Grandville by Bryan Talbot

Grandville by Bryan Talbot

Published by Jonathan Cape

Beware mon ami, some slight spoilers ahead.

Two hundred years ago Britain lost the Napoleonic War. As with the rest of Europe, it was invaded by France and the members of its royal family were guillotined. It had been part of the French Empire until twenty-three years ago, when it was begrudgingly given independence after a prolonged campaign of civil disobedience and anarchist bombings. Grandville a detective inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard scientific-romance thriller.

And so begins Grandville the latest book from Bryan Talbot which mixes steam punk, Anthropomorphism (animals with human characteristics), the war on terror, the events of 9/11, robots, Quentin Tarantino and Rupert the Bear into one beautifully realised book.

Grandville tells the story of Detective Inspector Archie LeBrock (a badger) who is investigating the murder of British diplomat Raymond Leigh-Otter (an otter), this takes him from the quiet English village of Nutwood (see what he did there) to the steaming metropolis of Paris or Grandville, into direct conflict with a mysterious group known as the Knights of Lyon and along the way LeBrock with the help of his faithful adjunct Detective Ratzi (a Rat) kicks some serious French ass.

The fist thing you notice about this book is how beautiful it is, from the front cover, through every page and all the way through to the back cover this book is a work of art and that’s no exaggeration. You will be glad to have this book on your shelf, it’s one of those books to take of the shelf every now and then give it a little stroke and put it back, all with a smile on your face – come on you all know what I mean!!

Also the story doesn’t put a foot wrong, even in it’s relatively short page count of 98 pages nothing is wasted, it’s hurtles along with a cracking pace and is both violent and moving it turns – anybody not moved by the plight of poor old Snowy Milou has no heart.

The references in this book also come thick and fast and I think it would take a better person than me to highlight them all, but I think I’ll leave that part up to you as it’s half the fun of reading Grandville.

However don’t be fooled by the whole taking animals thing the nod to Quentin Tarantino is more than justified – Archie LeBrock is one hard badger who you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. Rules and police procedures are broken, animals get hurt, animals get tortured and animals get killed – badly. Two examples of the violence that immediately spring to mind are the frog in the alley who is literally beaten to death under interrogation and the torture of the Archbishop of Paris who incidentally is a chimpanzee – a real Tarantino moment that one.

I cannot praise this book highly enough. I absolutely loved it and it will take pride of place on my book shelf after I have finished lending it to everybody I know, because everybody should do themselves a favor and read this book.

Rating – 5/5

Dry Slaps – None – not sure about the post coital badger panel though

GS Reviewer Nick Roberts

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: