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Unlikely (The Girlfriend Trilogy #2)

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,988 ratings  ·  91 reviews
The follow-up to Jeffrey Brown's self-published debut hit, Clumsy. The bittersweet story of how Jeffrey Brown lost his virginity. A full-length graphic novel drawn in a simple and elegantly awkward style that heightens the emotional impact of the work.
Paperback, 227 pages
Published August 5th 2003 by Top Shelf Productions (first published May 5th 1988)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,721)
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Michelle
I liked this a lot because it very clearly illustrated how people lie to themselves (and therefore the other person) at the start of relationships; they want to be a better person, so they tell the person that they're better than they are. They say, "I don't do drugs anymore," or "I have no interest in that anymore," or "when I'm with you I feel like I'm someone else, someone I've wanted to be for a long time." That's awesome! I'm glad that person brings those qualities out of you and that you'r ...more
Iris
After I finished this book, I had to set it aside and take a series of deep breaths. Then I either thought, or said aloud, "I am not ready to date again."

His art style is a little Matt Groening-esque. And some people have some problems with a series of frames of sighs and sneezes, but I kinda dig it. I have read most of his books so far (I think) and this is his best.
Kirsten
Another autobiographical story of a failed relationship, Unlikely is chronologically before Clumsy, and tells the story of Jeff's first lover. It's just as good, if not better, than Clumsy, although sometimes very painful to read. Watching this relationship fall apart is harder than seeing the relationship in Clumsy come to an end, because of all of Allisyn's baggage and Jeff's complete inability to deal with it. These books aren't for everyone; I think a lot of people might find them self-indul ...more
Taylor
1. The illustrations were horrible, poorly drawn, and interfered with the readability of the text.
2. The story jumped around to such an extent, I had no idea what was going on 95% of the time.
3. I felt as if I were reading a story about Micheal Cera's life. That is good for no one.
Matt Graupman
"Unlikely" is the second volume in Jeffrey Brown's so-called Girlfriend Trilogy and, as such, it's a refinement (although maybe not an improvement) of his debut book, "Clumsy." No matter what, though, Brown's comics have a lock on raw self-examination and melancholy.

Reading "Unlikely," I'm reminded of the contention that a band has it's whole life to craft it's amazing debut album and a far shorter time to create its follow-up. I'm not saying "Unlikely" isn't good, in fact it's often an artistic
...more
Federiken Masters
Dibujo espantoso, personajes que oscilan entre ser simpaticones y queribles a insoportables, odiosos, estúpidos y bastante inmaduros. Quizás eso le da cierto triste realismo a la historia, pero también me la volvió por partes bastante tediosa. Mejor que Jeffrey Brown siga dibujando gatitos, porque sus personas son horribles.
Luke Johnson
Simple, very real story of a young romance and its inevitable end. Neither the art nor the storytelling are entirely remarkable, but the story's cold reality is powerful and memorable. Recommended if you've ever had a relationship and watched it collapse seemingly out of your control.
Careuhhline
Apr 27, 2009 Careuhhline rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ...
Recommended to Careuhhline by: someone named Greg in my Classical Political Thought class
I would like to contact the author and ask why it is that he insists on emasculating himself repeatedly in print.
Malbadeen
Aug 19, 2009 Malbadeen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nosey people
The point of this review is really to point you to "Be a Man", a little tiny 32 page comic written in reaction to Brown's being perceived as too sensitive or wimpy in his book Clumsy.

As stated in the copyright "This is a Parody and mostly not true and if you can't take a joke, fuck you."

Fortunately I can take a joke and I loved it! I'll share one comic to give you the feel but after that you'll have to seek it out and buy it because it's well worth the measly 3.00 and should, of course, be view
...more
C2015
This was good. Well drawn and conveying emotion. Interesting to contrast with his other relationship. The meeting and the buildup was sweet and the breakup was sad in its confusion and inexplicableness. He's so brave to share those parts of his life. It may be because I don't read a lot of comics but I think this is a pretty unique form of telling these sorts of stories. And of course I ate up every frame of Cyrus the cat.
Alyx
A friend let me borrow this one. I'm struggling about whether to give it another star. It's fine. I appreciate the candor with which the author recounts the loss of his virginity to a young woman who suggests the dark neurotic reality of the archetypical manic pixie dream girl and how they didn't work out as a couple. However, the story kind of felt claustrophobic to me because that's basically all that happens in the book. I think I may have also imagined a woeful Fox Searchlight/Focus Features ...more
Kat
I've been consuming graphic novels like crazy for the past few months, and in particular, non-fiction memoirs.

Unlikely follows Jeffrey Brown's first 'grown up' relationship, with the troubled Allisyn, through from meeting, their first dates and sexual encounters, through to the collapse of their relationship.

Although I didn't love Brown's first book in this trilogy, Clumsy, there's something rather endearing about both his awkwardness, and that of his drawing. Far more cartoonish in style, it's
...more
Dave
I like that comics allow for authors to write even when they have nothing to write about. It is admirable that Brown is able to change himself from being a loser or just a student into being an artist. He does this gracefully. It is difficult to read, not because he is dull, but because the writing is shallow. There is a tendency for comic artists to just record what happens and skip any kind of reading or reacting to what is happening. There was is an interview with Seth on Bookslut where he ta ...more
Sasha Boersma
Have read a or started to read a couple of Brown's books. His style (art and narrative) in his autobiographical books just doesn't work for me, and not sure why.
Ali
A really great, honest portrait of the rise and fall of a relationship.

I would give this book more stars, except for the fact that it's a little painful to read -- due to the subject matter of the story. As soon as the love interest is introduced, you instantly get the feeling that things are not going to end well.

Charting all of my past relationships would look the same, so that's no fault of Jeffrey Brown's.

This is a very quick read (less than an hour?), so I'd definitely recommend checking it
...more
Dosgallos
Ceder, complacer, dar y pedir, los días en la constante de la vida
Elke
After Blankets, it took me awhile to get into this story and its drawings. Jeffrey Brown had a totally different style and creates a different atmosphere, but once it finished the first chapter, I got into the story and I couldn't stop reading. It was sometimes painful to watch the characters interact, I disliked Allyson a lot and Jeff has a very low selfesteem, especially when it comes to losing his virginity and pleasing his girlfriend. I think a lot of people can recognize themselves in certa ...more
Patti
"How do you know it's love and not obsession?"
Jenna Gomez
"don't be sad, Jeff"
"I can't help it"
Amanda
Oh, Jeff! Don't kiss that girl, Jeff, she's BAD NEWS! Don't you see it? You better not fall in love with her, she's going to mess your shit up. Jeff. Uh, Jeff?

Your visual style is so simple and careful, everything is rendered sweetly, innocently... EXCEPT that girl's boobs under her shirt, which you draw in lush, juicy detail in every frame she appears in. For me, that says it all about this.

All I'm saying, Jeff: it's a good thing you got a book out of that whole mess. Seriously.
A
I didn't like this novel. Don't get me wrong I'm a sucker for stories of failed love and painfully awkward life moments...and this memoir is a great one for that. However, when reading graphic novels, I want the artwork to grab me too...or at least not push me away. I found the speech bubbles to be placed in such a manner that the order of conversation was difficult for me to follow. It's interesting to peer into Brown's life but... Meh. I could have done without.
Lizzy
I am specifically not allowing my roommate Andi to read this and give it an inferior number of stars. I don't care what anyone has to say about Jeffrey Brown. I like his art and I like these whatever stories about small moments between not-meant-to-be people. Whereas most novels are about the exact opposite of that, Jeffrey's stuff fills in all those cracks in between the supposedly less mundane moments that people tend to believe as the stuff of great fiction.
Kate
Aug 10, 2007 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
This is an interesting contrast from jeffrey brown's other relationship pieces. Centering around him losing his virginity at 24, it is even more vulnerable and revealing than any other output. The slow and awkward addition of sex to his life was interesting to read, as his other books put the reader face to face with a decent amount of unabashed and unapologetic sexual exploits. i can never help but wonder what the girls of these collections think upon reading...
Ginfur
Unlikely was a heartbreaking read for me. This story is the tale of how the author, Jeffrey Brown, lost his virginity. The art and layout of the story were great. How he manages to capture the neuroses of each character is uncanny. It just really laid out his experience for everyone to pick and poke at and the heartfelt exposure, literally from cover to cover, was not lost on me. Loved it and felt sad for it, all at the same time. Thanks, Mr. Brown.
Phillip
I realized after reading this book that everything I know about relationships I've learned from comics. Despite the apparent crudeness of the artwork, there are moments here that evoke real feeling. My favorite panel out of the whole book is the one where they're lying in bed, her back turned to him, and she asks, "How do you know it's love and not obsession?" He perfectly captures the callousness of it, and the inevitability of their break-up.
Eveymorgan
Reseña completa en el blog: http://capitulo-26.blogspot.com.es/20...

Una historia entre una pareja donde nos cuenta su comienzo, sus buenos y peores momentos y su final. Hay drogas, sexo, humor, dolor...

Todos nos podemos ver reflejados en momentos de la historia. Jeff se ha ganado mi corazón. Deseando continuar leyéndolo con Torpe (Clumsy).
Sam
Aug 11, 2007 Sam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: hipsters over heartbreak
This graphic novel is a great anecdote about the people with whom we fall in love, the ways they might hurt us in the end, and all of the little things that happen between us that make that possible. It's charming, in a word. Brown has a lovely way of picking up on the little things that make relationships and people tick, and don't be startled if you find it holding a mirror up to you. Very enjoyable, and a fairly quick read.
pandamans
Despite a few glaring editorial mishaps - in one instance using the wrong to/too form - I enjoyed Unlikely. The illustrations sell the emotions the characters go through in what plays out as a typical romance gone sour. All the ingredients of your everyday failed relationship - the whirlwind beginning - the descent into the mundane and repetitive - the pushback - and the breakaway. Perfect medicine for the bitter and brokenhearted.
Mattkelly
I'm all for 'amateur' style comics. But this was pushing it -- the drawing really reminded me of things I did in 5th grade. Overall the tone of the story was somewhat superficial. There were many moments of truth -- like boys negotiating who can 'go after' a girl -- but the rest of it was kind of simplistic.

For a much, much better coming of age / virginity graphic novel, check out Blankets.
Meaghan
his style is fairly simple and sometimes his panels are about really mundane, seemingly unimportant moments in life but it's beautiful, if I were to start drawing about my life I would probably fill up pages with things that only made sense to me, he's very personal, bares his mistakes and idealizes his past girlfriends while also revealing why they couldn't work out. recommended!
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Jeffrey Brown was born in 1975 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and grew up reading comic books with dreams of someday drawing them, only to abandon them and focus on becoming a 'fine artist.' While earning his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Brown abandoned painting and began drawing comics with his first autobiographical book 'Clumsy' in 2001. Since then he's drawn a dozen books fo ...more
More about Jeffrey Brown...

Other Books in the Series

The Girlfriend Trilogy (3 books)
  • Clumsy
  • AEIOU: Any Easy Intimacy
Darth Vader and Son Vader's Little Princess Clumsy Star Wars: Jedi Academy Cat Getting Out of a Bag and Other Observations

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