Wednesday 15 October 2008

Grandfield on Greene

Bristolian noir-enthusiast Geoff Grandfield is a talented artist whose illustrations have appeared here before, on the Folio edition of Joe Simpson's Touching the Void.

His woodcut-like illustrations, using angular shapes, fields of flat colour and dramatic shadows, decorate the Penguin Classics US editions of many of Graham Greene's books (or at least those not decorated by Brian Cronin).

He has also done similar covers for the Folio Society editions of Greene's novels.

What's more, he has provided numerous black and white interior illustrations for these Folio books, a sprinkling of which are shown here. I love them: they capture the murky, dangerous, noir-ish world of the "entertainments" (Greene's own description for his more thriller-y novels) beautifully. (Click for bigger versions.)

Next: more Grandfield work, this time for Raymond Chandler.


Levi Stahl said...

I love the way Grandfield adapts his style to the retro look expected of the Folio Society volumes; they look like the work of someone who has studied that period of book design so much that its style is almost second-nature.

JRSM said...

They do! They could easily be from some lost first editions from the 1930s and 1940s.

Steerforth said...

I went to a magistrates' meeting last week at Brighton Racecourse and we were reminded by the local Chief Constable that this was one of the places featured in 'Brighton Rock'.

He compared Greene's Brighton to today's and concluded that very little had changed, (although I'm not sure if the main character would have called himself Pinkie, given the city's thriving gay scene).

My favourite covers are still the orange Penguins, although some of the ones above are stunning.

JRSM said...

I actually recently watched the movie of 'Brighton Rock', and was very mpressed by the vividly seedy atmosphere of the city captured by the film (and the book, of course)--made me want to go back and re-read Patrick Hamilton's 'The West Pier', which Greene himself called the best Brighton novel.

Re the movie, I also liked seeing Doctor Who #1, William Hartnell, as a murderous gangster.

Steerforth said...

It's a great film. Richard Attenborough is genuinely menacing and it's great seeing Billy Hartnell in that role.

I'm off to Brighton in a couple of hours, to drink in a nice, seedy pub, tucked away in one of the lanes.