Why You Should Read V for Vendetta

Synopsis: The Nazis won WW2 and took over the world.Today their ideologies are passed on as the norm: there is no place for rebels,homosexuals or Jews,and everybody must comply under a communist and highly totalitarian regime.But a masked individual,hungry for revenge and determined to restore the world to its older self,emerges.

Why you should read V for Vendetta:

1.The Art
V for Vendetta is as good as a graphic novel can be.The art is dark and suffocating,and makes the story extremely palpable.A particular tension can be felt throughout,and that really strengthens the impact the book has on us.Moreover the dialogues are minimalist thanks to Lloyd’s style; you don’t need many words to grasp a meaning or understand what is at stake.Also,the story would never have functioned so well without the power that Lloyd gives it; visually you get your money’s worth,as the comics are strong,crude and intense.In brief,if you’re still wondering,the ‘wow’ factor is indeed there in V for Vendetta.

2.The Language
The language is just like you would expect in any dark comics: dry,coarse,brief.Truth be told,the language alone is enough to signal the impending doom on London.Strikingly it doesn’t steal the spotlight from Lloyd’s art.

3.Well written
I admit to being taken aback as I read V for Vendetta: I didn’t expect the story to be so multi-layered and stiflingly serious.The book itself boasts a wide cast of complex characters,and an intriguing story in which the reader needs to delve into the past to understand the current state of things.To some level the book is highly psychological; transformation is a common theme,for the Orwellian society is corrosive to many characters – some must lose everything to find freedom.

4.V
This enigmatic crusader easily makes the book.Alan Moore sets him apart by giving him flawless oratorical skills; he almost always speaks in verses.As a matter of fact,the best bits of the book are the ones where V is soliloquizing,for it is only then that we see how well written the book is,and how much effort Lloyd has invested in it.Indeed,V’s verses are not just rhythmic and relevant,but also alliterative at times.This facet of V gives him the air of an out-of-place Hamlet,which to some extent he is.Also,V is an explosive character whose actions you can never predict.His past is also just as intelligently written as his verses.As such,V is the kind of character one can never forget.

5.Iconic
Especially in this day and age,the story is more relevant than ever.V’s mask – which only represented Guy Fawkes before then- has become iconic and is used everywhere change is being called for.It engages us because the story flows in the same vein as Orwell’s 1984 – only this time there is a crusader who is set out to change things.As we near the future,the world will hold a tighter grip on the masses,and individuality will be a thing of the past; for change to occur,only a drastic approach will do.That’s what V did; that’s what he inspires us to do.

6.The Cast
V,as stated above,is truly one of a kind,but the other characters are not vapid either.The dystopian society is toxic to them,and each suffers a breakdown that borders a violent psychosis.In this regard,each of them has his or her own sub-story.Their gradual fall makes that omnipresent tension in the story all the more oppressive; it is clear then that what we’re reading is no banal comic book.

Why you might not like V for Vendetta:

1.A Matter of Taste
If you can’t bring yourself to enjoy a story written in comics art,then you might find it hard to like V for Vendetta.The dialogues are often given in chunks,because the art does all the talking,so you’ll have to cope with that.Furthermore the tone can at times be very colloquial.There is also no narrator to define things for you; you’ll be on your own to make light of certain scenes.

2.The Parts
This engages my opinion only.The book is written in 3 parts,at 3 different intervals.Consequently the parts are different from one another,as David Lloyd had somehow matured and gained a different outlook in-between these intervals.As such the story does lack a certain uniformity; in my opinion one part was not as good as the other two,hence taking away from the book that aura of greatness it was seemingly destined to at the beginning.


 

Final Thought: V for Vendetta was one of the few graphic novels to give the comics format its legitimacy in the testing world of literature,the more so at a time when the genre was unjustly looked down upon and thought to be only good for superhero adventures.The only major flaws a reader will find in the story will boil down to his or her personal tastes.However ultimately,as is the case with dystopian novels,the book is highly insightful,and the reader will surely gain a fair deal by reading it.Let’s not forget that it is the book that most inspired Chuck Palahniuck to write Fight Club.Finally V is such a unique character that can easily make it among the most memorable figures in all literature; everything he does is absolutely phenomenal.A must-read if you’re keen to discover new genres and new forms of literature.

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8 thoughts on “Why You Should Read V for Vendetta”

  1. WOW. I was JUST thinking of ordering this one yesterday, but then ended up canceling. And then I see your post about it! 🙂
    At first I assumed it would be just a novel, not a graphic one—so I guess I don’t find graphic novels so appealing :/ I haven’t seen the movie or anything but I keep hearing how good it is so I was excited when I saw that it’s a book as well… Hmm… might reconsider 🙂 I love Fight Club, insightful reads, and stories that are a littleeee dark…so this might be a good time to try a new genre as well 🙂
    Are the graphics very gory or violent though?

    1. Hmm,I’d say it can be violent at times,but not excessively so.

      To be honest,reading this book feels like taking the plunge into an abyss of desperation; there is no absolutely no comic relief in the story.The fact that it is also atmospheric makes it very,very dark.

      The comics are also very ‘ninetish’ – they look just like you’d expect them to in any superhero comics.They are not modern or anything.So,yeah,if you don’t really like comics,you might have a hard time with this one.

      I think it is a good book.V is a superb character,and there are so many things that inspired Chuck Palahniuck to write Fight Club.It is a good story.

      But otherwise,it is not an absolute must-read.If you wish to read graphic novels,try Persepolis.The art is different,and there is less darkness and violence.

  2. YES! V for Vendetta is really good, it transformed the way I think about comic books & their place in literature. Absolutely agree with all your “pros”, as well as the “cons” — as a newbie comic book reader I also found it a bit hard to transition because there were no verbal cues, only images; and I did find the tripartite division a bit … difficult. Great review! I’m curious: have you seen the film, and if so, what did you think of that?

    1. Ah,I’m really happy you like my review!

      Hmm,I haven’t watched the movie.Well,I had plenty occasions to do so,but never did,because I always wanted to read the book first.If I’m not mistaken there are things which get altered in the movie.

      I was also struck by how much this book inspired Fight Club (one of my favourite movies).If you watch the movie,you’ll many elements from V for Vendetta in it.

      I’ll try to read other graphic novels when I get back to uni.Maybe I’ll start with Watchment by Alan Moore.There’s also Persepolis!

      1. Yes, the movie is different & on second thought, you may not enjoy it so much if you really liked the book…
        (I never finished Fight Club the movie and since then have heard things about Palahniuk which deter me from his work.)
        But yes! I’d like to read more from Alan Moore; heard of Persepolis. Also Maus is supposed to be quite good. 🙂

  3. Absolutely love the format of your reviews. It’s ordered and easy to follow and comprehend. You make pretty nice points and cover everything that a never-read-this-book fellow would want to know! Coincidentally, we just started putting up novel reviews (including comics) and we’ve just covered all three novels you’ve mentioned in this review (Fight Club, 1984 and V for Vendetta). It would mean the world if you would come and check out our blog @bookidote.wordpress.com and let us know what you think about them ! Don’t worry, we’re sure to follow back since I find your reviews pretty well-written !

    -Lashaan

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