V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore

…Interesting. That’s how I would describe this book. I love the movie version, which I’ve watched at least once a year (on Guy Fawkes Night, natch) for the past several years, and this year someone reminded me that it was, you know, a graphic novel first, and maybe I should read it? Yes, maybe I should. So I requested it from the library, and it took forever to arrive, and then I renewed it a couple of times, and then finally I says to myself, “Self, you’ve gotta just read this thing. Go.” So I did. It took a while, largely because I started a job in the middle of it and I’m still working out how to read print books (I listen to audiobooks at work) on my new schedule. But I read it and it was interesting.

The story is this: There’s a dude, and he’s called V, and he dresses like Guy Fawkes, and he blows some stuff up, and you’re like, cool. He is blowing stuff up because he lives in a fascist state run by basically Big Brother, with help from a computer, so we’ve got some good dystopian tropes in there. At some point, he saves a girl called Evey from some police-type people who are going to do terrible things to her, and she sort of becomes his apprentice. Also, the fascist state does not like V and is hunting him down, and slowly learning his backstory (which is kind of nuts) in the process.

The book is actually quite different from the movie β€” and this necessarily is how I have to approach this review β€” with more creepiness in V’s backstory and seedier government officials, and actually much less blowing stuff up, which is disappointing but understandable for the medium. I quite liked all of the extra things I learned about Larkhill, where V was imprisoned, because it made V make more sense, but much of the stuff I learned about the government officials (they’re corrupt! promiscuous! ne’er-do-wells!) was rather tedious. More creepy smiling masked people, please!

All in all, I did like the novel, but it won’t top my yearly dose of explodey things any time soon.

Recommendation: Definitely read it if you’ve seen the movie, or if you generally like dystopia and intrigue in pictorial form.

Rating: 8/10
(A to Z Challenge)

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