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Gentleman Jim by Raymond Briggs

Gentleman Jim (1980)

by Raymond Briggs

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Ethel & Ernest and When the Wind Blows are both excellent so when I chanced upon this title at the library I was excited to bring it home. However, I was disappointed. I loved the art. Very poignant and one feels for the simple Jim just from his expressions and body positions. The story didn't do anything for me though. His imagining of being a cowboy then a highway man were just too simple-minded to be believable, not funny to me but rather I thought he was a sad man to think he might understand more about the world if he could get a modern education. I liked the beginning with him working in the toilets but the rest of it just doesn't compare to the two other titles I mentioned. ( )
  ElizaJane | Jun 8, 2014 |
I grabbed this graphic novel to read because I remembered the author from my days as an elementary school teacher, when I shared his book, The Snowman, with classes each winter. Based on that, I thought this might be a children's story, but was wrong! It took my brain a few frames to get beyond "Raymond Briggs-Cartoonist" and into this story.

The main character, Jim Bloggs, finally acts on his dream to stretch beyond his current job as an expert toilet cleaner. Along the way, he keeps commenting on his lack of education, and is discouraged a bit by the prohibitive costs (both in money and in warnings and citations) of outfitting his dream job. Eventually, he lands in jail, but continues to be optimistic and supported by his wife. This wasn't where I saw this story going, but I still enjoyed it. ( )
  dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
Sweet and a little sad, like the rest of Briggs' work that I've read. But still nice to look at and a pleasant read. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
I picked this up after reading/enjoying When the Wind Blows. This book is an earlier story with the same characters, although nothing is lost by reading them out of order.

Jim is basically a British Walter Mitty, but he even tries to implement his grand dreams of becoming a cowboy, highwayman, etc. With his wife's support, no less, although it was never entirely clear to me whether she was humoring him or equally dense. (Probably the latter.)

Jim is very sweet but not at all bright. He also seems to have left school quite early, which is a significant plot device and source of humor. The British caste system also factors in quite a bit.

The art is more complex than in When the Wind Blows. I particularly liked Briggs' portrayal of various authority figures, although the Prohias-esque magistrate is a distractingly dramatic change from the others.

It's really remarkable how much the cover (of the 2008 edition) tells you about the character. ( )
  kristenn | Sep 2, 2010 |
This is a re-issue of an independent comic published in 1980. Gentleman Jim is a janitor by day, dreamer by night, his dreams fueled by the the boy's adventure stories he favors. Reaching for those dreams, however, land him in a fair amount of trouble. ( )
  kivarson | May 2, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Raymond Briggsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
SethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Imaginative toilet cleaner Jim Bloggs dreams of a more exciting career as an executive, an artist, or a cowboy, but his attempts to become a highwayman lead to troubles with various authorities.

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