Neil's Reviews > Watchmen

Watchmen by Alan Moore
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's review
Mar 20, 2009

really liked it
Read in February, 2009

I think it's probably impossible for me to appreciate how ahead of its time this book was twenty-odd years ago, but one benefit of reading it now is that the paranoia about the kinds of choices our government makes are probably more relevant now than they were during the Reagan/Thatcher era. I guess that might not be true in the UK--rock music was certainly exploding with anti-Thatcher sentiment. But the book really resonates well in the post-9/11, GWB context.

At one point, I realized that every chapter was built on one of three frameworks, each of which relied heavily on juxtaposition: either the present action vs. the pirate comic book, the present action vs. the flashback (from the same character's POV), or the present action vs. something that's happening elsewhere or in the past to another character. I'm guessing this was probably one of the more innovative things about the book in the mid-80s? But after chapter upon chapter, I thought it might be a little too much.

And then the next chapter was the one with Dr. Manhattan and Silk Spectre on Mars and there was very little juxtaposition and what came through was how clunky the dialogue was. The book is fantastically plotted but not always the best written thing. So I started rooting for the juxtapositions to come back, and when they did I was happy again.

Good stuff.

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