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Grandville (Grandville #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  1,246 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
In Grandville, the first volume in the series, Talbot brings us a steampunk masterpiece. IIt tells the story of detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard as he stalks a gang of murderers through the heart of Belle Epoque Paris. In this alternative reality France is the major world power and its capital throngs with steam-driven hansom cabs, automatons and flying machine ...more
Hardcover, 99 pages
Published October 15th 2009 by Jonathan Cape (first published October 6th 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan Philipzig
Well, this was one gorgeous-looking mess. Combining alternative history with steampunk, the world of Grandville features humanoids with various animal heads, a few servants who look like Tintin, robots, steam-powered carriages, airships, Tarantino-esque violence, countless literary references, and a political conspiracy that echoes 9-11 and the so-called War on Terror. Some of these ingredients actually serve the plot, but most are just designed to look pretty - which they do, as Bryan Talbot's ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, graphic
You'd think an action-packed alt-history graphic novel that referenced, among other things I grew up with, Weird Al, Princess Bride, and Tintin would be something I would love, but in fact it was only ok. Fun, but that's all. I might have liked it better without the pop cultural references, in fact, because they were all so damned obvious. I mean, if a person knows one line from UHF it will most likely be the "I don't need no stinkin' badgers" one, right?

Actually that pretty much sums up my fee
Jul 16, 2014 Whitaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Times Online: In a twisty, gripping plot, mined with deep danger, LeBrock uncovers a nasty conspiracy in high places. The contemporary political resonances are sharp and pointed: as an amoral arms dealer remarks, “An empire needs to be at war ... it’s its engine, its driving force ... and ... we need Britain’s oil”. It’s a playful, allusive book in which there’s a witty touch or deliciously knowing in-joke on almost every page: the French press whipping up Anglophobia; LeBrock’s Holmes-like unpa ...more
Sam Quixote
Sep 19, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Grandville" is the name of the French city where two detectives go to investigate the murder of a British Ambassador. They dodge street gangs, save a damsel in distress, uncover yet more murders while picking up clues, and avoid being corpses themselves. In short, your usual detective story.

What makes this so much more than average is the stunning artwork Talbot's created. Motorised carriages, robots, airships, antiquated yet futuristic weaponry, panoramic views of Victorian streets populated
Apr 28, 2015 Ari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this. Some Tarantino references were a bit pointless, but there was also some really hilarious. For example reference to Tintin's Milou dog really dropped me to the floor. I read this in Finnish and I hope that the following episodes will be published also. Relax and have fun with this. Excellent way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Apr 30, 2015 Greatkithain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I love the political plots and the star character. LeBrock is similar to Sherlock Holmes but more human (what an irony since LeBrock is a badger.
Artur Coelho
Apr 01, 2013 Artur Coelho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uma intrigante ucronia que mistura o antropomorfismo com a estética steampunk. Dois séculos após a capitulação perante Napoleão a Inglaterra recupera a sua independência como república popular socialista, mas será sempre o alvo favorito dos ódios oficiais do todo-poderoso império francês. A investigação da morte violenta de um obscuro funcionário da embaixada inglesa leva um inspector da Scotland Yard a atravessar de comboio a ponte que une as ilhas britânicas ao continente. É em Grandville, cap ...more
Mar 15, 2015 Helmut rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Schon wieder Paris...
In letzter Zeit spielen viele der Comics, die ich lese, in Paris. Das ist interessant, weil man dadurch die verschiedenen Schlaglichter, die Szenario, Bilder und Atmosphäre auf eine Stadt werfen, schön vergleichen kann. Doch außer der Prämisse, dass Napoleon damals den Krieg gegen Europa und England gewonnen hat, wird in "Grandville" trotz des Namens kaum etwas über Paris an sich gesagt, was etwas schade ist: es dient nur als flache Kulisse ohne Tiefe.

Mir kommt die hier erzä
Full-color steampunk graphic novel.
Alternate history where France won the Napoleonic war, so that Britain only won it's independence recently in an anarchist revolution and is now a socialist state.
Sherlock Holmes-style character who solves a mystery involving a government conspiracy.
Tarantino-style violence.
Cameo appearance by Snowy, Tintin's dog.
9/11 allegory.
And every character, besides a few minor servants, have animal heads. Great and famous works of art appear in the background of several
Jan 16, 2011 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic
I love this book. Ok its not your normal book to read but there are times when you find something just so totally different and amazing you just cannot read enough of it (you get to the end hoping here is another chapter or a sequel out there). I was aware of the author from my Uni days when as part of the unofficial reading list of my friends "The Adventures of Luther Arkwright" was required reading. The story is face paced and unpredictable, while the penmanship and artwork is fascinating (alw ...more
David Schaafsma
In comparing it to Blacksad, it feels to me like it pales in comparison. This is a steampunk story with many sources he names, like Sherlock Holmes and Tintin and many others he pays tribe to, but the art that others so highly praise, I didn't like so much. Maybe because I just made a run though a lot of sketchy style books like Over Easy by Mimi Pond, Mind Mgmt by Matt Kindt, others that feel more real, that I like better… but Blacksad also has this slicker fantasy feel to it.. I just think it' ...more
Feb 14, 2016 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What Blacksad attempts with noir, Grandville attempts with Sherlock Holmes. While not quite as successful as the former, this is still a fun book and I found the two main characters more enjoyable (perhaps because they rely so heavily on Holmes and Watson who I'm quite familiar with). There are apparently many references to other works, but with the exception of UHF I didn't catch them. The final twist would have perhaps played better as a reader-only reveal, but that is a small gripe. The art i ...more
Martine Bailey
I came across this when it was praised as a classic at a lecture on Steampunk at Manchester Festival of the Gothic. It’s a beautiful graphic novel, part Tintin, part Sherlock Holmes, part Tarantino with a wild premise – that animals rule the world and Napoleon won the war with England. Wit abounds amidst beautiful, humorous artwork recalling art nouveau, Rupert the Bear’s English village home, a glamorous animalistic Paris and plenty of steampunk gadgets and wizardry. The story itself is well cr ...more
Katie McGovern
Ugh. This book creeped me out in the way I DON'T like to be creeped out. All of the characters reminded me of Furries which might be your thing but it really, REALLY isn't mine. And it's not just because they're animals, it's the way they're illustrated and sexualized. And what a blatant 9-11 conspiracy allusion. I'm not super-patriotic or anything but it was sort of ridiculous. I was completely let down by the ending to this "mystery." Just not my cup of tea I suppose.
Aug 16, 2016 Lauri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Puhas kuld! Olin seda mingi 5 või 7 aastat tagasi lugenud (Nuxx vist laenas? Ops? Keegi?), mäletasin et oli hea aga ei mäletanud et lausa NIII hea. Aurupungi instant classic, võib julgelt vedada paralleele Erakorraliste Härrasmeeste Liigaga.
Ei siin pole muud, tuleb ka Grandville Mon Amour, Grandville Bête Noire ja Grandville: Nöel majja peksta...
Feb 08, 2013 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining espionage tale, weakened by ham-fisted 9/11 parallels, moral inconsistencies, and Truther-esque nonsense. It contains a terrific Tintin homage, however, and the art is pleasant, even if the colouring is a bit too digital-looking.
Jul 30, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is what graphic novels/comics are for, great story and excellent artwork with a brilliantly constructed world combining Steampunk and animal characters. Detective inspector Archie LeBrock is now one of my favourite characters and I will now read the next 2 in the series
Sep 25, 2010 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Felt like a lacklustre imitation of the sources it was playing homage to: Sherlock Holmes, Tintin, and especially Blacksad.
Dec 10, 2016 Nigel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
I've always been of the opinion that Bryan Talbot's Adventures Of Luther Arkwright edged out Alan Moore's Watchman as the great monumental comic of the eighties, for all that Arkwright was messy with underground new ave influences as opposed to the stunning, but sterile, formalism of Watchmen. Anyway, Talbot's on my pantheon of greats, and I've been looking forward to trying out his Grandville series, combining as it does, according to the blurb, Conan Doyle, Rubert The Bear and Quentin Tarantin ...more
Mikko Saari
Not bad. I'm not terribly fond of the style, but the story was good. Nice popular culture references and in-jokes, I particularly liked the poor old Snowy Milou. There is also a remarkable lack of need for stinking badgers.

Won't seek out later parts, but if I come across them, why not.
Dean Simons
Oct 20, 2016 Dean Simons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining romp. Suffers from occasional plot holes but overall this was a well delivered read from Mr Talbot. I particularly enjoyed the Easter eggs.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I like old-fashioned mystery and adventure stories, and I like graphic storytelling, so this quasi-steampunkish mystery caught my attention. The story takes place in a kind of alternate Victorian era which follows after the French conquer England in the Napoleonic Wars and England eventually wins a meager liberation following a campaign of terror (roughly akin to the Algerian war of independence). The story revolves around a murder that has connections to the relations between England and France ...more
Dec 23, 2013 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like to start by mentioning the cover of pretty books. Unusually for me this time I’m going to talk about the feel of a book. It is in a standard size graphic novel format but it feels like an old hardback book. The cover art is then embossed on to this to complete a piece of tactile heaven. It took me a couple of minutes before I managed to tear myself away and open the book. That’s when the artistry really starts. From the simple and evocative cover you go open the book and find an inside co ...more
Nov 08, 2013 Jani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grandville starts well from the visual point of view. The very first page is filled by a single beautifully drawn view of the Eiffel Tower surrounded by steamtrains, zeppelins and pipeworks. It both sets the style, the main location, and the genre; steampunk. While the following chase still as pleasant to watch and establishes that the world is inhabited by animals dressing and moving like humans, it is perhaps a slightly cliched start which in retrospect refers to the main problem of the graphi ...more
Matti Karjalainen
Englantilaisen Bryan Talbotin sarjakuvat eivät liene näillä tantereilla järin tunnettuja, vaikka joskus vuosituhannen taitteessa ilmestyikin suomeksi insestistä toipumista kuvannut ""Tuhman rotan tarina"". Se on sääli, sillä miehen lahjat ovat kiistattomat - sen todistaa omalta osaltaan myös vaihtoehtohistoriaa, cyberpunkkia ja rikostarinaa yhdistelevä albumi "Grandville" (Jonathan Cape, 2009).

Sarjakuvan lähtöasetelma on mielenkiintoinen. Napoleonin sodissa tappion kärsinyt Englanti on itsenäist
Jul 11, 2010 E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes steampunk and/or British mysteries.
This is a clever, self-contained graphic novel, a steampunk mystery rife with references to external works and events including Sherlock Holmes, Tin-Tin, 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and all things noir. Above all, it's fast-paced, entertaining and well-illustrated.

Grandville is set in a world of automatons, airships, and bowler hats, where sentient life has evolved into various animals (essentially humans with animal heads). Humans exist as no-class citizens (they aren't legally reco
May 09, 2013 Raj rated it it was amazing
Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard is investigating the death of a diplomat, a mystery that takes him to Paris, known as Grandville, the greatest city in the world, and what he finds could shake the French empire to the core.

I loved this steampunk alt-history with anthropomorphic animals. The basic back-story is that Britain lost the Napoleonic wars and became part of the French empire for 200 years. But about 20 years ago, following a campaign of guerilla warfare and civil disobedienc
David Edmonds
Apr 02, 2011 David Edmonds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
In a world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals and where France wins the Napoleonic War, Britain falls under French rule until after decades of civil unrest, Britain frees itself from France and becomes the Socialist Republic of Britain. After the murder of a British diplomat that is made to look like a suicide, Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard and his assistant Detective Ratzi go on a mission to discover the real culprit and uncover a conspiracy that lies far deeper in the French g ...more
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Talbot began his comics work in the underground comix scene of the late 1960s. In 1969 his first work appeared as illustrations in Mallorn, the British Tolkien Society magazine, followed in 1972 by a weekly strip in his college newspaper.

He continued in the scene after leaving college, producing Brainstorm Comix, the first three of which formed The Chester P. Hackenbush Trilogy (a character rework
More about Bryan Talbot...

Other Books in the Series

Grandville (4 books)
  • Grandville Mon Amour (Grandville #2)
  • Grandville Bête Noire (Grandville #3)
  • Grandville Noël (Grandville, #4)

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“Listen, boy, just ask the chef to make me a proper Full English Breakfast.
You know, bacon, fried eggs, sausages, liver, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes, black pudding, kidneys, baked beans, fried bread, toast and served with strong English mustard, mind - none of this effete French muck - and a large mug of hot, strong Indian tea.”
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