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When the Wind Blows: The bestselling graphic novel for adults from the creator of The Snowman

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Raymond Briggs' now famous bestselling comic cartoon book depicts the effects of a nuclear attack on an elderly couple in his usual humorous yet macabre way. Raymond Briggs' now famous bestselling comic cartoon book depicts the effects of a nuclear attack on an elderly couple in his usual humorous yet macabre way.


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Raymond Briggs' now famous bestselling comic cartoon book depicts the effects of a nuclear attack on an elderly couple in his usual humorous yet macabre way. Raymond Briggs' now famous bestselling comic cartoon book depicts the effects of a nuclear attack on an elderly couple in his usual humorous yet macabre way.

30 review for When the Wind Blows: The bestselling graphic novel for adults from the creator of The Snowman

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    Global thermonuclear war is a surprisingly amusing subject. This graphic novel isn't quite as funny as Doctor Strangelove, but it has some excellent moments. My favourite bit is near the beginning. Jim is responsibly following the advice in his "Protect and Survive" leaflet (American translation: "Duck and Cover"). He wants to construct a fallout shelter by leaning a door against the wall at a 60 degree angle. So he goes down to the shop to buy a protractor. He comes back and tells his wife that t Global thermonuclear war is a surprisingly amusing subject. This graphic novel isn't quite as funny as Doctor Strangelove, but it has some excellent moments. My favourite bit is near the beginning. Jim is responsibly following the advice in his "Protect and Survive" leaflet (American translation: "Duck and Cover"). He wants to construct a fallout shelter by leaning a door against the wall at a 60 degree angle. So he goes down to the shop to buy a protractor. He comes back and tells his wife that the international situation must be pretty grim - all the protractors were sold out. But the nice shop-keeper measured him the correct angle on a bit of paper. You've got to admit that's funny. __________________________ [Update, Oct 7 2017] I had an unusually vivid dream last night. My dreams almost always disappear within a minute of waking and I can't remember them, but this one is still clear several hours later. We were in a taxi in some city, perhaps London. We'd just come out of a tunnel. Suddenly, the driver slammed on the brakes and started reversing as fast as he could. As we went back into the tunnel, I saw the mushroom cloud rising in front of us. It stretched up to the sky. "I didn't realise it would be so big," said the driver.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Greta G

    "Aching with love and bitterness, it is meant to break your heart" - Guardian "Whatever your politics this is the most eloquent anti-Bomb statement you are likely to read" - Daily Mail "Armageddon comes and we are in a place to which no picture book has ever taken us before. Humour has rarely been blacker. A terrific shock..." - The New York Times "We should all force ourselves to read this grimly humorous and horribly honest book"- Sunday Telegraph "A visual parable against nuclear war ; all the mo "Aching with love and bitterness, it is meant to break your heart" - Guardian "Whatever your politics this is the most eloquent anti-Bomb statement you are likely to read" - Daily Mail "Armageddon comes and we are in a place to which no picture book has ever taken us before. Humour has rarely been blacker. A terrific shock..." - The New York Times "We should all force ourselves to read this grimly humorous and horribly honest book"- Sunday Telegraph "A visual parable against nuclear war ; all the more chilling for being in the form of a strip cartoon" - Sunday Times A simple, innocent elderly married couple, Jim and Hilda Bloggs, who live in the English countryside, are faced with a nuclear attack. To prepare for the Bomb, they follow the governmental instructions of a 'Protect and Survive' leaflet to the letter and construct a shelter made of doors and cushions, and gather emergency supplies. The optimism and affection of the couple and their faith in the British government remain unshaken even after the bomb has gone off and the nuclear fallout starts to make them sick. They continue to act and think in a naive way and dismiss all evidence of the horror of the attack. The black, grim humour of the writing and illustrations are in painful contrast with the couple's resolute cheerfulness, and poignantly point out the foolishness of their preparations and the hopelessness of their situation. The docile couple's inability to understand the horror of the nuclear attack and their steadfast trust in the official advices, which of course are useless, give the story real emotional power and will leave the reader overwhelmed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    A 1982 graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, also known for The wordless picture book The Snowman. Many of his works are wryly amusing, featuring versions of his own parents. Here, Jim and Hilda Bloggs are elderly, retired, sweet, loving and clueless as they prepare for nuclear attack, following government instructions on duct tape and supplies. It does not go as well as they had hoped, and the black comedy turns darker and darker, as they remain sweet and clueless and sweet til the end. The Bloggs a A 1982 graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, also known for The wordless picture book The Snowman. Many of his works are wryly amusing, featuring versions of his own parents. Here, Jim and Hilda Bloggs are elderly, retired, sweet, loving and clueless as they prepare for nuclear attack, following government instructions on duct tape and supplies. It does not go as well as they had hoped, and the black comedy turns darker and darker, as they remain sweet and clueless and sweet til the end. The Bloggs are supposed to be like most people, who just do on want to get involved in politics and can't believe it would ever happen. Not for young children, maybe, but it is a warning for people everywhere. And heartbreaking. See Greta's fine review that led me to read this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tisha

    This is not some regular kids' comic book. The issue highlighted here is pretty intense. It’s a story of an elderly couple who builds up a fallout shelter in order to be safe during the upcoming nuclear war. Quite intense, right? So the husband, following some leaflet, uses their regular doors in some 60-degree angle with the wall to make this shelter and the story continues with them in their tiny safe haven! Although the theme is a bit different and strong, the writer presented it with humor ( This is not some regular kids' comic book. The issue highlighted here is pretty intense. It’s a story of an elderly couple who builds up a fallout shelter in order to be safe during the upcoming nuclear war. Quite intense, right? So the husband, following some leaflet, uses their regular doors in some 60-degree angle with the wall to make this shelter and the story continues with them in their tiny safe haven! Although the theme is a bit different and strong, the writer presented it with humor (more precisely, with dark humor). This book is surely very beautiful and colorful. The illustrations are pretty too. But as a great admirer of illustrated novels, I didn’t enjoy it that much! The whole thing was a bit indistinct to me. Maybe it’s because I read the softcopy and it was really hard to get into the story as there’s a lot written and drawn on a single page! Or maybe because my mind is very unsettled for the last few days! Who knows! Normally I feel very homey when I read graphic novels. That feeling was missing here! Still giving it a 3 just because I don’t want to be impolite as the author has undoubtedly worked very hard to come up with the writings as well as the drawings.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    For those who are too young to remember the 1980s, it was a decade of utterly foolish magical thinking about nuclear annihilation, an era in which governments in both the United States and the United Kingdom pretended that, with enough shovels — and a stiff upper lip — people could survive a nuclear blast. Cartoonist Raymond Briggs published this illustrated black comedy in 1982 at the height of Cold War brinkmanship and civilian terror. In When the Wind Blows, pensioners James and Hilda Blllogg For those who are too young to remember the 1980s, it was a decade of utterly foolish magical thinking about nuclear annihilation, an era in which governments in both the United States and the United Kingdom pretended that, with enough shovels — and a stiff upper lip — people could survive a nuclear blast. Cartoonist Raymond Briggs published this illustrated black comedy in 1982 at the height of Cold War brinkmanship and civilian terror. In When the Wind Blows, pensioners James and Hilda Bllloggs take the official declarations and a home county pamphlet to heart and build themselves a fallout shelter in the complete faith that “they” know what they’re talking about, with decisions intelligently made by “commuters” (computers). James makes certain that the household doors used to construct the shelter are at the precise recommended 60-degree angle so that that the “fallout” — the couple don’t really know what fallout is — will slide neatly down the side. The rest of their plans are about as useful. Mr. and Mrs. Bloggs vaguely think that this last war will be an abbreviated rehash of World War II and the recommended Inner Core of Refuge an updated version of the air-raid shelter. They soon discover differently. The Beatrix Potter-style illustrations provide a satirical contrast to the Bloggs’ overly optimistic faith in the Powers That Be to know best. A wonderful satire of those mad years.

  6. 4 out of 5

    trishtrash

    This is possibly the most disturbing book I've ever picked up. The format alone, jarring with the subject matter, sets ones teeth on edge... there's something wholly discomfiting about the illustrated evolution of the round and homely forms of an late-middle-aged couple as they undergo the effects of radiation poisoning. The isolation and naiveté of Hilda and Jimmy Bloggs, their ability to do exactly the wrong thing despite their best intentions, is as appalling as it is compelling to the reader This is possibly the most disturbing book I've ever picked up. The format alone, jarring with the subject matter, sets ones teeth on edge... there's something wholly discomfiting about the illustrated evolution of the round and homely forms of an late-middle-aged couple as they undergo the effects of radiation poisoning. The isolation and naiveté of Hilda and Jimmy Bloggs, their ability to do exactly the wrong thing despite their best intentions, is as appalling as it is compelling to the reader. In the event of a nuclear strike on The British Isles (or almost anywhere else, for that matter), there may be millions of 'ordinary folk', survivors in the first instance, yet confused about how to proceed. It's this thought that drives this simple yet harrowing book home.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Petra: on hiatus due to feeling terribly wiliky

    The coming nuclear war as a cartoon. Black humour and advice on how to use duct tape (of course, isn't duct tape used for everything?) and plastic bags to protect yourself. I don't think its a spoiler to say that it doesn't work! The coming nuclear war as a cartoon. Black humour and advice on how to use duct tape (of course, isn't duct tape used for everything?) and plastic bags to protect yourself. I don't think its a spoiler to say that it doesn't work!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Roger Francis

    This is one of the saddest stories I've ever read. It was written at a time when governments believed a nuclear attack was a real possibility. In fact, the public had received leaflets through the doors advising them to remove the hinges and hide behind the door if the inevitable happened. Of course we know now, hiding behind doors is pointless. Raymond Briggs introduces us to an elderly couple who remind us all of our nan and grandad, offering us cups of tea, sweets and cake. Their innocence is This is one of the saddest stories I've ever read. It was written at a time when governments believed a nuclear attack was a real possibility. In fact, the public had received leaflets through the doors advising them to remove the hinges and hide behind the door if the inevitable happened. Of course we know now, hiding behind doors is pointless. Raymond Briggs introduces us to an elderly couple who remind us all of our nan and grandad, offering us cups of tea, sweets and cake. Their innocence is beautifully portrayed. They are naive enough to believe in the government and plod along thinking all is fine. Unfortunately the evil is out of the bag and there is no going back for mankind. Jim and Hilda are a stark reminder to us all of a bleak and stark future which is out of our hands. It portrays how helpless we are and how reliant we are of the powers that be to keep us safe. This is NOT a feel good book. There are no happy endings, and Hollywood is not going to save the day. Having said all of the above, the book has moments of humour which connect us to this sweet couple. The book is of its time and is one I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Oblomov

    Year of New Authors In an alternative history, the UK is struck by a devastating nuclear attack. Cities and communication systems are destroyed, roads melted, the earth and air poisoned and ravaged. All seen through the eyes of Mr and Mrs Bloggs living alone in the countryside, who are a bit peeved the milkman hasn't came yet. For some questionable reason, in the mid 90s when I would have been 11/12, we were shown part of Threads at school; a harrowingly brutal depiction of a city on fire and slow Year of New Authors In an alternative history, the UK is struck by a devastating nuclear attack. Cities and communication systems are destroyed, roads melted, the earth and air poisoned and ravaged. All seen through the eyes of Mr and Mrs Bloggs living alone in the countryside, who are a bit peeved the milkman hasn't came yet. For some questionable reason, in the mid 90s when I would have been 11/12, we were shown part of Threads at school; a harrowingly brutal depiction of a city on fire and slowly decaying with radiation and lawlessness. I vivdly remember everyone watching in stoney silence when we saw blackened corpses slowly smouldering amongst rubble, or a mother screaming for her child who hadn't reached the shelter in time. The quiet was only broken with pained 'awws' when a dying cat was shown, prompting the teacher to actually pause the video and ask what the hell was wrong with us for sympathising with a moggy over human lives. I thought of that a lot when reading this, as Mr and Mrs Bloggs are absolutely adorable cats. They are the quintessential old couple, concerned with regular habits and interacting with fond little jibes. Their love for each other is realistic, simple and tender, and their innocence absolute with adorable misunderstandings that slowly become sad or deadly as the story goes on. Their attempts to guard themselves from the foretold destruction are ineffectual, but based on the only information they're given. Their faith in the government and society continuing after the bomb drops is based on their childhood recollections of the blitz, where the postman would climb over debris and bomb shelters were decorated. A colourful, almost fond time for the pair when they were too young to fully appreciate the horrors, and now too old to realise this a new and thouroughly different kind of war. While I, as a Brit, have certainly met both a Mr and Mrs Bloggs in real life, they are little bit too silly at times, with constant mispronounciations and their ignorance of politics, but never quite to the point where it felt offensive to me. Some people may also find the sheer amount of text in this book a bit of a slog, but I didn't and the silly conversations of our protagonists simply made everything feel more real. I consider When the Wind Blows an extremely effective anti-war piece, far more so than others, precisely because it doesn't really show any war or even the bomb itself. Compared to the disgustingly gory animation in Barefoot Gen or A Short Vision (1956), I tend to find these gruesome depictions of the explosion simply mesmerising, so violent and destructive that they almost seem impossible and thus detatched from reality. In the book it's more subtle, the explosion is a white blast that contorts the very comic frames until they shudder back to normal, leaving no doubt that the previous idyllic frolics of country life are now forever warped entirely. The following slow disintegration of colour and our protagonists outlines, by radiation poisoning and the reality that no one is coming to help them, is a thoughtfully more unsettling horror than watching someone violently vaporised, and it's precisely this lack of sensationalism thatmakes it feel more visceral. This is a very hard read, especially if you go into it knowing exactly what is coming. It's horrible, it's sad, it's unbearably tragic, but a beautifully sweet piece. Is such a work useful post Cold-War? Absolutely, because the Blogg's innocence is still a problem for today. 'It'll be over by Christmas' says Mr Bloggs as he drinks contaminated rain water, and 'They're overreacting about this virus the same way they do about Global warming. It's just a bad flu' said people over a year ago. Our complacency is as steadfast as the Bloggs' normalcy bias, and we've yet to find that sweet spot between rampant paranoia and ignoring what actually needs to be done. A wonderful work of mental flaggellation that ignores shock tactics to stab directly at your heart. Five stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Himanshu Karmacharya

    I am at a loss for words. This book has emotionally devastated me. Beautifully depicting the horrors of war and nuclear weapons, with its contrasting black humor, this book is a must read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    A plain harrowing tale about two clueless old bumpkins preparing for the inevitable nuclear war with just the sort of cheery attitude that entirely encompasses the notion that "Ignorance is a bliss". These two morons really have no idea what's coming to them, just living their daily lives almost as normal, talking about politics without truly understanding, old James trying to prepare for the nuke the best he can and talking about whatever's "the correct thing", and both of them feeling nostalgi A plain harrowing tale about two clueless old bumpkins preparing for the inevitable nuclear war with just the sort of cheery attitude that entirely encompasses the notion that "Ignorance is a bliss". These two morons really have no idea what's coming to them, just living their daily lives almost as normal, talking about politics without truly understanding, old James trying to prepare for the nuke the best he can and talking about whatever's "the correct thing", and both of them feeling nostalgia at World War II of all things and believing this is just going to be much the same, no need to get too fussed about it. Oftentimes I would've wished to yell at them about what kind of a situation they're really in, how serious it all is, and how bloody stupid they are - but what would be the point? They're going to die anyway - no way to avoid it, really. Mostly I just wonder why the Soviets - or whoever - would bother to nuke what appears to be just empty countryside. I suspect they had their reasons. I think I need to go out for a while.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ashma

    This book has my heart.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Raymond Briggs? No! Don't think "Snowman." Instead think nuclear war. Devastation. Innocent victims. Did I enjoy reading this? No. Does it communicate the consequences of nuclear war? Yes. Do NOT read this for pleasure. Read only if you need to be reminded of the horrors of war ... compounded with the finality of nuclear technology. Raymond Briggs? No! Don't think "Snowman." Instead think nuclear war. Devastation. Innocent victims. Did I enjoy reading this? No. Does it communicate the consequences of nuclear war? Yes. Do NOT read this for pleasure. Read only if you need to be reminded of the horrors of war ... compounded with the finality of nuclear technology.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Booth

    a darkly humorous look at what would happen if the Russians dropped the bomb on England. Our couple, James and Hilda, have a WWII mentality about the event which is woefully out of date for nuclear fall out. They're ill prepared having only a little time to take a few precautions outlined in pamphlets put out by the government which were designed more to keep panic from rising, as opposed to offering any real help in a no win situation. I'd recently heard about the movie of this and being unable a darkly humorous look at what would happen if the Russians dropped the bomb on England. Our couple, James and Hilda, have a WWII mentality about the event which is woefully out of date for nuclear fall out. They're ill prepared having only a little time to take a few precautions outlined in pamphlets put out by the government which were designed more to keep panic from rising, as opposed to offering any real help in a no win situation. I'd recently heard about the movie of this and being unable to find a copy currently, I read the book. Not a good book if you're trying to stay away from bleak truths, but interestingly drawn and written. The movie traumatizes quite a few little kids whose parents put on an animated film not realizing that animation isn’t strictly for children. Surprise!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    When the Wind Blows Follows the lives of a nice elderly couple in rural England as they act in accordance with the government mandated policy on surviving the upcoming nuclear holocaust. The book is a great, but depressing (it is the end of the world after all), piece of satire, critiquing everything from the national government for woefully under-preparing their citizenry for the horrible situation they have been put in to the naivety of people firmly ensconced in the past and glorifying the go When the Wind Blows Follows the lives of a nice elderly couple in rural England as they act in accordance with the government mandated policy on surviving the upcoming nuclear holocaust. The book is a great, but depressing (it is the end of the world after all), piece of satire, critiquing everything from the national government for woefully under-preparing their citizenry for the horrible situation they have been put in to the naivety of people firmly ensconced in the past and glorifying the good old days. The story is short, but gets its message across in a compelling manner.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    I've seen the movie previously but that doesn't change just how horribly sad and blackly funny Raymond Briggs' adult book about the nuclear warfare situation in the Cold War era is. The juxtaposition of his illustration style as seen in things like The Snowman and Father Christmas (staples of my childhood) with the bleak adult subject matter serves to underline the absurdity of the situation lived through by Mr & Mrs Bloggs. I've seen the movie previously but that doesn't change just how horribly sad and blackly funny Raymond Briggs' adult book about the nuclear warfare situation in the Cold War era is. The juxtaposition of his illustration style as seen in things like The Snowman and Father Christmas (staples of my childhood) with the bleak adult subject matter serves to underline the absurdity of the situation lived through by Mr & Mrs Bloggs.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    Fairly macabre, but an interesting read...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Standeven

    Similar in theme to "Atomic Cafe" and "Dr Strangelove", but with an innocence and fragility that makes the impact so much greater Similar in theme to "Atomic Cafe" and "Dr Strangelove", but with an innocence and fragility that makes the impact so much greater

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    WOW! Briggs brings the realities of what the Cold War was and clearly demonstrates the threat that faced most of the modern western world in the early 1980's. The reader is invited to look inside the private country home of Mr. and Mrs. J. Bloggs,and observe the daily goings on of a naive, stiff upper lipped, British couple as they struggle to make sense of an impending nuclear strike by the Soviet Union ("Ruskies"); these struggles acting as comic relief (military acronyms are another instrument WOW! Briggs brings the realities of what the Cold War was and clearly demonstrates the threat that faced most of the modern western world in the early 1980's. The reader is invited to look inside the private country home of Mr. and Mrs. J. Bloggs,and observe the daily goings on of a naive, stiff upper lipped, British couple as they struggle to make sense of an impending nuclear strike by the Soviet Union ("Ruskies"); these struggles acting as comic relief (military acronyms are another instrument for humour in this poignant little Graphic Novel). The Bloggs's compare the "current" situation to their now romanticised view of WW2 (something that only the distance of time can achieve), and their discussions are liberally peppered with the innocent mistakes so common with the elderly. This adds genuineness to their characterizations. The fear of the times, and ultimately the dropping of "the bomb"(presumably in London) is realistically conveyed through Briggs's simplistic caricatures. Just as Mr. and Mrs. Bloggs are isolated from any news of the actualities, so too is the reader, allowing Briggs to fully alert us under his terms, as to what the threat of full scale nuclear war and fallout would mean. The movement of colour, beginning with cheerful/romantic pastel colours transitions in the end to sickly greys, greens, and blues, signifies the horrors of radiation poisoning due to nuclear fallout. We (the public at large) are clearly being warned of what such a holocaust would resemble.Today we live without this same threat of nuclear war but this story still invokes the powerlessness that civilians today face when under the threat of political violence. However depressing this story is, it is beautifully rendered and will be a treasured addition to my collection.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    A very disturbing comic book that explores the effect of a nuclear war on the life of a happily married elderly couple. Much of the story is blackly comic in the story's juxtapositioning of very ordinary, very British life, with the almost incomprehensible destruction that comes as a result of nuclear weaponry. Despite the book's subject matter being incredibly dark and depressing, this is still a fun read with plenty of laughs. I'm not sure how Briggs has managed to take an extremely unpalatable A very disturbing comic book that explores the effect of a nuclear war on the life of a happily married elderly couple. Much of the story is blackly comic in the story's juxtapositioning of very ordinary, very British life, with the almost incomprehensible destruction that comes as a result of nuclear weaponry. Despite the book's subject matter being incredibly dark and depressing, this is still a fun read with plenty of laughs. I'm not sure how Briggs has managed to take an extremely unpalatable subject matter and turn it into something so enjoyable, but he has. The mannerisms of the set-in-their-ways couple are truly endearing and clearly drawn from real life so seeing what befalls them is grim indeed, but also unputdownable. It's certainly a short and snappy read that you'll polish off in a single sitting.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    I couldn't help but wonder the whole time I listened to this if Courage the Cowardly Dog was based off of this... as there are quite a bit of similarities. This graphic novel follows a elderly couple through a nuclear bombing. It was written around the time of the Cold War when the Russians bombing us and Britain was a real possibility. This Graphic novel shows our elderly couple following a Government leaflet issued to them in Britain, their blind faith in their Government knowing best and what I couldn't help but wonder the whole time I listened to this if Courage the Cowardly Dog was based off of this... as there are quite a bit of similarities. This graphic novel follows a elderly couple through a nuclear bombing. It was written around the time of the Cold War when the Russians bombing us and Britain was a real possibility. This Graphic novel shows our elderly couple following a Government leaflet issued to them in Britain, their blind faith in their Government knowing best and what good that did in the end. The author did an amazing job of taking an extremely dark theme and adding humor all the while showing the realities of radiation poisoning. The couple did everything they could to write off what was going on as something completely normal even as they got sicker and sicker and ran out of water, was cut off from the world, even after walking out side and seeing what happened to the crops. The couple was very naive and had a lot of faith in the Government but in a weird way I couldn't help but think that at least that gave them hope... being naive in an unavoidable circumstance like that is probably a bit of a plus. Knowing how doomed you are would make the process much, much worse I suppose. A little hope if even in vein can and did seem to soften the blow, and offer a bit of solace... they weren't afraid because they knew help was coming..... I highly recommend this.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Udit Tyagi

    When the Wind Blows has a short and uncomplicated plot about an elderly couple in the English countryside who are affected by a nuclear attack. The beauty of the book is its dialogue between the couple. They are funny and adorable in a way only children and old people can be. Their conscientiousness, concern for each other and odd nostalgia for WW II add to the charm of this darkly humorous book. Also, since this is a graphic novel, I must also say something about the art. Initially, it looked qu When the Wind Blows has a short and uncomplicated plot about an elderly couple in the English countryside who are affected by a nuclear attack. The beauty of the book is its dialogue between the couple. They are funny and adorable in a way only children and old people can be. Their conscientiousness, concern for each other and odd nostalgia for WW II add to the charm of this darkly humorous book. Also, since this is a graphic novel, I must also say something about the art. Initially, it looked quite average to me. After a couple of pages, I realised how layered it actually was despite the relatively simple lines. It had a certain hand-shaded quality. I liked it. Except a Yes Minister episode, I had never before come across any fictional book/show/film that addressed the fear of nuclear war in the 1970s, 80s (which is probably my fault, I know). When the Wind Blows was a welcome addition to the exception. I enjoyed reading it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emilia P

    Man, I've been waiting to read this one for ages! An old couple in the British countryside and their personal experience of a nuclear holocaust. That's it. That's the whole thing. It expertly captures the mood of "it can't happen here" and "the government will take care of us, right?" that ...so many of us carry around about so many things! You could read it at their naive expense or you could read it as a mirror of your own countless self-protective illusions about the world. Or some of both. Als Man, I've been waiting to read this one for ages! An old couple in the British countryside and their personal experience of a nuclear holocaust. That's it. That's the whole thing. It expertly captures the mood of "it can't happen here" and "the government will take care of us, right?" that ...so many of us carry around about so many things! You could read it at their naive expense or you could read it as a mirror of your own countless self-protective illusions about the world. Or some of both. Also nuclear warfare is actually terrifying, still, we just have a little more distance from it for now! Wheeee. It's great. Raymond Briggs is the best tone-setter of all time. Also, it's that beautiful milestone book of uh, my kids are curious about the book I'm reading and trying to read it for themselves and actually it is utterly inappropriate for them, even though it's graphically unassuming. :P Congrats, kids! Time to go put it on a high shelf!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    I really enjoyed the differences between husband and wife here, and of course, the illustrations fit the story perfectly. The story itself is not at all what I was expecting, and feels very grown up in comparison to the likes of Father Christmas and the like. Regardless, it is both interesting and surprisingly amusing in places, and packs an awful lot of impact into its pages.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish

    Devastatingly poignant. Not for little kiddos. Maybe in the right social studies class for age 9 and up. Avl. on openlibrary.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andreea

    Funny and at the same time somewhat disturbing. It was an ok read for a cold and rainy day.

  27. 4 out of 5

    ^

    A graphic and desperately poignant tale; which importantly bears periodic re-reading. A retired working-class couple, James and his wife Hilda (affectionately referred to as ducks/ dear / dearest) respond to the threat (later proved) of a nuclear bomb strike. James reads in his broadsheet newspaper and hears on the radio of the ‘deteriorating international situation,’ expressed in a typical political vagueness of speech. Thankfully he has picked up a leaflet in his local public library entitled A graphic and desperately poignant tale; which importantly bears periodic re-reading. A retired working-class couple, James and his wife Hilda (affectionately referred to as ducks/ dear / dearest) respond to the threat (later proved) of a nuclear bomb strike. James reads in his broadsheet newspaper and hears on the radio of the ‘deteriorating international situation,’ expressed in a typical political vagueness of speech. Thankfully he has picked up a leaflet in his local public library entitled “The Householder’s Guide To Survival.” At this point I was starkly reminded of a booklet which the British Government (Labour, at that time) distributed to every household back in 2004: a copy of which can be seen at http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_... Plus ça change. Modified by the actions his wife wants to take to maintain the smooth-running of their home, they make their preparations based on the incomplete and non-specific information given; supplemented from their initiative in remembering how they successfully fought the Second World War on the Home Front! The result is predictably poignant, farcical and in the finality either heart-renderingly tragic or a blessed release, depending on the reader’s point of view. Don’t overlook beginning to read this book at the title page. James is reading “The Times” in his local library. From the content of “When The Wind Blows” I’d guess Raymond Briggs’ politics to be more in line with those of “The Guardian”. Such rewarding subtleties are too easily overlooked. This book is a real wake-up call not to take democratic government for granted, and never to forget that such government (of whatever colour of politics) is only as good as the quality of politicians elected to serve, and the truthfulness and reliability of the sources of information that each individual elector uses to decide their vote.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Zaid

    Illustrated in a comic book format, which shouldn’t work with this type of story but does do so well. A graphic novel that depicts the horrors of nuclear war; sometimes a difficult, moving and poignant read, it tells the story of Jim and Hilda Bloggs who are a retired and thoroughly English couple (previously seen in Gentleman Jim by Briggs), that face the situation of a nuclear attack on English shores. When Jim hears on the radio the three-day warning he sets about making a homemade shelter, w Illustrated in a comic book format, which shouldn’t work with this type of story but does do so well. A graphic novel that depicts the horrors of nuclear war; sometimes a difficult, moving and poignant read, it tells the story of Jim and Hilda Bloggs who are a retired and thoroughly English couple (previously seen in Gentleman Jim by Briggs), that face the situation of a nuclear attack on English shores. When Jim hears on the radio the three-day warning he sets about making a homemade shelter, whilst Hilda continues her everyday life in blissful ignorance quoting ‘I shouldn’t worry too much it’ll probably all blow over’. The shelter Jim builds is tantamount of the homemade ones they would use in WW2 whilst being totally naive to the real threat of nuclear fall out. After surviving the initial attack and following ill-advised government instruction, the 2nd part of the book is disturbing at times as we watch the characters slowly succumb to the effects of radiation poisoning.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    A couple of morons prepare for a potential nuclear attack (and fall out). The husband starts building a bomb shelter in the living room while the wife bakes a cake. I guess I found it more sad than humorous. I found the two characters infuriatingly stupid. Unlike the lead in Gentleman Jim, the male character in this book was depressing. I quite liked Gentleman Jim and will admit the character is very similar. I guess in that book it was about the character getting a job during his retirement, wh A couple of morons prepare for a potential nuclear attack (and fall out). The husband starts building a bomb shelter in the living room while the wife bakes a cake. I guess I found it more sad than humorous. I found the two characters infuriatingly stupid. Unlike the lead in Gentleman Jim, the male character in this book was depressing. I quite liked Gentleman Jim and will admit the character is very similar. I guess in that book it was about the character getting a job during his retirement, which is a more light-hearted affair than this book. Each page consists of a dozen or so tiny comic panels and each panel is squished with speech bubbles. The conversation between the two characters is funny but tiring. Overall, I'm very disappointed by this book as I was a fan of Gentleman Jim.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dominick

    Briggs published this when the idea of a graphic novel barely existed, and the same applied to the idea of comics for adults. Not only was he ahead of the curve, he also produced one of the great short graphic novels, in this funny and horrifying tale of the bomb falling and its aftermath. A savage indictment of politics, of course, but also of human complacency and ignorance.

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