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Grandville by Bryan Talbot
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Grandville (edition 2009)

by Bryan Talbot

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186None63,394 (4.02)31
Member:mysterymax
Title:Grandville
Authors:Bryan Talbot
Info:Milwaukie, Or. : Dark Horse ; c2009.
Collections:Spy/Adventure/Thrillers, Library Reads
Rating:****
Tags:graphic novel

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Grandville: a fantasy by Bryan Talbot

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
I knew I was going to enjoy Grandville before the first book came out. It wasn't "just" the dapper-dressed gun-toting badger on the cover, nor even because the art and writing are by British comics legend Bryan Talbot, but because I was already a fan of the artist whose work inspired the series and whose nom de plume provided its title.
From the Grandville of the nineteenth century's wonderfully bizarre images of animals acting like humans Talbot has woven a fizzingly imaginative alternate world, in which animals rule and humans (or "doughfaces" as we're known) are reduced to underclass status. Down the streets of a gorgeously rendered steampunk Paris stalks hard-bitten Detective Inspect LeBrock, battling evildoers of every stripe and species with the help of his faithful partner and friend Roderick Ratzi.
If you find the idea of animals punching each other, stabbing each other or blasting ten bells out of each other with large calibre guns off-putting or upsetting, maybe this series isn't for you. The Wind in the Willows this ain't: the Grandville books are dark, gritty and surprisingly violent. They're also wildly thrilling and enormous fun. In the latest volume, Bete Noire, LeBrock /not only/ has to stop an army of machine-gun-packing robots, he /also/ has to foil a dastardly capitalist conspiracy to suppress figurative art and replace it with abstract expressionism! For those who notice, these books are stuffed with witty references to other works, other ideas - but never at the expense of a cracking good story. I think these books are terrific. I hope you will too. ( )
  othersam | Jul 22, 2013 |
This is a book about conspiracy. The story and characters tend to run to the cliche. The originality lies in the artwork, visual imagination and the use of animals in the place of people. It is an enjoyable enough read for those who enjoy their badgers on the Tarantino side. ( )
  freelancer_frank | Jul 11, 2013 |
This is my first graphic novel and I guess the sequel will be my second!

I read this based on the many reviews and comments. At first I didn't really feel comfortable with it but I kept going and I must say I quite enjoyed it. This is an adult spy story - not for children ( )
  mysterymax | Dec 7, 2012 |
You know the Steampunk drill by now, airships and adventure, conspiracies and corsets. This a hugely fun take on the genre set in an alternative universe where Napoleon won and the UK has just broken away as a terrorist state. Oh and of course our hero is a Badger investigating the murder of a British spy, unearthing dastardly French plots and falling in love with sexy badger actresses. Chases, explosions, automatons you name it, this tale has it.

It is a nice story too and is great at setting up the world for the trilogy(?) and leaving with a world shattering (well European) ending. It also has some nice touches: amongst the anthropomorphic animals are the drudge human slaves "pale faces" and then there’s the odd amusing reference to archaic, unused English. The art of course is lovely, this is Brain Talbot after all, and the giant size hardback makes me deliciously feel like a kid again. All in all good fun.

Recommended to adventure, Steampunk and badger lovers everywhere. ( )
  clfisha | Nov 29, 2012 |
When Talbot decided to write alternative story, he did not just tweak one of the small events. In the world created in this graphic novel, France had won the Napoleonic Wars and is ruling the world, Ground Zero is where another tower had been (and despite its new name you know which one it is), humans did not evolve as the only talking and thinking animals and ended up the menial workers for everyone else and the science evolved a bit differently.

If that does not make you want to read it, add a few more details:
- A detective (which happens to be a badger) and his trusty companion (who happens to be a rat)
- A secret French society
- A war looming on the horizon and another one led away from home
- A few unexplainable suicides which hold the key for the whole thing.
- A love interest for our detective that seem to be at least as interested as he is.

It is a detective mystery, a political thriller and a steampunk novel rolled in one. Add a few references to history, European comics and the good art and this book is a must read. But do not expect a happy ending - in some ways, things finish well and we can call it happy. In others, it ends in the worst possible way.

Of course, it can as well be read it as a comment of the current state of politics in the States (current being the year when it is written - 2009) - I almost expected to see the "Any connection to real events..." warning. But then - this is expected in a way - art imitates life. And one of the points is exactly this - despite all the changes, we end up in the same situation. ( )
2 vote AnnieMod | Mar 10, 2012 |
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For Alwyn
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Faster, damn it! Faster, boy! They're gaining on us!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Two hundred years ago, Britain lost the Napoleonic War and fell under the thumb of French domination. Gaining independence after decades of civil disobedience and anarchist bombings, the Socialist Republic of Britain is now a small, unimportant backwater connected by a railway bridge, steam-powered dirigible, and mutual suspicion to France. When a British diplomat's murder is made to look like suicide, ferocious Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard stalks a ruthless murder squad through the heart of a Belle Epoque Paris, the center of the greatest empire in a world of steam-driven hansom cabs, automatons, and flying machines. LeBrock's relentless quest can lead only to death, truth . . . or war" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

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