Thursday, June 03, 2010

Stitches by David Small

Stitches by David Small is a graphic novel and a memoir and probably one of the most moving novels I've read in a long time. Since the story is about a young boy, David, who loses his voice, a lot of the book is actually just drawings, but what drawings! David's other family members are not huge speakers either, so even though the book has more than 300 pages, it is not difficult to read in one sitting. If you can bear it, that is.

The story is basically extremely tragic. David grows up in the 1960's Detroit-area with his parents and older brother. Both parents are distant and barely talk to each other or to their kids. You sense from the beginning that they are difficult persons. David's childhood is gray, he rarely sees his parents smile or be happy and when visiting his grandmother, he also figures out that something is wrong in that household. David suffers from nightmares and is a somewhat anxious child.

On one of the few occasions where he has actually drawn his mother as a smiling woman, she is hosting a party. One of the other women at the party notices a lump on David's neck, which she insists that his parents have checked immediately. Since his father is a radiologist and a doctor, this turns out to be no problem. The lump is then removed, but some years after that first operation, David has to go back for a second one, and after that operation, he wakes up having lost his voice.

Slowly he discovers dark secrets and embarks on a life on the edge, feeling invisible without a voice. I will not reveal more about the story, but if you like memoirs and also graphic novels, this is a must.

13 comments:

Dorte H said...

But I DON´T like tragedies!

Give me crime any time, they tend to end happily :D

Diane said...

I loved this book; what a story!

逸凡 said...

如果成為一支火柴,也要點亮一個短暫的宇宙;如果是一隻烏鴉,也要叫疼閉塞的耳膜。..................................................

Beth F said...

I have owned this for about a year now -- I really need to read it already! Nice review.

stacybuckeye said...

This is a powerful book. That grandmother really scared me!

Suzanne said...

Great review! I read this for my graphic novel reading challenge. I was surprised at how powerful it was! Definitely worth reading even if you're not normally a reader of graphic novels!

紫倫妍勳 said...
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bermudaonion said...

I've discovered that as far as graphic books go, memoirs are my favorite, and I agree with you that this is a good one!

TerryM又來ontane said...
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Darlyn said...

Hate tragedies..And hi, found your blog at book on the hill ;p

Julia Smith said...

I'm a lone voice in the I-like-tragedies camp. This graphic novel sounds very compelling.

Tyrie said...

I'm going to pick this up immediately. Thanks for the review!

Care said...

Already on my tbr, you've confirmed it should be there.