postcard & mysterious message to draw you in as it draws the recipient Griffin
Moss into a correspondence with Sabine Strohem that spans three wonderful & magical
books written & illustrated by Nick Bantock. The first of the trilogy, simply
titled Griffin & Sabine was published in 1991 & has gone onto to sell over a million
copies as have the other instalments, Sabine's Notebook & The Golden Mean, maybe
proving there's more of a voyeuristic streak in us then many people would care
captivated, I opened the package from Chicago, & just flicking through the pages
& seeing the stunning range of illustrations I knew I'd been sent the perfect
present. Every other page features one of these beautiful drawings, painting or
collages a mixture of surrealism, humour, darkness & confusion. Turn the page
to find the other side of these postcards & get immersed in the world(s) of the
British postcard artist & the illustrator on a small island in the south pacific
whose lives are linked in the most fantastic way. If that wasn't enough at regular
intervals instead of postcards you find envelopes & inside them letters to remove
from the book & read. Creating this real sense you are actually witnessing the
blossoming of absolute love & devotion or a descent into madness.
This is the
real twist in the story, does Sabine exist or is she a creation of Griffin's depression
& loneliness? If so how does he receive the cards & letters & if she does exist
how is it at one point she apparently stays in Griffin's house while he travels
the world but is unseen by his neighbours? The story makes as little or as much
sense as you make it I think, depending on your emotions the premise & even the
ending will have an interruption that maybe only you will reach & after you've
reread it all again & again & studied the pictures for vital clues you may dismiss
everything you previously thought.
Nick Bantock has produced a unique trilogy with these books, a story that works
as a work of art that holds unique meaning to each viewer/reader & a set of books
for adults which you can get almost childlike pleasure from as you turn each page
to discover the next surprise.
Griffin & Sabine - ISBN 0877017883
Sabine's Notebook - ISBN 0811801802 - All by Nick Bantock.
The Golden Mean - ISBN 0811802981