Saturday, 16 November 2013

V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Title: V For Vendetta
Author: Alan Moore
Illustrator: David Lloyd
Publisher: Vertigo
Released: March 1982
Pages: 296 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
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"Good evening, London." It's nine o'clock and this is The Voice of Fate... It is the Fifth of the Eleventh, Nineteen-Ninety-Seven...

"The people of London are advised that the Brixton and Streatham areas are quarantine zones as of today. It is suggested that these areas be avoided for reasons of health and safety...

Police raided seventeen homes in the Birmingham area early this morning, uncovering what is believed to be a major terrorist ring. Twenty people, either of them women, are currently in detention awaiting trial...

The weather will be fine until 12:07 A.M. when a shower will commence, lasting until 1:30 A.M... 

Have a pleasant evening."

A frightening and powerful tale of the loss of freedom and identity in a chillingly believable totalitarian world, V for Vendetta stands as one of the highest achievements of the comics medium and a defining work for creators Alan Moore and David Lloyd.

Set in an imagined future England that has given itself over to fascism, this groundbreaking story captures both the suffocating nature of life in an authoritarian police state and the redemptive power of the human spirit which rebels against it. Crafted with sterling clarity and intelligence, V for Vendetta brings an unequaled depth of characterization and verisimilitude to its unflinching account of oppression and resistance.

"Remember, remember the fifth of November..."

V For Vendetta is my favourite film, full stop. Books have always had the ability to make me cry easier than films, yet somehow V makes me bawl like a baby every single time. So imagine what I was like when I found out that it was originally adapted from a DC graphic novel (and that my best friend conveniently had a copy of it) To be honest, both the novel and the film are equally amazing, and I must say that it is possibly one of the most accurate film adaptations ever.

The novel is set in a dystopian London where the whole of the country is constantly watched and controlled by the government. Despite the unfairness, no one really rebels - that is, until codename V appears. An extremist, a visionary; V sets in motion a series of events that will domino effect the whole of society and it's way of thinking.

V is an amazing character. He and everything he does is a complete mystery - his irrationality is somehow made rational, his crazy notions somehow made to make sense. He is one of the most complicated and unrealistic yet totally believable characters ever thought up. Maybe I find him believable because I want him to be real - but come on, who doesn't want a mysterious, almost-psychopath to be real?

What I really liked about the plot was that it was so well thought-out. It is originality at its best, and if I hadn't seen the film before reading this, I'd easily give it  five stars. However - brace yourselves, folks - I do think the film managed to do it better. In the graphic novel, the intricacy and power of the plot is slightly lost between the mass of backstories, whereas in the film, the main idea is clear. I also got confused by the sheer amount of different people in the book! Mr Creedy, Mr Susan, Mr Finch, Mr my mind, they were all Mr Not V. However, V's backstory was done much better in the graphic, as it amplified the sheer destruction he went through as a test subject, explaining his meaning and motivation.

I think if you love the film, then you've got to read the graphic. However, if you haven't watched the film or read the book, then I think I'd advise to watch the film. Whilst the graphic is good, the film just boosts the awesomeness to a whole new level - and Hugo Weaving is in it, which is just a massive bonus!
Rating: 4/5

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