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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tale
This graphical novel is set in England during the Regan-Thatcher years of the early eighties. It covers the final days of Jim and Hilda Bloggs as they are caught up in a global nuclear war.
In Britain at this time there was much public concern over the increased tension between NATO and the Warsaw pact nations and the deployment of short range nuclear weapons by...
Published on 4 Feb. 2001 by John Peter O'connor

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1 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It can be very Cold.
There is a generation now who do not understand the experience of living in the Cold War. Thankfully, it never came to direct blows. Had it done so, this book reminds us that our safety from a nuclear bomb would have have been ensured by a wooden door and a bucket of sand.

The sheer inanity of the Government-backed survival advice was therefore parodied in A4...
Published on 9 Sept. 2012 by Officer Dibble


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tale, 4 Feb. 2001
By 
John Peter O'connor - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: When the Wind Blows (Paperback)
This graphical novel is set in England during the Regan-Thatcher years of the early eighties. It covers the final days of Jim and Hilda Bloggs as they are caught up in a global nuclear war.
In Britain at this time there was much public concern over the increased tension between NATO and the Warsaw pact nations and the deployment of short range nuclear weapons by both blocs raised these tensions. In this atmosphere, the British government published a set of leaflets setting out what precautions could be taken by the public to reduce the effects of a nuclear strike.
In this book, we see an ordinary English couple attempt to follow the guidance in the leaflets and we follow their fate after a war. Alone, confused and dying from radiation sickness, they cling to their hopes that, by "doing the right thing" they will be OK and the authorities will come and take care of them.
The author introduces just enough levity to give Jim and Hilda humanity and to make their tale bearable. While Jim and Hilda may not be the smartest folk around, they are the thoroughly decent folks that you would always be happy to have neighbours and that fact brings the horror of the story home.
Although the threats that inspired this book have receded, it still carries a message that is important and deeply moving.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully told story about the horrors of Nuclear war, 18 Oct. 2000
By 
This review is from: When the Wind Blows (Paperback)
This book both and scared and fascinated me in equal measure upon reading it as a child. I remember feeling at that age (about thirteen) that I had truly discovered the power of storytelling. Set in an England ravaged by Nuclear war, When the Wind Blows is told through the innocence of an elderly man and his wife, who don't really understand the impact of what is happening. This makes the message all the more brutal and frightening, a real warning against the finality of such a war. A bit strong for children, but essential reading all the same.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most harrowing comic book imaginable, 17 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: When the Wind Blows (Paperback)
Written in the 80's, a time when nuclear war seemed to be an altogether too realistic possibility, this book is astonishingly brutal. The pages begin vibrant with colour and gradually fade to the whitewash of sickness, whilst the characters naive sensibilities and inability to understand that this war is different to the last one make the story unbearable. The fear is apparent throughout, but the reader knows that in this case ignorance is bliss. The Government's suggestions to hide behind a shelter made of doors are useless, but at least these people feel like they are doing something. The truth is, there is nothing they can do. Everyone should read this book, although it is the most upsetting book you will ever encounter.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only comic that made me cry, 28 Mar. 2007
This review is from: When the Wind Blows (Paperback)
I found this book completely by accident when my parents were sorting out their house and read it that night. I was brought to tears by the story. Jim and Hilda Bloggs are a typical retired couple living in rural Sussex during the height of the Cold War in the early 1980s. They reminicse on their experiences of WW2 through rose tinted glasses while building their own fall out shelter, following the government guidelines to the letter, even when the instructions contradict themselves.

The first half of the book is pretty much a black comedy as Jim and Hilda try and understand what's going on, but the second half is gut wrenching as they suffer the effects of radiation sickness, still believing that someone come and help them. Brigg's style changes accordingly, starting bright and colourful like his other stories but then going to a deathly pallor as the radiation becomes more prevalent before fading to black.

It's beautifully told and thought provoking. Jim and Hilda (based very much on Brigg's own parents) are probably like people you know and sometimes you feel like shaking the book to make them understand, but instead you just have to keep on reading, no matter how it makes you feel.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will change you, 13 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: When the Wind Blows (Paperback)
I too was a teenager when I first read this book. It was back in the 80's and we were all paranoid about the bomb. Jim and Hilda are so like my grandparents, it added to the difficulty of reading this book.
Brigg's illustrations are so factual that you believe you are there. The minute details, like in Father Christmas and The Snowman, remind you that this is little old England.
The book oozes with bulldog spirit and optimism as much as ignorance and soul destroying pessimism.
The graphic effects are amazing. Normallity is interrupted by dramatic views of the machinery of war.
Jim remembers the blitz almost with fondness, and reflects on the fickleness of war, "of course then the Ruskies were on our side".
The final pages, Jims attempt at the Lords Prayer, I can't read anymore. I am normally too tearful and so sickened.
I am very glad to see it back in print, a couple of years ago I had Amazon hunt down a 2nd hand copy, even at collectors price this haunting beautiful fable was well worth it.
Alex
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A minute's silent Thumbs Up., 24 April 2012
This review is from: When the Wind Blows (Paperback)
This is a fantastic work by Raymond Briggs who is better known for The Snowman, Father Christmas and Fungus the Bogeyman. This is a much darker tale however and probably not for children. It concerns an elderly couple and what happens to them when a nuclear war breaks out.

They take precautions, follow all the government advice and try to do what is expected of them. They soon discover this is nothing like the last war and blind faith and British pluck are no use to them.

This is a sad and moving tale and a very realistic portrayal of the fear of nuclear war that was palpable in the 1980's. They are a doddery old couple, set in their ways and a bit fluffy in the head but they are so harmless that you love them. You can easily see your grandparents, aunts and uncles or your future self in them and want nothing bad to happen.

There is a bigger picture here. They are called Mr and Mrs Bloggs and are the ultimate everyman showing you the horrors that would befall you if the unthinkable came. What is most impressive is the introduction. There are quotes from newspapers, media personalities of the time and countless members of parliament (including Tony Benn), a couple of peers and a quote from the Hansard when it was raised in parliament. This shows you the impact it had at the time.

If you are under 30 you won't know what it was like to live under the shadow of the bomb and may miss out on the resonance of this work. Thanks to the skill of the writer you will however experience the sense of growing dread that overtakes Jim and Hilda Bloggs. The art is excellent matching the author's other books and embodies the twee and pastel quality of rural England. The panels are quite small for the most part with the odd full page drawing for impact. There are also some clever tricks to illustrate the bomb dropping.

A minute's silent Thumbs Up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic, horrible yet strangely funny, 4 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: When the Wind Blows (Paperback)
Sometimes the best stories to deal with complex issues are the simplest, in plot and form; like Orwell's 'Animal Farm' or Raymond Briggs' 'When the Wind Blows'.
I suppose you could say this book conjured up a strange mixture of feelings in me. For one thing, it dealt with subjects related to the British identity which had been frustrating me for some time, such as the obsessive nostalgia for the national 'glory days' of the second world war. The old couple are way out of their time and completely without a clue. As well as tugging on our heartstrings, sometimes you just want to grab them and shake them, as they attempt to deal with the horrors of a nuclear attack with that typical British attitude of 'carrying on' and 'stiff upper lip' and 'getting by'; completely unaware of the drastic changes in warfare since the days of Churchill and Old Hitler, 'when everything made sense'. The husband keeps up a blind faith in 'the powers that be' while his wife fusses over the house and her domestic duties; even when their situation rapidly changes from bad to worse. There is cruel but sometimes hilarious black comedy at work here.
But of course, with all great British works, as well as the comedy there is the tragedy. You know from the start that this couple is doomed, with their lack of knowledge and understanding in international affairs and modern warfare. It is clear that the reason they indulge in nostalgia for their pasts, keep faith in the authorities and keep telling themselves that the nuclear damage is not as bad as it looks is that they're trying to stop themselves from breaking down. Even as their bodies weaken and fall apart from the radiation, as the vibrant colour is slowly drained from Brigg's devastatingly simple, rosy artwork, the characters keep hope. We want to help them but we can only watch. A terribly human, heartbreaking story and a horrific vision of what might have been and what could be. It is difficult to imagine a nuclear holocaust in the English countryside but Briggs brings us up to harsh, tear jerking reality. A haunting little masterpiece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just about the most powerful reading experience you can have, 28 July 2008
By 
Mr. I. S. Fairholm "epilepticgibbon" (Cheltenham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: When the Wind Blows (Paperback)
Like many people I read this as kid because of a love for Raymond Briggs' work and also a strange fascination for nuclear apocalypse. Even given that combination of thoughts, feelings and expectations I didn't know quite what to expect and by the end was left in tears, moved more by this one 'graphic novel' than I have by almost any book or film before or since. The story loses none of its power despite the threat of nuclear holocaust not being quite as immediate as it sometimes seemed to be in the 1980s. A must read for anyone who can stomach the sometimes unpleasant imagery and, more importantly, the heartbreaking storyline. Read this and I don't think you will ever be quite the same person again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs, 2 May 2011
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This review is from: When the Wind Blows (Paperback)
This is a book (in comic book graphics) that has you laughing one minute and sad the next. The story is about what happens when a nuclear bomb is dropped and how an elderly couple living in an isolated house in the countryside cope. It's a chilling story, bordering on horror in parts. It really pulled at my heartstring reading how they struggle to cope, and being old didn't really understand what was happening, making inaccurate comparisons with WWII. Raymond Briggs is noted for writing children's books, but this is a one-off that is for adult readers. Definitely recommended reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best comic book anyone will ever see, 21 May 2014
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This review is from: When the Wind Blows (Paperback)
This book is amazing. It is almost scary the way the couple act in the situation, it is very comical and it gives the message of war in such a way that everyone, even youngsters, can enjoy and understand.
I would strongly recommend this to anyone who is doing lessons on this (at school, secondary or even university!) as it gives the message very clearly and is also a very good read, much better than any other comic book you will ever see :-)
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When the Wind Blows
When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs (Hardcover - 25 Mar. 1982)
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