The Corset & the Jellyfish: A Conundrum of Drabbles

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Pub Date 07 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 26 Jan 2024

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Description

[STARRED REVIEW] “Readers will find themselves delighted, intrigued, and often moved by the love, pain, and wonder of these finely written drabbles . . . thoroughly extraordinary.”
Kirkus

The internationally bestselling author of Griffin & Sabine returns with his newest literary mystery—a charming assemblage of his own illustrated stories. Each of the invitingly strange tales is paired with its own glyphic creature (perhaps created by Sabine herself).

Little is known of the fascinating manuscript that Nick Bantock has come to possess. It was discovered in an attic in North London, stuffed into a battered cardboard box, and unceremoniously delivered directly to Nick’s doorstep. Inside the package lay one hundred evocatively absurd stories, one hundred humorous drawings of strangely familiar, quirkish glyphs, plus a cryptically poetic note signed only as “HH.” (Possibly the well-known, eccentric billionaire, Hamilton Hasp?)

In these stories-each consisting of precisely 100 words-strange creatures slip through alleyways, and eerie streets swallow people whole. Taken altogether, they may constitute a puzzle that no one has been able to solve thus far. Could there even be one missing story?

For those perceptive readers with a curious mind, the celebrated author of Griffin & Sabine cordially invites you to find your own path through his beguiling conundrum of drabbles—or even to contribute one of your very own.

[STARRED REVIEW] “Readers will find themselves delighted, intrigued, and often moved by the love, pain, and wonder of these finely written drabbles . . . thoroughly extraordinary.”
Kirkus

The...


A Note From the Publisher

Nick Bantock has authored thirty books, including the internationally bestselling Griffin and Sabine series. His works have been translated into thirteen languages. and over five million copies have been sold worldwide. Bantock has worked in a betting shop in the East End of London; trained as a psychotherapist; and designed a house that combined an Indonesian temple, an English cricket pavilion and a New Orleans bordello. He was also one of the twelve committee members responsible for selecting Canada’s postage stamps. Among the things Bantock can’t do: he can’t swim; has never ridden a horse; his spelling is dreadful; and his singing voice is flat as a pancake. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Nick Bantock has authored thirty books, including the internationally bestselling Griffin and Sabine series. His works have been translated into thirteen languages. and over five million copies have...


Advance Praise

Kirkus 20 SFF Novels That Will Blow Your Mind

[STARRED REVIEW] “Readers will find themselves delighted, intrigued, and often moved by the love, pain, and wonder of these finely written drabbles . . . thoroughly extraordinary.”
Kirkus

“Bantock (Griffin and Sabine) offers a whimsical collection doubling as a literary puzzle. A color illustration accompanies each of the one-page tales or ‘drabbles,’ beginning with the surreal title story about a woman trying on lingerie in a dressing room, where a jellyfish inexplicably shows up and tattoos a pair of circles on her arm and thigh. Often the stories draw on mythology or poetry. For example, ‘Pangur Ban’ derives from a ninth-century Irish poem about a monk and his cat. In ‘A Cruel Contest,’ a girl offers to bed the first of three brothers who can manage to leap over the guardrail atop a tall building. In a playful introduction, Bantock claims he found the drabbles in a mysterious manuscript that might have been written by a ‘reclusive billionaire’ named Hamilton Hasp (the central figure in his puzzle book The Egyptian Jukebox). Though some readers will likely find the puzzle element a head-scratcher, Bantock’s fans will appreciate his fresh stylistic approach. This beguiles.”
—Publishers Weekly

“A tapestry of exquisite miniatures, the kind of stories you might hear told in one of Calvino’s invisible cities. Microfictions are seldom this inventive or persistently pleasurable.”
—John Coulthart, World Fantasy Award-winning graphic artist, illustrator, author, and designer

“I have always been fascinated by artists who manage to invent imaginary creatures and worlds, and Nick Bantock does it with extreme elegance and a unique freshness of sign, managing to combine cave paintings with Flemish art in a contemporary key.”
—Daniele Serra, three-time winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Artist

“100 Stories. 100 words each. 100% captivating. In The Corset & The Jellyfish, Nick Bantock weaves tales that are wholly fantastical and yet absolutely believable. Talking lampposts, bottled angels, and dancing dice are just a few of the magical characters that you will meet along the way. Accompanied by 100 illustrations that are equally mysterious, be ready for a journey to places far beyond your imagination.”
—Seth Apter, author of The Mixed Media Artist

“The Corset & The Jellyfish recalls a Grimm’s fairytale crossed with a Salvador Dali painting.”
Literary Review of Canada

“This book is an excellent example of just how powerful so few words can be.”
—The Book Lovers Boudoir

“[Bantock’s] Griffin and Sabine books told entirely through correspondence mesmerized me so I was thrilled to see he had come up with a new, intriguing format. Each drabble is exactly 100 words and is paired with a drawing. It is up to the reader to solve the mystery of how they are connected. How can you not be fascinated by a story that starts, ‘During the night the cat and the clock traded identities.’”
Musing

“Bantock’s illustrated, epistolary novel Griffin and Sabine was an international sensation. His latest book, The Corset & the Jellyfish, recaptures all of its idiosyncratic charm. . . . Complete with whimsical illustrations, The Corset & the Jellyfish is a unique and magical curio to get lost in.”
NUVO





Kirkus 20 SFF Novels That Will Blow Your Mind

[STARRED REVIEW] “Readers will find themselves delighted, intrigued, and often moved by the love, pain, and wonder of these finely written drabbles...


Marketing Plan

  • National marketing plan to include prepublication endorsements including targeting reviews and interviews to include NPR, the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Review of Science Fiction, Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicl
  • Author tour to include U.S. and Canadian author appearances and readings
  • Online features to include book launch, Instagram tour , blog tour, and author and publisher social media campaign
  • Print and digital ARC distribution via Goodreads, NetGalley, and Edelweiss+
  • Planned book giveaways on Goodreads, Storygraph, and other online outlets
  • National marketing plan to include prepublication endorsements including targeting reviews and interviews to include NPR, the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Review of Science Fiction...

Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781616964078
PRICE $21.95 (USD)
PAGES 220

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 15 members


Featured Reviews

This delightful and imaginative book is perfect for lovers of language and whimsy. Fans of Griffin & Sabine will be thrilled to have something new from Bantock to read and relish. Highly recommended. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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An absolutely fun read, Bantock seems to be having fun with words and then found a publisher daring enough to work with, legend.

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I would define this as an exercise in style and creativity. Very short story and a drawing. Each story made me wish I could learn more about the world and the character.
It's an unusual and great read that I strongly recommend.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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This book has me utterly entranced for four main reasons;

1. Wordplay: A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words

2. The efforts taken by the author and publisher to match the stories and icons must have taken a lot of time, and coffee. The stories and icons are so deliciously random and convoluted that there is a temptation to break each icon down to its constituent parts to try and find patterns that will allow them to be used in different combinations, making this book delightfully meditative. This may be an intention reminiscent of the era in which the author surmises that the stories were written (1960s/ 1970s)

3. The back story: It's so nice to place the endeavour in space and time, and give it a new lease of life decades later (I will not spoil the backstory as that sets the reader up for the book)

4. The Artwork: It is a delightful mix of psychedelia and cave painting/ chalk hill figure styles, perhaps drawn in ink and watercolour and I found myself turning the page and thinking of my own alternative drabbles

This is a book that is multi-faceted and you see something new every time. It is a pleasure to get lost in the stories and familiarise yourself with the images. Beautifully done

This glorious book was gratefully received from NetGalley and I leave my review voluntarily

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