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The Complete Essex County [Paperback]

Jeff Lemire
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 37.50
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2009 Essex County
Where does a young boy turn when his whole world suddenly disappears? What turns two brothers from an unstoppable team into a pair of bitterly estranged loners? How does the simple-hearted care of one middle-aged nurse reveal the scars of an entire community, and can anything heal the wounds caused by a century of deception? Award-winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire pays tribute to his roots with Essex County, an award-winning trilogy of graphic novels set in an imaginary version of his hometown, the eccentric farming community of Essex County, Ontario, Canada. In Essex County, Lemire crafts an intimate study of one community through the years, and a tender meditation on family, memory, grief, secrets, and reconciliation. With the lush, expressive inking of a young artist at the height of his powers, Lemire draws us in and sets us free. This new edition collects the complete, critically-acclaimed trilogy (Tales from the Farm, Ghost Stories, and The Country Nurse) in one deluxe volume! Also included are over 40-pages of previously unpublished material, including two new stories. This title has been voted by Canada Reads Top 10 title for the decade!

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The Complete Essex County + The Underwater Welder + Lost Dogs
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and heartbreaking graphic storytelling March 31 2011
I saw some of the original, uncollected "Essex County" comics in the comic stores when they came out and I remember flipping through them from time to time but never really piquing enough interest to bring me to purchase them. Then I heard the collected graphic novel version had made it onto "Canada Reads" and I wondered what I had missed. Since reading the entire thing, I now understand that the effect of this work is slow, elegantly understated and cumulative, so it is hard to "get it" on a casual glance through a single storyline.

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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars feels Feb. 7 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not like anything I've ever read. Be prepared to cry your face off. Feels very personal. Definitely a must have, specially for Canadians.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essex County: Love And Life April 2 2013
By Scoopriches TOP 500 REVIEWER
What starts as a solitary tale of woe featuring a lonely, hurt, young boy grows into something else, an epic story spanning time and space, with the central moral being the human heart.

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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed...I cried...I was More than Impressed June 22 2012
ESSEX COUNTY by Jeff Lemire, is quite simply one of the most heartfelt and passionate books I have ever read. Simply, this graphic novel is a landmark publication with its sparse yet compelling dialogue. The art is simple yet captivating. The 1st story alone brought me to tears. While I love Lemire's more recent stories/graphic novels (The Nobody, SWEET TOOTH), this predecessor, ESEEX COUNTY, is by far his BEST work and worth every cent and minute you devote to it. Wow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should have won March 2 2011
By Rigolaf
If it wasn't for the closed-minded attitude of some panellists on "Canada reads", this book would have won. It is as touching in the writing as it is excellent in illustration. Almost each page deserves to be framed and put up in a museum. The intertwined stories are heart-wrenching and beautiful. An essential read for lovers of books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Zolton
Spanning over a century, Essex County tells the various life stories of one farm town's inhabitants and how human lives can often intertwine with one another in unexpected ways. Heartfelt and sincere, this book accomplished the rare feat of causing me to tear up while reading it. I don't have enough praise for graphic novel, but I do know I'm now a Jeff Lemire fan for life.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stark brilliance Sept. 5 2010
By Sleptin
Beautifully written, beautifully drawn, this is the work of a true master of the form. One of the best recent graphic novels I have read, ever. The emotional weight that the story and art work are able to convey was really surprising and powerful.
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