Review: Habibi by Craig Thompson

TITLE: Habibi Image result for habibi by craig thompson
AUTHOR: Craig Thompson
ILLUSTRATOR: Craig Thompson
RATING: 2/5
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Between biblical and koranic references, Thompson tells a strange story about love that transcends desert landscapes and time.

Part of the reason I am giving it a 2/5 is because of the storytelling, and I feel bad because another part of me feels like it’s my fault. Confused? Let me explain. I am not a religious person, I don’t go to church, and I’ve never gone to any sort of bible study, therefore I’m not aware of biblical or koranic references, and Thompson’s story is full of them, but I simply didn’t understand them. I especially couldn’t see the relationship between the stories from the Koran (or is Quran?) in relation to Dodola and Zam’s story. Does that make it a bad book? No, but it didn’t make it a pleasant reading experience for me.

britta-bored-reading

There are many reviews that point out the poorly portrayed orientalism and sexist imagery seen in the story. I’m not going to defend it, partly because I wasn’t aware of it at first, and partly because these reviews have a point. However, I will congratulate Thompson on his incorporation of the Koran and Arabic writing because it put’s it in a positive light rather than the negative aspect the mainstream media news constantly associates it with. For once, Arabic is neither good or bad, it’s just part of a story, and I liked that very much.

The BEST thing about Habibi has to be the art. I loved every single page and scene and design, it is absolutely superb and magnificent. His attention to detail is extraordinary and I can spend an entire day looking at the pages and keep finding little things within them. The pictures are lively and busy and amazingly crafted. This is why I love Thompson’s works, because he really lets the art do the talking rather than the text.

EXHIBIT A

Image result for habibi by craig thompson

EXHIBIT B

Image result for habibi by thompson

EXHIBIT C

Image result for habibi by thompson

I could keep on showing you more beautiful panels from Habibi but I think you should check them out for yourself. So, although I didn’t really enjoy this book, I still think you should give it a try. The art alone is amazing to see.

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One thought on “Review: Habibi by Craig Thompson

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Wednesday: Books Outside the Western World | The Reading Turtle Duck

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