Grandville by Bryan Talbot

Book Review by Ryan Agee | 12 Oct 2009
  • Book Cover Image
Book title: Grandville
Author: Bryan Talbot

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]

Release date 15 Oct. Published By Jonathan Cape. Cover Price £16.99