A new book about old age by the much-loved author of The Snowman and Ethel & Ernest
In his customary pose as the grumpiest of grumpy old men, Raymond Briggs contemplates old age and death… and doesn’t like them much. Illustrated with Briggs’s inimitable pencil drawings, Time for Lights Out is a collection of short pieces, some funny, some melancholy, some remembering his wife who died young, others about the joy of grandchildren, of walking the dog… He looks back at his schooldays and his time as an evacuee during the war, and remembers his parents and the house in which he grew up. But most, like this one, are about his home in Sussex:
Looking round this house,
What will they say,
The future ghosts?
There must have been
Some barmy old bloke here,
Long-haired, artsy-fartsy type,
Did pictures for kiddy books
Or some such tripe.
You should have seen the stuff
He stuck up in that attic!
Snowman this and snowman that,
Tons and tons of tat.
“Time For Lights Out is frequently very moving… The topsy-turvy nature of the book fast becomes mesmerising… By the nature of its subject matter, Time For Lights Out is gloomy, but for some reason not dispirited. Glimpses of beauty, humour and generosity keep shining through and, as always, Briggs’s drawings have a touch of magic about them, conjuring human beings and their foible out of a few precious lines.”
Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
“A beloved genius of storytelling and illustration.”
Rachel Cooke, Observer, *Graphic novel of the month*
“[Time for Lights Out is] direct and personal…on the tragi-comedy of growing old. [Briggs] looks on ageing with a beady but sympathetic eye…and mordant humour all the way through… there are plenty of excellent jokes in this book.”
Nicholas Tucker, The Times
“Time For Lights Out is extraordinarily frank… The honesty is shocking. The emotional nakedness of the book is startling, too – there is no filter on his [Briggs’s] most raw, self-betraying memories.”
Justine Jordan, Guardian