Habibi

Craig Thompson
From the internationally acclaimed author of Blankets (“A triumph for the genre.”—Library Journal), a highly anticipated new graphic novel. Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth—and frailty—of their connection. At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-05-17
While I found this graphic novel a very interesting read, and since I love history, I couldn't help but be annoyed by the anachronistic movement between time periods in the book, it was very disturbing to me both for historical reasons and for personal reasons. I doubt very much that any harem would have accepted a woman known not to be a virgin, first of all, and then the fact that this book traces much of Ottoman history, with the eunuch heirarchy and the dumping of the concubines into the Bosporus, but remains inaccurate in such annoying other ways. On a personal level, since the novel was a gift from a person who turned out to be enamored of me despite previous denials, the title (Beloved) hit me from the start in the gut, and the story line only made things worse. So perhaps I am too biased to rate this book, but for me, 3 is actually not a bad rating.
Reviewed: 2018-04-21
A wild and timeless story of two slaves who bond as children and then connect as adults. It incorporates the Koran and 1001 Nights in a seamless way where you are never sure what is a story and what is their reality.
Reviewed: 2015-09-30
Craig Thompson has created something complex and conflicted and contradictory and very lushly drawn. His fascination with Islamic culture is inked across every detailed and luminous page while his story has elements of a parable to it that can make the characters feel more like authorial devices at times than fully realized and fleshed out characters.

The corruption of society and personality has always been in Thompson's work, and this mammoth book (600+ pages) touches those themes over and over in different ways though sometimes the serendipitous elements rub rawly against the modernist critique.
Item Posts
No posts