This was supposed to be bedside reading. Bad idea. Couldn't put it down soon as I got about a third into the book. But then, I should have realized that Nick Bantock just doesn't offer you a visual feast but also regale you with an intriguing tale.
The first time I came across Nick Bantock's name was when a friend got a copy of Griffin and Sabine, the bestselling epistolary novel as reinvented by the author. This was way back in 1991. I was blown away by the artwork, with the story literally unfolding as the reader goes through page after page of postcards and letters tucked in their envelopes. And it was no gimmick, too, as the "exotic" imagery of the postcards and letters fit neatly into the mysterious correspondence between the characters.
While The Venetian's Wife (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1996) involves less reader interactivity -- with the catalogs and other artwork neatly incorporated into regular pages -- it is no less the visual treat and compelling novel.
You should get yourself a copy as I'm not giving any spoilers.
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