Book Recommendation: Calvin by Martine Leavitt

Discover what’s real and what’s true in the book I am recommending today. Calvin was written by Martine Leavitt and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2015. In this book, Calvin is diagnosed with schizophrenia, but he thinks that instead he is the character Calvin come to life from the comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes. So he makes a pilgrimage along with a talking tiger and a girl who may or may not be real.

Calvin quote-Everything I_m going to say in this letter is true with some real stuff thrown in


Calvin has gone crazy. It all starts when he begins to see and hear a talking tiger named Hobbes, then he gets diagnosed with schizophrenia. But Calvin doesn’t believe he has a mental illness and hallucinations. Maybe, just maybe, he is the reincarnation of Calvin from the Calvin and Hobbes comics. After all, his name is Calvin, he was born on the day Bill Watterson published the last Calvin and Hobbes strip, he had a stuffed tiger named Hobbes when he was growing, and his ex-best friend is named Susie. These things can’t merely be coincidences.

“That’s how it was, Bill. One minute I was this normal kid who uses his mind, and the next minute I was transmogrified into a kid whose mind uses him. I tried to figure it out, but how do you use your mind to figure something out if your mind is the problem?”

So Calvin decides to go on a pilgrimage. He will cross over the frozen Lake Erie to Cleveland, where Bill Watterson lives. All he has to do is convince Bill to draw one more strip showing Calvin as a healthy, perfectly normal 17-year-old kid without a talking tiger by his side. To Calvin’s surprise, Susie insists on coming along. But then again, he’s not sure if she is real or not. It’s hard to tell when you can’t trust your own brain.

“Maybe Calvin was so real to so many people that on the day I was born, which was the day the last Calvin and Hobbes comic came out, maybe all that love and sadness people felt . . . I opened up my mouth to get my first breath, and I just sucked it in.

“I wasn’t sick. I was Calvin come to life!”

If you loved Calvin, then check out some of Martine Leavitt’s other books like Keturah and Lord Death.

One thought on “Book Recommendation: Calvin by Martine Leavitt

  1. Thanks for bringing ‘Calvin’ to the attention of this particular reader. I checked out the written offerings on Amazon but I also listened to the Audible. Not sure if I want just the Audible or the Kindle or the book I can hold in my hands. For sure, I want one or more of them. We’ll see. I am an extreme Calvin and Hobbes fan. The philosophies filtering throughout make my mind fly. Martine Leavitt’s book appears to be brilliant. Thanks again for bringing ‘Calvin’ out of the shadows. I appreciate it more than you know. j.k


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