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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

V For Vendetta

Author: Alan Moore
Art by: David Lloyd
Coloring by: David Lloyd, Steve Whitaker, Siobhan Dodds
Lettering by: Jenny O’Connor, Steve Craddock, Elitta Fell
Originally Published: March 1982 – May 1989
Edition Courtney Read Published: 2005
Publisher: Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics
Source: Purchased at FanExpo 2012

The Story

From the back of the book:

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 imagine 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 and enqualed depth of characterization and verisimilitude to its unflinching account of oppression and resistance.

The Response

I have been meaning to read this since the moment the movie was released. And I hate the fact that I didn’t know anything about the comics before the movie, but at the same time I would’ve hated the movie had I read the comics beforehand, which would’ve sucked because I love the movie. Blah!

I’ve heard so many people going on and on about how much the movie deviated from the comics. I would’ve definitely been one of those people if I had read the comics first. I will totally admit that I am completely a purist when it comes to book adaptations and more often than not I get pissed off at anything and everything that is changed… unless I watch the movie first, in which case I’m a little more open. I can fully understand why they changed what they did in this case – a lot of the story may not have translated well, a lot of the changes made the story progress faster, and they made the relationship between Evey and V a lot more accessible and relatable.

This is a challenging story to read and to really absorb. It brings up a lot of challenging subject matter, and there are a lot of shades of grey. What I really liked about this is how flawed every single character is – especially V, the antihero of our story. While his desire was to give freedom to the people, to release them from the police state that they were living in, he achieved his means through killing other people, through torturing them, through causing utter chaos. It’s a beautiful and haunting story with characters that you’ll never forget because of how real and how flawed they are.

While the “futuristic London” in this graphic novel is in the year 1997, it really doesn’t feel like this story is dated at all. What was outlined here… well, it’s believable that it could very well still happen in our not-too-distant future. And that’s chilling. Utterly chilling.

I’ve been left with a lot to think about, to ponder on, and it’s definitely going to be joining the ranks of some of my favourite dystopian classic fiction, along with Huxley’s Brave New World and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

The Bottom Line

I can totally understand why this is considered a classic. It’s definitely something I would recommend to anyone and everyone. Loved it so freaking much.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:34 am August 31, 2012.
Category: Speculative Fiction
Book Author(s): ,
Publisher(s): ,

  • Cheryl @ Tales of the Marvelous

    I’m exactly the same–I have to watch the movie before reading the book if I want to like both of them. I would have hated to have this movie spoiled for me. I watch it every Guy Fawkes Day! And surely someday I’ll finally get to picking up the comic…