Title: Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence
Author: Nick Bantock
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Genre: Graphic Book
Source: Personal Copy
I remember being introduced to “Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence” by Nick Bantock, way back in 2000 by a colleague at Crossword Book Store at Mahalaxmi (I worked there part-time for a bit) and I cannot thank her enough for the recommendation. Since then I have read two trilogies of Griffin and Sabine and can never get enough of these books. This is the first time after ages I decided to revisit them and here I was at the start of the year, with my second read: “Griffin & Sabine”.
It will be very difficult for me to review this book. Not because it was a difficult read, but because it always manages to shake me up. It manages to leave me breathless – in its writing and through its images. Yes, it is a sort of a graphic novel and at the same time, it is so much more. “Griffin & Sabine” as the title suggests is about two people – Griffin, a postcard artist in London and Sabine, a stamp designer in a small Pacific island.
They are lovers. They have never met. They correspond through letters and postcards. There is however one more detail to it, concerning Sabine which I will not disclose through the review. I would urge you to read the book and find that out. Lovers love, irrespective of distances, they do and this is one element of the first trilogy. After reading the first book, you would want to go out and read all of them. That is one thing I can guarantee for sure.
Bantock makes the reader/s believe in love that surpasses time and transcends the thought process of the “email” generation and takes it back to letter writing. The structure of the book in itself is unique. One can see the beautiful images and open the letters from the envelopes and read them. The first time I read the book, I almost felt like I was eavesdropping or sneaking on someone else’s life.
The grand illusion of love is forever present in the book and one can see it – in the colours, in the words and sense it through the emotions of both characters and yet there is also hopefulness which propels the reader, through the book and sometimes life. The book is like love waves crashing against the rocks, knowing that someday something will come out of it. The day I finished reading this book, I recommended it to so many people. I just had to; because I knew that everyone can connect with the book. It is but after all trying to define love, to mould it and to feel it. So do yourself a favour and read this. You just have to.
You can also know more about the series and Bantock’s other books here: