BOOK REVIEW: Griffin and Sabine, by Nick Bantock

Date(s) read: February 14, 2010
Genre: Art, Graphic Novel

1. Griffin & Sabine Goodreads | Amazon
2. Sabine’s Notebook
3. The Golden Mean

Griffin: It’s good to get in touch with you at last. Could I have one of your fish postcards? I think you were right — the wine glass has more impact than the cup. –Sabine

But Griffin had never met a woman named Sabine. How did she know him? How did she know his artwork? Who is she? Thus begins the strange and intriguing correspondence of Griffin and Sabine. And since each letter must be pulled from its own envelope, the reader has the delightful, forbidden sensation of reading someone else’s mail. Griffin & Sabine is like no other illustrated novel: appealing to the poet and artist in everyone and sure to inspire a renaissance in the fine art of letter-writing, it tells an extraordinary story in an extraordinary way.

My Thoughts (May Contain Spoilers)
A few years ago I picked up Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence because my sister-in-law had gotten it for her birthday. I was so intrigued by the layout of the book that I had to give it a try.

I am so torn with this book. As I was reading it, my husband turned to me and said, “That’s a book you’re reading?” as I was pulling out letters from their envelopes. Written in a very non-traditional way, the book consists of letters of correspondence between Griffin, who was an artist in London, and Sabine who follows his work down in South America quite literally, as she seems to be in his head as he creates his art.

It is a very unique concept and the pictures are either delicate and lovely, or deep and mysterious, but the layout of the book is enough to win over any art lover. It is different enough to earn a spot on your coffee table for guests to flip through.

But …

Right as I was getting into the book, it ends! Apparently there are three books in this series, but I bought the book not knowing it was a series. I would have liked to have some kind of resolution, but Bantock leaves the reader hanging.

The price of the book is outstanding – a whole $20 for a very short book, with not a whole lot of plot, but mainly artwork. I really didn’t find that it was worth the money for only a handful of postcards and a few letters. I’ve paid less for actual stories that kept me busy for longer than 20 minutes (the time you need to read this “novel”).

In the end, I suggest if you want to read this book, purchase the trilogy. I wasn’t that interested to buy the next 2, but may end up doing so in the future.

Author Links


My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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