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First published in 1980, two years after "The Snowman", "Gentleman Jim" has been unavailable for many years. We are delighted to bring it back into print as the first book in an occasional series, "Cape Graphic Classics". "Gentleman Jim" is the story of Jim Bloggs, a lavatory attendant 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 Hilda, 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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780224085243
ISBN-10: 0224085247
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 178mm x 8mm)
Pages: 32
Imprint: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 7-Aug-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » This slim volume, a reissue of a 1980 work, has seminal significance in the development of the graphic novel.British cartoonist Briggs's renown rests mainly with his work for children (Fungus the Bogeyman, 2005, etc.). This graphic novel is plainly aimed at adults in its illustrated tale of a toilet cleaner, Jim Bloggs, whose innocence and imagination land him in trouble, as he tries to conjure a richer future for himself and his wife. "Something a bit more exciting more adventurous something with more of a challenge," he daydreams as he scrubs and mops. "There's not much opportunity for self-advancement in toilets." So he begins daydreaming about being a war hero, or a famous painter, or an executive (whatever that is), before returning home to his wife, Hilda, who matches his innocence and hardly serves as a check on his imagination. She's ready to follow him to Texas, where he can be a cowboy and she'll find work as a bar floozy ("Ooh, that would be nice," says the middle-aged housewife. "I hope I'm not too old."), though neither of them seem to realize just how much it might cost to costume themselves properly, let alone afford the fare overseas to the American Southwest. Jim then decides to become a modern day Robin Hood, robbing from the rich to give to the poor, yet all he can afford are a toy sword, rubber boots and a donkey instead of a horse. Through a series of hilarious mishaps and misunderstandings, his life changes irrevocably, but not in the way that he'd planned.A short, sweet and meaningful volume. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Raymond Briggs

Raymond Briggs is one of our most respected and beloved artists. Born in Wimbledon in 1934, he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and went on to produce a treasure trove of work. He has created characters that are now icons for generations of children, including Fungus the Bogeyman, Father Christmas and, of course, the beloved Snowman. He has won many awards over his career including the Kurt Maschler Award, The Children's Book of the Year and the prestigious Kate Greenaway Award for his Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme collection. Raymond lives in Sussex

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