Time For Lights Out, Raymond Briggs’ exploration and contemplation of old age and death, is published by Jonathan Cape today. We are thrilled with the critical reaction so far.
Nicholas Tucker’s interview with Raymond ‘about facing the end with incredulity and humour’ is in The Times today: ‘Grimly amusing and unsparing of detail, he [Raymond] charts this new life journey with resignation on one page, incredulity on another, irritation on a third and mordant humour all the way through’.
Raymond has illustrated Time For Lights Out throughout with his beautiful pencil drawings. The Observer’s Graphic Novel of the Month, Rachel Cooke comments that one of the book’s drawings, of Raymond’s parents Ethel and Ernest’s breadboard and knife, ‘is so serenely exquisite that it might as well be by Morandi’.
Craig Brown in The Mail on Sunday summarises that Time For Lights Out is a ‘category-defying rag-bag of drawings, poems and observations, jokes, snippets of autobiography, quotes on death from writers and philosophers. All human life – and death – is here in this lucky dip of memories and fears, irritations and idle thoughts.’
‘By the nature of its subject matter, Time for Lights Out is gloomy, but for some reason not dispiriting. 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 foibles out of a few precious lines.’