Britten and Brülightly

Britten and Brülightly

Book - 2009
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A gorgeously drawn, strikingly original graphic-novel murder mystery

Private detective Fernández Britten is an old hand at confirming the dark suspicions of jealous lovers and exposing ugly truths of all varieties. Battered by years of bearing ill tidings, he clings to the hope of revealing, just once, a truth that will do some good in the world. It is a redemption that has long eluded him.

Then Britten and his unconventional partner, Brülightly, take on the mysterious death of Berni Kudos. The official verdict is suicide, but Berni's fiancée is convinced that the reality is something more sinister. Blackmail, revenge, murder: each new revelation stirs up the muddy waters of painful family secrets, and each fresh twist takes the partners further from Britten's longed-for salvation. Doing good in the world, he discovers, may have more to do with silence than truth.

A haunting story of love and grief, sharply written and luminously drawn, Britten and Brülightly is sure to establish Hannah Berry in the front rank of graphic novelists.

Publisher: New York : Metropolitan Books, 2009.
ISBN: 9780805089271
0805089276
Characteristics: [112] p. :,col. ill. ;,30 cm.

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BeccaBB Jun 28, 2016

From the oversized book, to the graphics, to the story, this graphic novel is a lot of fun. The soft drawings that use a lot of gray and light shades of washed out colors seem appropriate for the time and add to the sad feeling of the story and depressed attitude of Britten. A lot of the story is told in journal entries which gives the reader an insight into Britten that lets you get to know him and to care about him. The only problem with it is that since it is handwriting it sometimes gets difficult to read. The complicated, slightly convoluted, story keeps you engaged as you try to figure it out and holds your interest as it comes to a conclusion. The partner adds a unique twist too. The whole thing has a wonderful noir feel. Reminiscent of Chandler or Hammett but with great art to go along with it.

q
quagga
Jul 31, 2010

Fernandez Britten is a dour and depressed man with huge dark circles around his eyes. He and his partner, Stewart Brulightly, have run a detective agency for a decade. Their clients are mostly jealous lovers or vengeful lovers out to get back at jealous lovers. This ugly kind of work has earned Britten the nickname "Heartbreaker." Britten agrees with his partner's suggestion that they be more discriminating in the future. "Nowadays, I don't get out of bed for less than a murder. I don't get out of bed much."

A rich woman insists that her fiancé's death was murder, not suicide. When Britten's investigations lead him to blackmail and family secrets, he wonders if it always best to know the truth.

British graphic novelist Hannah Berry has brought some wonderful characters to life with her artwork and her words. The story has the noir feel of Raymond Chandler's mysteries.

Berry also incorporates delightful humour. Britten's partner, Brulightly, is a teabag. He travels in Britten's vest pocket. One wet night after Britten jumps into a ditch while on the run from bad guys, Brulightly apologizes, "Look, I'm sorry: I infused in your waistcoat." Highly recommended.

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