Saturday, 8 February 2014

Stitches


David's mother
I finally caught up with my friend Nige last night. We swapped belated Christmas gifts. I gave him a home knitted ( by  chris)  scarf and a Banksey calendar. He presented me with a first for me.... A graphic novel.
Now, all I do know about graphic novels, is that they are usually horror based ( like the original The Walking Dead  series) and usually enjoyed by young men who can't be arsed reading a book.
Graphic novels can be generally described as storyboards similar to the ones used to preempt filming on a movie. They capture the story cinematically, with perhaps a few " bubble" quotes or brief sentence of explanation and rely on the talent of the artist to Push the story forward.
Nigel's choice of Christmas pressie was, I admit, just a little odd, but it has proved to be an extraordinary " read"
Stitches- a memoir is the  true story of an abusive childhood in middle class 1950s Detroit .Seen through the eyes of six then eleven year old David, we are introduced to dysfunctional parents an abusive maternal grandmother and family secrets centered around illness, insanity and depression.
Atmospherically and economically sketched Stitches is a profoundly moving  and raw story seen from a child's perspective.
I really recommend it.
But do read it when you are emotionally robust
David's grandmother

29 comments:

  1. CHRIS KNITS? WOO HOO!

    as a knitter, I would not mind seeing some of chris' handwork. no, not THAT kind of handwork! ;-)

    graphic novels are an acquired taste; not my speed, but I know many people who love them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The author sounds like a modern day Kafka, John.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I read that in the school library a couple of years ago. Actually, I must have just flipped through it, since I don't remember much. I'll give it another try. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would be interested what you thought about it suze

      Delete
  4. Quite apt that Detroit is now almost a ghost-town.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The novel echoes that fact very well tom

      Delete
  5. It sounds so bizarre! But a recommendation coming from you, must make worth a look...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I must look this up on my Kindle. But I'll read it when back in East Africa, I'm feeling a little frail emotionally at the moment. I love that Chris knits. Jo xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Chris sings, Chris knits .... one by one all his little secrets are tumbling out ... I wonder what will be next .... :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ....watch this space
      Btw
      He USED to be a professional dancer
      AND I A M NOT KIDDING

      Delete
    2. Oh really????? Is there footage??

      Delete
  8. Is it the author's personal experience? I'm glad he exposed it. Middle class, and usually better educated, parents use their smarts and position to good effect when it comes to keeping abuse hidden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a true story for sure
      The photos of the real characters are enclosed in the book

      Delete
  9. Maybe not a book to read in the middle of a god-awful winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be in your " happy I" place before you pick it up x

      Delete
  10. You got my attention when you mentioned that Chris knitted a scarf.
    How wonderful is that?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He knits, he dances, he acts too

      Delete
  11. It looks quite disturbing. I would much rather have received a knitted scarf and a Banksey calender! The illustrations of his mother and grandmother are quite grotesque even without words to accompany them!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sounds like a good book. I hope David survived.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He did, became an artist and escaped his demons

      Delete
  13. It's a good think you enjoyed the novel, as it is a bit dark for a Christmas present! Nigel must know you quite well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He knows me better than most
      We were nurses together in sheffield

      Delete
  14. Would Chris knit a pretty scarf for me? Maybe pink and blue?

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
  15. The grandmother is surely the grannie from the Giles cartoons.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I adore some graphic novels, especially "Sandman" by Neil Gaiman and the every bleak and harrowing "Maus" by Art Spiegleman. You are right though, most of them are dark and rough.
    Your Chris sounds like a lot of fun.

    ReplyDelete
  17. When i'm emotinally robust, i don't usually want to read dark things. When i'm not, then i look at them more often, sometimes to remind myself i'm not the only one truding through something awful.

    I didn't know Chris knits, you should show us a picture of some of his work. You could have snapped a photo of Nige modelling the scarf.

    ReplyDelete
  18. That is one way to work through the hell his life must have been. I can't read that book...had too many students whose lives were like that and I was helpless to change that.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and will now try very hard to reply to all of them
Please dont be abusive x