Friday, November 2, 2012

Grandville Bete Noire-Bryan Talbot

Okay, to be honest, I'd give the ebook version three stars but a regular book would definitely be a four out of five star review. 
I had never tried a graphic novel on my Nook and I won't soon be repeating the experience. Other ebook readers may have better luck but the words were absolutely tiny on the screen and pixelated almost to a point past readability when enlarged. However, the story was an interesting one that pulled me in and almost made me forget my frustrations.
It's hard not to compare any graphic novel using animals as the main characters to the classic "Maus." It's been awhile since I read the book but I don't remember any human characters whereas Talbot's world (a steampunk version of a world where Napoleon won) actually has humans or "doughfaces" who are servants to the animals. There are a number of literary references with the villain being set up in "Toad Hall" (another toad obsessed with machinery) as well as main characters who, though working for the police, can only have been based off of Sherlock and Watson. Every time the mouse spoke I heard Nigel Bruce's voice in my head. The author also has artistic flourishes with nods to Magritte (p. 13) and Reubens (which confused me because he was famous for his plump <i>human</i> models). Detective Inspector LeBrock (Badger, which I thought was a wolf even though people called him a badger.) and his friend 
I will be looking for the first two books at my local library.

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