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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grandstanding
"Grandville" is the name of the French city where two detectives go to investigate the murder of a British Ambassador. They dodge street gangs, save a damsel in distress, uncover yet more murders while picking up clues, and avoid being corpses themselves. In short, your usual detective story.

What makes this so much more than average is the stunning artwork...
Published on 6 Jan 2010 by Sam Quixote

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Preserved Noir Dogs
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.
Published 14 months ago by Freelancer Frank


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grandstanding, 6 Jan 2010
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
"Grandville" is the name of the French city where two detectives go to investigate the murder of a British Ambassador. They dodge street gangs, save a damsel in distress, uncover yet more murders while picking up clues, and avoid being corpses themselves. In short, your usual detective story.

What makes this so much more than average is the stunning artwork Talbot's created. Motorised carriages, robots, airships, antiquated yet futuristic weaponry, panoramic views of Victorian streets populated with colourful animal headed people, highly detailed crowd scenes and polished buildings all presented on glossy, high quality paper.

I won't describe the background to this strange world as it'll take ages but it's fascinating and the detective characters are interesting and though Brock is perhaps an amalgam of popular detectives (Holmes, Marlowe, Hammer) he's compelling enough to be different in his own right. Readability is something few graphic novelists have in them but Talbot's work is so detailed you'll miss certain references that you'll discover upon going back. There's a lot of references to children's books that anyone who's familiar with them will enjoy like Beatrix Potter's characters and Herge's Snowy (presented here as an opium addicted tramp).

Possibly my favourite Bryan Talbot book and good place to start if you're new. Very accessible, very layered, a superb book and one of the highlights of comics in 2009.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking good tale a la Conan Doyle, 20 Dec 2009
By 
Eoin Daly - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
This is a really good read set in a dystopian, imaginary parallel universe where animals rule and humans clean up after them. Throw in some revisionist history - What if Napoleonic France had conquered Britain? Mix in some elements of 9/11 attacks and conspiracy theories. Have the conspiracy investigated by a Sherlock Holmes style badger and you are almost there.

superb artwork, great story, and this is a wonderful hardcover edition. Worth buying and deserving of a place in most graphic novel collections. Time may prove this to be a classic, but for the moment, it's simply a barstorming read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloomin' marvellous, 17 Dec 2011
By 
R. Paterson (Hertfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
The caption and the other reviewers have already said a lot about Grandville, so I'll just settle for a dissection of what I think is good and bad about it.

What I think is good about it:

DI Archie LeBrock; the hero of the story. Razor sharp wits, charismatic, massively strong, tough as old boots and easy to respect.
Steampunk concept; I love science fiction and classic technology so the blending of both is, for me, creative genius.
Upright, talking animals; I've always loved animal stories and this takes it to a whole new level.
The political intrigue plot; classic whodunnit style with two posh, very British detectives trying to unravel it (one's a badger and one's a rat!) There's mysteries, peril and fights aplenty.
The quality of the graphic novel art; the storyline is clearly told, unconfusing while at the same time and beautifully illustrated.
The hot-blooded aspects; the book features romantic toussles and saucy Parisian showgirls in corsets and suspenders!
The subtleties; e.g., a xenophobic eagle referencing Manet's "Bar at the Folies Bergere", references to Rupert Bear and Tintin, famous paintings with animal instead of human faces. You have to read it more than once to catch anything, even though the story is simple to follow.
Even the less believable things don't ruin the story; e.g. black and white television in a supposedly Victorian setting, the obvious contemporary political references, a hog-nosed bat in a hoop skirt at a peace rally, a fish with hands and feet waiting tables, bird with hands wearing suits.

What I think is bad about it:

Little or nothing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Furry Steampunk, 10 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
Shades of Sherlock Holmes meets the Rupert books, this is the story of a badger who fights crime... Set in a Steampunk era of high tech Victoriana with steam driven vehicles, zeppelins and Gentlemen with walking canes it's a fairly standard detective story (and definitely not a comment on real world events of the last decade *cough*) but a good read non the less.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand Adventure, Great Ideas, Good Book, 12 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
This tale bristles with references and knowing winks to things as diverse as Sherlock Holmes, Blazing Saddles and Rupert. I could just as easily have cited X-men and H G Wells.

It's also full of original wit and thinking, all adding up to make a great adventure, a Ripping Yarn even.

The thrust of the plot pulled me through quickly on the first reading, but I knew as I went that I'd be returning to read again a savour the finer details.

To date I've read two Bryan Talbot books, each with its own a distinct style, but both excellent and each highly recommendable, especially to those new to graphic novels.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, not his best, but very good, 11 Oct 2009
This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
A violent conspiracy theory based in a society where Napolean defeated the British, before a rebellion led the UK to being declared an independent republic, in which almost all the characters are animals and the lead character is a brutal British badger detective.

What's not to love.

The conspiracy itself is a bit hackneyed, but I am assuming this is an entertainment rather than a serious barb cast at the war on terror so am not going to write any pompous critique of that.

I hear Talbot is planning to produce more volumes. I hope he does.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully drawn anthropomorphic Steam Punk, 22 Aug 2013
By 
K. Trebell (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
Grandville is a lavishly presented and beautifully drawn Steam Punk graphic novel from Bryan Talbot.

The tale is set in an alternative universe of talking animals (where hairless talking chimps are a novelty) where Britain was conquered by Napolean and was part of the French empire for centuries before gaining independence and introduces a tale of conspiracy being investigated by Inspector LeBrock as he searches and battles his way through an alternative Paris in search of a group of murderers.

The book is present in hardback and is very sturdy and well presented. With good writing, fun characters and wonderful artwork this is a real treat. Well worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 25 May 2010
By 
This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
Grandville: A Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard Scientific-Romance Thriller, is the latest graphic novel by Bryan Talbot. Inspired by nineteenth-century French illustrator Gerard, who worked under the nom de plum J.J. Greandville, the novel is the story of DI LeBrock on the hunt for the ruthless killers of a British diplomat. All fairly standard so far, but that is all that is standard in this graphic novel...

The first stand out point of the book is the characters themselves. Talbot has substituted the majority of the characters with animals instead of humans, whilst humans in the book are referred to as under-developed 'dough-faces', who are little better than slaves and have no citizens rights. The use of anthropomorphous animals is done excellently, with some hilarious results such as the drug dealing horse and the poodle hooker!

Another key part of the book is it's setting. Based mainly in France, Grandville is an alternate history story, set in a world where Napoleon won the war and Britain is little more than a colony that has just won independence. Alternate histories are a real favourite of mine, if done well, and Grandville does is perfectly. You are made aware of the worlds history early on, and the plot is largely based around the politics of this alternate timeline, but you are not smothered by it, which is something that has blighted many other books. If an author keeps emphasising the differences of their world to ours, it somehow looses it's sense of reality. The same can be said of the fact that this graphic novel falls into the category of 'steampunk', but Talbot understates this fact and it almost becomes unnoticeable, whilst managing to be an integral part of the story.

I was originally unimpressed by the artwork in Grandville, in fact it almost put me off completely, but whilst reading the book I realised how engrossing and beautifully detailed it is, with deep, rich colours and a great sense of pace. I particularly like both the blood and the movement effects, which are done perfectly. Talbot is clearly a masterful artist.

All in all I loved Grandville. It is a graphic novel I have been wanting to read for a long while and I am so glad I finally have. If anything, my only gripe is with the length of the book, I feel it could have been fleshed out more, it could have gone deeper into the heart of the story and we could have learnt more about the brilliant Detective-Inspector LeBrock. Fingers crossed that this is not a one off, as I can't wait for more Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard Scientific-Romance Thrillers!

Highly Recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality material, quality purchase, 17 Oct 2009
By 
This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
First of all, this is a hardback which is well worth the expense. The covers are substantial and great to look at, and the artwork within is printed on luxurious, high-quality paper which is a very pleasant surprise.

As to the story, Bryan Talbot has written and illustrated another memorable and individual piece of fiction, drawing on some quality Victorian (and more recent) inspiration to create a story that tips knowing winks to its source material, in much the same fashion as Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. There is a lot more humour to be found here however, including some wonderfully bad puns which sound entirely appropriate in the period setting.

The setting itself is unique, peopled as it is by anthropomorphised animals in an alternate Europe which evokes Talbot's own Luther Arkwright. His artwork is simple but beautifully done and entirely appropriate, allowing the odd bit of Herge to slip in without a ripple. The animal characters are largely charming, particularly softly-spoken but hard-hitting badger protagonist DI LeBrock, and their relationship with humans is a hoot. The plot has terrific pace, and is punctuated with moments of sudden and brutal violence. If this tale were populated entirely by humans this might seem run-of-the-mill, but when the hurt is being given and taken by animals, it takes on a more disconcerting tone, only adding to the otherworldly nature of Grandville.

Altogether this is a great read, denied a star as it's too short to allow the plot to twist as much as it wants to. I shall certainly be keeping an eye out for the next Detective Inspector LeBrock novel, in glorious hardback. Top-hole.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rupert the Bear meets Luther Arkwright, 17 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
Bryan Talbot has created another fine slab of 'steam punk' but rather than playing it straight (as he did in the Nemesis the Warlock stories or Luther Arkwright) Talbot chooses to mingle his usual fine lined detail with the use of cartoony anthropomorphic animals.
So, enter Detective inspector LeBrock, a hard nosed badger from Scotland Yard who finds himself caught in a conspiracy that threatens the interests of Britain and brings it into conflict with a shadowy conspiracy based in France.
The plot is consistent with the high camp theme of spys and victoriana and the characters are petty two dimensional, but the book is written and drawn with such energy that these weaknesses are not overwhelming.
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Grandville
Grandville by Bryan Talbot (Hardcover - 15 Oct 2009)
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