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The Great North Wood

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Long ago the whole of Southern England was covered in forest. Over time, this woodland has been gradually cut back, but small patches remain amidst the suburban sprawl of South-East London. A few ancient oaks still stand in the gaps between housing estates, alongside railway lines and acting as boundary markers on roundabouts. The magic that once filled the ancient forest ...more
Paperback, 68 pages
Published August 15th 2018 by Avery Hill Publishing
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  126 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Rod Brown
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
A magical, poetic eulogy to an old growth forest south of London that was done in by rampant woodcutting and urban sprawl frames the somewhat random bits of lore tucked in between. This may make sense to someone with more familiarity with the area, but too much left me wondering, "What's that got to do with anything?" Made me a little sad, but also left me giving a little shrug too much of the time.
Dakota Morgan
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Tim Bird waxes nostalgic about the Great North Wood, an ancient stretch of trees just south of London. He recalls a few stories from the wood, which are interesting, but spends most of the book poetically rhapsodizing about forests. It's fine, if pretty dull. The art is enjoyably simple, although Bird seems to have forgotten when coloring this volume that trees are green.
Derek Royal
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful look at South London and its history. One thing that distinguishes Bird's writing is his reliance on geographic space to tell his story. Not near as much is done with characters -- there are not that many people in his comics -- but space and history/time is how he handles his narratives. What's more, Bird's comics seem to rely on proxies to guide us through the story, some kind of conscious presence that observes and experiences what we as readers take in. In The Great North Wood, ...more
Katrine Solvaag
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Now I’m not a giant comic book reader, but my fiancé is, so when we went to Nottingham and he discovered an independent comic book shop I was of course dragged along. So while he got his nerd on, I flickered through the odd book in boredom until I found this - and was instantly hypnotised. I stood there and read almost half of the entire book before I acknowledged I needed it in my life and bought it. Not only are the illustrations beautiful in their simplicity, but the words are laid out across ...more
Matthew Archibald
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This was pretty weird, and jumped around a lot. It was sort of a poetic, slightly surreal tribute to an ancient wood.
Sevket Akyildiz
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating read: educational, informative, and a good starting point to learn about the once great forest of south London. The comic book covers historical, environmental, and social themes. In ancient times, Britain was covered in forests--Tim Bird's work is about a regional/local aspect of this lost past. The connection of the former wood with place names like Norwood, Honor Oak, and Gipsy Hill is thought-provoking.
Kirsten Hamilton
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful and heart wrenching story of the development of London and the transformation and destruction of the woodland that was there before; understanding place names from what was there before. Following a fox through each era and scene is stunning. A fascinating tale delivered with perfect sentimentality.
Jason Bootle
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a little gem of a book about the area I live it and I loved it. I wasn't so sure to start with but it was a wonderful meandering around the neighbourhood and the trees and people that once lived and currently to in the Great North Wood (which is ironically in the South of London.) Looking forward to read again.
Emmeline Pidgen
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I got to read an advance copy of this, and I absolutely loved it! History, change, magic and urban sprawl... It was really thoughtful and interesting. It was clear Tim Bird has a passion for what he's writing about, and the book comes across as incredibly well-researched. The artwork is charming too!
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A super cool and entertaining blend of fiction and non-fiction graphic novel about the Great North Wood which has almost disappeared. I love woods and I love reading about them, and this beautiful lyrically written graphic novel is just the right blend of magic realism.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A story about a place. And people come and go, and different developments come and go, and there's history and wildlife and lots of change over time.

A very different kind of a story. It would be rather melancholy if it weren't so matter-of-fact.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, london
Informative and atmospheric
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars on story, 5 stars on illustration
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was lovely, a magical look at the history of some of the place names from where I grew up, wonderful!
Rozi Hathaway
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read an advanced copy; it's brilliant. Full of ancient myths and legends told alongside modern-day London. Beautifully drawn and really interesting!
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely short graphic novel about the woods south of London and the magic they hold.
Michelle Gray
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the whimsical feel of this book. It was sad as the cities took over the woods, but hopeful in the end.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tim Bird's best work so far. Highly recommended for anyone interested in history, geography, etc.
brunice de nice
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic story about the north woods that no longer exist, the landmarks that replaced them and the stories they used to keep. Beautiful and nostalgic, and hopeful too.
Natalie Romano
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A whimsical and poignant historical evolution of south/east London, as told through the perspective of a time-traveling fox. A delightful historical graphic novel. 5/5
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A delightful lil graphic novel about my favourite area of London
Neil Williams
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Utterly delightful and very informative. Every South Londoner needs a copy of this in their home.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
lovely haunting depressing/not depressing
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interesting, engaging, a picture book for adults
rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2019
Anna McKenzie
rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2018
Liv J Hooper
rated it really liked it
Aug 22, 2018
Lauren Bond
rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2019
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