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Grandville Bete Noire [Kindle Edition]

Bryan Talbot
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.99
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Book Description

The Badger is back!



At Toad Hall, lair of multibillionaire Baron Aristotle Krapaud, a cabal of industrialists and fat cats plot the violent overthrow of the French state by the intervention of horribly beweaponed automaton soldiers. Meanwhile, the brutal murder of a famous Parisian artist, mysteriously stabbed to death in his locked and guarded studio, is subject to the investigations of the tenacious Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard, placing him and his faithful adjunct, Detective Sergeant Roderick Ratzi, in pursuit of the mysterious masked assassin stalking the cut-throat commercial world of the Grandville art scene.



Bête Noire signals the welcome return to anthropomorphic steampunk detective fiction of master storyteller and graphic novel pioneer Bryan Talbot with the third stand-alone volume of the Eisner and Hugo Award nominated Grandville series. As the body count mounts and events spiral exponentially out of control, aided by his brilliant deductive abilities and innate ferocity, LeBrock battles against outrageous odds in this funny, high octane thriller, an adventure shot through with both high art and comic book references, a glorious illegitimate offspring of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming - with animals!



Follow the Badger!



Product Description

Review

"I have greatly enjoyed the Grandville books. I think they're superbly designed, beautifully conceived, admirably written - everything about them is terrific... A graphic novel built on the solid foundation of a strong story." (Philip Pullman)

"The third and finest stand-alone volume in the award-winning ‘scientific-romance-thriller’ series… These ingeniously plotted fantasies will make you bark with laughter." (Larushka Ivan-Zadeh Metro)

"The bastard child of Conan Doyle and Beatrix Potter, it’s a gripping feast for the eyes." (Rachel Cooke Observer)

"Both acerbic and hilarious." (Mr. Hyde)

"This ripping yarn of murder, mystery and the machinating arms tycoon Baron Krapaud of Toad Hall is both irresistibly exciting and sumptuously designed." (David Langford Telegraph)

Book Description

The third stand-alone volume of the Eisner and Hugo Award nominated Grandville series.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 47776 KB
  • Print Length: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (24 Dec. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00943ILRS
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #466,188 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Talbot's Best Noir 4 Dec. 2012
By Sam Quixote TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
An artist designing a mural is found murdered under suspicious circumstances. When the commission of the mural is passed on and the second artist is also murdered, foul play is suspected! Archie LeBrock and his faithful sidekick Roderick Ratzi are once more on the trail of crime in the steampunk city of Grandville.

This new installment in the Grandville series feels the most strained of the three books; it doesn't fly along on its original, creative energy like the first 2 books, rather it plods along to a fairly pedestrian murder mystery plot that we've seen before in countless crime novels let alone the first 2 Grandville books. There's a strong Bond flavour to this third book maybe because this is a Bond anniversary year (50 years on the big screen). From the Bond-like cover, to the Blofeld-like villain with a toad on his lap instead of a white cat, and a Q-like character who gives LeBrock some gadgets at the start of his mission, Talbot hits all the touchstones. Even down to the villain explaining to the hero his dastardly plan in its entirety, instead of just killing him.

The villain is Baron Krapaud, a toad, whose lair is called Toad Hall. I realise this is a reference to the children's classic "The Wind in the Willows" but I'm getting a bit worn out with writers taking benign children's stories and characters and twisting them so that they're presented anew in the 21st century as evil. Baron Krapaud is another example of this as Talbot hints that Mr Toad was an evil so and so. The conceit is played out at this point and I wish writers would stop purposely trying to ruin favourite characters just because they can't come up with anything original themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inventive and Engaging 18 May 2015
Format:Hardcover
This novel begins slowly. A cabal of industrialists is plotting to overthrow the French government. The drawing is heavy and dense. The characters are obvious and the writing is heavy-handed. I despaired.

But then - an artist is assassinated; there is a locked room - the police turn to Inspector Le Brock of Scotland Yard and the story takes off. From there the dialogue is witty, the drawing is compelling, the characters are engaging, and one becomes immersed in the vaguely Victorian, slightly steampunk, incrementally alternate universe of Grandville.

There is a Sherlock Holmes/James Bond aspect to the hero, and he is crafted so cunningly that it works. The dialogue is arch and cutting, like the best of the Holmes/Bond style exchanges. The femme fatale is compelling. Secondary characters have distinct and memorable personalities. Sub-plots are alternatively intriguing and amusing. The steampunk angle, which is often just a distraction or an affectation, actually works in service to the plot.

And, the use of animal bodies for the characters really works. The choice of bodies is sometimes obvious, (the bad guy capitalist is a toad), but often reflects a subtle sense of humor. And the characters are drawn in a very convincing fashion, so that the anthropomorphism works and enhances the reading experience.

This is not a self-indulgent and showboaty graphic novel - the author is creative but restrained and the overall impression is one of great craftsmanship. Even for a reader who is not a particularly avid graphic novel fan this is a very attractive option.

The overall impression is that this is a clever, witty, engaging tale that is both elegant and entertaining.

Thanks for your attention to this. Please note that I received a gratis electronic copy of this book in anticipation of a review.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Dark 12 Dec. 2012
By Inspector Gadget VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In a steampunk world of anthropomorphic animals where Napoleon won and where humans are a lower-class species, a tough badger Detective Inspector tackles crime coming from the direction of Paree, and all with a Sherlock Holmes/Arsene Lupin twist. If that doesn't hook you then you are simply wasting your literacy.

The satire and social commentary in Bete Noire isn't just layed on thick, it's written on a brick and thrown in your face. It's not much of a problem, as a graphic novel has to be concise subtlety often goes out the window. The villain this time around is evil toad Baron Krapaud (imagine Greenback from Dangermouse) who has formed a cabal of renegade, fatcat industrialists and plans to overthrow the government who are about to impose higher taxes and labor rights that they don't agree with. Kinda like what about to happen everywhere in real world with a failing economy. If only we had Archie LeBrock to sort them out.

As usual the artwork is lovely and the flow of the panel progression is flawless. The design of a steampunk Paris in a period setting populated by animals makes for the kind of graphic novel that you just don't want to end. Unfortunately, it's over a bit too quick as Inspector LeBrock figures out the mystery at about the halfway mark. Still, the characters are great, the interactions are amusing, and the humor hides way at the back for those sardonic readers. Bryan Talbot plans for this to be a series of about 5 stories. Long may it continue beyond 5!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Pointless, Foolish, Boring 27 Nov. 2014
Format:Hardcover
This is an second-rate Edgar Wallace story dressed up with some quite nice art-work and an utterly idiotic premise. Let's start from that. A parallel world with animals and humans swapped. Could be interesting if there were any meaningful satire on the subject (as in, say, Will Self's 'Great Apes'), but there isn't, just a number of throw-away jibes. Otherwise, it seems to give Talbot a chance to draw humanoid lady badgers in the nude, which points out something: how come that, if these are genuine animals, they have human bodies? Real badgers do not have necks and breasts and waists and hips. So, even if this was an attempt to make something of the way we treat animals, it failed horribly, because Talbot committed the terrible body-imperialism of expecting them to look and move very much like us.

Now, onto the plot. This is often described as 'noir', which is simple nonsense and suggests merely that those so describing it do not know what 'noir' means. It is action adventure, like a peculiarly neo-victorian Bond thriller. Noir is about style, and a particular world-view. Here there is no style, only kitsch.

Moving on, the plot is a simplistic affair, in which a very bad man (sorry, Toad - Mr Toad, of all people) decides to take over the world with the help of modern art, which apparently deprives people of the ability to see reality. So, okay, I understand that Mr Talbot is not a fan of Picasso, but to imply, as he does, that all modern art is simply the product of charlatans doing the work of their puppet masters is outrageous.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bryan Talbot at his best
Another great graphic noval
Published 3 months ago by martin ades
5.0 out of 5 stars good series of comic books
My son (15) really loves these comic books - he just could not put them down. He is now waiting for the next one.
Published 13 months ago by Alison Godfrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new edition to the Grandville set
Detective Inspector LeBrock is back in Grandville to uncover another dastardly plot to overthrow the status quo. Don't miss out.
Published 16 months ago by Uccello
4.0 out of 5 stars Doughface delight.
How can you resist a book in which a drunken Peruvian bear staggering past Old Scotland Yard is a throwaway moment?
Published on 28 Feb. 2013 by DiveDoc
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Third book in the series. Wonderfully bound and looks a million pounds. Story is good but not as good as the last two. Still well worth the money though.
Published on 24 Feb. 2013 by J. Anthony
5.0 out of 5 stars Grandville is Grand
As with the first two adventures of our favorite Badger detective Inspecter, Bete Noire is gripping, artistically fantastic, humorous and totally impossible to put down. Read more
Published on 5 Feb. 2013 by The Primarch
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully drawn and engaging
The third instalment in the Grandville sequence is better than ever. Beautifully drawn as ever, this graphic novel mixes up noir, steampunk, detective-fiction and spy stories in a... Read more
Published on 30 Jan. 2013 by SD Mooney
5.0 out of 5 stars Bryan Talbot does it again
The third episode of Talbot's bizarre series of Paris based graphic novels - humans with animal/reptile/mammal heads based on Grandville's original cartoons - it will reward... Read more
Published on 20 Jan. 2013 by John N. L. Morrison
3.0 out of 5 stars Grandville Bete Noire, Graphic novel.
Fast delivery, new book.

I read a review in the Sundays newspaper with some of the illustrations and thought they were good . Read more
Published on 11 Dec. 2012 by christine
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