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When the Wind Blows
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When the Wind Blows

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,857 Ratings  ·  202 Reviews
Raymond Briggs' now famous bestselling comic cartoon book depicts the effects of a nuclear attack on an elderly couple in his usual humorous yet macabre way.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published September 25th 1986 by Penguin (first published 1982)
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Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Global thermonuclear war is a surprisingly amusing subject. This graphic novel isn't quite as funny as Doctor Strangelove, but it has some excellent moments.

My favourite bit is near the beginning. Jim is responsibly following the advice in his "Protect and Survive" leaflet (American translation: "Duck and Cover"). He wants to construct a fallout shelter by leaning a door against the wall at a 60 degree angle. So he goes down to the shop to buy a protractor.

He comes back and tells his wife that t
"Aching with love and bitterness, it is meant to break your heart" - Guardian
"Whatever your politics this is the most eloquent anti-Bomb statement you are likely to read" - Daily Mail
"Armageddon comes and we are in a place to which no picture book has ever taken us before. Humour has rarely been blacker. A terrific shock..." - The New York Times
"We should all force ourselves to read this grimly humorous and horribly honest book"- Sunday Telegraph
"A visual parable against nuclear war ; all the mo
David Schaafsma
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gn-political
A 1982 graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, also known for The wordless picture book The Snowman. Many of his works are wryly amusing, featuring versions of his own parents. Here, Jim and Hilda Bloggs are elderly, retired, sweet, loving and clueless as they prepare for nuclear attack, following government instructions on duct tape and supplies. It does not go as well as they had hoped, and the black comedy turns darker and darker, as they remain sweet and clueless and sweet til the end. The Bloggs a ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This is not some regular kids' comic book. The issue highlighted here is pretty intense. It’s a story of an elderly couple who builds up a fallout shelter in order to be safe during the upcoming nuclear war. Quite intense, right? So the husband, following some leaflet, uses their regular doors in some 60-degree angle with the wall to make this shelter and the story continues with them in their tiny safe haven!

Although the theme is a bit different and strong, the writer presented it with humor (
This is possibly the most disturbing book I've ever picked up. The format alone, jarring with the subject matter, sets ones teeth on edge... there's something wholly discomfiting about the illustrated evolution of the round and homely forms of an late-middle-aged couple as they undergo the effects of radiation poisoning. The isolation and naiveté of Hilda and Jimmy Bloggs, their ability to do exactly the wrong thing despite their best intentions, is as appalling as it is compelling to the reader ...more
Ivonne Rovira
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: especially for those interested in the 1980s
Recommended to Ivonne by: Manny Rayner, Petra
For those who are too young to remember the 1980s, it was a decade of utterly foolish magical thinking about nuclear annihilation, an era in which governments in both the United States and the United Kingdom pretended that, with enough shovels — and a stiff upper lip — people could survive a nuclear blast. Cartoonist Raymond Briggs published this illustrated black comedy in 1982 at the height of Cold War brinkmanship and civilian terror.

In When the Wind Blows, pensioners James and Hilda Blllogg
Petra X
Jul 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, reviewed
The coming nuclear war as a cartoon. Black humour and advice on how to use duct tape (of course, isn't duct tape used for everything?) and plastic bags to protect yourself.
I don't think its a spoiler to say that it doesn't work!
Roger Francis
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the saddest stories I've ever read. It was written at a time when governments believed a nuclear attack was a real possibility. In fact, the public had received leaflets through the doors advising them to remove the hinges and hide behind the door if the inevitable happened. Of course we know now, hiding behind doors is pointless.

Raymond Briggs introduces us to an elderly couple who remind us all of our nan and grandad, offering us cups of tea, sweets and cake.

Their innocence is
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen the movie previously but that doesn't change just how horribly sad and blackly funny Raymond Briggs' adult book about the nuclear warfare situation in the Cold War era is. The juxtaposition of his illustration style as seen in things like The Snowman and Father Christmas (staples of my childhood) with the bleak adult subject matter serves to underline the absurdity of the situation lived through by Mr & Mrs Bloggs.
Fairly macabre, but an interesting read...
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels

Briggs brings the realities of what the Cold War was and clearly demonstrates the threat that faced most of the modern western world in the early 1980's.

The reader is invited to look inside the private country home of Mr. and Mrs. J. Bloggs,and observe the daily goings on of a naive, stiff upper lipped, British couple as they struggle to make sense of an impending nuclear strike by the Soviet Union ("Ruskies"); these struggles acting as comic relief (military acronyms are another instrument
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, graphic-novel
A very disturbing comic book that explores the effect of a nuclear war on the life of a happily married elderly couple. Much of the story is blackly comic in the story's juxtapositioning of very ordinary, very British life, with the almost incomprehensible destruction that comes as a result of nuclear weaponry.

Despite the book's subject matter being incredibly dark and depressing, this is still a fun read with plenty of laughs. I'm not sure how Briggs has managed to take an extremely unpalatable
I couldn't help but wonder the whole time I listened to this if Courage the Cowardly Dog was based off of this... as there are quite a bit of similarities.

This graphic novel follows a elderly couple through a nuclear bombing. It was written around the time of the Cold War when the Russians bombing us and Britain was a real possibility. This Graphic novel shows our elderly couple following a Government leaflet issued to them in Britain, their blind faith in their Government knowing best and what
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
When the Wind Blows has a short and uncomplicated plot about an elderly couple in the English countryside who are affected by a nuclear attack.

The beauty of the book is its dialogue between the couple. They are funny and adorable in a way only children and old people can be. Their conscientiousness, concern for each other and odd nostalgia for WW II add to the charm of this darkly humorous book.

Also, since this is a graphic novel, I must also say something about the art. Initially, it looked qu
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: march-2017, borrowed
I really enjoyed the differences between husband and wife here, and of course, the illustrations fit the story perfectly. The story itself is not at all what I was expecting, and feels very grown up in comparison to the likes of Father Christmas and the like. Regardless, it is both interesting and surprisingly amusing in places, and packs an awful lot of impact into its pages.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic
Funny and at the same time somewhat disturbing. It was an ok read for a cold and rainy day.
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All citizens & politicians
A graphic and desperately poignant tale; which importantly bears periodic re-reading.

A retired working-class couple, James and his wife Hilda (affectionately referred to as ducks/ dear / dearest) respond to the threat (later proved) of a nuclear bomb strike.

James reads in his broadsheet newspaper and hears on the radio of the ‘deteriorating international situation,’ expressed in a typical political vagueness of speech. Thankfully he has picked up a leaflet in his local public library entitled
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Illustrated in a comic book format, which shouldn’t work with this type of story but does do so well. A graphic novel that depicts the horrors of nuclear war; sometimes a difficult, moving and poignant read, it tells the story of Jim and Hilda Bloggs who are a retired and thoroughly English couple (previously seen in Gentleman Jim by Briggs), that face the situation of a nuclear attack on English shores. When Jim hears on the radio the three-day warning he sets about making a homemade shelter, w ...more
Sarah M
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
The Bloggs are the cutest elderly couple I've ever come across in all the books I've read. Their innocence, optimism and sheer love for one another through that ordeal made me want to hug them. If this book doesn't discourage people from initiating war and remind them of their humanity, then I dont know what will.
Sarah Brownlee
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this. Everyone. A powerful, chilling tale. We are not rulers, leaders, conquerors or kings. We are ordinary people; and as ordinary people we may find it difficult to grasp the motives and concepts of the powers-that-be - and the true reality of nuclear warfare. This is a simplistically brilliant book and I would urge everyone to read it.
Selina James
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I never thought such a short comic could make me both laugh out loud and cry in a space of about half an hour as well as (even after a horror fan for so many years) I don't think I've ever read something quite so disturbing. Somehow I still absolutely loved it.
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of the best comics I've read. Perfect in every way.
Fátima López Sevilla
A beautiful and naïf critic of the war and the atomic war, all the more touching thanks to the lovable characters and drawings.
Highly recommended.
Chris Lipscombe
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So sad... and so powerful.
Chaitanya Sethi
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bleak, graphic-novels
"It's a really lovely day. The bomb has brought some nice weather. We could do with some sun."

When the Wind Blows is a graphic novel about an old couple who experience the fallout due to a Nuclear Bomb explosion within their country. It presents the perspective of two people who have nothing to do with the war, who don't even know who the enemy is( they often confuse between the Germans and the Russians) because they are ill-equipped to understand what precisely is going on.

Nonetheless, like goo
Sarah u
I found this book in a charity shop on Thursday. I only went in for a quick look, and couldn’t believe my luck. I’m studying portrayals of and references to nuclear war in British popular culture of the 1980s for my history MA, so finding this was brilliant.

The story is tragic, as the description suggests, but I thought it was incredibly powerful. Mr and Mrs Bloggs could be anyone’s grandparents, optimistically carrying on (view spoiler)
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, sarjakuva
Teos oli alkuun hauska ja hupaisa. Ja sitten. Se ei ollut enää hauska ja hupaisa, vaan yhä raastavampi ja lukijassaan tuskaa tuottava, vaikka käsittelytapa ja suloiset eläkeläishahmot säilyivät samanlaisina rakastettavina vanhuksina edelleen.
Paul Browne
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Read this book when at primary school as they just happened to have a copy in the local library. As written by Raymond Briggs I thought it might be in the same ilk as Fungus the Bogey Man. How wrong I was. Brilliantly illustrated, but rather a harrowing read for someone growing up in the 1970s.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, favorites
Ένα μικρό αριστούργημα με βαθιά συγκινητικό ανθρωπιστικό και αντιπολεμικό μήνυμα. Εκπληκτική και η ομότιτλη ταινία κινουμένων σχεδίων, με soundtrack που συνέθεσαν, μεταξύ άλλων, οι Roger Waters, David Bowie, Genesis.
Matti Karjalainen
Raymond Briggs lienee tunnetuin jouluisesta "Lumiukko" -animaatiostaan, mutta englantilaisen lastenkirjailijan tuotannosta löytyy myös vakavampaa materiaalia. Sarjakuvaromaani "Minne tuuli kuljettaa" (Otava, 1982) on alanimekkeensä mukaisesti "kirja aikuisille ydinsodasta". Se kertoo Englannin maaseudulla elävästä sympaattisesta eläkeläispariskunnasta, joka hallitukseen ja viranomaisten riittämättömiin turvaohjeisiin naiivisti luottaen kuvittelee selviävänsä ydinsodasta parista ovesta ja muutama ...more
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Raymond Redvers Briggs is an English illustrator, cartoonist, graphic novelist, and author who has achieved critical and popular success among adults and children. He is best known for his story "The Snowman", which is shown every Christmas on British television in cartoon form and on the stage as a musical.

His first three major works, Father Christmas, Father Christmas Goes on Holiday (both featu
“Dear sir, Mr. B.J. Thing... er... we the people of Britain are fed up with being bombed. We had enough of it last time with old Hitler so will you just leave us in peace, you live your life and we'll live ours, hope you are well... please don't drop any bombs.
Yours sincerely, Mr. and Mrs. J. Bloggs”
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