Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thoughts: Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore

Finally got to read Alan Moore's prose book, Voice of the Fire, and I'm just going to give a few random scattershot thoughts, because when it comes to Alan Moore, I'm not sure I'm in a position to offer a review on this work.

-The first chapter of this book is one of the most challenging things I've ever read in my life.
-The "fires" are those of lust, of avarice, of fears and insecurities, and how they consume us.
-It's a book about Alan's hometown, given a pantina of fiction and drawn through thousands of years of development.
-Ultimately what probably holds me back from truly enjoying this work is that while I acknowledge Moore's insane level of talent, I don't care for his bleaker, darker tales - I acknowledge that this is probably a failing on my part and an inability to separate Moore's darkness from the nihilism of the "grim'n'gritty" modern corporate comics landscape that aped all of his tricks without any of his heart or brains.
-It is a book that questions everything, even itself
-It is a story about a place, and how people create their environments, and their environments in turn create (or destroy) them.

So, that's what I have to say on that. I do recommend the book as a challenge or for people who really really want to try to understand the properties of fiction the way Moore does. As for me, I think I prefer his more lighthearted stuff (such as Tom Strong above).


Alan David Doane said...

Sorry you didn't dig it more, Michael, but I can tell you that the book improves on multiple re-reads. I've read it three times and each time I get more out of it and love it more. I don't think it's as bleak as you are making out on this first time through. Glad you gave it a try, in any event! More than most comics fans have done, I think.

MrCynical said...

Not saying I'll never try it again, but maybe I'm lacking a certain perspective on it, or enough of the serious critical tools. I think I grasp the basics of what is being attempted, but even so, I think ultimately it just may not be to my tastes.