This is the best novel I have ever read. There's no sarcasm or over-exaggeration in that sentence. This novel truly is the best book I...moreFull review here
This is the best novel I have ever read. There's no sarcasm or over-exaggeration in that sentence. This novel truly is the best book I have ever read.
In general Watchmen (along with perhaps Neil Gaiman's Sandman series and Frank Miller's Batman comics) is credited as completely re-inventing the comics industry and proving once and for all that comics are firmly for adults and certainty not just for children.
I love this book so much. I love the characters. I love the writing. I love the plot. I love the artwork. I love the themes explored. I love this fucking book. This book really is a masterpiece on all accounts.
First of all what's this book about? Well it's a story set in an alternative 1980's in which Nixon is still president, the US won Vietnam and the whole world is staring into the face of nuclear oblivion. In this world costumed heroes are abundant and follows their lives post-Keene act (a bill that outlawed costumed vigilantism).
Oh, and you know when I said heroes above? Yeah, well perhaps "heroes" isn't really the right word to describe these characters. Nearly all the characters are either mentally ill or have some dark side to their personality. So who do we have?
Well starting off there's the Comedian who has little to no regard to morality or human life. There's Dr. Manhattan; the only real "super" hero in the whole book who is an incredibly alienating and cold sociopath who views people as merely a bundle a modules and atoms rather than genuine people.
There's also Night Owl who is a weak and affable man who suffers seems to suffered from impotency. Then there's Silk Spectre who really doesn't want to be a crime-fighter yet was dragged into it by her over-bearing mother. Also there's Ozymandias who has some rather...strange views on how to bring about world peace.
And finally my personal favourite character Rorschach. He's an ultra-right wing, woman-hating psychopath with a demented obsession of bringing about justice who has a warped sense of right or wrong. But whether they be a nut or a loser, all of the characters in Watchmen are incredibly detailed and complex.
But as much I have praised the writing of this novel I must also praise the artwork in it as Dave Gibbons is more than sufficient as the artist in it. After all without him we wouldn't of had Rorschach's distinctive inkblot mask or the clockface ticking to midnight that reappears so many times throughout the novel or the now famous smiley face with a bloodstain in the corner.
That's another fantastic element of this book. It's use of symbology is everywhere and all have their own distinct meanings behind them. One of the joys of this book is going back over and noticing these symbols which are littered everywhere.
I really cannot stress enough how good a book this is. From the sharp, dark and gritty writing to the subtle artistic additions here and there this book is truly the best example of what you would call a masterpiece and genuinely deserves the overused title of genius. Buy it. Buy it now.(less)
As a big movie buff myself found this book and incredibly useful and interesting book and it is a very satisfying feeling to tick off each individual...moreAs a big movie buff myself found this book and incredibly useful and interesting book and it is a very satisfying feeling to tick off each individual item of the list in the front of the book. Although so far I have only seen I think 24 out of the 1001, so I must get a move on.
Big "things you must see before you die" books are always going to be controversial due to the subjective nature of film. But I think the book does a excellent job balancing the more cult and indie films with the big Hollywood blockbusters. All in all I would say a very useful and valuable book for movie-fans and also for movie novices who want to get into watching more films yet don't know where to start. (less)
As a hard-core comedy and Stewart Lee fan this book was a delight for me to read and really gave a fascinating insight into the workin...moreFull review here
As a hard-core comedy and Stewart Lee fan this book was a delight for me to read and really gave a fascinating insight into the workings of comedy by the best comedian working in Britain.
This book is a perfect demonstration of how brilliant a comedian Stewart Lee is. Every word has been thought about, pondered, challenged, wrestled with, changed and then accepted. Only to be changed back again. He puts more detail, more passion and more genuine understanding of his art than I think any comedian has living or dead.
There are sections of the book in which there is merely a sentence of the main text. Yet the footnote linking it at the bottom is the size of a paragraph. This just shows the immense care and attention that is put into his comedy.
In a world in which the only kind of British comedy is shallow, apathetic shit comedians like Michael McIntyre and Russell Howard on every other third-rate panel show, we need people like Stewart Lee who can craft comedy in the most intelligent and sublime way possible without the lazy, cheap tactics of the aforementioned comedians.
Some comedians are like demolition people who go at the world with sledgehammer. These people I'd say are comics like Doug Stanhope, Bill Hicks, George Carlin. But Stewart is different. He's more of a surgeon, rather than destroying he more dissects and dismantles. Looking at one ugly organ of the mainstream, analysing and discussing it, throwing it away and then picking up the next organ.
All in then. A very enjoyable, insightful read from one of the best comedians ever to grace this shit hole we call a planet. (less)