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The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy Boxed Set: Griffin & Sabine/Sabine's Notebook/The Golden Mean Hardcover – Box set, November 1, 1994
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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Few books are more romantic than this trilogy, nor more surreal. Griffin Moss is a rather doleful, lonesome, gaunt, and haunted postcard designer in London. Sabine Strohem is an illustrator of stamps living on an island in the South Pacific. One day Griffin gets an extraordinary letter from Sabine revealing that she knows all kinds of things about his life and work--somehow, she can share his soul from afar. They start exchanging love letters, yet it remains an open question whether Griffin and Sabine are two hearts that mystically beat as one, or simply illusory. "You're a figment of my imagination," Griffin accuses Sabine. "You cannot turn me into a phantom because you are frightened," Sabine replies. Phantom or soul mate, Sabine is pursued across the globe by Griffin in an increasingly impassioned fashion, and the mysteries deepen.
The legendarily popular trilogy of books containing the Griffin-Sabine correspondence literally contains the correspondence: postcards, front and back, and letters in envelopes pasted into the book, which the reader must open and read--a temptation few can resist. Nick Bantock's story was way ahead of the computer game Myst, with which it shares a moody allure. Bantock designed hundreds of book covers (for Philip Roth, John Updike, and others) before he fled London for a lovely island off the west coast of Canada with his rather Sabine-like artist wife and became improbably famous by dreaming up this trilogy. His artwork is gorgeous, and countless romances have been intensified by exposure to that of Griffin and Sabine. --Tim Appelo
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I just introduced the trilogy to my design students.
I wasn't sure how they would react to them - fortunately, they loved them too.
The text is simply a correspondance through postcards and letters between 2 people that have never met and who may never meet.
Both of the protagonists are graphic designers and their whimsical and fantastic drawings, paintings, and designs appear in the margins of their letters and as postcard and stamp designs. Graphically they are really interesting and inspiring.
Bancock, an illustrator who has produced pop-up books in the past has created a picture book for adults that's a guilty pleasure. The concept is built about a suspenseful series of correspondence between Griffin, a London postcard illustrator, a Sabine, a postage stamp artist residing in the South Pacific. There is mysticism, romance, a little Jung, a little Freud. The text is conveyed on the illustrated postcards and in letters that are tucked into actual envelopes. It is a tour d'force of ideas and illustration. A grouch might say it is glib or slick; that's the grouch's problem. This is for everyone who would like to be surprised and entertained in an off-beat way.