher regard as Thompson has created a story where everything w
heterotopic on LibraryThing 5 months ago
While I appreciate the research that went into this book, I'm a bit ambivalent when it comes to the narrative. It's a story of different kinds of love, across time and space--which I'm not sure if I can say is wholly original. The drawings are beautiful--even breathtaking at times (the village scenes and drawings of the woman's body, filled with Arabic script)--but the narrative itself feels a bit half-baked. I enjoyed the use of the script metaphorically, incorporated in the storyline. The graphic novel was executed well, in the sense that the drawings flowed well like the script and the story served to educate: faith (and love, for that matter), in reality, don't start with god but within one's self; spreading out to encompass others, the world around us, and to a god.
eeio on LibraryThing 5 months ago
this book is amazing. it's amazing and beautiful. craig thompson is not only an excellent storyteller, he is also an amazing comic book artist. every page is inhabited by extreme detail and wonderful taste. the use of panels and layouts and speech bubbles uses comic book conventions with a lot of creativity and without the format becoming a gimmick; the visual style is perfectly consistent with the story. there is lots of arabic in habibi. the book is about water and stories and there is a constant contrast between the stories in the bible and the quran. it is not judgemental, it is just contrast and retelling, illustrating. i highly recommend this book. it has many pages but it's not long. it has thousands of beautiful illustrations that are really well thought out and yet appear free and spontaneous. every other page you'll be amazed with the layout or the pen work or the twists of the story or the subtlety of his depictions of emotion and sexuality.this is a really evolved form of storytelling.
amberraylene More than 1 year ago
the best book i ever read! craig thompson is an amazing artist as well as author, this book has impacted my life. i feel everyone at some point in their life should at least sit down and appreciate the beauty and elegance and rawness of this wonderful book.
DivaJones1603 More than 1 year ago
I loved the message and detailed caligraphy of Habibi. The professional reviews were accurate. However, I found the facial expressions of the black men (especially young Zam) in the story panels offensive. Otherwise the book would have been perfect.