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Grandville Hardcover – October 20, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Talbot follows up the admirable but abstruse Alice in Sunderland with an engrossing blend of steampunk, Victorian-flavored detective stories, anthropomorphized animals and 9/11 allegory. The storytelling skills that he brought to The Tale of One Bad Rat are firing on all cylinders as he spins the tale of Scotland Yard's bodybuilding badger, Insp.-Det. Archie LeBrock searching for a murder squad, a trail of violent intrigue leading to France. In this alternate historical setting, Britain fell under French rule during the Napoleonic Wars and became the Socialist Republic of Britain, a situation rife with civil disobedience, explosive terrorism and mutual suspicion between the two countries, all simmering elements that could lead to war. The murder LeBrock and his adjunct, Detective Ratzi, are investigating may somehow be tied to a mysterious grand plan, leading to a tightly woven tapestry of sex, violence and political intrigue containing strong commentary on 9/11 and the political machinations that fueled it. The animal-headed characters—alluding to The Wind and the Willows—just add to an entertaining and multileveled whodunit by a master storyteller. (Oct.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Already famous for creating one of graphic fiction’s most memorable characters, universe-hopping Luther Arkwright, Talbot tries his hand here at creating another, albeit of a very different stripe. And the stripe in this case is literally on the head of Scotland Yard Inspector LeBrock, a muscular, talking badger with a penchant for fisticuffs. The opening installment in a projected five-part series, this beautifully illustrated murder mystery is one part Sherlock Holmes, another part Wind in the Willows, wrapped in a steampunk veneer. Not only badgers, but also rats, dogs, and every other kind of talking animal populate Talbot’s alternate nineteenth-century Britain and France. An increasingly suspenseful plot finds LeBrock and his stalwart assistant, Detective Ratzi (a rat, of course), investigating the murder of a British diplomat. The trail leads across the channel bridge into a second-empire-controlled Paris still reeling from the terroristic destruction of a famous tower. The hirsute pair’s clue-collecting takes them through Parisian back alleys into nightclubs and brothels in which they tangle with assorted gun-wielding canines and uncover a French government plot to launch an even more deadly terrorist attack on its own citizens. Talbot’s masterful attention to detail, down to his character’s muzzles and whiskers, makes every panel a work of art. One of Talbot’s best graphic novels to date. --Carl Hays
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Product Details

  • Series: Grandville
  • Hardcover: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595823972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595823977
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.5 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I came across Grandville by chance in a book store while browsing the graphic novel section and instantly fascinated by its wonderful artwork, brilliant anthropomorphic characters and steampunk Victorian setting. I love a good mystery and detective stories are certainly my thing. I had to have it!

A heroic badger Inspector LeBrock and his sidekick Roderick investigate the death of a British diplomat who appears to have been murdered by a group of French conspirators. In this alternate-history Napoleon (a lion) successfully invaded Britain but begrudgingly gave it up after anarchist attacks. LeBrock's case leads him deep into a mire of deceit and political power-plays that mirror many modern day events such as the 9/11 terror attacks and the mess of the Iraq war.

Only a muscle-bound badass badger cop can save the day.

Grandville is nothing if not ambitious, and yet it pulls off everything with ease. It seamlessly blends the alternate history, steampunk, detective and furry genres. Bryan Talbot glides from scene to scene with not a single extraneous panel.

The book is printed in a lovely, tall hardback with colourful, glossy pages. It's definitely a keeper and I strongly recommend it to any and all comic-book and graphic novel enthusiasts. I eagerly await the sequel "Grandville Mon Amour".
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This Grandville is a steampunk'd, anthropomorphic animal'd eurofeast of a funnybook. Mr. Talbot has really created a romp of a story, even managing to weave a shadowy 911 parallel up in there. There are quite a few nods to European comic characters as well. Doppelganger's of Herge's Snowy (Tintin) and Velter's Spirou are the two that stand out the most to me. I'm certain I missed several more, but I DID witness his wink to Spiegelman's Maus in the early village scene. The book also features a wide zoological range, most of them firing weapons of mess destruction and/or horn stabbings. Hopefully, Mr. T will turn this into an ongoing (semi?)annual treat for the comic masses. Loudly Recommendated!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
AS a fan of Steampunk, graphic novels, Bryan Talbot and Albert Robida, I thought that this would be a no-brainer for me. It never really connected, though. The timeline seems screwed up, with Victorian technology in a world set in 2009 or so. The anthropomorphic characters didn't bother me, but neither did they appeal to me. The story seemed humdrum, with a British badger who could do more than Superman handling every situation by bashing his way through it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brian Talbot did a well crafted detective story with pop references and touches of steampunk. The art is very good, especially the great work with the colors.
It's a very good graphic novel, with all the qualities of the european comic school, that any fan of comics (or detective stories, or steampunk ...) should read.
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Format: Hardcover
I like old-fashioned mystery and adventure stories, and I like graphic storytelling, so this quasi-steampunkish mystery caught my attention. The story takes place in a kind of alternate Victorian era which follows after the French conquer England in the Napoleonic Wars and England eventually wins a meager liberation following a campaign of terror (roughly akin to the Algerian war of independence). The story revolves around a murder that has connections to the relations between England and France. The person who investigates this death and is hero of the story is Inspector LeBrock of the Yard, a kind of action-hero combination Sherlock Holmes/James Bond/Jason Bourne, with beefy muscles, courage, excellent powers of ratiocination, and a capable sidekick. And, oh yes, he's a badger.

You see, the book takes its title from the pseudonym of Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard, a French illustrator of the first part of the 19th-century, who was famous for his satirical caricatures of prominent people as animals, as well as for being the illustrator for many popular novels of the time. Talbot populates the tale almost entirely with anthropomorphized animals (humans appear briefly as kind of slave/servants), as Inspector LeBrock and Detective Ratzi (no points for guessing what kind of animal he is), look into the murder of a British diplomat. This quickly sucks them into an elaborate conspiracy that is awfully similar to some of the most outlandish of the 9/11 "Truther" ideas.

The plot is so nutty that it was hard to get too invested in it, and similarly, I just couldn't take the anthromorphized animals seriously.
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Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading Grandville - what a great melding of police detective/action/spy/steampunk/conspiracy theory/alternate history/cute (and not so cute) furry animal comics!
I really enjoyed "Alice in Sunderland" and I was wondering what Mr. Talbot would do next - this was a fun read with lots of tricky writing and excellent rendering!

The illustrations are inspired by the works of Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard BIZARRERIES AND FANTASIES OF GRANDVILLE: 266 Illustrations From Un Autre Monde and Les Animaux
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