Sunday, January 31, 2016

Calvin by Martine Leavitt

"Now I was seventeen and a tiger was talking to me and I wasn't scared of the monsters under the bed. I was scared of the monster in the bed, which was me..."

Calvin was born on the day that the last Calvin & Hobbes comic was published. He was actually named for John Calvin, but his grandfather gave him a stuffed tiger called Hobbes and essentially renamed him. As a child, Calvin went on adventures with Hobbes and his neighbor Susie. One day, Hobbes went into the washing machine and "died." So, it's all the weirder when Hobbes starts to talk to a teenage Calvin.

After an outburst at school, Calvin is sent to the hospital. The doctor diagnoses him with schizophrenia. Calvin decides that the way to get back to normal is to pay a visit to Bill Watterson, the author of Calvin & Hobbes. He thinks he can convince him to write a new comic, a comic where Calvin is grown up and Hobbes-free.

How will he get there? Don't worry, he has a plan: walking across the frozen Lake Erie. He is joined by Susie, who threatened to tell on him if he didn't let her go. The quest isn't exactly parent or doctor approved. Calvin is never sure what is real and what is his mental illness. The biggest question mark is Susie. They drifted apart a while ago. She is pretty and popular, while Calvin is a weird loner. It doesn't make any sense that she would accompany him, and he is hearing and seeing a dead stuffed tiger...

The premise of the book sounded really appealing to me. I'm not especially into Calvin & Hobbes, I was more interested in the psychological aspects. I was also excited to see how the story ended. It is a tad disappointing, but I liked it all the same.

I received my copy of Calvin from Edelweiss, courtesy of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. It's available for purchase now.

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