Wednesday, August 25, 2010

From Hell

From HellFrom Hell by Alan Moore

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a graphic novel about Jack the Ripper, speculating as to his identity. Specifically, it posits that the murders were done by a doctor to cover up the infidelity of one of the royal family. The doctor is a bit off his rocker, hence the brutality of the murders.

This novel is for mature readers only, as both the violence and the sex are quite explicit. Given the nature of the story, it's appropriate, but, nevertheless, I would caution prospective readers.

I found it somewhat hard to get through, due to the subject matter. The author and illustrator are exploring the darkest of human emotions and actions, and this made for uncomfortable reading. The artwork adds to this ambiance, being very harsh and somewhat frenzied feeling. The whole experience is unsettling, as I'm sure they intended.

The author also wrote V for Vendetta, which is one of my favorite graphic novels (and a favorite movie!), which is why I picked up this book. But while V was violent, it wasn't to the extent of this book, nor was it as emotionally unsettling. As I said, this book goes to some pretty ugly places.

This edition has comments and notations by the author, which is interesting. I always enjoy a glimpse at the creative process: learning how and why things ended up in the finished product.

But, if you're not a student of graphic novels, or a Jack the Ripper junkie, you may find this book just a little too dark to be enjoyable.

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