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The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  6,618 ratings  ·  1,099 reviews
The job of the skin is to keep things in.

On the buttoned-down island of Here, all is well. By which we mean: orderly, neat, contained and, moreover, beardless.

Or at least it is until one famous day, when Dave, bald but for a single hair, finds himself assailed by a terrifying, unstoppable... monster*!

Where did it come from? How should the islanders deal with it? And what,
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 17th 2013 by Jonathan Cape
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,618 ratings  ·  1,099 reviews

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Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: pogonophiles
Shortly after finishing The Gigantic Beard that was Evil I lent it to my flatmate who, seduced by the title, wanted to give it a whirl. A few pages in she turned to me and said "So is this all a metaphor for the modern world? Is it about how the world is ever more connected yet we're all ever more alone? Is it about commercialism and capitalism and celebrity culture? Is it about our obsession with and terror of death?

"Is it an illustrated beat poem (or more accurately a beat poemed series of
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
weird, quirky, & strangely wonderful.
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it

Beneath the skin of everything is something nobody can know. The job of the skin is to keep it all in and never let anything show.

dave lives here. not here, in my studio apartment with me - that would be crazy. no, he lives in a place called "here," which is a tightly controlled walled-off urban island, where everything is impeccably, impossibly neat. the streets make up a perfectly-aligned grid, the trees are obsessively maintained, everyone
Jan 11, 2015 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Manny by: Numerous people




Whitney Atkinson
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I think it's strange how I haul so many books and say about them "I have no idea what this is about," but once I get to my review, the first thing I say is, "This wasn't what I was expecting." However, it's the case again with this book. I wasn't anticipating this would be set in an alternate/fantastical world, and surprisingly, it was focused around the town rather than the beard. I think it was an incredibly strange story that I was expecting to pack some humor, but it was trying to be this ...more
Raeleen Lemay
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphicomanga
This was such a beautifully bizarre graphic novel! The writing was very simplistic, yet poetic at the same time, and the story read sort of like a fairy tale. I was amazed by the way so many complex ideas were conveyed through such a simple premise as well. It didn't quite feel like a 5-star read for me, but believe me when I say this book is fantastic!
Kevin Kelsey
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, read-2018
Let a little chaos in.

Trying to live a life as tidy as possible, only following the “best” path, never taking a chance or a detour or trying a new route is a recipe for a fearful life. It brings the fear of untidiness, fear of the new, fear of the unknown, fear of differences and eccentricities, but most of all… fear of change and its inherent force for destruction and growth.

This is a beautiful, humorous, touching story about allowing room for a little chaos in your life, and how embracing our
Liz Janet
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is extremely important right now, pertaining to the Syrian refugee crisis as well as the whole Donald Trump idiocy that is no longer funny, but extremely scary.
This short piece is a brilliant social commentary. It can be interpreted in so many ways, but the way I took it was "mistreatment of "Them" and "There" simply because they are not us, it is about xenophobia. This should be considered the children version of an anti-thesis to the racist, homophobes, transhphobes, Islamophobes,
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
On the island of Here, livin's easy. Conduct is orderly. Lawns are neat. Citizens are clean shaven-and Dave is the most fastidious of them all. Dave is bald, but for a single hair. He loves drawing, his desk job, and the Bangles. But on one fateful day, his life is an unstoppable (yet pretty impressive) beard growing on Dave's face.

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil was a book easy to get lost in, and was promptly finished in a couple of hours. However, after taking some time to think
Sam Quixote
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A hairless man called Dave lives in a place called Here
A place that’s safe, neat, tidy with nothing for anyone to fear
But something uneasy lurks beneath the quiet and calm:
A single tiny hair on Dave’s face that becomes a gigantic beard - and causes much harm!

The beard can’t be cut, it grows back far too quick
Becoming larger than Dave, much bushier and thick
It becomes enormous and engulfs the town, much to the Government’s displeasure
So a solution is decided, for desperate times call for
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this.
The art was amazing and the story was amazing.
Ashley DiNorcia
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, comics
So silly, so much fun. I really really loved this! The art was perfect!
Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic
I ordered this as a gift for a formerly Bearded friend to discourage backsliding.
Of course I read it before passing it on.
It was okay.

That's a little harsh.
I quite liked Collins' writing.
It was much more poetic than I expected.
The illustration also was quite well done.

It was the "point" the message that left me cold.
It was so heavy-handed in its delivery.
I knew from the start what he was getting at.
Nothing that happened surprised me.

That niggled at me even though I liked the text and art.
But I
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I enjoyed this well enough and the art was beautiful, but I can't lie and say this blew me away. It was just okay tbh
David Schaafsma
This is a sort of surreal modern or postmodern fairy tale. Think: The Giving Tree or The Little Prince but with a gigantic beard… that was evil. So it's darker, right, Roald Dahl is more like it. It has a moral, it would seem, about conformity in modern life, or about specifically Here, the place where everyone is pretty alike and happily conforms… as opposed to There, which is out there, chaos, so it's all about difference in modern society, which is not a new point, but still…conformity is a ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Beautiful drawn and a superb tale with lots of originality over a beard that grew and grew and disordered all the quiet and well ordered life on the island Here.
Aug 25, 2015 rated it liked it

Wasn't in love with the plot - in a way it was fairly interesting and unique with the whole giant beard that grew and took over the perfectly ordered island of Here (and slowly started to resemble the dreaded chaotic place of There). At the same time though the moral of the story was rather trite and all the characters were flat, the beard was the most fascinating character in the whole thing despite it not actually being a character.

It was obvious what would happen to the residents of
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I didn't quite realize what I was getting into with this one, but I was very pleasantly surprised. This tackles some awesome topics that make you think but also keeps it upbeat enough to feel light and fun. I could see myself lending this to a lot of people.
Loved, loved, loved the art, but the story kind of bored me at times.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
I completely loved this. Gorgeous art, amusing yet poignant storytelling.
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, comix
I liked the art here- the pencil shading lends the panels a kind of gauzy, noirish atmosphere. There are some obvious themes to this fable but it also contains an element of openness to interpretation. Ultimately it feels very much of these times, maybe a bit too much, as in its gentle, generic satire it fails to cut sharply and directly enough to the societal issues it strives to address.
Pan Radek
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
quite interesting story with intriguing plot onset good developing and not bad conclusion. lots of still frames, dark humor and kafkaesque twists. if the plot is lacking the drawings make up for it. pleasure to read.
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love beards, and I love this book.
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was great! I loved it.
The art in this book is just amazing and I had so much fun reading this.
Coleen (The Book Ramblings)
The Gigantic Beard that was Evil is a graphic novel with Dahl and Burton-esque, about the island of Here, where everything from the lawns to citizens are tidy, neat, and in order until a single hair sends the island into an uproar. Dave, who is bald, but for a single hair, begins to grow a massive, unstoppable beard. I finished reading this graphic novel a week ago, and it's stuck with me ever since.

Stephen Collins' The Gigantic Beard that was Evil is whimsical, offbeat, darkly funny story with
Holly (The Grimdragon)
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-comics
Beneath the skin
Of everything
Is something nobody can know.
The job of the skin
Is to keep it all in
And never let anything show.

A tension filled graphic novel about conformity & the beauty of the perfectly imperfect. Quite a lovely book, both inside & out. I may or may not have rubbed my face all over it a time or two ;)

(For stories are such necessary lies.)
Aj Sterkel
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
You know you wanted to read this book as soon as you saw the title. Who wouldn’t want to read about an evil beard?

The main character, Dave, lives on an island called Here, where beards are not tolerated. Everything on Here needs to be neat, orderly, and changeless. Then, one day, Dave grows a giant beard. He doesn’t mean to grow it. It just happens. The beard grows so fast that it starts taking over the island. The residents of Here have to figure out what to do about it.

The art in this graphic
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved loved loved this hilarious graphic novel, and then the end left me flat. I hate those poignant, leave-you-hanging, no closure endings that are supposed to be all philosophical and crap. Bleh. There is no resolution and I hate that!

The artwork is beautifully detailed, but still gives this impression of space on every page. It really draws your attention to these little changes and reflects the mood of the story perfectly!

I adore the writing style, the prose and almost poetry, that makes
4.5. I gained so much from my interpretation of this - I do see it as a social commentary. It is presented it in such a strange and quirky and poetic way, too. I loved the pencil art, the lettering... I was realy surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, 2015
Not bad, but I probably wouldn't recommend.
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Gentlemans Beard Club 1 3 Aug 19, 2017 04:21AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #9 The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins 1 3 Mar 27, 2017 04:55PM  

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Stephen Collins is a UK illustrator and cartoonist. His work has appeared in many publications worldwide, and he has a weekly comic in The Guardian Weekend magazine, as well as a monthly one in Prospect. In 2013 Jonathan Cape published his debut graphic novel The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Book Of The Year award. A collection of his shorter comics ...more
“Because" is a word used by ordered, order-loving beings about a world which they like to think is ordered. "Because" is for storybooks. This is... Well, I know this is difficult to understand, but what we see here is becauselessness itself.” 0 likes
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