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4.8 out of 5 stars119
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 1 November 1999
A beautiful moving story written by the well known author Raymond Briggs, author of the Snowman. The true story begins as Ethel and Ernest meet. Their love and life together unfolds through a series of beautifully illustrated cartoons. The reader is taken on a journey of life's pleasures and pains, through the war years and beyond.
As a nurse and a lecturer in hospice care I was drawn to the end of the book which portrays first Ethel's dying and death followed by the death of Ernest. The images are so powerful that few words are needed. The inevitability and the pain of death and loss are clearly and sensitively portrayed.
Ethel and Ernest should be available in every school, every church, and every library throughout the world. It must be on the reading list of all health care professionals.
Read this book. You will laugh and you will cry but most of all you will understand a little more of life.
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on 23 October 2012
From graphic novel to graphic biography, lives pared down to the essentials as Raymond Briggs draws the essence of the stories his parents told him about their lives, a quarter century after their deaths in 1971.

It made both me and my partner cry. "Forty one years in the same house." Died the same year. This is the story of a century told through a marriage. Raymond Briggs stands at the end of the book in the back garden with his wife looking at the pear tree he grew from a pip - from a pear he had eaten while evacuated to the country.

Part of its strength is that his parents were the twentieth century - his father born in 1900 just late enough to avoid the first world war. He was a milk man. They were early home buyers. Their house was bombed. They argued over politics and war and rationing and Churchill. They bought a fridge and a car and mowed the lawn. Their son passed the eleven plus and went into a very different world with art school, long hair and red wine. Some reviewers think that is trite - but for me it tells me where the man who wrote `Ug' and `When the Wind Blows' came from, and it is where a lot of people have come from.
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on 7 January 1999
This slim volume contains the love story of Ethel and Ernest, two simple folk. Raymond, their son, is the affectionate storyteller, painting in words and pictures the story of his parents' marriage, 'til death they do part. I was in tears at the end; read it and experience times long past.
Celia Crossley
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on 4 January 2013
This is such an unusual book. I saw Richard Briggs being interviewed on TV about this book and felt compelled to order it. A delightful, moving, book illustrating the meeting, marriage and life of Richard Briggs parents. a treasure for those of us who are sentimental and still believe in love and marriage. i highly recommend this book for those reasons and the wonderful illustrations.
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on 4 December 1998
This book is touching, beautifully drawn and also a surprisingly informative summary of the last 50 years. As a Briggs fan, I would rate this as his best yet.
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on 18 May 2011
This books format is simple to read being a cartoon strip narrative of an ordinary life. The book is moving and honest and i defy anyone not to be nearly in tears,or blubbering like a baby by the ending, i myself cried and so did others that loaned the book. Mr Briggs simple story of his mother and father, is a warts and all look at life love and relationships. I for one cannot praise Ethel & Ernest enough or find words to express its heart warming content. Buy it and tell me you are not moved by this simplistic tale.
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on 7 March 1999
As a child,i experianced Raymonds work in a differient manner to manny a person. This book a sheer masterpiece,exploring depths of illustration many artists have not. The story of his parents was simple,yet in great detail he would describe moments in their lifes that were not major on comparison with the rest of the story. I have loved Raymonds work since i was five.I have written to him ,and in responce,received a letter. Raymonds Work streches the minds of all young poeple alike-Raphael Verrion
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on 16 February 2011
A very personal life story of the author's parents when he was growing up during the '39-'45 war. Beautifully illustrated and endearingly written, it is in part a social commentary as well as being the story of a working class family living through the difficulties of the war while trying to give their son a better chance in life than they had. A cartoon-style, easy to read story which gives an excellent insight into life in those times, and is a good read for both adults and children.
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on 16 September 2000
This is illustration at its highest. It tells the story of a couple in the manner of the Bayeux Tapestry, through drawings that capture the heart of the action. However, these drawings also show the personalities of the man and woman and draw the reader into their story. The son has created a loving memorial of his parents. I will never forget some of the drawings in this book.
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on 30 November 2012
What a lovely story with beautiful pictures, all very vintage.
A heartfelt story typical of Raymond Briggs.
Suitable for those who wish to take a short trip down memory lane.
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