Saturday, June 06, 2009

Review: V for Vendetta

Title: V for Vendetta
Author: Alan Moore
Illustrator: David Lloyd
Genre: Graphic Novel, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Dystopia
Published: 1989
Pages: 288
Rating: 9 / 10
Challenges: Graphic Novels Challenge, A to Z Reading Challenge, 48 Hour Book Challenge

Synopsis (from the back cover):
A frightening and powerful story of the loss of freedom and identity in a totalitarian world. V for Vendetta is everything comics weren't supposed to be.

England Prevails.

My review: That last line is a quote from the book; it's a motto for the government figures. V is amazing book. I've had it sitting on my shelf for ages (I bought it shortly after meeting David Lloyd at Dragon*Con two years ago) and I can't believe I waited so long to actually sit down with it. Thank you, 48 hour book challenge!

The setting of V is an AU late-1990's London, in which the people are constantly monitored and recorded by the "Eyes" and "Ears" of their controlling government. They are also completely dependent on the "Voice" of the government, an hourly broadcast designed to keep the masses ignorant of what's really happening. It's very 1984, but darker. The character known only as "V" is a man with a troubled past who takes it upon himself to establish a new world order - anarchy and chaos, but with an opportunity for the people to think and choose for themselves. He is joined in his quest by Evey Hammond, a 16-year-old prostitute he saves from a police gang-rape her first night on the job. See? Dark.

The story feels incredibly topical (especially given recent events), so much so that's it's a bit scary. It's not all gloom and doom, though. There's a message of hope and independence, mainly due to the great character that is V. My favorite line of his: "Did you think to kill me? There's no flesh or blood within this cloak to kill. There's only an idea. Ideas are bulletproof." And it's very true: the idea of V and what he represents are what endures. He's an anti-hero, but an intriguing one, and his story makes for excellent reading.

Cross-posted to the Graphic Novels Challenge blog.

If you've reviewed this book as well, leave a message in the comments and I'll link to your review.


Dreamybee said...

I'm not sure how closely the movie follows the book, but we saw the movie with a bunch of guys from Puerto Rico. Talk about a rough movie to try to follow in a language that isn't your native tongue! I felt so bad for a couple of the guys who barely spoke English.

Nymeth said...

I must read this asap! And you're right, twenty years later, the themes are more relevant than ever.

christina said...

Ahhhh! I was just at the bookstore and almost purchased this book. I should, I knew that I should have!