Friday, 27 February 2015

V for Vendetta- Alan Moore and David Lloyd

I had been eyeing this beauty since a long time on Amazon, but my brother sent this to me along with 5 other books when he made a visit to a book fair held in Delhi sometime back. The backdrop was perfect- I am on a vacation, leisurely lazing at my Mum's place and have all the time in the world to read without any pressure of any kind. And it is such a gluey novel!

This was my first time with a graphic novel and I must say, the experience was incredible, though I feel reviewing this book will be more difficult. This is so because the plot, the dynamics, the characters- everything is so intense and speaks volumes. I just hope I can do some justice to all of them with my words, and pour everything running in my mind.

I loved V! V is the protagonist of the book, and just like the mask, which is always smiling, he deals with everything with that utter calmness too. He knows his goals exactly and his steps are determined and calculated. The backdrop depicts future-history version of UK preceded by a nuclear war;V is one of the victims, and in those turbulent times when the fascist party ruled as the police state, an anarchist revolutionary is born behind a cloak and a mask, and this is his fight for anarchy. ‘V’ wishes to make a Land of Do-as-you-please instead of Take-what-you-want. The sole purpose of his Vendetta is anarchism. Evey Hammond – whom he helps in coming out of a difficult situation- becomes his protégé as the story nears end. The characters possess great depth, starting with V, he is just unusually good and a planner- the best one there can be. He knows he is running the show and is sure of the events which will fall ahead, and prepared to deal with them. This character is behind a Guy Fawkes Mask, and as V says- ‘Did you think to Kill me? There's no blood or flesh behind this cloak to kill, there's only an idea, ideas are bullet proof, ‘

Special credits to Alan Moore to make this character look like this, of what I just mentioned. Every dialogue is worth an applause, written perfectly choosing the right words. Edward Finch is an impactful character who is part of a secret police society, working to find out who this terrorist is, who this codeman V is?! A very promising police man who gives his everything to solve this case but sees a shattered end to his life, Finch tries very well to put himself in V’s boots and think like him, even if that involves getting drugged; and that definitely works in his favour. The other characters which fascinated me- Rose, Susan-Leader, Creedy, Derek Almond and All- have such depth that you can't keep the book down, and not one of them could have been excluded from the story.

With the perfect pace, events and characters, it is a densely packed novel. And what goes hand in hand are the graphics.  V is a cultural oasis, quoting liberally from literature, music and other media. And to picturise it and make the reader shift to that zone is not an easy thing. The shadings used have illustrated the content well and taken it one notch higher. Also,  David Lloyd has handled the flashbacks flawlessly.

This book has an eloquence and beauty to it both with the writing and the artwork. Alan Moore and David Lloyd have created a masterpiece, the theme, the words and the graphics parallelly aligned. It is probably the best Graphic novel I will read ever.


“Remember, Remember The Fifth Of November”

The Vicious Cabaret- it is written in sync with the situations in England, and when you move ahead with the story, you understand the meaning of it well.

“Anarchy wears two faces, both creator and destroyer. Thus destroyers topple empires, make a canvas of clean rubble where creators then can build better worlds.”

“First you must discover whose face lies behind this mask, but you must never know my face, give me a Viking Funeral”

This blog entry has exceeded the length I usually write, but V for Vendetta deserves it, and I am sure, there were many things in my mind which I have not penned down. Words will fall less for this thematic, imaginative cult novel.

A must read!! Thumbs up!

Friday, 6 February 2015

The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith

Hello Readers, I am really happy to be here again after a month and so obviously this makes it the first post of 2015.  With so many odd things happening around in office it became difficult to shift my focus, but no wonder I am here with the review of “The Cuckoo’s Calling”. This book was a Christmas gift to me from my husband.

I read on the NPR blog that- “The only surprise in Rowling’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ is the Author”, how perfectly true is that. By now we know it has been penned down by J.K Rowling as a pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. Being a suspense mystery thriller there are a lot of things a reader expects, like a page turner or a pacy mode. The book does not live up to the hallmark crime novel expectations. Nevertheless, the plot sounded really good – a super model (Lula Landry called Cuckoo by her friends) as a victim who falls of her balcony and an investigation is held to find out if it's a suicide or a murder. The protagonist, Cormoran Strike is the sharp eyed detective here, who is an ex-army man, with one leg blown off in Afganistan. While seen disturbed at a psychological level in the start of the book, he never missed a beat in his investigations, with his questions and interrogations. Accompanied by a meticulous temp secretary- Robin, Strike does a fair job with Lula Landry’s case.

I think I have more cons to mention than the pros.  The book was stretchy, if it is a crime-thriller novel, I want a slow start which would create the crime scene, a crisp mid part where we are looking at the clues and trying to decode the mystery in our heads and a smashing end which leaves a gaping expression of your face in your mind. If it is devoid of anything less than that then, I am afraid I am reading something whose end we have already predicted. And this is what exactly happened to me this time; I wonder how Strike was not able to catch the clues that he had to drag it to 500 pages more! The conversations with the suspects make it look elongated, breaking the sync, which the reader is trying to establish.

The characters were efficiently wrapped in words, so much so; that they could be imagined in your mind. Some character descriptions I really enjoyed reading, Guy’ Some and of course, Cormoran Strike. Like I said, living a disarrayed life personally, his focus from the case merely shifted. The motion where he is carried away again and again to his mother’s death has been conveyed at appropriate parts in the story, showing he has seen death this close and what it means to be losing someone. The author has tried to incorporate surprise humour at places but however it does not steal the show.

For someone who is used to the works of Dan Brown, Gyllian Flynn and John Grisham this was a mellowed down version. I am curious to know what kind of a movie this script would make, probably more captivating than the book.

Goa- A new revelation. All credits to this dainty place- Literati Bookshop Café   The ceiling-high bookshelves I was in Goa last m...