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Man Hardcover – Bargain Price, April, 1992

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In marked contrast to his wordless The Snowman, Briggs's latest work is chock-full of text, presented as a dialogue between a boy, John, and a muscular, seven-inch-tall man who appears in John's room in the middle of one night. Following orders, the child fashions a tunic out of a sock for the naked fellow, whom John dubs Man. "At last! Dignity regained," exclaims the newly clothed Man, who then announces, "I'm dying for a pee," and proceeds to relieve himself in a glass of paint water. Man then insists on "grub," and has only complaints for the brands of food that John fetches from the kitchen ("Bah! Rubbish! Old maids' tea. Mimsy wee-wee. Always get PG Tips," he says after the boy serves him a drink in a mug decorated with the image of The Snowman). Man's extended visit and incessant demands cause trouble between John and his parents, who are heard but never seen. Busy panel art drolly portrays the contentious rapport between John and Man, but Briggs's dry humor, allusions and liberal use of British colloquialisms may be beyond American youngsters. And though the characters' conversations touch on some worthy issues (self-image, identity, tolerance and diversity), it's a lot for kids to sort out. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-5. Although one of the characters appears to be an older version of the boy in Briggs' beloved Snowman, this book, which ends on a melancholy note, is not for the picture-book set. On Monday, John wakes up to find a tiny, filthy man throwing cough drops at him. The man immediately demands a clean sock to cut into clothes and a place to "pee," settling for a "paint-water" jar. When John sees the yellowed water, he realizes he's not dreaming after all, and the pair settle into a quarrelsome relationship: John is annoyed by the man's fussy tastes and pugnacious attitude; the man is infuriated when he feels he's being treated as if he were a toy. The story unfolds in panels made up of watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations and dialogue, which touches on subjects ranging from politics and religion to philosophy. Middle-grade children will appreciate the passionate debate between the characters and the earthy humor Briggs works in. Susan Dove Lempke --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Douglas & Mcintyre Ltd; First Edition edition (April 1992)
  • ISBN-10: 1550542206
  • ASIN: B0000C2W59
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,386,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Nicholas D. Charlesworth on September 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
I remember reading this when i was small, around the age of the boy in the story. Not only did I love the humor of the situation, i remember being brought nearly to tears by the end. The relationship between the two is very touching, and even now, re-reading it in college, the melancholy, but heart-warming feeling of the story is just as touching.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Raymond Briggs has been a favorite author/illustrator, since THE SNOWMAN. I have all of his books, even though I am 68, I still re-read them--especially, his post-nuclear war picture book! I consider Mr. Briggs an extremely talented artist and writer--for all ages!
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Format: Hardcover
Well, let me start out by saying that I personally enjoyed this book, and thought it might be an appropriate and thoughtful addition to the library of a mature kid between, say, 10 and 13 years old (all the same, read it first before you give it.) There's a lot of tension between the boy's prosperous middle-class liberal upbringing, and the tiny, aggressively needy drifter who disrupts his life. There's a lot of play on the nature of charity, dependency and exploitation.

A key bit of dialogue:
-You didn't take me in. I came in.
-I let you stay, then.
-Yes, but why? That is the question.
-I felt sorry for you, of course. You were cold... starving...
-You were being kind?
-Er... yes. I suppose so.
-My size didn't come into it?
-No.
-You weren't attracted... fascinated... by my size?
-Well... not JUST that -
-Suppose you'd been woken up by a naked starving man six foot tall? You'd have screamed, run for Mum and Dad and called the police?
-Yes.

On the other hand, do NOT start reading this to your 4 year old unless you want questions and comments like "hee hee, he's drinking a BEER!" "why does he call the boy a sissy? What is a sissy?" "what is a wog?" "why does the boy tell lies to his mama?" and "he's a bad man because he will burn down the house and kill the good boy."

I went to the library, saw this next to The Snowman in the children's section, grabbed it along with a bunch of other books for bedtime reading. Meant to look it over before I read it to our preschooler. Husband saw the book on our shelf, assumed that I'd already vetted it, began to read it to the tot, who of course loved the funny little naked man and begged for more!
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