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The Complete Essex County Paperback – Sep 14 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions; 1St Edition edition (Sept. 14 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160309038X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603090384
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 4.3 x 22.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. Gabriel Garcia Marquez) this work transcends time, building a family and community history that leaves you wondering just what will happen next for the residents of Essex County. I really enjoyed reading this graphic novel and truly recommend it to anyone.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. I would probably even have more appreciation if I was from the county. The artwork is great and so is the story, Very beautiful storytelling. Can't wait to read more of Jeff Lemire stuff.
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By Scoopriches TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 2 2013
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
Most people aren't going to take a chance on this one simply because it's a graphic novel. You might be put off by the stark, black and white sketchy nature of the artwork. But if you don't read this, you're missing out on something special. The book has wonderful characters, plot and intertwining stories. The artwork perfectly captures the sense of place and the bleakness of the surroundings. There is warmth and heart at the soul of these stories and the way their plots intertwine means you'll want to go back and read them again with what you now know about the relationship between the characters and their century-long history together. This got nominated for Canada Reads 2011 and lost out to The Best Laid Plans, by Terry Fallis. This is the better, deeper, more meaningful book. Give it a chance, even if you don't usually read graphic novels. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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