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Griffin and Sabine (Griffin & Sabine Trilogy #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  34,364 Ratings  ·  912 Reviews
It all started with a mysterious and seemingly innocent postcard, but from that point nothing was to remain the same in the life of Griffin Moss, a quiet, solitary artist living in London. His logical, methodical world was suddenly turned upside down by a strangely exotic woman living on a tropical island thousands of miles away. Who is Sabine? How can she "see" what Griff ...more
Hardcover, 10th anniversary limited ed, 46 pages
Published 2001 by Raincoast Books (first published 1991)
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Jennifer It's been awhile since I;ve read them. I've only read the first 2 books and no there was not in either of those.
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Epistolary Fiction
5th out of 430 books — 518 voters
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Books with Innovative Book Design / Structure
8th out of 239 books — 354 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 28, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it
Recommended to Caroline by: Paula Catao
Shelves: art
A little fictional bon bon for the discerning palate. Just 46 pages long. A small package of strange and delightful images, and a storyline with a mystery.

This was recommended to me by a friend who sends me flying letters - and the book is full of illustrated envelopes and postcards. I can see why she liked it on another level too - her art and the art in the book have the same lovely sense of playfulness. Bantock's work is inspiring, weird, charming......and sometimes a bit gruesome. I am not a
Equal parts Romantic (in the Byron on a windswept moor sense), Impressionist and Surrealist, Griffin and Sabine is a memorable experience. I finished this in the wee small hours of the morning, and immediately drifted off to sleep. I highly recommend that all readers choose the same time to move through this piece. I can't imagine a better time to have wrapped myself up in this charming, intriguing, simple yet incredibly layered piece of art.

There are many things that can be analyzed here- from
May 19, 2016 Jaksen rated it liked it
Lovely little unusual book, takes about thirty minutes - give or take - to read. I don't know if I'll follow up on the sequels (or other parts of the trilogy,) but it was a nice short break from reading mysteries, thrillers and horror novels.

About the correspondence between two artists, one of whom can see what the other is drawing. There's a developing romance but it happens rather quickly and almost 'between the lines' of the letters and post cards they write to one another. I was not blown a
Jae Robinson
Jun 14, 2008 Jae Robinson rated it it was amazing
I've read this and all the other books for this series. It's a unique read. Have you ever accidentally received someone else's mail and wondered what it might contain? Or come across a diary and been tempted to read what secrets it held?

This book is a voyeuristic view of a relationship between two people - or is it?

Opening the book you realize soon enough that you have stumbled upon someone's mail - and you can't help but read it. Each consecutive page brings more and more interest, as well as
Abe Goolsby
Jun 06, 2010 Abe Goolsby rated it really liked it
I've been acquainted with this fascinating trilogy for years, but never bothered to give it a perusal in its entirety until recently. Its allure is founded upon the exquisiteness of the design, the zen-like coyness of the plot and the slight sense of taboo involved in sifting through someone else's private correspondence. I think that author/illustrator Bantock is, in that regard, one of the leading purveyors of a formula that has proven quite successful in various pop cultural media over the pa ...more
Aug 06, 2007 Karen rated it it was ok
I know there are people who love this book but I finished it thinking that I needed my money back. In my opinion there was so much more that could have been done but it just lacked something.
Aug 16, 2008 Dave rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dave by: Sarah Beaudoin
Griffin and Sabine is a very non-traditional book. An experiment in artificial "found" literature, the book follows the correspondence of two random people separated by miles and culture who are tied together by an inexplicable link. This book is a window into that connection and their discovery of one another.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is it's presentation. While it is a printed book, as much of the "correspondence" is maintained. The letters are contained within envelopes
Melissa McShane
I'm not sure I'm totally sold on the mysticism of is-she-or-isn't-she, but this is a beautiful little book. I love the art and I think Bantock does a good job differentiating between Griffin's style and Sabine's. I bought this on a whim--which is to say, I've read it before, but never owned it, and picked it up used for cheap. It's in wonderful condition, with all the letters intact, so I feel like I've won a prize.
Nisah Haron
Jun 22, 2012 Nisah Haron rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nisah by: ninotaziz ninotaziz
Another brilliant book! If you like an epistolary-book, the book is for you. There are postcards to be read and a real letter which can be opened. In the era of e-mails and Facebook, getting myself to read a real letter is a real deal, indeed. Makes me wonder, when was the last time I ever wrote a real letter to someone real.

Can't wait to get it's sequel!
Aban (Aby)
Sep 18, 2010 Aban (Aby) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In one go, I read all three of the books in this series by Nick Bantock: "Griffin and Sabine" (Book 1), "Sabine's Notebook" (Book 2), and "The Golden Mean" (Book 3). (It doesn't take long.) The books comprise a fictional correspondence between two artists: Griffin (who lives in London, England) and Sabine (who lives in the Sicmon Islands somewhere in the Pacific Ocean). The story falls into the mystery / fantasy genre. One day, Griffin receives a post card from a young woman, Sabine, who claims ...more
Intisar Khanani
Jun 08, 2015 Intisar Khanani rated it it was amazing
I loved this book for the pure pleasure of reading it--you have to pick up a physical copy (check your local library! I'm not even sure there is an e-copy available). At first you're looking at a set of intriguing postcards recording the correspondence of Sabine, who lives on a far-off island but claims to know everything about her correspondent's art, and Griffin, a one-man postcard company. Then the correspondence shifts to letters and you get to open envelopes and pull out letters to read. Oh ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing
One of the most remarkable and charming books I've ever read. Through postcards and letters you come to know Griffin, an artist living in a big city, and Sabine, a young woman on a distant island, who have never met in person. But somehow Sabine can see what Griffin's painting, and so she strikes up a correspondence with him. They fall in love, but should they meet? And where?
Growing up I always loved the idea of writing letters to someone and learning something new whether it be their life story, the city they live in or what they might be thinking as I write these letters. What doesn't help is I've seen countless Hallmark films that showcase two lovers from two different centuries writing to each other, the Lake House movie, and Felicity's voice letters to her friend. Unfortunately I live in 21st century where most of my generation do not even know how to write a l ...more
One of the cuter and more interesting picture books I've read lately, Griffin and Sabine imagines reading some one else's letters as exactly that. There are post cards that are photographed on both sides, but the letters are actually in envelopes that the reader has to pull out of envelopes and unfold. This kind of interactive text, thought I can see all the ways it could become a horrible gimmick, is done exactly right in this short book.

Griffin is a visual artist, Sabine the woman from a smal
Beth Wisniewski
Jan 21, 2016 Beth Wisniewski rated it it was amazing
This was probably the shortest and yet most fantastic book I've read since picture books! Mysterious and gorgeous!
May 21, 2016 Alicen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Love the small details - can't believe it took me so long to read this!
Charissa Weaks
Aug 25, 2015 Charissa Weaks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
WOW. I might be in love with this format! Getting to open letters in the book???? YES, please. And it's a super short read with a twist! I need books 2&3 ASAP.
I just loved this book; it's magical. It's a pop-up picture book for adults with gorgeous illustrations, celebrating snail mail - postcards and letters (There are envelopes glued into the book and you take out the letters to read!) and a melancholic, dreamlike love story as well. My only complaints are that it was too short - I could have read this for hours - and that I don't know what happened to Griffin and I want to know!

Griffin is a lonely artist living in London designing postcards for his
Doc Opp
Jan 20, 2015 Doc Opp rated it it was ok
I'm a big fan of unusual forms of storytelling, so I really appreciated the fact that this book told its story in such an interesting way. I just wish the story contained therein had been more compelling.

This book chronicles a correspondence between two artists - one who makes postcards, the other stamps. The correspondence largely happens on those postcards and affixed with those stamps, and that is by far the best part of the book. The mix of art and text works well, and is quite innovative a
Erin Germain
Apr 30, 2014 Erin Germain rated it really liked it
Part mystery, part romance, this book, and the others in the trilogy, defy easy categorization. The main draw, for me, was the artwork. Right-side pages were either the front of a postcard or envelope. Turn the page for the back of the card or an actual envelope pasted in, which must be opened and a letter pulled out to read. Setting the book up this way, it seems a little more personal to read the correspondence between Griffin and Sabine than other epistolary novels. You actually feel as thoug ...more
Feb 24, 2016 Lil rated it really liked it
Such a cool little book! Postcards and letters (in envelopes for you to open) with beautiful artwork. I'm having a run of good luck reading books that have been on my shelves for waaay too long!
Oct 28, 2014 Chelsea rated it it was amazing
Bantock's story about the correspondence between two strangers is intriguing, beautiful, and inspiring. The illustrations are fantastic, as well. The format of this book--being able to actually take a letter from an envelope and hold it in your hand--really help to make you as the reader feel like part of the story. It feels like you are unintentionally spying on this intimate, blossoming relationship. Bantock is truly exceptional; I own both trilogies involved in the Griffin and Sabine story. T ...more
Mar 24, 2013 Kristilyn rated it it was amazing
Reread March 24, 2013.

Loved this. Perfect nighttime read. Will be posting a new review soon.


Original review -- read in 2010. Rating 3/5.

A few years ago I picked up Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Coorespondence 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 fr
Oct 10, 2010 Skyring rated it really liked it
I received a sparkling surprise the other day. A package from Discoverylover! Inside, two books. Right. I need more books. My bookshelves groan under the double-banked load and Mount Toberead towers over my bedside table.

Two very odd books, actually. Fairly slender, they purported to be reproductions of an ongoing correspondence between Griffin, a London artist, and Sabine, a stamp designer on a remote Pacific island nation.

Griffin and Sabine are linked in a very strange and intriguing fashion a
Jan 25, 2010 Dominic rated it really liked it
In today's age, we rarely write letters anymore. Emails, texts, tweets and status lines seem to be the way we communicate these days. And while one part of me is fascinated by how technology is bringing people together, the other part can't help but notice the loss of intimacy in the way we communicate. In some ways we are farther apart than we've ever been.

I met my wife at the dawn of the Internet; neither of us had email addresses at the time. Just a few more years later, and our relationship'
Nov 08, 2013 Cherie rated it liked it
The feeling that I had been duped into picking up this book is what first came into my mind when I pulled it off of the shelf at the library. There was supposed to be lush artwork and a fascinating story. Hmmm.

I looked at a few of the pictures. Lush is not the first descriptive word that comes to mind for me as I look at them. Interesting, colorfull - ok for some of them. Wierd, dull not interesting comprise my feelings for the others. Letters stuck into little envelopes and the front and back
Jan 12, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have the 3 books of this series... I'd never heard of them until I received them as a gift. LOVE! (She always gives the best gifts.) Now I see that the story picked up years later with 3 more books. Now I need to get my hands on all of them, re-read these, and read the new ones. You could easily fly through 3 books within a couple of hours or less. But that would be a waste. These books were made to be savored. With every letter you read, you feel like you've come to the end of an episode of L ...more
Jun 06, 2016 Cecilia rated it it was amazing
***2015 update, just cos I like this book doesn't mean you get to "pimp" your kickstarter at me! It is like coloring old black/white hollywood films....NO! Do NOT SPAM ME, I'm not your friend! Thanx!

****To the real Readers of reviews, please enjoy...and hope you enjoy this book too!

I don't remember the story. I think Griffin sounded whiny and at some point thought he probably had split personalities and for the entire time he was writing and illustrating stuff with himself. I actually also didn'
Apr 17, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this trilogy when it first came out and had the vague feeling that I loved it but I didn't recall any of the details so I was excited to dive back in! There's something about opening up the little envelopes and reading the letters that is just so satisfying and fun. The story is just as beautiful, strange and mysterious as I remember. Although it is short, it's a book to linger over and savour, not rush through. What a cliffhanger of an ending too!
Allegra Green
Jul 25, 2014 Allegra Green rated it really liked it
My hippie aunt (doesn't everyone have one of those?) bought me this book for my birthday in 2001 because I have always liked books with letters and postcards inside, artwork, pieces to take out, etc. I was intrigued but skeptical and somehow it fell by the wayside. When I finally picked it up I couldn't believe how much I loved it! It's quite a short read but it has tons of modern artwork, hints of mystery and romance, and typical themes of an epistolary novel. I love graphic novels for adults, ...more
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Nick was schooled in England and has a BA in Fine Art (painting). He has authored 25 books, 11 of which have appeared on the best seller lists, including 3 books on the New York Times top ten at one time. ‘Griffin and Sabine’ stayed on that list for over two years. His works have been translated into 13 languages and over 5 million have been sold worldwide. Once named by the classic SF magazine We ...more
More about Nick Bantock...

Other Books in the Series

Griffin & Sabine Trilogy (4 books)
  • Sabine's Notebook (Griffin & Sabine Trilogy #2)
  • The Golden Mean (Griffin & Sabine Trilogy #3)
  • The Pharos Gate: Griffin & Sabine's Lost Correspondence

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“Pain and beauty, our constant bedfellows” 29 likes
“Foolish man. You cannot turn me into a phantom because you are frightened. You do not dismiss a muse at whim. - Sabine Strohem” 12 likes
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