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When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs

When the Wind Blows (original 1982; edition 1987)

by Raymond Briggs

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4821621,353 (4.31)25
Title:When the Wind Blows
Authors:Raymond Briggs
Info:Schocken (1987), Hardcover, 40 pages
Collections:Library books, Read in 2008, Read but unowned, Graphic novels & memoirs
Tags:fiction, graphic novel, library, 2008

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When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs (1982)



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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I picked this up on our weekly trip to the library, it immediately caught my attention on a display at the entrance, although another patron did try to warn me off that it is too depressing. I can't believe I've never heard of it before. In graphic novel form, with artwork very similar to that of his most famous children's book The Snowman, we follow a couple as they make preparations and live through the early days of nuclear war. It takes the mickey out of contradictory and completely pointless advice that was given around the time of publication (1982). It is rather bleak, but I like bleak. I don't suppose nuclear war is much less likely these days than it was 30 years ago, more so perhaps. Happy thoughts.... ( )
  eclecticdodo | Jun 21, 2016 |
Harrowing and beautiful. Deserves nothing less than 5 stars for making me tear up on a Sunday afternoon. ( )
  sometimeunderwater | Mar 20, 2015 |
This book reminds me that in 1982 our greatest worry about world safety was focused on nuclear warfare. I guess it’s just as possible today, possibly even more so with people wherever possibly able to lay their hands on them, but of course now climate change is what we worry about.

In rereading this book I was first struck by the sexism with the wife, Hilda, amazingly ignorant and Jimmy, her husband, continually having to explain things to her while she continued to be narrowly obsessed with domestic issues. Even older people in 1982 wouldn’t have been quite so sexist, I think.

Briggs aims for humour through this female characterisation and the many malapropisms made by both the characters – people ‘all use commuters these days’. I must admit I didn’t find it that amusing, perhaps because I knew the outcome but then every reader would know the inevitable outcome. In the end I just recognise them as a naïve old couple pathetically unable to cope and misled by a manipulative government – which of course is the point of the story – how unprepared Britain was for a nuclear war, how inadequate the provisions made for one and, anyway, how unsurvivable it would be.

I remember being affected by the book when it was first published and I think the satire is probably as effective a way to confront the issues as any. ( )
  evening | Jul 23, 2014 |
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! ( )
  Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
The creator of The Snowman brings us this short graphic novel account of a retired British couple preparing for the apocalypse. Jim has picked up a brochure from the public library on how best to build and stock a shelter, and immediately sets about doing so. His wife is either long-suffering or equally dim; I'm pretty sure it's the latter. Anyway, Jim paints over the windows and builds a makeshift shelter using the doors, as per the library brochure, and together he and his wife stock food in their little shelter, too (after a brief panic that the brochure says to stock peanut butter and they don't have any, because neither of them likes it). Suddenly there's a war on, and Jim's preparations pay off.

Somehow this straddles a line between goofy and sad--you roll your eyes at Jim and Hilda, at their sweet dottiness, but your heart breaks for them when things go down the way they do.

Not something I'd hand to the average teen, but older, more sophisticated readers will appreciate this story, particularly if they grew up with The Snowman. Readalikes: Z for Zachariah (O'Brien) or Barefoot Gen for the aftermath of nuclear war, Gentleman Jim (Briggs) for an earlier story with these characters. ( )
1 vote librarybrandy | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Raymond Briggsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Groen, MauritsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Follows an elderly couple's preparations for a nuclear attack in cartoon form. Suggested level: secondary.

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