Matt's Reviews > V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
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's review
Mar 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopian, epic, fiction, philosophy, political, war, science-fiction, comic-book
Read in August, 2013

I reread this today, now that I have a better idea what anarchy is, and now that I've seen the V mask take off in leftist movements around the world. It's still not the best of Moore's work - Watchmen is better, but From Hell is the best - but that doesn't mean it isn't incredible. I need to read everything he's done. He doesn't ever go wrong.

The popularity of the mask doesn't surprise me. It's such a menacing image: the smiling face of a terrorist, from a time 400 years before terrorism really took off. I know the mask's popularity comes from the movie rather than the graphic novel, but I also know that the message delivered in the graphic novel is much more in keeping with the ideology of the Occupy protesters and most of the other people who don this mask. The movie, as Moore pointed out, defanged the anarchism of V and made him more of an anti-Bush figure: a Democrat fighting against Fascist republicans. No wonder Moore hates it. That was never the point of this book. It was never to take sides on variations of the state, it was the battle of state vs. no state.

Another thing the movie did was insert a Phantom of the Opera love story in there, which was totally unnecessary and inappropriate, because if, as V claims in the book and in the movie, he is an idea and not flesh and blood - then he can't truly represent himself as that while falling for a 16-year-old girl. It was an attempt by Hollywood to liven it up a little bit, but it was an inappropriate attempt. The graphic novel is truer to that, and because it is a harsher world that is portrayed in the novel, it is a more alienating piece of work. But it is far more incredible.

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