V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David LloydV For Vendetta

Have you read a graphic novel?  This was the second graphic novel that I have read, and I’m still deciding how I feel about them.  I picked up V for Vendetta because my book club wanted to read it.  I will admit, graphic novels are not my usual flavor, but every now and then it is nice to have something new.  I tend to like reading books without having to analyze the photos.  I like having more detail in the writing itself.  With graphic novels, the pictures are the details.  This can be great and I love the additional media but I found it a little lacking.

“Everybody is special. Everybody. Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain. Everybody.”

Ultimately, I want to read the details and not have to scour a picture for them.   The artwork was beautiful in a grungy way.  David Lloyd’s talent really did captivate me.  But, I also found the artwork frustrating at times.  When reading/viewing this graphic novel I found that the facial expressions were sometimes too similar to pick out.  Someone could be crying in despair or screaming in rage, and it looked nearly identical.   Also, there were some characters that just seemed to blend together.  I discussed this book with the rest of the book club at Paris on the Platte and we all tended to agree that the characters were too similar in their appearance.  One member blended two characters together. Looking back at the novel, I definitely understand where he was coming from.  I even had some problems interpreting one of the characters.  I actually thought that one of the wives was the mother.  I was quite surprised (I almost spit out my coffee) when there was a sexual scene between the mother and the son… luckily, I went back in the novel and realized that she was the wife.

“They made you into a victim, Evey. They made you into a statistic. But that’s not the real you. That’s not who you are inside.”

What I really liked about V for Vendetta was the fact that it was different from my typical books.  The book was very political.  I found it fascinating to see Milgram’s 1963 experiment discussed along with the concept of happiness.  There were many times that I took a picture of the page so that I wouldn’t forget a certain passage.  I also really loved the concepts of the book.  I found myself enthralled by the thoughts and ideas in regards to social standing, political ideas, and the dystopian ideals that were present. I do wish that they would have continued with some of them. One amazing member of the Denver Coffeehouse Book Club summed up my frustrations about this beautifully: “That’s a great concept… *Shrug*”.  It seemed like every time Alan Moore and David Lloyd came up with a great idea they just shrugged and left it hanging in the air, leaving the reader with the hope that they might revisit it later… *Spoiler* later never came.

“Happiness is the most insidious prison of all.”

All in all, I enjoyed V for Vendetta and I will most likely read it again.  It’s like a cup of gas station coffee that you add a cinnamon stick to in hopes that the flavor may change. I liked the plot, the ideas, the concepts, but I do wish that the concepts were more flushed out. It seemed that they had great ideas that they just didn’t follow through with. Perhaps that was part of their ultimate concept.  They could have wanted the reader to explore their own thoughts and draw their own conclusions.  Ultimately, I found the graphic novel form fascinating, beautiful, and at times quite frustrating.  It was great, just not my usual flavor.

 I’m giving this 3 ½ cups of fully caffeinated coffee.

*I rounded the rating up to 4 for the picture*

I’d love to hear about your experience and opinion reading this grungy graphic novel.  Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.