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Not at all suitable for families - thank god!
on 6 July 2012
"Family Values" is the shortest Sin City book (barring "Booze, Broads, and Bullets" which is a collection of short stories) featuring Dwight (from "A Dame to Kill For")and Miho (from "The Big Fat Kill") as they set their sights for revenge against one of Basin City's mafia families. The story is standard fare if you're familiar with Sin City; if not, the story is told in black and white with flashes of primary colour (often red) and reads like the hard boiled noir thrillers of the 30s and 40s by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett put out by publishers like Black Cat.
Which isn't to say it's no good - it's very entertaining, a solid book by the great Frank Miller and a fine instalment in his masterful series. Though, besides a twist at the end it's fairly straightforward and not as inventive as other Sin City books of which I recommend the first four books that precede this fifth volume as wonderful reads and works of art. But what you do get is the kind of stuff readers and fans of Sin City have come to know and love about the series: lots of moody scenes at night in alleys in the pouring rain, sleazy bars filled with worn out whores and jaded bartenders, honourable street thugs, bullets and guns aplenty, and lots of killing, some of them quite funny, courtesy of bloody-minded Miho.
It's a fast read but still great fun and holds up real well. I read the Sin City series years ago and every time I pick up a volume to remind myself of and re-read the greatness, I always come away impressed with what Frank Miller achieved with his signature work. "Family Values" is not the best in the series, in fact the book could be ranked in the order it appeared - fifth - but considering the incredible quality of the first four, it's no less brilliant for it. Well worth a look and a cracking read.