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Voice Of The Fire

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the ooh-make-it-stop-oooh dept.

Books 104

simoniker writes "Alan Moore is probably best known as the writer of some of the best graphic novels of all time - Watchmen, From Hell, and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, to name but three. But he's also written a prose novel - a sprawling, epoch-spanning paean to his home town of Northampton, England, in the form of Voice Of The Fire, a book originally released in the UK in 1996 in paperback only, and now debuting in the States via a revamped, hardcover version from Top Shelf Productions. So with twelve separate stories and twelve major characters in this 'magical history tour' (as Neil Gaiman describes it in the introduction) spanning six thousand years, how does the book measure up to the seminal comics canon Moore has established?" Read on for the rest of simoniker's review.

There's no question about it - this book is formidable. It is formidable in its complexity, formidable in the connective leaps it expects you to make between stories and eras, and most of all, it can be formidable in its prose. Before I even read Voice Of The Fire, I'd heard that the first chapter of the book is enough to put many casual readers off, and that's not far wrong. The story of a cave-boy called Hob -- confused, immature, possibly mentally deficient, and alone in a world of freedom, love, and, potentially, disaster -- is written in intentionally limited language that the less sharp members of mankind might be imagined to use in 4000 BC. It's not an easy read; this segment is a struggle to decode at times, but the rewards are significant, because the emotions are powerful, and the story strong.

The novel's twelve stories are woven together, but only loosely. Sometimes consecutive stories interact with each other by way of common locations, characters, or themes, as historical figures tell their stories in the first-person, one by one, from the aforementioned Hob to an inevitable conclusion in the present day. But generally, the stories don't actually interact. Some of the most memorable tales, such as the first-person tale of a severed head on a pike circa 1607, or the treacherous dealings of a lecherous court judge from centuries past, have absolutely nothing in common except for the general geographical location. But they share exceptional writing, a self-contained message, and an odd sense of foreboding hovering over the entire proceedings, like someone or something is watching over every single sin committed.

And, let it be said, there are a surfeit of sins -- violence, and senseless murder, and lust, and witchcraft, and plenty left over. But that's how real history is -- bloody. Or, at least, that's how Moore wants us to believe history is, and there's clearly been significant research into many of the real-life historical figures whose lives are embroidered and colorized in Voice of the Fire. There's no doubt that some passages are tricky to digest, particularly those with odd language such as 'The Sun Looks Pale Upon The Wall,' the haunting 1841-set meanderings of another poor citizen who's not quite there. However, if you can wade through the occasional story featuring difficult prose, dense layout and strange language, the rewards can be significant. Plus, the gorgeous new full-page color illustrations/photos, courtesy Jose Villarrubia, add a little visceral flavor to the mix no matter how dense the prose.

Comparisons in terms of genre or content are tricky, though, among the stories that make up this book. What Moore definitely shares with the writer of the introduction to this new version, Neil Gaiman, is a sense of myth, of half-remembered deities and supernatural forces existing in the real world, as Gaiman depicts in American Gods . But Moore's supernatural forces are much more shamanic, much darker, and largely less substantial, except for a truly scary vision unearthed from a medieval burial chamber.

As for Moore's previous work, in as much as Promethea is a set of musings on his faith in the mystical, Voice Of The Fire gives those mystical feelings a more sinister edge and spreads them out over centuries. And it might be said that From Hell contains some similar ideas about the mystical significance of geography. But Voice Of The Fire draws no easy comparison even to Moore's own work -- being in a different medium, and focusing on the place he's lived all his life, it's much more personal than much of his other material, almost as if the dark places of his home town's past are being passed down to him.

Moore spent five years writing this book, and even refers to that torturous stretch in the final chapter, which is written by him in the first-person, in which he ties his experiences of Northampton's history to the stories. A daring move, to be sure, and one that Moore himself admits puts him close to the edge, as he muses:

'There are some weak points on the borderlines of fact and fabrication, crossing where the veil between what is and what is not rends easily. ... Walk through the walls into the landscape of the words, become one more first-person character within the narrative's bizarre procession... Obviously, this is a course of action not without its dangers... always the risk of a surprise ending with the ticket to St. Andrew's Mental Hospital.'

But what is Voice Of The Fire really about? Well, the thirteenth character in the novel, and almost certainly the most important, is the town of Northampton itself, looming large over every single character's experience. This is something that Moore has dealt with before -- there's a moment in the massive, monochrome, mystical From Hell where there's an odd 'flash forward' moment - contemporary office buildings intruding on the goings-on of 19th Century London. The same idea of geography subsuming history is true for Voice Of The Fire -- that the people are not a permanent fixture; the location is the only sure thing. Time layers burial ground on murder site on shiny new office development until there's such an odd mixture of old, new, and indescribable that some kind of sinister magic is created.

[There's plenty more about Moore at the comprehensive Alan Moore Fan Site, and the Alan Moore Yahoo group is both knowledgeable and friendly.]


You can purchase Voice of the Fire from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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BEEP BEEP! (-1, Troll)

sudiphed (85698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411158)

I'm a jeep!

Konichiwa! (-1, Troll)

bad enema (745446) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411165)

I'm a jap!

Hola! (-1, Offtopic)

sudiphed (85698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411202)

I'm your lawnmower.

Assaam Alaikham! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411274)

I'm the guy who took your job!

Guten Tag (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411464)

I shat in most of your Scheisse video collection!

Eh! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411484)

I stretch my anus.

Yoboseyo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411825)

I ate your dog.

Howdy! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411915)

I married mah sister!

'sup dorks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411160)

fp in me...

j00 PHA1L 1T! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411176)

j00 r a pha1Lur3

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411171)

FP

Graphic novel? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411193)

Can someone remind me what the (supposed) difference between graphic novels and comic books is again? I mean besides the age of the readers...

Re:Graphic novel? (4, Interesting)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411240)

I would say the difference is the level of detail to the paynes. Comic books are basic and tell a basic story. Graphic novels have an immense amount of more important detail to see. Every little thing in the payne means something and is important. It's much deaper.

After learning that I went back and reread watchmen and found that to be very true. Look at the time on the wall, look at the little things in the paynes and you will see a lot more to the story.

Re:Graphic novel? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411285)

Every little thing in the payne means something and is important. It's much deaper.

Apparently graphic novels don't require spelling abilities any greater than comic books, though.

a Payne? (0, Offtopic)

Slowtreme (701746) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411327)

What does some city is GA [reference.com] have anything to do with comic books?

repectfully disagree... (4, Insightful)

hcduvall (549304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411492)

I would say that comic is the medium. I personally will use the two terms as a reference to the format- namely I call a comic book the stapled pamphlet or floppy or whatever it wants to be called. Generally, telling the stories in serialized form. Hence, Watchmen # 1-12 are individually a comic books, but Watchmen is a graphic novel to me.

But comic book and graphic novel are basically the same thing, but comic book is so much a pejorative that the term is often avoided in polite company.

Re:repectfully disagree... (2, Insightful)

bakachu (447359) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412003)

Whenever I have cause to explain the difference between graphic novels and comics, I use this analogy:

a graphic novel is to a comic as a novel is to a short story.

It seems to hold out in the cases I've examined.

Re:Graphic novel? (4, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411645)

> detail to the paynes.
> Every little thing in the payne

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Graphic novel? (1)

tanguyr (468371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412060)

INCONCEIVABLE!

Re:Graphic novel? (2, Insightful)

dandelion_wine (625330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412831)

It's only a distinction for those who read comics.

To the rest of the world, comics and graphic novels share the most distinctive characteristics: lots of pictures in cell format with bubble-type dialogue. With most, this equates to no literary value, and for the most part, they're right. Unless my staging a public sock-puppet performance can be considered "theatre".

I have to agree with the other posters who said that the term was used as much due to stigmatization (of comics) than difference in format.

Of course, Gaiman, last I heard, had won the only literary award ever given to a graphic novel, and that was for Sandman. So the lines blur occasionally, but obviously not without the right fan base in the right positions (or else you get the Andy Serkis scenario). Personally, I'd stack Watchmen up against many, many books for value of ideas, and also expression. I don't know if Moore could have made it into as tremendous a novel, but it excels at what it is.

Re:Graphic novel? (2, Insightful)

JZip (659582) | more than 10 years ago | (#8415743)

The most notable US literary award I'm aware of being given to a graphic novel was the Pulizer Prize given to Art Spiegelman for Maus.

Re:Graphic novel? (2, Informative)

dandelion_wine (625330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419216)

Hmm, I just pulled this off the net:

Sandman #19 took the 1991 World Fantasy Award for best short story (making it the first comic ever to be awarded a literary award)

heh. not a Pulitzer prize, but there you go. ah, and not even a graphic novel, but an issue of Sandman. (of course, the compilations might not technically be graphic novels -- I'm not sure where that dividing line is, but I thought it was a comp that picked up the award)

hmm... 1992 for Spiegelman, so I guess Gaiman is correct that he was the first... but not the last.

good for Spiegelman!

Re:Graphic novel? (0, Flamebait)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411307)


IThey charge more for "graphic novels" than they do "comics". One day you'll see "Archie & Jughead Graphic Novels" selling for $19.95.. Not trolling, I just would rather read a good book.

Re:Graphic novel? (1)

Esekla (453798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411711)

One empirical difference between the two is that the Graphic Novels are not serialized; they have a finite, standalone story, rather than a continually ongoing story with a new addition every so often. I think this accounts for some of the qualitative differences which others mentioned.

Re:Graphic novel? (3, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411807)

Assuming this was a serious question, the generally-understood distinction is that a graphic novel should be a self-contained story, with a beginning, middle, and end. "Comic book" generally means the pamphlets you buy at the supermarket.

You could also compare a graphic novel to a movie, while comic books in general more resemble episodic television. Even when several issues of Spider-Man add up to one big story arc, the result is closer to a single season of a TV show like Babylon 5 than it is to a feature film.

Of course, this definition has been confused by a number of things:

  • A lot of graphic novels have been serialized in comic book form.
  • A lot of graphic novels -- even respected ones like "The Dark Knight Returns" and "Watchmen" -- use superhero characters from comic books.
  • Will Eisner's "A Contract With God," often argued as being the first graphic novel, is in fact a group of short stories.
  • In the 1980s, Marvel published a lot of superhero stories that were big and glossy, but not much different from regular comic books, and called them "graphic novels."

But you get the idea.

Re:Graphic novel? (1)

Saltation (756369) | more than 10 years ago | (#8413728)

well, like I posted below in response to another chap's rather vitriolic post which has now disappeared (bring it back! it was funny!):
"
A graphic novel is a comic book[...]go ahead and fool yourselves...keep thinking that you're reading some kind of great literary work
I believe the name "graphic novel" was introduced less to bamboozle morons into believing they're suddenly rubbing shoulders with Thackeray and Rand, and more to avoid the sort of blinkered knee-jerk reaction some people seem to get when they see pictures and words together.
"


--
Sal

Writings: saltation.blogspot.com [blogspot.com]
Wravings: go-blog-go.blogspot.com [blogspot.com]

Re:Graphic novel? (0, Offtopic)

BizidyDizidy (689383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8414220)

Rand? You owe me 12.93 for a new keyboard. I vomited all over mine.

Graphic Novels == Comic Books (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411196)


What a silly euphimism to sell more comics to adults. Like when they started calling dolls "Action Figures"

Re:Graphic Novels == Comic Books (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411341)

They're called "acrylic models" now.

Re:Graphic Novels == Comic Books (2, Informative)

texasandroid (692557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411716)

For a long time there was a difference, mostly of format. Graphic novels tended to be the larger, more substantial tomes. Often original work not released in the more common "comic" format. Comic books were the floppy things that come out monthly or bi-monthly.

Today, between continual collecting of monthly comics into compilations and the like, the difference is so blurred that the terms are allmost interchangeable. Pity. It used to be a useful distinction.

Formidable? Hmm... (4, Interesting)

Nick of NSTime (597712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411203)

"Formidable" is an interesting way to describe prose. I'm not sure if I'd be willing to tackle something labeled as formidable (Joyce's Finnegan's Wake comes to mind). I guess from the review, I don't really get if the book is worth trudging through. What is its captivation?

Re:Formidable? Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411389)


What is its captivation?

Like all comi^Wgraphic novels: lots of colours and explosions. Bit o' blood too.

Re:Formidable? Hmm... (5, Insightful)

Issue9mm (97360) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411502)

I haven't read this, but if it's anything like other "formidable" works, it could be that he's referring to a barrier to entry. For example, in Neil Gaiman's "Sandman", you have to get into a certain frame of mind, which if you're coming off of dissimilar works, or aren't familiar with his style of writing, can be a "formidable" challenge.

The captivation is that once you've entered that realm, and passed that roadblock, you're treated to a wonderfully captivating story that makes you genuinely pissed off when it's over, not because of the ending, just because you want more.

-9mm-

Re:Formidable? Hmm... (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411945)

You haven't seen "formidable" prose until you've attempted to read Hegel's Phenomonology of Spirit(Mind in some translations). That redifines "formidable" because I've read the whole thing four times and I still don't know what the f*ck Hegel is trying to say, at least specifically.

Re:Formidable? Hmm... (1)

Bodrius (191265) | more than 10 years ago | (#8414461)

Joyce still beats Hegel.

When I'm done with Hegel, I may not understand his point, may not remember what I just read, and almost certainly will be at a loss at why I was reading it in the first place.

However, that's far behind from 'Ulysses' where I find myself in the same situation around page 40, only to stop and say "f*ck this, let's start over again"... four times too.

That's not to say it's unsurmountable; I just have my doubts it is technically readable. By the fifth time you just get to a point where you enjoy the prose style and tricks but it has little meaning, like a sub-vocalization-induced hypnotic trance.

Moore is less (2, Interesting)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 10 years ago | (#8415392)

I'm skeptical, too. I love Moore's shorter work but not the lengthy From Hell, a kitchen sink for everything that even remotely interested him about the Ripper data. He's a master in miniature; he can be a tyrant in maximalism.

Six Thousand Years!!..... (4, Funny)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411208)

Six Thousand Years?!?!?
Neal Stephenson, eat your heart out.

Yep, six thousand years... (2, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411361)

It's sure got 24 beat for time.

Can you imagine how screwed up Jack Bauer would be if he took that long to find a Presidential assassin/rogue nuclear device/killer virus? And can you imagine how torturous watching the scenes with his wife/daughter/girlfriend/whoever being inept and all girlie woud be if they lasted a few centuries each? You'd kill yourself before the next episode...

Re:Six Thousand Years!!..... (2, Interesting)

fiftyfly (516990) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411425)

Maybe I'm wrong, I have only the review to go on, but it sounds similar in style (and maybe concept) to Poul Anderson's "The Boat Of A Million Years [amazon.com] "

88! SIX MILLION MORE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411516)

Hey!!! (4, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411209)

That publishing company is infringing on my Slashdot nic! Somebody get me a lawyer, ASAP!

That Kettle is Damn Black! (5, Funny)

trix_e (202696) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411211)

"if you can wade through the occasional story featuring difficult prose"

Are you referring to the book or your review?

Re:That Kettle is Damn Black! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411467)

There's no question about it - this book is formidable. It is formidable in its complexity, formidable in the connective leaps it expects you to make between stories and eras, and most of all, it can be formidable in its prose.

So you're saying the book is formidable? Got it.

Alan Moore is a God! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411213)

Alan Moore is a cinematic genius who doesn't care whos toes he steps on. From George Bush to Charlton Heston, Alan Moore shows them for what they are, bigoted, rich white men!

Oh wait, that's Michael Moore. My bad.

Wait, Slashdot's simoniker is doing the review? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411224)

Posted by Timothy? WTF? Did Alan Moore blow CmdrTaco for this?

Re:Wait, Slashdot's simoniker is doing the review? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411253)

Hey, simonigger's one of the cool editors. Of course, with time, he may become a douchebag like all the others.

Kudos! (4, Funny)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411239)

Alan Moore is probably best known as the writer of some of the best graphic novels of all time - Watchmen, From Hell, and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, to name but three.

Finally. A review that doesn't assume we're all super sci-fi geeks and explains who the person is and why we should care about them.

Re:Kudos! (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411368)

Indeed.

Watchmen and From Hell are graphic novels I keep coming back to at least once or twice a year.

Why? This [generationterrorists.com] is why.

Bad form to reply to one's own posts, but... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411460)

...of course that page was missing my all-time favourite Watchmen quote:

"Stood in firelight, sweltering bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night. Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever, and we are alone... Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hellbound as ourselves; go into oblivion. There is nothing else. Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It's us. Only us. ... Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world."

With the exception of fire and "smoke heavy with human fat" that's how I felt when I finally broke away with the (fear of) God I had been brought up with.

What a relief it was to accept that there is no good or evil - just us human beings doing fucked up things to each other while the universe really does not care. Then, the void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them and it felt good to be free.

Re:Bad form to reply to one's own posts, but... (2, Interesting)

Zangief (461457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412208)

After reading Watchmen and Crisis of the Infinte Earths, I found a proposal [hoboes.com] for a new crossover, sort of ragnarok of superheroes. Some people guess that Kingdom Come was inspired by this proposal, which was not accepted (but it is still copyright of DC.

House of Steel...you can't get cooler than that.

Re:Bad form to reply to one's own posts, but... (2, Funny)

dandelion_wine (625330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412608)

"Hey, you remember that guy? The one who pretended to be a super-villain so he could get beaten up?"

"Oh, you mean Captain Carnage. Hahaha! He was one for the books"

"You're telling me! I remember, I caught him coming out of this jewelers. I didn't know what his racket was. I start hitting him and I think 'Jeez! He's breathin funny. Does he have asthma?'" (laughing)

"He tried that with me, only I'd heard about him so I just walked away. He followed me down the street ... broad daylight, right? Saying 'punish me!' I'm saying 'No! Get lost!'"

"Whatever happened to him?"

"Uh, well, he pulled it on Rorschach and Rorschach dropped him down an elevator shaft."

(both) Hahahahaha. Oh, god, I'm sorry, that's not funny. Hahahahahahaha.

(That and the Pagliacci joke, of course.)

Re:Bad form to reply to one's own posts, but... (-1, Troll)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412940)

That quote from Watchmen is self-absorbed nonsense.

There is a God - the one in the Bible - fear and believe Him and you will be saved on Judgement Day.

What a relief it was to accept that there is no good or evil - just us human beings doing fucked up things to each other...

From your statement, your conscience still distingues between good from evil, even though you're doing your best to ignore it. Turn before it is permanently seared.

Re:Bad form to reply to one's own posts, but... (2, Insightful)

Bullet-Dodger (630107) | more than 10 years ago | (#8413138)

This isn't an argument. He wasn't debating, just sharing a quote that touched him personally; that spoke to his own experiences. You're free to disagree, but fundamentally there's no proof either of you could offer. Really the only debate you could have here is "God exists", "No he doesn't", "Yes he does" ect. Seems like a waste of time.

Re:Bad form to reply to one's own posts, but... (2, Funny)

alien_blueprint (681111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8413668)

There is a God - the one in the Bible - fear and believe Him and you will be saved on Judgement Day.

Well, that's me convinced! It's all so simple. Just believe in anything that people tell you. Got it. Now, where do I sign up to give away ten percent of my pre-tax income?

Re:Bad form to reply to one's own posts, but... (1)

@madeus (24818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8415949)

There is a God - the one in the Bible - fear and believe Him and you will be saved on Judgement Day.

Just to be clear, which Bible are we talking about here (and when exactly is Judgement Day, just so I don't cross book with a hair appointment)?

I get confused as there are so many contradictory editions and interpretations and I don't know which one is right one, if you could tell me definitively I'd be ever so greatful!

There is a God - the one in the Bible - fear and believe Him and you will be saved on Judgement Day.

Rather than continue to cower in fear from this tyrant, my plan is to overthrow God with my large and formidable army of Dragon riding battle Gnomes, who will assist me in installing a secular govener of the Universe, as is fit for the 21st centry. There will be a transational government made up of representatives from the UN until such time as a suitable canidate can be found.

Ultimately, we intend to capture him alive and take him to The International Court of Justice [212.153.43.18] in the Hague to face the charges of the many human rights and war crimes violations that have been levelled against him over the course of last 2000 years.

Re:Kudos! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411452)

An odd one for /. indeed, but interesting nonetheless. If you visit Northampton today you find it lacks any such atmosphere of bloody historical threading. Except on a saturday night. I do like tales like this, that tie time together and create a history of a place or feeling without the need for an explicit contiguous storyline, maybe Ill look out for it.

Interesting... (5, Interesting)

OgdEnigmaX (535667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411259)

This sounds a lot, at least on the surface, like Ernest Rutherfurd's London [amazon.co.uk] , a novel (in this case spanning 2000 years) that tracks the development of the eponymous city and a few families thereabouts. It's a good read, provided you don't have to finish it on a deadline.

Re:Interesting... (1)

terbor (566711) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411489)

I'm reading that book right now! You're right too. Don't try to read it on a deadline. I want to finish it but I've been reading it in bits and pieces since December.

mod D0wn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411264)

thE 3eveloper

This book is absolutely brilliant (5, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411266)

This is the single greatest piece of literature I've read in recent years. The subtle interplay of the esoteric vs the prolific, the intertwining of melodic paradigms, the juggernaut of the plot had me in trepidations!

A+++! Highly recommended if you enjoy calibrating fiction that redefines genres even as it spans them.

I also like his comic books.

Re:This book is absolutely brilliant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411302)

Stick to the flamebaits, dude. Sarcasm died on 9/11.

Re:This book is absolutely brilliant (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411319)

big words == karma, they dont have to make sense

if you had any polymorphic charisma you'd cognigate that

Re:This book is absolutely brilliant (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411353)

Sad, man, sad. Look in the mirror: you've become a karma whore.

Re:This book is absolutely brilliant (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411398)

I referred to the great Alan Moore (anagram for More Anal) as an author of "comic books", AND got modded up +4:Insightful.

What have you done lately? That old "is it good or is it whack" shtick?

A new day is dawning. A day of confusing mods with big words.

Re:This book is absolutely brilliant (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411450)

There is nothing "new" about confusing the mods. Slashmods are fucking idiots to begin with. Then again, there's nothing new about karmawhoring either.

Re:This book is absolutely brilliant (2, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411363)

Reading Moore seems to illicit an affected and pedantic mode of composition.

Damn, I haven't even read it and I'm doing it!

-Peter

Re:This book is absolutely brilliant (1)

sh00z (206503) | more than 10 years ago | (#8413040)

If only you had used the correct word. It's elicit [onelook.com] , not illicit [onelook.com] .

Re:This book is absolutely brilliant (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411415)

Wow. That was bad. Yet, good, somehow. I especially liked the part about "the subtle interplay of the esoteric vs the prolific"... just nonsensical enough not to seem implausible. And then, topping it off with "I also like his comic books"... that was sheer genius. Very nice. :)

Re:This book is absolutely brilliant (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411458)

A+++! Highly recommended

Nice... but I think you went a bit far when you lapsed into ebayish.

Teh Man...Teh Cereal...Teh Conspiracy! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411267)

To Whom It May Concern (other than myself):

Hi. I have been a huge fan of cereals of all kinds for my whole life. Sometimes I eat it for all three meals of the day, or live on it exclusively for weeks, or put it in my underpants to keep me feeling fresh (and also as an emergency back-up snack). I cereasly love it.

I am especially fond of a lot of your cereals like Boo Berry and Trix and Chex and Lucky Charms and Cookie Crisp. My absolute favorite is Fruity Pebbles though, which I believe is a Post cereal. Maybe you guys should make something that tastes like Fruity Pebbles except manages not to have Fred Flintstone's ugly mug all over the box. Yabba Dabba Eww. Anyway, my point is that I like a lot of your cereals and so I am personally concerned with their condition. And, quite frankly, lately I've been a bit worried.

Let's start with my favorite cereal of yours - Boo Berry. I love Boo Berry... at least I think I do... actually, I know it used to be my favorite cereal but I haven't had any in years so I've kind of forgotten what it tastes like - because it's not in any stores! No stores in my area carry it. I checked on your website and apparently you still make it; you even offer it for sale. Unfortunately I can't justify buying it for the $6.74 for a twelve ounce box price. You do offer buying it in a case instead of a four pack, which would drop the price to $4.71 a box, but that is still unreasonable and would also require me to spend an entire week's pay on a large shipment of haunted cereal. My girlfriend would kill me (if I didn't overdose on blue food coloring first).

I think I have a solution to this dilemma. I know you can't force any businesses to carry your cereals and I know that you can't afford to sell them direct for less than $4.71 and still have money left over to pay for upkeep on Count Chocula's castle, hiring someone to build 400 mind-numbing advertisements disguised as crappy kids games for youruleschool.com, and keep your CEOs rolling in golden Kix. So here's what you should do - open up your own stores all across the country. You've already got one in Mall-of-America, now put one in every mall in America. Even if you don't sell much cereal (and you'd sell a lot, trust me) it would be great advertising. You can sell t-shirts with nifty slogans like "Frosted Wheaties: When You're Too Damn Lazy To Put Sugar On Your Own Wheaties!" or "Honey Nut Chex: It Rhymes With 'Funny Butt Sex' For A Reason!" and other stuff which is even more great advertising plus it makes money up front. I can see it now, picture a young child in the mall with its mother...

YOUNG CHILD: Mommy! Mommy! Look at all the pretty colored cereal!

MOTHER: Oh Honey, you know cereals like that are just a result of the global dentist/cereal/porn conspiracy, we've been through this a million times...

YOUNG CHILD: Awww...

MAN IN TRIX RABBIT SUIT comes out of the store.

MAN IN TRIX RABBIT SUIT: You know Ms. Averagemother, all of our cereals are fortified with titanium plating and deflector shi... er, essential vitamins and minerals; and they are a part of this complete breakfast.

MAN IN TRIX RABBIT SUIT whips out a complete breakfast on a tray.

MOTHER: Well... I guess a few minutes couldn't hurt...

YOUNG CHILD: Gee, thanks mom!

YOUNG CHILD runs in followed slowly by MOTHER. Group of scantily clad dentists appears and drags MOTHER into back room. YOUNG CHILD transforms into a cartoon and spends eternity trying to steal Lucky's Charms and torturing the Trix Rabbit by hogging the cereal.

Now, on to my next suggestion. You need to do something about Cheerios. Really, they're awful. Yes they are good for my heart, but this is overshadowed by the fact that they taste like my butt.

On the other hand, a cereal that already tastes great is Lucky Charms. I would like you to address some concerns I have about the marshmallows, though. I remember that when I was a lad, there were only five different marshmallows in Lucky Charms: pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers, and blue diamonds. I could find at least a tenuous reason for all those symbols to be 'lucky charms' other than the pink hearts. What is so lucky about a pink heart? And by messing with the marshmallows you've only made the cereal even more unlucky overall. Purple horseshoes were a really great addition, good color choice and they are lucky, but red balloons? Anyway, rather than discuss each marshmallow change in the cereal's history individually, let's look at the marshmallow situation currently:

1. Shooting star. You've modified the orange stars and changed them into shooting stars. I can get into this. Shooting stars are way lucky. Good move.

2 and 3. Pot o' gold and rainbow. It seems redundant to me to have a raindow and the pot o' gold which one finds at the end of it. One of these should be dismissed with prejudice.

4. Red balloon. Ugh. Sad movie, sadder marshmallow. Please explain to me why a red balloon is lucky. You can't - because they aren't. Remove this shit from my cereal and fire the jackass who thought it was a good idea.

5. Lucky's hat. You changed the four-leaf clover into some midget's out of fashion hat. I realize how cool it is that you guys have the technology now to make two-tone marshmallows, but just because you can doesn't mean you should. Change this back to the clover.

6. Pink heart. This one is hard to call. I guess it should stay given that it's the only one of the original four marshmallows left, and I guess it's lucky to have a heart because otherwise you'd need to pump your blood manually which would be awfully dull and very time consuming.

7. Purple horseshoe. The best one in the box.

8. Blue moon. Not bad in and of itself, but there was no need to combine the blue diamond and yellow moon into this single marshmallow. Why did you bother? To make room in the marshmallow factory for the 'red balloon' machine? Come on.

So, for maximum luckiness, this is how Lucky Charms should be. Shooting stars, rainbows (or pots o' gold, but I like rainbows better because they remind me of homos), green clovers, pink hearts, purple horseshoes, yellow moons, and blue diamonds. This would also reduce the total number of different marshmallow types from eight to seven - which is a far luckier number.

Hey, Trix is too sweet and pointy now. I remember it being tasty and pleasantly round at one point. Fix my Trix you dix.

And lastly, I feel I have to bring up a subject that may be hard for you to discuss. We need to talk about what happened to some of your spokespeople.

For instance, the current spokesman for Cinnamon Toast Crunch is Wendell the baker (why making cinnamon toast requires a baker is a question I won't even bring up right now). I clearly remember two other bakers, Bob and a chap with the unfortunate name of Quello, helping Wendell out (why making cinnamon toast required three bakers is another question I won't even bring up right now). Now they are gone. What happened to them? My theory is that Wendell collaborated with someone in your company to have them rubbed out so he could get a large raise and be given the chance to market his inferior French Toast Crunch. But maybe it's something more innocent than that, like they were run over by an out of control cookie cop truck, ground up, and made into delicious cinnamon-sugary sprinkles.

Speaking of cookie cop trucks, Cookie Crisp was once sold by a crafty crook, his canine companion, and a cookie cop who never failed to capture the chocolate chip crazed criminals. Now only Chip the cookie dog remains, and he has apparently given up his life of crime and become a big silly wussbag. I am disturbed by the lack of information about what happened to the other two. Was the crook arrested? If so, why is the dog still free? If he was let off on the basis of being a dog, why did the cop throw him in jail with his master in the commercials? What happened to the cop? Is he still on the force? Why isn't he after snickerdoodle thieves or something?

Those are the ones I've personally noticed go missing, but I've talked to some people inside your organization and they had disturbing news. A lot of names were mentioned: Cheeri O'Leary, Ice Cream Jones, Mr. Wonderfull, Waldo the wizard, Major Jet... the list goes on and on.

Please explain these disappearances or I may be forced to contact the authorities.

Your biggest fan,

Johnathan Feruken

P.S. Hey, whatthefuck is up with Kaboom, anyway? That's some scary crap!

Semenal comics (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411287)

"the seminal comics canon Moore has established"

Oops. thought it was semenal comics. My quest for comix-related news items at Slashdot goes on....

Airlift my anus into the cock pit (-1)

(TK9)Dessimat0r (672412) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411288)

There is no difference between arabs, jewish, taliban, muslim, and islams.

A brief synopsis (-1, Redundant)

sudiphed (85698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411315)

What is Voice Of The Fire really about?

Well, the thirteenth character in the novel is the town iself. This town is called Northhampton. It looms large over every single character's experience. One day, Moore is taking his daily stroll through this town when disaster strikes -- he discovers that his genitalia are infested with herpes. The fire down below which cannot be extinguised consumes his very soul until he burns down the city, engulfing every single building in all-cleansing fire.

One might consider it an analogy for technology overcoming, nay, dominating our everyday life. Will we control the future or will the future control us?

That's what this book asks.

Formidable Prose (5, Informative)

SPrintF (95561) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411333)

The first chapter, set around 6000 BC, is difficult to get into initially because of the unusual "voice" that Moore's narrator uses. Still, it's worth persisting, because the first chapter is the best of the bunch.

Most of the book is quite good, but the last chapter (written in Moore's own voice) is far, far too self-indulgent (and, frankly, uninteresting) to be worth reading.

It's a good book, but not in the same class as, say, Neil Gaiman's writing.

Re:Formidable Prose (4, Interesting)

nicky_d (92174) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411794)

I understand what you're saying there, but the last chapter was in fact very interesting to me, because I was born in, and live in, Northampton. Of course, the whole book is interesting in that respect, but the last chapter brings the whole novel home as Moore writes up the streets and sites you see every day (while hinting at those elements you *don't* see every day).

An important point, of course, is that a similar novel could be written for your town, for any town. We're admittedly lucky that we had Moore to write Northampton's. A good book, worth your time.

Re:Formidable Prose (2, Interesting)

dandelion_wine (625330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412685)

I'd catch Moore on "Prisoners of Gravity" whenever possible, and I just loved listening to the guy. Unlike Gaiman, who would spout the worst sort of cliched philosophies about writing, fantasy, and human nature -- I could guess what each new "revelation" would be -- Moore had a fascinating take on most aspects of humankind. That and the basso, heavily-accented voice, giant beard and eyes, and expressive mannerisms made for quite the interviews. He's a character. I still can't help but hear his (actual) voice when I read direct quotes from him.

It's a good book, but not in the same class as, say, Neil Gaiman's writing.

Gaiman did fine graphic novels, but I've yet to read a non-comic book of his that wasn't as cliched as his interviews. Perhaps the cell format hides this. American Gods was alright, but Neverwhere... one of the worst books I have ever read. I like my masala dosa paper-thin, not my characters.

Voice of Slashdot (5, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411338)

There's no question about it - this book is formidable. It is formidable in its complexity, formidable in the connective leaps it expects you to make between stories and eras, and most of all, it can be formidable in its prose. Before I even read Voice Of The Fire, I'd heard that the first chapter of the book is enough to put many casual readers off, and that's not far wrong. The story of a cave-boy called Hob -- confused, immature, possibly mentally deficient, and alone in a world of freedom, love, and, potentially, disaster -- is written in intentionally limited language that the less sharp members of mankind might be imagined to use in 4000 BC. It's not an easy read; this segment is a struggle to decode at times, but the rewards are significant, because the emotions are powerful, and the story strong.

[snip]

But what is Voice Of The Fire really about? Well, the thirteenth character in the novel, and almost certainly the most important, is the town of Northampton itself, looming large over every single character's experience. This is something that Moore has dealt with before

from the ooh-make-it-stop-oooh dept.
Read on for GillBates0's review:

There's no question about it - this site is formidable. It is formidable in its complexity, formidable in the connective leaps it expects you to make between stories and comments, and most of all, it can be formidable in its prose. Before I even read Slashdot, I'd heard that the first FP comment of the site is enough to put many casual readers off, and that's not far wrong. The rants of a typical Slashdotter -- confused, immature, possibly mentally deficient, and alone in a world of freedom, love, and, potentially, disaster -- is written in intentionally limited language that the less sharp members of mankind might be imagined to use in 2004. It's not an easy read; this segment is a struggle to decode at times, but the rewards are significant, because the emotions are powerful, and the group-think strong.

But what is Slashdot really about? Well, the anonymous character on the site, and almost certainly the most important, is Anonymous Coward itself, looming large over every single character's experience. This is something that CmdrTaco has dealt with before -- there's a moment in the massive, monochrome, mystical From Hell where there's an odd 'flash forward' moment - contemporary office buildings intruding on the goings-on of 19th Century London. The same idea of geography subsuming history is true for Voice Of AC.

Thanks for the applause *bow*

Also by Moore (5, Interesting)

ajs (35943) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411342)

Moore is VERY prolific, and just about anything he has done will have a certain depth of field that makes it worth exploring. I recommend:
  • Supreme -- It's the disilation of everything "Superman", but with a distinctly self-aware narative and art.
  • Top 10 -- Comics of done the multiverse thing to death, and it's the standard explanation for a world "just like ours", but with super-heroes. Moore speculates on what the extreme endpoint of this sort of fantasy story-telling is by describing a world where EVERYONE (and their pets) are supers. It then follows the pain that this causes for one particular metropolitan police dept.
  • Tom Strong -- The 50s all over again. This is the sense-of-wonder storytelling you thought was dead.
  • V for Vendetta -- Not to everyone's liking, but if you have never had anarchy as a political point of view explained to you, it suits as a starter. Don't try to take it as the ONLY viewpoint on anarchy however.
What he does best is re-interpret various aspects of the comics genre to write his own stories that feel new and interesting, even though you know all the players (in Watchmen, for example, he was simply pulling from golden age heroes that DC had just acquired rights for).

Ellis [slashdot.org] does this same sort of thing in Authority and Planetary, and to a lesser extent in the non-super-heroic Transmetropolitan which is brilliant, and you should read it ASAP!

BUT... (3, Interesting)

hcduvall (549304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411520)

Coinciding with his fifitieth birthday, he's also said that he's retired.

And I'd like to pipe in with Promethea. Its not everyone's cup of tea, being an extended look into Moore magical theories, but its very interesting, and has one of the best artists (JH Williams) in the business who continually astounds me with what he does with layouts and illustration and style switching...

Re:Also by Moore (4, Interesting)

frankie (91710) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411676)

Hey, don't forget Miracleman (aka Marvelman) [continuitypages.com] !

By the end of book three (Olympus) I was completely blown away, and realized that I would never again be able to suspend my disbelief regarding ordinary infinite-series superhero comics (X-Men, Superman, etc, which go on and on and on yet nothing important ever changes). How can a world possibly contain living, walking gods and not be changed irrevocably? Alan Moore likes to tell big stories [google.com] with endings, and for that I thank him.

Re:Also by Moore (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411743)

Comics of done the multiverse thing to death

Mistaking "pique" for "peak", as is common on Slashdot, borders on excusable simply because "pique" is not a very common word anymore. Failing to distinguish between "of" and "have" ought to be a source of profound shame.

Re:Also by Moore (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412682)

I wasn't mistaking any word for have, it was a simple typo, and get over yourself unless you're signing up to proof-read my Slashdot postings, gratis.

You can also buy it from the publisher... (5, Informative)

ZipR (584654) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411390)

Top Shelf Comix, if you prefer to not deal with B&N. They have signed copies too! http://www.topshelfcomix.com/

ep! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8411571)

may do, may not Whether you Legitimise do1ng We'll be able to

Psychohistorical Geography...really! (3, Interesting)

hcduvall (549304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411586)

Namely, and very simplistically, catalogueing the very interesting things that happen in time in the space, and mapping out ideas like they're places.

I think the Moore comic that best illustrates it is Snakes and Ladders, with Eddie Campbell (always mention the artist!) which is a comic version of a performance piece he did. From Hell's more mystical bits (namely, the long carriage ride through london history) is another great example of it, again with Eddie Campbell.

Anyone with interest in the Alan Moore should read the verbose extended version of his Onionavclub interview, where I almost understood it.

Hmmm (3, Funny)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 10 years ago | (#8411861)

Slashdot now says its political correct to call comic books graphical novels...What next, them making us call text adventures interactive fiction? Oh... Wait...

Re:Hmmm (2, Insightful)

kimota (136493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8413020)

Let me wax pedantic: when they are in trade paperback (or even hardcover) form and have an ISBN, call them graphic novels. When they're 32 (or so) pages and have a magazine cover, call them comic books.

Moore's work, like that of so many other comic book writers of the last decade or so, has readily lent itself to being collected in one trade paperback volume. (Many writers explicitly compose their storylines for this, since it's aparently one of the most lucrative aspects of the comics industry right now.)

If you've read Watchmen (the TBP, as opposed to the twelve individual comics--but geez, even *then*), you'd be pretty hard pressed to call it something other than a graphic novel....

--Kimota! (Owes his name, his sig, and much of his ideology to Alan Moore)

Pretty Well (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8412280)

I'd say the book probably matches up pretty well - if you consider sailing a submarine up the Seine as intelligent.

This character has got to be one of the top dumbasses of all times, and the only reason he can sell is because there are so many losers like this crowd here who are so fucking dumb they bite into this stuff - through peer pressure I bet - because they lack both minds and lives of their own.

Hey - gotta run - there's this hottie wants to fuck before sundown. Gotta be nice to her. You guys have a good time too?

Best wishes to the crowd here - the ultimate LXG.

Back in the old days... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8412472)

...a "novel" was a book with words. No pictures. We relied on our minds to create the images that went with the words. It was almost like creating a movie in your head - you got to determine what the characters and their environments looked like and how the action took place, all within the framework that the words provided.

But I guess these days, it's hard to do that without some sort of guidance from the author. Thus, we move from comic books to the hilariously named "graphic novel". Let's call a spade a spade. A graphic novel is a comic book. Just because it's got a few hundred pages doesn't make it anything more. Let's not get pretentious here...a comic book is a crutch for the unimaginative reader. I've read a few that came highly recommended and found that they don't do anything more than stifle my boundless imagination. I don't need to be bound by one person's view of what the world of the "novel" should look like...I have my own mind and want to make my own choices.

So go ahead and fool yourselves...keep thinking that you're reading some kind of great literary work, but remember, in the end, you are doing your own imagination a huge disservice by restricting its ability to create worlds of its own.

You want a novel? Go buy a real one.

Re:Back in the old days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8412624)

You missed the phrases "Stupid kids" and "By God, we LIKED it!" Also, you did not use the term "newfangled." You should have offered some highly restricted and uninteresting yet valid use for graphic novels^W^Wcomic books that indicates that the "traditional" format is more versatile, though more difficult. Your old-man rant is substandard. No cookie for you!

Re:Back in the old days... (2, Insightful)

elmort_50 (634433) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412941)

What a baseless, generic, self-indulgent crock. You're expressing a judgement based on labels and I strongly disagree.

Do you invalidate cinema and television in comparison with radio? Do you prefer reading scripts to attending plays?

The comic vernacular is no more monolithic than any visual medium. The level of quality follows Sturgeon's Law, much as every creative discipline tends to.

That means that there's a lot of crap (98 percent if I remember correctly) and some stunning, original, compelling fiction that can't be told as effectively in any other medium.

If you don't like comics, that's your choice. To condemn them for being less than prose fiction when they are simply different is naive, rather shallow and highly unimaginative.

Pretentious? Moi? (1)

Saltation (756369) | more than 10 years ago | (#8413526)


Amusing.
Let's not get pretentious here
Whoops! Too late.

A story expressed in simple text is not intrinsically superior to one expressed in another medium.
A painting is not automatically better than a sculpture because it has fewer dimensions. Mime is not automatically better than theatre because it has no words. A modern movie is not necessarily worse than a silent movie because it provides actual voices instead of relying on the audience's imagination.

The key distinction between a simple novel and a movie or a comic or a theatrical production is that the director/artist-author/director has the opportunity to present HIS view, HIS visualisation, rather than relying on the loosely-coupled hopefully-consonant imagination of the reader.

As is obvious from your own words:
It was almost like creating a movie in your head - you got to determine what the characters and their environments looked like and how the action took place
; you pretty much understand this yourself, you are just letting some odd internal reaction to the phrase "comic book" blind you to what the medium can offer.

Some examples of alternate narrative media, in case your imagination fails you:
Much of the Goon Show's humour was delightful audio tricks which can not be translated to TV or text where it relies on building up the listener's expectations of a scene then revealing something quite different. ("Oi'm the anti-climax.") Mime and ballet are narratives which use NO text at all, and have been around rather longer than the novel as an artform. Theatre uses wildly exaggerated makeup and expressions and voice-volumes to express the director's intent through the "mask" of bright lights and long distance. Movies convey a powerful sense of scene, but are very poor at conveying characters' motivations and thoughts directly, being forced to do so only indirectly through word and deed. Pictures have been used to express narratives and stories for quite some time. Cavemen sketched hunts, kingdoms sketched battles, religions sketched key events, such as the christian church's "twelve stations of the cross" displayed prominently in most churches.
In this context, a comic/graphic novel most closely parallels the movie as a narrative medium.

A graphic novel is a comic book[...]go ahead and fool yourselves...keep thinking that you're reading some kind of great literary work
I believe the name "graphic novel" was introduced less to bamboozle morons into believing they're suddenly rubbing shoulders with Thackeray and Rand, and more to avoid the sort of blinkered knee-jerk reaction some people seem to get when they see pictures and words together. No offence.
a comic book is a crutch for the unimaginative reader
It can be. So can a movie or a play.
It doesn't need to be. That's down to the particular movie/comic/play. And down to the particular watcher/reader/audience member too.
I don't need to be bound by one person's view of what the world of the "novel" should look like...I have my own mind and want to make my own choices.
Then comics are not for you. Neither are movies, theatre, or TV.
My recommendation: don't read or see them, save your time for stuff you personally enjoy. And maybe that will give you the time and mental breathing space to build sufficient perspective not to seek to belittle those whose tastes are broader or more variable or less rigidly dictated than your own.

Personally, I take each narrative medium on its merits. If I'm not in the mood for a movie, I don't go to the cinema. If I'm not in the mood for a book, I don't read one. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and therefore will tend to better reward some types of narrative (and mood) than others. Doesn't mean any one form is intrinsically inferior to another.


Oh OK, I'll make an exception for Performance Art. Self-indulgent tosh. ;)

--
Sal

Writings: saltation.blogspot.com [blogspot.com]
Wravings: go-blog-go.blogspot.com [blogspot.com]

Alec Trench? (1)

Saltation (756369) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412636)

Can anyone confirm for me whether Alan Moore was Alec Trench in that great old 2000AD one-off in-joke?

Alec Trench was the "frustrated unappreciated writer" who--IIRC- it was QUITE a while ago (prog 100 or thereabouts?)-- attempted to leap to his death with his typewriter chained round his neck and then headed off to seek his fortune and reward for true worth in America, silhouetted against the horizon in the last panel, shaking his fist at the unappreciative ingrates he was leaving behind. Beardy, wild-haired... :)

I really hope it was-- it'd make it a delightful double in-joke-- he's proved he was right!

--
Sal

Writings: saltation.blogspot.com [blogspot.com]
Wravings: go-blog-go.blogspot.com [blogspot.com]

Re:Alec Trench? (1)

hcduvall (549304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412731)

If a major pt was that it was big and hairy, then it was probably Alan Moore. When did this pop up?

Northampton (1)

vbweenie (587927) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412866)

Hah! I work in Northampton at the moment. It's a fairly unprepossessing little place. I'm tempted to seek out the book, just to see what there is about the town that I might be missing (it does seem to have slightly more than its fair share of peripatetic basket-cases, certainly...).

so what's special about this (1)

Chris_Keene (87914) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412879)

" is written in intentionally limited language that the less sharp members of mankind might be imagined to use in 4000 BC. It's not an easy read; this segment is a struggle to decode at times, but the rewards are significant, because the emotions are powerful, and the story strong. "

hell I'm from Northampton, what's all this "*intentionally* limited lanaguage" crap? Language full stop is a minor miracle for us Northamptonians, so you boffins can fuck off and leave us alone.

I catch a whiff of plagiarism. (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8412916)

No, seriously. Consider the book Ulverton [amazon.com] . It's a story about a village that spans centuries in a series of 12 chapters, each set in a different time, each connected to the others through various common elements, with each chapter having a different principal character who is the narrator. Ulverton was written in 1992 and is excellent if you can get hold of it.

Re:I catch a whiff of plagiarism. (1)

HughG (109668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8415623)

Dunno about plagiarism, but I'm not surprised if it's not a totally originally idea -- most ideas aren't :-) See also The Stone Book Quartet [wikipedia.org] by Alan Garner for a smaller-scale example: four short stories around Manchester / Alderley Edge, spanning a couple of hundred years, IIRC. I really loved it because of the rich use of dialect -- I felt like had to guess the meaning of 5% of the words from context!



I haven't read Ulverton [amazon.com] , though it's been recommended to me. I read another of Adam Thorpe's, Pieces of Light [amazon.com] , mainly because the cover had a really cool "cloud leopard" on it, and the protagonist was called Hugh :-) It features the same character in several different phases of life (and in different places), with quite different writing styles for each. (BTW, your Ulverton link points to the widescreen DVD of the recent Hulk movie -- was that some obscure joke, or just a cut'n'paste-o ?!?)

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