Monday, April 24, 2006

M is for Monday - Gentlemen light your fires, the flaming is about to begin.

Bah. It’s been raining all weekend and I’m grumpy. Every time I try to send an e-mail I get an error message then it lets me send the e-mail. It’s very annoying. Like the three bears I’m suspicious that someone was using my computer.

So I finally read V for Vendetta. You know what? I think I liked the movie better. Blasphemy I hear you all shouting, but it’s my opinion. Sure the book was interesting and well done, I’m not refusing its merits but the movie simply entertained me a lot more.

I got lost on the relationship amongst the characters too often in the book and it seemed to move along in fits and starts. It just seemed a lot more fractured than the singularity of the movie’s story. I know that being fractured is a big part of the book although I’m not sure if the narrative was meant to feel fractured as a reflection of that theme.

I don’t want to sound as if I’m dismissing the quality of this work. It’s definitely there. The artwork and narrative devises were ground breaking with the lack of outlines and the lack of thought balloons. The story explored a lot more of the harshness and cruelty of the world than the movie did and the message is as much terrifying as it is satisfying in the book. I do like that the story and V are left to be somewhat ambiguous when the narrative ends (unlike the movie). It allows for much more interpretation, which is much more fun to do with a book as any English major will tell you – ad nauseum.

I did like the story and I appreciated the narrative, however I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it as much as the movie. I don’t think it’s meant to be enjoyed in a happy-fun way so much as enjoyed on a intellectual, detached, “hey that’s an interesting notion” kind of way. I think the book is one of intellect in much the same way that anarchy is. They both function extremely well when they exist as ideas or as a story, but put into practice and there is just no proof they will work. Sure people without leaders is better than people with bad leaders in much the same way as this is a book I can appreciate but not so much enjoy.

I guess I was just left a bit flat. I felt like it was a taste test for a really great story. I like the ideas hinted at and slightly explored but in the end I felt like I wanted more. I felt there was too much deus ex machina as a narrative devise. It’s revenge, then a vendetta, then about justice, then anarchy. I just felt like the plots within plots within plans were to Silver Agey for me. I guess I’ve just been reading too much Showcase Superman + Superman Family for me to separate the plots of V from the plots of Superman.

V for Vendetta is a great comic, I’m not trying to disagree or disprove that. It has stuck with me and I’ve been thinking about it since I read it. It’s one of those stories that is great because it makes you reflect upon it long after you’ve read it. I find myself going over scenes or character situations in my head. But I can’t say I enjoyed it. It wasn’t fun. I don’t think it was meant to be and in that it is a success.

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