Gentleman Jim

Gentleman Jim

3.67 (413 ratings by Goodreads)
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A graphic novel classic from one of the world's best-known cartoonists

Gentleman Jim is the story of Jim Bloggs, an imaginative toilet cleaner who, dissatisfied with his station in life, devotes his time to envisioning a world beyond it. His walls are lined with books like Out in the Silver West, The Boys' Book of Pirates, and Executive Opportunities, which provide fodder for his ruminations on career change. Encouraged by his wife, who is also eager to incorporate more adventure into her life, Jim sets out to bring these dreams to fruition by accumulating various accoutrements, only to discover that the life of an executive, an artist, or a cowboy is more complicated and costly than it appears.

Jim's childlike understanding of the world that surrounds him is enhanced by Raymond Briggs's subtle and inventive illustrations. Fantasies are portrayed as organic clouds that move between and overlap outlined panels of his reality, and myopic Jim is drawn smaller and softer than the policemen and bureaucrats interested in impeding his search for adventure. As he begins to infringe more seriously on the law, the city workers and their speech boxes become increasingly angular, much like the rigid rules and regulations restricting his sincere quest. With this playful style, Briggs expertly transforms common feelings of inadequacy into an endearing and enjoyable experience that speaks across generations, concluding with an optimistic implication that even a misfortunate outcome can be better than no change at all.

This classic novel, originally published in 1980, is presented by Drawn & Quarterly in a new edition.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 40 pages
  • 191 x 254 x 8.64mm | 176.9g
  • Montreal, Canada
  • English
  • Reissue
  • illustrations throughout
  • 1897299362
  • 9781897299364
  • 327,181

About Raymond Briggs

International bestselling cartoonist/illustrator Raymond Briggs has been writing and drawing children's books and graphic novels for more than forty years, including his best-loved books Father Christmas and The Snowman. An early pioneer of literary graphic novels with his brilliant satire on nuclear war, When the Wind Blows (1982), he is also well known in North America for his poignant depiction of the lives of his parents in Ethel & Ernest.
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Rating details

413 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 19% (78)
4 42% (173)
3 28% (117)
2 9% (37)
1 2% (8)

Our customer reviews

This concerns Jim Bloggs an aging lavatory attendant who dreams of being something else. His Walter Mitty daydreams become increasingly elaborate until one day he decides to become a highwayman. This is an early Briggs story and can come across as a little unfocused. There is a strong message about the helplessness of the Everyman, and the rise of bureaucracy and those petty individuals that enforce it. The ending is also eyebrow raising compared to many of Briggs’ other works. The art is a lot richer and more vibrant than many of his more pastel works. The daydreams that spread right across the page are superb showcasing what he is capable of when let out from the customary tiny panel. The authority figures that thwart him are all caricatures in both speech and depiction. The traffic warden is a wonderfully stylised Hitler. An unusual read in that Jim may exasperate you as much as draw your sympathy. But he and Hilda go on to star in When the Wind Blows and that was magnificent. Thumbs Up!show more
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