Postcard Love: Griffin and Sabine

Since I’ve never reviewed the Griffin and Sabine trilogy, I thought talking about the books would be perfect for a Postcard Love post. If you’re a book lover and you enjoy reading epistolary novels, then I have a feeling that Nick Bantock’s series is something that you’d really like. If you love both books AND postcards then you probably won’t be able to resist getting your own copies of these lovely books. Here’s the summary from Goodreads for some background information:

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 Griffin is painting when they have never met? Is she a long-lost twin? A clairvoyant? Or a malevolent angel? Are we witnessing the flowering of a magical relationship or a descent into madness?

I love the format of these books. They include beautifully illustrated postcards and letters inside actual envelopes so the reading experience is an interactive one. Let me show you what I mean through pictures. It starts with this postcard:

This is what you see when you turn the page:

And the next one:

Let’s move on to the letters in actual envelopes that I mentioned. This is how they look like:

Some other postcard designs that I loved:

Yes, I did become a little trigger happy in taking pictures for this post. All of these pictures are from the first book, Griffin and Sabine. Maybe I can take pictures of the sequels for another post. Anyway, I don’t want to reveal too much and ruin the reading experience for those who haven’t had a chance to go through these books. I hope the pictures that I posted give you enough of an idea of what’s inside. Have I made you curious enough to look for the books the next time you’re in a library or a bookstore? I really think they’re perfect for postcard-loving bookworms. Have you read the books in this series? Let me know what you think if you’ve read them!


32 thoughts on “Postcard Love: Griffin and Sabine

  1. I loved the Griffin and Sabine books. They are so lovely.

    I spent more than ten years trying to track down Sabine’s ink, and gave up. I mentioned it recently to a friend who glanced at it and said, “I think it might be this one” and put a bottle in my hand and it turned out to be exactly it.

  2. I’ve read Griffin and Sabine! I can’t remember how I found out about this book but it intrigued me enough to get it from the library. I remember really enjoying it πŸ™‚ Ahh, I think I may need to reread this one!

    • I first read the books when I was able to borrow copies from a family friend. I wanted to get my own copies right after that but they were a bit pricey so I had to wait a couple of years before I could buy the boxed set. Hope you get to reread the books soon. πŸ™‚

  3. This book reminds me of The Jolly Postman — it was about this postman (a given, considering the title) who delivered correspondences between fairy tale characters. Every other page had an envelope with the actual letters inside. If Griffin and Sabine is anywhere near as delightful a reading experience as that was, I’m definitely going to have to track it down.

    • And of course, my library has books two and three in the trilogy, but not one (though I’m surprised they had any of them, so I should be pleased).

    • Jenn, I made a Want Books post for The Jolly Postman! Thanks for the recommendation, I have a feeling it’s something that I’d really enjoy reading. Yes, I think it follows the same format as Griffin and Sabine so I hope you get to read Nick Bantock’s books soon. Sorry to hear that your library doesn’t have the first book.

      • I hope you get a chance to read The Jolly Postman, as it’s really a wonderful book (at least according to my fourth or fifth grade self). It’s one I’ll probably get my nieces and nephew for Christmas, now that I’ve remembered it exists and how much I enjoyed it myself.
        Oh, and were you the one who recommended Graffiti Moon to me? If so, I received my copy this week and I enjoyed it so much that I already read it a second time.

      • I wish I discovered The Jolly Postman when I was a kid, I think I would have loved it then. In any case, I have a feeling I’d still enjoy reading it now.

        Hmm I can’t remember if I was the one who recommended Graffiti Moon to you but I guess it’s a safe bet because that’s one of my favorite reads last year. Glad to know you enjoyed reading it! What edition did you read – the US or the Australian one? I heard that there were a lot of changes made in the US edition so I want to check that out.

    • Catie, they’re dangerous for me too! I’m just glad that you guys think the posts are interesting. πŸ˜› Yep, I stayed away from Etsy this time. Seriously, it’s a good thing I don’t have an account over there – I think I’d go bankrupt otherwise (or I won’t have money to buy books).

  4. I’m excited to find these AND I am seriously so, so happy that someone mentioned The Jolly Postman in the comments. I LOVED that book as a child and I’d forgotten about it πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to find a copy of that again. Chachic, I’ve never even heard of these but they look so beautiful and engaging.

    • So you already know that I want to read one of your favorite childhood books. πŸ˜› I just hope I can find a copy of it. Flann, I really think the Griffin and Sabine books are perfect for you. It’s something that every book+postcard lover will enjoy. (See Wendy’s comment below)

  5. I adore these books, Chachic–of COURSE you love them, too. πŸ™‚ I’m staring at my boxed set as I type this! I have given several sets as gifts, too. Loved leafing through them again through your post.

    PS I liked this series so much, I also got the audio book to accompany them–have you experienced that? It’s read by Marina Sirtis from Star Trek TNG! And the dude from Grease 2.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    • I have the boxed set as well! You know I bought my copy when I was in the States back in 2002? πŸ™‚ It later became available here in Manila when more specialty bookstores opened branches. Do you have copies of the second trilogy as well?

      I haven’t heard of the audio book! I should look it up, if only to hear a sample of the voices. I think the actual books are better because of all the illustrations and letters.

  6. Wow, how have I not heard of these? They look both lovely and fun to read. I wonder if any of my local libraries have a copy in the closed stack section? I bet they’re expensive.

    • I had a feeling you’d be interested in these, Holly. It combines two of your favorite things: books and art. πŸ™‚ Glad your local library has a copy of the first book, I hope you get to read it soon. What is the closed stack section, by the way? Books that you can’t take home with you?

  7. Pingback: Want Books: The Jolly Postman | Chachic's Book Nook

  8. Hi Chachic! You captured the Griffin and Sabine books beautifully πŸ™‚ I read them when I was a teen, around the time I started corresponding with my then future English father-in-law through snail mail (because of stamp-collecting). They were my first birthday present for him a decade later before I realised he didn’t even read fiction. He died last September but these books are some of my memories of him.

    I remember reading Bantock’s “The Venetian’s Wife” a few pages at a time at Powerbooks in Megamall in the early 00s. I finished it standing right next to the shelves. I thought it was also too dear I’d rather just read it whenever I visited the bookshop.

    Great blog, by the way!

    • I first read the books when I was a teen as well. Aww did your father-in-law ever read the books? I think they’re good books to read even for someone who doesn’t like fiction. I’m not a stamp collector but I like seeing nice stamps (like philatelic ones) in the postcards and letters that I send and receive, which is probably another reason why I like the Griffin and Sabine books.

      I haven’t read Bantock’s other books but maybe I should check them out. Like you said, his books are a bit expensive. Was The Venetian’s Wife good?

      • Hiya! I honestly don’t remember much of The Venetian’s Wife now. I do remember it dragged a little but obviously good enough so I’d keep coming back to it at the bookstore. Not as memorable as the Griffin and Sabine books. I think he’s one of those authors who used a formula that worked once for him and, at least for me, was a bit too much to feel in his other work again.

      • Thanks for the feedback! I don’t think I’ll be reading it anytime soon based on what you said. Or maybe I can just drop by the bookstore and sneak in some reading time like you did. πŸ˜›

  9. I read the U.S. version of Graffiti Moon. What sort of changes did you hear had been made from the Australian version to the U.S. version — just changes in the slang and terminology, or plot changes? I’d rather a publisher not make any changes when releasing a book in another country, as it’s nice to have the authentic experience, so to speak. If I’m confused as to what a word means, it’s not so hard to look it up on the internet.

    • You can read about the changes in the review over at The Readventurer. I thought it would be little things like just the terminology but looks like they did more than that. I agree! I think it’s better if publishers just keep the original form of the novels because it gives us a feel of what life is like in other parts of the world. We can always Google if something isn’t clear or ask fellow book bloggers.

      • Thanks for that link. Goodness, I didn’t think there would be that many major changes made. Maybe Ms. Crowley wasn’t quite satisfied with what she had put out in Australia, so she saw this as her opportunity to make her book just as she wanted it. Now I really want to get my hands on an Australian copy to see these changes for myself (plus, it has a cool cover). Fishpond is going to be the death of my bank account, I swear.

      • Maybe? I really don’t know why they made so many changes when the book was published in the US. I like that I read the Aussie edition (love the cover for that) but now I’m curious about the US one. LOL I know, I still haven’t signed up for Fishpond but I keep asking my friend who’s based in Australia to buy books for me whenever he goes back here for a vacation.

      • Unfortunately, most of these changes have nothing to do with authors. I think it all has to do with marketing, the way they change the books covers (that issue about Justine Larbalestier’s Liar for example) and “localise” books as probably they think they would sell more if the readers identify with them. I know that publishers need to make money but they should also appreciate the fact that readers are not daft.

        Now I’m also interested to read Graffiti moon πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for dropping by to comment on my post, Debra! Wow, it must be a lot of fun to work with postcards. I’ll check out the links that you posted, they look interesting.

  10. Pingback: Interesting explorations into the printed book | Framework 21

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