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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

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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 13 months ago by Freelancer Frank


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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly beautiful artwork and fiction, 23 Dec 2013
This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
I like to start by mentioning the cover of pretty books. Unusually for me this time I'm going to talk about the feel of a book. It is in a standard size graphic novel format but it feels like an old hardback book. The cover art is then embossed on to this to complete a piece of tactile heaven. It took me a couple of minutes before I managed to tear myself away and open the book. That's when the artistry really starts. From the simple and evocative cover you go open the book and find an inside cover that looks like William Morris just discovered steampunk. It would make an awesome wallpaper for a feature wall.Again I spent a minute or too admiring the inside cover. I don't think I've ever done that before. As I turned the page I couldn't help but notice the amazing quality of the paper. That is a theme throughout this book. There has been an obvious drive to make sure that every part of this book lives up to the artwork and writing contained in the story. It may not seem important but it lets you know that you are about to read something important. Something of quality.

It delivers. On a simplistic level is Sherlock Holmes meets James Bond using anthropomorphism to portray different strata of society. The basic premise is that Napoleon won the war, subjugated Britain and has only just escaped the yoke of French oppression. Add in a healthy dose of steampunk and crime noir and you're pretty much there. There is more though. These books will make you think about oppressive regimes. I couldn't help but think of Northern Ireland and the middle east. There is an undercurrent of politics running through these stories. What if we had a socialist Britain or France? Would the historical ruling elite accept that? Would somebody else want to grab power for themselves? These are the kind of questions you'll be asking yourself when you finish reading this book. Anything that makes me question or think about things is good. The story line, the world building and most importantly for me the characters were believable and interesting.

These books are more than books. They are works of art. you will not regret buying them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Could Have Been Better, 29 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
Well written, well drawn but somehow lacking in anything that really grabs you. The conceit of animals as human beings is fun and makes for some interesting visuals but it doesn't really get far beyond that. I suppose one could describe it as a sort of steampunk Wind in the Willows with some mild violence and nudity thrown in. Glad I bought it, it really is a very handsome book, but I'm not sure the quality of the story matches that of the frequently gorgeous artwork.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Badger time!, 30 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
Le Brock rocks! he's a big, bad, British badger, cracking continental crime - witty, violent, and dead funny. I'm getting the whole series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm bowled over by the Grandville series, 29 Aug 2013
By 
Ye Olde Ed (Chelmsford, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
I'm not big on graphic novels, but I'm bowled over by the Grandville series, written and illustrated by Bryan Talbot. The title is a tribute to the 19th century French caricaturist, J J Grandville, whose depictions of people as hominid animals (and other things) helped inspire surrealism. In Mr Talbot's novels England has only recently gained independence from France, having been conquered by Napoleon two hundred years ago along with the rest of Europe. In this Steampunk world, all the people are animals, French is the universal language, and the name Grandville is sometimes applied to the Imperial City of Paris. The artwork is superb, and the style allows for subtle little jokes, dropping in characters from Tintin and Rupert Bear. The hero of Grandville, Grandville Mon Amour and Grandville BÍte Noire is DI Archie LeBrock of Scotland Yard, a badger, whose sidekick is an elegant rat. LeBrock's character combines elements of Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade and even Mike Hammer, and he needs all his intelligence and his courage to uncover political conspiracies that bring to mind the phrase `madmen wielding sceptres'. The tense England/France political situation parallels that of Ireland/UK not so long ago.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Preserved Noir Dogs, 11 July 2013
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lavish, 28 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
Grandville is a anthropomorphic steam-punk graphic novel. This was a risk for me. I have read some anthropomorphic comics before, mostly books by Jason, but steam-punk? My knowledge of that genre falls into two sides: Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which I loved and the film Wild Wild West with Will Smith which is just nonsense.

Detective-Inspector LeBrock works out of Scotland Yard. This case sees him chase a band of killers through Paris. LeBrock is a badger and an occasionally scary one at that. I wondered if Talbot was making a subconscious statement about badger-culling here (!).

The book was inspired by an French 19thC illustrator, Gerard who worked under the name of J J Grandville, but the book also checks Conan Doyle, Tarantino and other anthropomorphic characters like Rupert the Bear. At one point a character even mutter "Badgers?! We don't need no steenkin' badgers!"

The artwork is absolutely stunning. It is bold, colourful and lavish. The characters, costumes and landscapes are fantastically detailed. Sometimes I lost the plot of the story as I waded in the artwork and for that reason I feel a little disappointed. I think I have to re-read this book again and again for it all to sink in. And that's no bad thing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully drawn story, let down a little by the plot and production values, 28 Aug 2011
By 
Mark Pack (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
Although several friends are great fans of the graphic novel, I have never read many in the past. However, my eye was caught by Bryan Talbot's Grandville when visiting the British Library's current science fiction exhibition, in which it features. So off to Amazon it was to get a copy - and I'm mighty glad I did for it is a fantastically inventive and sumptuous graphical treat.

There are some niggles about this steampunk tale for sure - the plot is little more that a caricature of a left-wing conspiracy theory and the cover of the book is poorly done (wonky sticker on the back, very easily scuffed edges and spine). But ignore those and enjoy instead the beautifully drawn and reproduced pictures inside of a world where France won the Napoleonic wars, Victorian technology still dominates (it's a world of steam cars and airships) and the world is inhabited by anthropomorphised animals.

There are many sly allusions in this imaginary world, such as the regular appearance of famous works of art on the walls which have had humans replaced with animals in them. Talbot does this sort of referential detail with real skill - if you understand the references, they add to the enjoyment, and if you don't understand the references, then no matter - the scene still looks good and makes sense as far as the story goes. Rather like Terry Pratchett he can satirise without baffling the less knowledgeable reader with obscure detail in the way works more traditionally viewed as having literary merit can do.

So enjoy the world of detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard (badger) as he mixes Sherlock Holmes with Rambo to save, if not the world, at least Britain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 15 April 2011
By 
J. Bloss "jethrox1" (Buckingham,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
"Grandville" looks absolutely great - the artwork and in fact the whole package looks superb - being hardback definitely fits with the style of the story. The steam punk vision of a world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, where the French won the Napoleonic wars, and the UK wins back its independence through guerilla warfare and anarchist action in recent times is a joy to look at. What makes this even better is the story hangs together well following the murder of a British Embassy attache...the investigation is action packed and a series of rip-roaring action pieces. Highly recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars Talbot at his very best, 16 Oct 2010
By 
Jo Bennie (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
One of my favourite graphic novels of all time is Talbot's harrowing tale of homelessness, child abuse and Beatrix Potter, One Bad Rat. Grandville doesn't disappoint, an amazing tale of a future with reference ton the works of French charicaturist JJ Gerard, science fiction illustrator Robida, Conan Doyle, Rupert the Bear, Tarantino and Herge. In this dystopia Napoleon won, the French rule Britain as a backwater annex and the 'people' have mostly animal heads, with the exception of a few humans, an underclass known as 'dough faces'. The badger faced Detective Inspector Lebrock of Scotland Yard stars with his Watson type Detective Ratzi, a return to Talbot to his love of the intelligence and talent of rats as seen in One Bad Rat. I loved the use of animals to denote character or the surface appearance of, and his use of Snowy Milou is genius, particularly his opium addled dreams in the Blue Lotus house of Tintin's trip to the Moon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious and gripping, 1 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Grandville (Hardcover)
I don't have much new to add to the other reviews, but I loved this so much that I thought it deserved a quick five-star review.

I'd never read anything by Bryan Talbot before, but I already have The Adventures Of Luther Arkwright on order after reading this. The quality of the book and paper itself, the beauty of the artwork, the characters and the pace of story are all excellent. One of the most enjoyable graphic novels I've read for a long time - I'm thrilled that there's a sequel out in a couple of months!
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Grandville
Grandville by Bryan Talbot (Hardcover - 15 Oct 2009)
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