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Voice of the Fire Paperback – 1 June 2009
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About the Author
- Publisher : Top Shelf Productions (1 June 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 316 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1603090355
- ISBN-13 : 978-1603090353
- Reading age : 16 years and up
- Dimensions : 13.72 x 2.79 x 20.07 cm
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I know virtually nothing of alan moore's work in the graphic novel genre, and was directed toward 'jerusalem' by john higgs. researching, I found this and deemed it perhaps the best place to start (kinda like getting into training for 'jerusalem'), and although that book still lies ahead of me, i'm so glad I took this route, for this is magnificent and inspirational, for a first 'novel', stunning!
the key and the triumph lie in the genius use of the vernacular of 6,000 years ago in the first chapter - and not only that, but the vernacular of a man-child with 'learning disabilities' makes for a remarkable piece of work, and to be honest, if you get it, you've got the book! it's not easy reading initially, but if you persist it will be. the narrative then takes in a number of flawed individuals in a host of situations, some pitiful, some admirable, and very few of them ending well for the protagonists! in this, moore is able to draw out the most hilarious, almost slapstick, comedy from the midst of the most painful and awful situations. it must also be said that this is a triumph of research, and obviously the work of a man who deeply loves his town and surroundings (despite how awful they may be now!). it is moore's descriptions of these in 'his own' chapter that put the lid on things, and his words on his town are both heartfelt and inspiring - if only every town had an alan moore to dig up this much beauty from such dismal locations! he'd be a busy man!
onwards, not limping, but striding purposefully to 'Jerusalem'!
Simply put, it's a collection of stories set in different periods of time in the same location, Northampton. Although it's historical fiction, I learned a lot about Alan Moore's hometown. It's a fascinating, inspiring read. What pulls you in further is the creativity and how some of the stories are linked.
Despite the first chapter, which is written in some "cavemen" dialect, you have to admire the depth of which Alan Moore researched in order to compose such language. For me that was the hardest part of the book, but the rest was okay. This book no doubt proves Alan Moore's mastery in writing.
As someone who is more used to reading graphic novels rather than novels, I found some areas of the book difficult to comprehend, and hard to picture in my mind. Perhaps a graphic novel version would be nice to see in the future. Nonetheless, it's a good book to read.
The result is utterly bewitching. The stories very much concern themselves with the themes of madness and murder which work so well in the short story format but - as with much of Alan Moore's other work - there is also pathos. A sense of longing and loss is felt in the conclusion of most of the stories found in the collection which reinforces the notion that consecutive chapters are haunted by those preceding them.