Griffin and Sabine (Griffin & Sabine Trilogy #1)
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Griffin and Sabine (Griffin & Sabine Trilogy #1)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  24,530 ratings  ·  711 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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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferBridget Jones's Diary by Helen FieldingThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyDracula by Bram StokerGriffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock
Epistolary Fiction
5th out of 299 books — 337 voters
House of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiS. by Doug DorstCloud Atlas by David MitchellTree of Codes by Jonathan Safran FoerExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Books with Innovative Book Design / Structure
9th out of 178 books — 241 voters


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Community Reviews

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Kelly
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...more
Abe Goolsby
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
Jae Robinson
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...more
Nisah Haron
Jun 22, 2012 Nisah Haron rated it 5 of 5 stars
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!
Karen
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.
Aban (Aby)
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
Dave
Aug 16, 2008 Dave rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dave by: Sarah Payok
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...more
Ape
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...more
Erin Germain
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
Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)
Reread March 24, 2013.

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

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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...more
Skyring
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...more
Dominic
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'...more
Cherie
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...more
Jennifer
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
Allegra Hailey Green
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
Yulia
A visually stunning book for anyone who cares about the art of books or has a soft-spot for snail mail. I look back on this with nostalgia, not necessarily because the story was profound, but because I'm in awe that I was ever able to read it (literally, as my eyes would never let me do so today). I have to wonder, is there a large-print version available? An audio recording? What would a Braille version of this be like?

I'm reminded of the haunting Twilight Zone episode (mentioned in a Constant...more
Rachel Ann Brickner
A beautifully illustrated correspondence, but I have to say that overall I was disappointed with this little book. I guessed how it would end only a few pages in and I was disappointed when my expectations were suddenly met. I was hoping that Bantock would subvert my early expectations so that the correspondence between Griffin and Sabine would be more interesting. However, Bantock doesn't take the time to do this. Instead the intimacy between the characters is rushed and Bantock's premise for t...more
Eyehavenofilter
I first came across these books a long time ago , and fell in love with them. The first one is a little bit wired, a little bit beautiful, a little bit mysterious. Postcards, notes, letters, etc. from someone... lush and conceptually, way ahead of their time. Cryptic in nature, yet all created with obviously a loving hand. It would have made me fall in love at that time. But now I'd think...." Stalker" or maybe "serial killer?"
Anyway, I still think that these are ground breaking in their style...more
Joyce McCombs
I love interactive books and this one is number one on my FABULOUS list. The entire series is brilliant, but this first book simply lifts you into a new realm of possibilities and ideas. Reading someone elses mail is a cultural taboo, and Bantock forces you to confront your fears about it - you have to actually open envelopes and decipher handwriting to read the book. I was uneasy at first (which made me laugh.. it's FICTION) then I was totally hooked. His artwork is mind boggling and the story...more
Robert Zimmermann
Such an interesting books. It's a collection of postcards and letters between two artist, who are thousands of miles apart, and share a very unique link. I found the combination of artwork and correspondence that tells the story fascinating. I've never run into a book like this before and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It's a story that seems to need the book 2 (and I'm confident to say, needs the book 3 as well) to fully appreciate the creativity of this author. I look forward to getting to those and...more
Emmypeaches
I had high expectations for this book as I'd read the reviews and I love books that are a little different. The book itself is a gorgeous item with lovely illustrations and the act of pulling out the letters to read is exciting, almost as if you're the first person to discover a scrapbook full of someone's memories.

What let me down is a few points - most of the pages are just printed; one side the 'front' of the postcard and the other side is the back with the writing on. Only the actual letters...more
Jay McCue
"In another dimension
With voyeuristic intentions
Well secluded, I see all..."


These words above from Rocky Horror Picture Show also do a good job in summing up some of the charm of this book. I really loved the format because by opening envelopes and pulling out letters, it really gives the reader a sense of exploring something private and special. It made the communication that much more titillating and drove the story forward. It also stops abruptly which makes the reader want to rush and contin...more
Elizabeth A
My library had a book sale today, so I came home with a large bag of random books. This is one of the gems in the pile. This wonderful visual novel unfolds in a series of postcards and letters, and the art is wonderful. This slim volume is the first in a trilogy, and I have already ordered up the next two books. If you are person who loves tactile books and misses getting postcards and letters in the mail, I would recommend you spend some time with this delightful book.
Tam
This is a wonderful short book that anyone could finish reading in one sitting. Although it was short, it had all the elements to a good romance and mystery, and the end had left me yearning for more. The illustrations and the words were magical, and for the cherry on top, the book had actual letters that I pulled out from addressed envelops to read, giving me the excited sensation of reading someone else's private letters.
Dare
These books were such a different experience. It was almost like rifling through someone's mail. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if I was going to get caught.
The story of the mysterious correspondence between Griffin and Sabine is fascinating and punctuated with the amazing artwork of Nick Bantock.
A must read for story lovers and art lovers alike.
Jamie
Sep 27, 2013 Jamie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jamie by: Elizabeth A
Oh my god. Elizabeth gets a trillion brownie points for recommending this to me! Did Nick Bantock think of me and then write this amazing book? For anyone who loves visual art, mail art, and love stories with a twist, this will hook you right away. I've already recommended it to two other people and have the next two in the series on order at the library.
Lyn
Although it's been many years, I remember being very moved by this book. The interesting way it's put together helps, of course. An epistolary book that contains the actual letters is fun to read. Who isn't tempted to read other people's mail? And the characters are interesting and sweet. A great book to leave out in your living room and share with friends.
Cathy
Jan 29, 2014 Cathy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes art and love
I love these illustrated books. Though this book seems like a children's book, with its illustrated postcards and envelopes containing actual letters, it is a very adult story. A correspondence begins between the mysterious stamp-designer Sabine, in the South Pacific, and Griffin, a postcard designer in London. Sabine has experienced visions her whole life of Griffin drawing his illustrations; she has even seen the things he erased from the drawings, which no one should know about but himself. S...more
Casey
I very much enjoy experimental narrative forms like this, which is why I picked up this book after having heard about it some time ago. It is a quick, atmospheric read, and it took to the very end, but it lingered for a time after I read it. The ending stays with you.
Kartik
One of the most innovative and fascinating books - if you love to travel and think of connecting to people from far off lands, this fictional tale and art work is just incredible. Check it out! And all three books in the set are in fact really good.
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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...
Sabine's Notebook (Griffin & Sabine Trilogy #2) The Golden Mean (Griffin & Sabine Trilogy #3) The Gryphon: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Is Rediscovered (Morning Star Trilogy, #1) The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy Alexandria: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Unfolds (Morning Star Trilogy, #2)

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“Pain and beauty, our constant bedfellows” 19 likes
“Foolish man. You cannot turn me into a phantom because you are frightened. You do not dismiss a muse at whim. - Sabine Strohem” 6 likes
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