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Britten and Brülightly

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  845 ratings  ·  157 reviews
'Nowadays I don't get out of bed for less than a murder. I don't get out of bed much...Until today.'

'Private Researcher' Fernández Britten is the messenger who would view being shot as a blessing. The years spent uncovering people's secret dramas and helping to confirm their darkest suspicions have taken their toll. Battered by remorse over the lives he has ruined, he clin
...more
Paperback, 104 pages
Published April 3rd 2008 by Jonathan Cape
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  845 ratings  ·  157 reviews


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Trish
Sep 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the idea of graphic novels. I love the idea that drawings can instantly tell us things about people and situtions and language provides depth, gloss, and character. Persepolis gave us serious biography graphically, and now Britten and Brülightly takes us part of the way to what I imagine is possible for graphic literature. The art is superbly suitable for the noirish mystery. It was nuanced, and showed us slight variations in meanings. The choice of frames impelled the story forward at a ...more
Dov Zeller
I think the only fair thing I can do in reviewing this book is quote from other GR reviews (ranging in their appointment of stars), which begins to feel like a bit of a mystery in itself. (I didn't love the book, but there is a lot in it to be admired.)

"A graphic novel about a pair of detectives, one of whom is, indeed, a teabag (see if you can guess which from their names...). Fernandez Britten is weary of being 'the Heartbreaker', famous for investigating adultery cases and wrecking families.
...more
Jennifer
This beautifully drawn GN debut chronicles the adventures of hopeless cynical detective Frenandez Britten and his um, unusual partner Brulightly, a wry, sarcastic, talking...teabag. Yes, I know. It was odd, but I went with it. It's not apparent whether Brulightly is
actually talking or if it's a figment of Britten's imagination. They strive to solve a convoluted murder disguised as a suicide, but I was confused by the unclear relationships between characters early on, and
stayed that way. The tone
...more
Travis Duke
Feb 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(1.5 stars) where do I begin? first of all, the handwritten font is just terrible and illegible. secondly the main character is drop dead boring, the story is a classic murder mystery and it is O.K. at best. The art is just O.K. as well. the book doesn't really deserve any more of my time, done and good riddance.
Dorian
Jun 15, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a disappointment! The redoubtable Sarah Weinberg, on her marvelous crime fiction blog, raved about this new graphic novel, and her word's usually enough for me. But I don't get the appeal of this book. (It's about a private eye whose partner is a lecherous teabag--to my mind, the mixture of noir and whimsy's been done much better in Malcolm Pryce's Aberystwyth books.) Although some of the illustrations are striking in a lugubrious sort of way, the use of hard-boiled conventions is perfuncto ...more
Raina
Jun 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, graphicnovel
Love the illustration - although I'd love to see what Berry will do with a broader color palette, even though the minimalist color palette fit the tone of this piece extremely well. Noir investigation with a touch of a sense of humor. Narrative voiced in cursive sounds like a gumshoe - speech bubbles for the rest of the characters. Love the tone of the narrator - cleverly depressed.

"Given though I am to the occasional notion of counter-survival, I didn't enjoy the idea of a stranger assuming the
...more
Petar Vučković
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think I got it at the end. I think. You kinda have to go back to be sure. Names are very important because you can get lost like I did. It was dark but I couldn't put it down.

My sister got this from library and the art style of the graphic novel looked beautiful so I picked it up. I still think that I didn't get it. I might be wrong, but the experience of reading was very good. 4 stars
jedioffsidetrap
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully drawn & laid out. I didn't follow the twists & couldn't keep the characters straight, but 4 stars for the art. And the talking tea bag.
Owen Watts
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another purchase from a local "Ladyeez Do Comics" event (Spring 2013 in Bristol) from speaker Hannah Berry. This, her first graphic novel, is a dark noir following a morose private investigator (Britten) and his partner who is a talking teabag (Brülightly). There is an underlying absurdity that pulls the gritty and twisting mystery into a unique and appealing world. Visually it's stunningly rendered and has a palpable physicality - Britten resembles a character from Chomet's Triplets of Bellevil ...more
Jason Mills
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of crime, noire, comics
Recommended to Jason by: Acquaintance of the writer
Shelves: fiction, humour, comics, crime
"Don't be lecherous. You're a teabag."

A graphic novel about a pair of detectives, one of whom is, indeed, a teabag (see if you can guess which from their names...). Fernandez Britten is weary of being "the Heartbreaker", famous for investigating adultery cases and wrecking families. He takes on instead a case about an apparent suicide, possible a murder; but finds troubling links back to an unhappy investigation from years ago.

The story is complex, the dialogue dry and witty, but underlying the
...more
Katie
Jul 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Nowadays I don't get out of bed for less than a murder."


Fernandez Britten, "researcher", and his less-than-conventional partner, teabag Stewart Brulightly, are on the case when approached to solve a suicide-deemed-not-a-suicide by the man's fiance. What follows is true noir fiction. Hannah Berry both wrote and illustrated the graphic novel, and the artwork is truly gorgeous.

Despite Britten's pessimistic attitude (he is known as The Heartbreaker, for before this suicide, his cases only concerned
...more
Mark
May 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic
“Ten years ago I began a private investigation agency with the glorious aim of serving humanity and righting wrongs. In all those years the only wrongs righted have been on my tax returns.”
Meet private detective Fernandez Britten, although he actually prefers private “researcher”. He is hired by a young woman to look into the mysterious suicide of her fiancé. Along with his highly unconventional sidekick Brulightly, Britten begins to investigate and quickly finds himself entangled in a complex w
...more
Abby
Jun 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comix, crime, 1001-comics
British noir comic that is quite beautiful to behold with all its gloomy grey washes and two page-spreads of pencil shaded city landscapes. Britten and Brulightly are both P.I.s, but one of them is literally a teabag. This absurd little detail is funny at first but sort of pointless in the end. Maybe if I were British it would have a deeper resonance for me. A fun read but not earth-shattering.
Mara
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Absolute morality is a luxury for the short-sighted."

Gorgeous graphic novel. Some of the cursive could be difficult to read at times. Great mystery and Fern (who is not French!) is a sad and thoughtful "researcher." The illustrations perfectly capture the mood and tone of the work.
Sarah
Apr 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeous illustrations, perfect noir tone, odd sidekick (a teabag?), and intriguing mystery. And did I mention the illustrations? Subtle, dark, beautiful. Recommended.
Jason
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nice debut, and a good wee crime noir with a very novel premise, and i like to be suprised, art work was excellent and captured the mood. Looking forward to her other work.
Janet
Fernandez Britten is a depressed private investigator in this inventive noir graphic novel.

He's seen so many cases that have ended badly for the people that have asked him to do investigations that he's earned the nickname “Heartbreaker”.

But he agrees to take one more case, the apparent suicide of a client's fiance.

I so wanted to love this novel. How many detectives have a partner, who, is in fact a teabag (Brulightly) which he keeps with him and consults about cases? And the artwork is darkly w
...more
Paul Mirek
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, crime-fiction
This is definitely a first work with all of the excesses that typically entails, but it's also an exciting start to the career of a fresh new voice in graphic literature (I hope). Style-wise, Berry's off-kilter noir fable falls somewhere between Altman's The Long Goodbye and Borges' "Death and the Compass." Berry layers on the ambiguity as her hapless hero navigates the nighttime blue of forgotten alleys and the candlelit dens of broken homes. At times the persistent ennui starts to wear thin (a ...more
flajol
A quirky, dark, and sometimes confusing noir tale of betrayal and despair. Ooh, that sounds deep for a book with a talking teabag as a sidekick, doesn't it? :D Brulightly was probably my favourite part of the book. His lecherous character making observations from the sidelines was a bit reminiscent of Harry Dresden's Bob, and I loved the joke in his name. I also loved how Britten was constantly assumed to be French and how it irked him.

The story itself was quite convoluted, and as it unraveled
...more
Thierry
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Everything about the book was supposed to be to my taste, but I couldn't get into it. The handwriting was really hard for me to read and kinda killed it from the jump, and the story seemed convoluted and uninviting. I'll try to read it again in a few months but this time around it was unfortunately a miss for me.
Jason
Interesting, intricate plot but ultimately hard to follow. The narrative script was difficult to read. Gorgeously illustrated, though--I can't state that enough. I would probably have appreciated it more with a second read through. Maybe another time, but probably not.
Vishu
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A graphic novel in the noir tradition that is reminiscent of China Town.
Joe
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Art work, great.
Plot, great.
Dialogue, really good.
Lettering...well not easy to read.
Read this soon.
Carley Kleinhans
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-comic-books
3.5 it was slightly confusing in terms of the relationships between the characters but still charming and had great artwork
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A stunningly dark noir graphic novel. The plot is incredibly complicated, which is a feature of noir, but
Austin Savill
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
And interesting detective story with a great sidekick. I love the art style but the story overall wasn't as much as I wanted it to be.
Evelyn
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
And interesting detective story with a great sidekick. I love the art style but the story overall wasn't as much as I wanted it to be.
PJ Ebbrell
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novesl
Wonderful art.
Thiszine
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
The world of comic books and graphic novels is sadly lacking in female contributors, but new voices are beginning to appear on the scene. One such writer is Hannah Berry with her debut graphic novel Britten and Brulightly, published first in Britain but recently released in the United States by Metropolitan Books. With a confident artistic style and a unique take on the PI/murder mystery angle, it establishes Berry as a woman cartoonist able to think for herself. She neither crafts a female-cent ...more
Bellish
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
As it did every morning
with spiteful inevitability
the sun rose.


So begins Britten and Brülightly, pitching the hardboiled genre perfectly into the graphic novel medium, then twisting it a quarter turn to the dark and adding a dash of surrealness. It is dark in pretty much all the ways it can be: our narrator's view of the world, the beautiful low-colour artwork, and occasional bouts of humour. Berry uses the medium to its best advantage and plays effectively with layouts and styles, and the plot
...more
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“Given though I am to the occasional notion of counter-survival, I didn't enjoy the idea of a stranger assuming the role of my executioner.
It was presumptuous, and I resented it.”
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