The Complete Essex County Paperback – Sep 3 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
There is such melancholy, such dignity and a quiet joy in the little things in this work. So much love and regret, isolation and loneliness and longing for the traditions of the past. I love the artwork in the series. It says that the story is anything but "super," that you'll have to look and listen closely to these lines. I love the feeling of personal histories being present with us all the time and having their influence on the events of our lives even as they happen. The inability to escape the past is a comfort and a curse to these characters.
Lemire is very adept at allowing a moment to happen without dialogue, sometimes from behind a window, where we can't "hear" what's being said. The effect is haunting in that it allows for quietness and gravity in what are often mundane details in the characters' lives. The book is also wonderfully steeped in Canadiana--from hockey to rural farming life, from Leamington to Toronto, in the inevitable "eh?" after each sentence, through five generations of characters' lives, whose stories are sometimes told all at the same time.
A beautiful, heartbreaking work of graphic storytelling.
My one "nitpick" however, is the art is so raw and imprecise that it might scare off some people. Don't prejudge the style as it wonderfully compliments the story and sucks the reader right in after only a few pages.
All this is encompassed within the pages of Jeff Lemire’s Essex County Trilogy, a graphic novel years in the making and now firmly entrenched in the Canadian literary foundation.
Essex County starts off with a young boy suffering from the heartache of his mother’s passing and now living in what he considers exile on his uncle’s farm. The two communicate through pain only when required, with the boy coping by donning a superhero cape and mask. To bring about more emotional chaos, he also is hanging out, behind his uncle’s back, with the man from the gas station. All these bits come into play as the story progresses, sometimes in big shocking chunks, other times as little crumbs to pique interest.
The second part of Essex County is filled with flashbacks to one characters life in hockey. To say that Lemire is a massive fan of Canada’s greatest pastime is an understatement, and this section is his love letter to the sport. This is more than a game being played here, it is life incarnate on ice.
The final segment of Essex County deals with a local nurse, going about her business in the area, while we are also treated to lengthy flashbacks to a tale of love and survival going back decades and decades.
By the end, all plot threads and character beats are expertly woven together, providing hidden secrets ample opportunities to be revealed.
Lemire packs so much into this very thick collected volume, giving the reader a vast amount of thought and love and people to root for.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I brought this because it's set in the county next to the city I live in. It's great to see some local art out there. I am really impressed with these guys. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sara Z
Truly, a majestic work of genius. I don't believe I've ever read a better book, or ever will againPublished 16 months ago by egbert rousselle
Not like anything I've ever read. Be prepared to cry your face off. Feels very personal. Definitely a must have, specially for Canadians.Published on Feb. 7 2014 by Landon Wierenga
ESSEX COUNTY by Jeff Lemire, is quite simply one of the most heartfelt and passionate books I have ever read. Read morePublished on June 22 2012 by Mortimerman
Jeff Lemire crafts an enthralling story of the people living in Essex County over the course of decades. Like some of the masterpieces of literature (eg. Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2011 by AliKira
Essex County is artistic in both a literary and visual sense. A real throw back to earlier, but not simpler times.Published on March 27 2011 by Stirling Messenger
Deserves all the praise it has received for its fine feeling for people, place and history, and for technically brilliant storytelling. Read morePublished on Feb. 10 2011 by Kerry Smith