Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Griffin & Sabine (Griffin & Sabine #1)” as Want to Read:
Griffin & Sabine (Griffin & Sabine #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Griffin & Sabine

(Griffin & Sabine #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  63,127 ratings  ·  1,493 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 Edition, 46 pages
Published 2001 by Raincoast Books (first published 1991)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Griffin & Sabine, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lolo S. There are vague written references to sexuality, and to nudity, and to erotic artwork. Nothing graphic. All of the pictures in the book would be appro…moreThere are vague written references to sexuality, and to nudity, and to erotic artwork. Nothing graphic. All of the pictures in the book would be appropriate for young children.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  63,127 ratings  ·  1,493 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Griffin & Sabine (Griffin & Sabine #1)
Nicholas Sparks
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This isn't a novel; in fact, it's a book that can probably be read by most people in less than an hour. It is more of an artistic expression of both love and desire in written form, as explored via a mysterious correspondence, in which the reader can participate. ...more
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pain and beauty, our constant bedfellows.

I have a huge soft spot for art that incorporates the audience in the work, or where the act of viewing becomes part of the overall performance. Nick Bantock’s Griffin and Sabine is a stunning and provocative multimedia literary performance with an epistolary narrative enhanced through Bantock’s engaging artwork. Artist Giffin receives a postcard in the mail one day from a woman he has never met, telling him details of his art nobody should be able to k
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe the illustrations alone are worth ten (10) stars. However, the story is a bit weird.

This is a story told through a series of correspondence. A young woman on an island in the South Pacific starts by sending a postcard to a young man in London. Based on the postcards and letters exchanged both are very talented artists. Sabine sometime gets visions or dreams of the illustrations by Griffin as he works on them. She writes him about things that no one should know except him. They develop
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-reads, 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
Dec 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I have read this beautiful trilogy of books many times since it was first published in 1991. A friend in college had kindly gifted the set to me, perhaps knowing how much I would treasure them.

"Griffin and Sabine" is the story of an unusual love affair between two artists. If you haven't read this charming series, I won't spoil any details, but they fall in love while writing letters back and forth. Each page of the book is a treasure, with notes sometimes tucked in envelopes, and incredible ar
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it

I first read this book nearly 28 years ago. I was then teaching English to high school seniors, a challenging job but one I loved. So many eighteen year-olds are tough on the outside, getting ready to fly the nest and finally live what they called “real life,” meaning life where they no longer live with their parents, at least ten months of the year. But this book reminded me again and again that so many who seem on the outside so independent and ready to move on, are tender and fragile on th
Jae Robinson
Jun 14, 2008 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
May 19, 2016 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
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
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
Intisar Khanani
Apr 18, 2015 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
Timothy Urgest
Remember to be gentle with yourself.

A postmodern, interactive, epistolary exploration of self.

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
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First epistolary series I ever saw or read. I LOVED these books. They were magical. The envelopes actually have STAMPS on them!!!
Hannah Greendale
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Click here to watch a video featuring this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Nick Bantock entwines mystery and art in this subtly sensual correspondence between two intriguing characters.
Sara the Librarian
The timeless story of a boy and girl meeting and falling in love is given a bit of a new twist with this rather remarkable series of novella's. Our lovebirds "meet" through letters and postcards (which the reader must physically remove from envelopes to read) and one of them may or may not be real.

I first read this series years ago and certainly admired Nick Bantock's literary cajones if nothing else. Older and slightly wiser me is appreciating them now on what I will obnoxiously call a slightly
Elizabeth Jorgensen
Nov 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I love to share this book with my high school creative writing students as a way to inspire them to think about form in writing.

Then, I encourage them to write their own postcards:

· Postcards to people from your past
o To a close friend
o To a favorite teacher
o To a former enemy
o Your choice

· Postcards to nature
o To a tree
o To winter
o To an animal

· Situational postcards
o Imagine you only had a short time to live. You are permitted to write one last postcard.
o You have been granted one wish but yo
Aug 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Told through epistolary exchanges between Griffin (a solitary artist in London) and Sabine (a mysterious woman from a tropical island), each correspondence is full of art, creativity and inner sentiments. We get a glimpse into the persona that is Griffin and Sabine.

This was tad bit too short and definitely much too enigmatic not to pick the next one up. Now, I just need to start my search for a copy...
wowser look at this for fun!

And I don't know who sent it - drop me a line if you are that angel!

dedication: For Kim Kasasian

ETA Overbylass was the gifting angel - thank you very much
Aug 06, 2007 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.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Griffin & Sabine. A postcard arrives. A reply is sent. Another postcard. And so a friendship is formed. Through letters.

I read this when it was first published (1991?) and now I've read it again. It struck me this as a delightfully novel story, and I find that to be true today.

I wonder if the sequels are at the library. I think I need to look for them.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A truly delicious little book to close out my year of reading. Beautifully illustrated and a touching story featuring an unlikely friendship via correspondence.
Aug 19, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I bought this after someone compared it to The Lake House (2006) and finally got around to reading it and it's fantastic! Such a beautiful book. There's such a specific joy that stems from enjoying a book's physicality—the details in each postcard, the specificity of Sabine's handwriting and Griffin's typing, the act of pulling out letters from their envelope to read them... It feels like magic. ...more
Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
I can't quite articulate what I liked so much about this book. I love letters and mail, stories and stationery, so that probably explains it. What a lovely graphic novel. ...more
Aban (Aby)
Sep 18, 2010 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
Jan 12, 2012 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
Mar 22, 2012 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'
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives (PostSecret)
  • Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography
  • Ways of Seeing
  • An Object of Beauty
  • Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature
  • The Story of Art
  • Just My Type: A Book about Fonts
  • The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss
  • The Gashlycrumb Tinies (The Vinegar Works, #1)
  • The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt
  • Clara and Mr. Tiffany
  • The Natural Way to Draw
  • Faeries
  • The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)
  • Amphigorey (Amphigorey, #1)
  • The Lost Painting
  • Drawing from Memory
  • Anatomy for the Artist
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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 & 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 Weird ...more

Other books in the series

Griffin & Sabine (7 books)
  • Sabine's Notebook (Griffin & Sabine #2)
  • The Golden Mean (Griffin & Sabine #3)
  • The Gryphon: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Is Rediscovered (Morning Star Trilogy, #1)
  • Alexandria: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Unfolds (Morning Star Trilogy, #2)
  • The Morning Star: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine is Illuminated (Morning Star Trilogy, #3)
  • The Pharos Gate: Griffin  Sabine's Lost Correspondence (Griffin and Sabine Series, Chronicles of Griffin and Sabine)

News & Interviews

It’s hard to believe the year 2022 is already coming to an end. That went fast, didn’t it? Still, there’s just enough time to wedge in a...
44 likes · 9 comments
“Pain and beauty, our constant bedfellows” 39 likes
“Foolish man. You cannot turn me into a phantom because you are frightened. You do not dismiss a muse at whim. - Sabine Strohem” 22 likes
More quotes…