V for Vendetta | book review

403459.jpgTitle: V for Vendetta (Complete)
Author/Creator: Alan Moore
Illustrator(s): David Lloyd, Steve Whitaker, Siobhan Dodds
Series: V for Vendetta
Publisher: DC Comics Vertigo
Publication Date: March 1982
Genre(s): Graphic novel, Dystopia, Fiction

Opening Line:

“Good evening, London.”

The Synopsis

Remember, remember the fifth of November…

The year is 1997. Britain has fallen and been rebuilt under totalitarian rule under the all-powerful Leader – the Head of Britain. Through the various facets of the government – the Ears, the Eye, the Nose, the Fingers – the Leader can see all, know all. But V has plans. V, who has been terribly wronged in his past, is out for vengeance. V has a vendetta against those who hurt him, hurt many other people, and who are still hurting people. He has a plan to give freedom back to Britain’s people. And he somehow still has the time to rescue sixteen-year-old Evey Hammond. He saves her, more than once, and in more than one way. Evey has been hurt, too, but does she have what it takes to become like V, the masked vigilante? Meanwhile, the government races against the ticking clock to catch V and figure who, or what, he is.

The Plot

So I first heard of V for Vendetta when I read The Fault in Our Stars during the critical scene where Augustus invites Hazel to his house to watch a movie because she reminds him of “millennial Natalie Portman. Like V for Vendetta Natalie Portman.” After the movie, Hazel remarks that it was a boy movie. She didn’t really like it. I am firmly against classifying movies as boy or girl movies, because I’ve always enjoyed the “boy movies” more than the “girl movies.” If I want to watch a movie like V for Vendetta, or a superhero movie, or a gritty action movie, then I will, because I like that kind of stuff. It’s not a boy movie. Anyway, TFIOS rant over. My point was that I became curious of the movie and finally watched it a couple weeks ago. I absolutely loved it (ha, take that, Hazel) and, lucky me, I have a best friend who just happens to own the graphic novel. And that, my book lover friends, is how I came about reading V for Vendetta. I wish I would have read it before watching it, but that’s life. I think this is one of those rare occasions where I actually like the movie better. Don’t get me wrong, though, the graphic novel was great. I think the plot is really interesting and not too far off from where the world is headed. In fact, on the second page of my borrowed edition, you can find the phrase, “…and make Britain great again.” Sound familiar, my fellow Americans? Yeah. Scary. Anyway, I read this in less than a day, which is typical since it’s a graphic novel and those are fast reads, but it was also fairly fast-passed. The edition I read contains all three books, each containing a number of chapters. The cool part is that every chapter is titled as a word starting with V. I got a little bogged down in Book 3, but overall the entire collection was great. Quite different from the movie, though. They definitely changed a lot and moved things around for the movie. But like I said, I kind of preferred the movie.

The Characters

V is obviously my favorite character. I’m kind of in love with him. His voice in the movie is so smooth and mysterious and that’s exactly how I read his voice in the novel. I knew how the book ended since I saw the movie, so none of the scenes really surprised me or made me cry, but there are definitely a lot of sad moments in this novel. I’m glad I’ve never seen V’s face; I never want to. I won’t even look up the actor who played V in the movie because I just never want this reverence I have to disappear. I’m silly, I know, but if you read or watch it, you might understand. I love his character – I love his madness, his mind, his vocabulary, everything. I love V. As for Evey…I can certainly say I liked her a lot more in the movie. In the novel, she’s a whiny sixteen-year-old kid who I found very hard to like. I honestly kind of hated her. I know she’d been through a lot and lost a lot of people, but geez. She was annoying. I’m glad Natalie Portman portrayed her completely different in the movie. It definitely redeemed her character.

The Writing

As with all graphic novels, it’s hard to talk about the writing since it’s mainly dialogue. I liked the dialogue, but hated the font. Sometimes it was really hard for me to read. But the conversations sounded very real. It was easy to get lost in the story. The illustrations were very new to me, though. The graphic novel I read before this one was The Walking Dead, which had drastically different illustrations. I thought the people looked very strange in V for Vendetta. I loved V’s mask, but everyone’s faces were kind of ridiculous. I found it hard to take the characters seriously because their expressions were just so odd. I didn’t really find anyone beautiful or attractive because they all just looked so…off. Maybe it’s just me. But overall it was a great novel, even though I liked the movie better. I’d say read it first, then watch it. Save the best for last.

My Rating

4.5 star

Favorite Quote(s): “Everybody is special. Everybody. Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain. Everybody. Everybody has their story to tell.”

“Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.”

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