Book Cover Image
Book Cover Image

Grandville by Bryan Talbot

4/5 stars
Book review by Ryan Agee.
Published 12 October 2009

Bryan Talbot’s last graphic novel (if it should be called that) was the phenomenal Alice in Sunderland, a multi-layered exploration of the history of Sunderland and the lives of Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell, the model for Alice in Wonderland. Grandville is a complete change of pace, an action-adventure comic featuring talking animals, set in an alternate history where France won the Napoleonic Wars. There is a reason for this – Talbot is paying homage to JJ Grandville, a French illustrator who drew anthropomorphic animals representing French society figures in the 19th Century, when this book is set. When an otter (Raymond Leigh-Otter by name – groan if you want) is killed in the sleepy village of Nutwood, (get the reference?) it’s investigated by our hero, Detective Inspector LeBrock, a brawling working class badger, and his upper class sidekick, Detective Ratzi. Yes, he’s a rat. And a rattling good yarn follows as the investigation uncovers dark secrets being kept by the fascist French Government, led by a rabbit called Jean-Marie Lapin (Geddit?). Corny puns abound, but this is a stunningly well drawn book with a compelling mystery, and a great detective team at it’s heart. Great stuff. [Ryan Agee]

Comments (1)

Add a comment »
  • DON'T MISS your chance to see Bryan Talbot discussing early influence and new book 'Grandville Mon Amour', November 30th at Richmond upon Thames Literature Festival. Put your questions to the man himself and get your copy signed!

    Tickets selling fast, to avoid disappointment book now on: or 020 8831 6494

    Posted by RichmondLitFest | Thursday 25 November 2010 @ 16:37

    Report to moderator
Leave a comment on this article