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From Hell Paperback – 30 Oct 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Knockabout Comics / Eddie Campbell Comics; Ninth Printing edition (30 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861661419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861661411
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 4.6 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

"I shall tell you where we are. We're in the most extreme and utter region of the human mind. A dim, subconscious underworld. A radiant abyss where men meet themselves. Hell, Netley. We're in Hell." Having proved himself peerless in the arena of reinterpreting superheroes, Alan Moore turned his ever-incisive eye to the squalid, enigmatic world of Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel murders of 1888. Weighing in at 576 pages, From Hell is certainly the most epic of Moore's works and remarkably and is possibly his finest effort yet in a career punctuated by such glorious highlights as Watchmen and V for Vendetta . Going beyond the myriad existing theories, which range from the sublime to the ridiculous, Moore presents an ingenious take on the slaughter. His Ripper's brutal activities are the epicentre of a conspiracy involving the very heart of the British Establishment, including the Freemasons and The Royal Family. A popular claim, which is transformed through Moore's exquisite and thoroughly gripping vision, of the Ripper crimes being the womb from which the 20th century, so enmeshed in the celebrity culture of violence, received its shocking, visceral birth. Bolstered by meticulous research that encompasses a wide spectrum of Ripper studies and myths and coupled with his ability to evoke sympathies in such monstrous characters, Moore has created perhaps the finest examination of the Ripper legacy, observing far beyond society's obsessive need to expose Evil's visage. Ultimately, as Moore observes, Jack's identity and his actions are inconsequential to the manner in which society embraced the Fear: "It's about us. It's about our minds and how they dance. Jack mirrors our hysterias. Faceless, he is the receptacle for each new social panic." Eddie Campbell's stunning black and white artwork, replete with a scratchy, dirty sheen, is perfectly matched to the often-unshakeable intensity of Moore's writing. Between them, each murder is rendered in horrifying detail, providing the book's most unnerving scenes, made more so in uncomfortable, yet lyrical moments as when the villain embraces an eviscerated corpse, craving understanding; pleading that they "are wed in legend, inextricable within eternity". Though technically a comic, the term hardly begins to describe From Hell's inimitable grandeur and finesse, as it takes the medium to fresh heights of ingenuity and craftsmanship. Moore and Campbell's autopsy on the emaciated corpse of the Ripper myth has divulged a deeply disturbing yet undeniably captivating masterpiece. --Danny Graydon

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
No amount of hyperbole can do this book the justice it deserves.
Quite simply it is stunning, gob-smacking, fantastic, gripping, repulsive, compelling, hilarious, shocking, chilling...(add any extra superlatives you like)...
Impossible to summarise just how much of an effect this book had after the first time I read it. You won't so much read From Hell as experience it, it is just that good.
If you've seen the film and were not impressed please ignore it, the book has so many layers that can be peeled back and enjoyed with repeated readings.
Also do take the time to read the comprehensive appendices at the back that detail the considerable amount of research that has been made in the production of what I feel is a modern masterpiece.
One warning, it's not for the faint of heart, containing a chapter that I feel is more violent than any film I've ever seen.
Another triumph by Alan Moore, can the man do no wrong?
In conclusion, buy it, buy it, buy it, buy it, buy it.
(I am not a representative of the Alan Moore fanclub either).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
The most important thing about this book is that it isn't really a Jack The Ripper story at all. It's about the way that incredible events echo and have repercussions through the years and it's about the birth of the twentieth century.
What I found really fascinating was the way that Alan and Eddie managed to use the facts and theories that have been kicking about for years and pull them all together into this astonishing narrative. It's not an attempt to give the definitive answers to the mystery of Jack the Ripper, it's a work of fiction using facts where it can to reveal a far more interesting story.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 15 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
Many others have commented on the sheer brilliance of 'From Hell' as a graphic novel; in my opinion, makes it truly great is the two Epilogues. The story itself is as good as everyone here has said, and more. Moore's humanity and sympathy for the Whitechapel killer's victims shines through in his treatment of the killings, whilst being a fascinating insight into the origins of the 20th century. (And if that sounds worthy, it also has hefty amounts of sex, death and violence). The tenth chapter, covering the death of Mary Kelly, is stunning to read despite the horror of what was done to her. Moore is known for his willingness to think himself into different situations and characters; very few authors would have had the courage to imagine themselves as the Ripper, attacking his victim's corpse. Still fewer would have dared to try to understand the killer, to show why he did what he did.
But the two epilogues transform this already-impressive book into something even better. The first is a set of notes on the book, where Moore goes through it almost page by page, telling us what it was like to visit these places, explaining why he chose to have this character do this and inserting his own sardonic comments (describing himself on one occasion as 'making a living out of wrapping miserable killings up in supernatural twaddle'). Reading this is as close as most of us will ever get to understanding what it is like to try to write a piece of literature. The second, where he presents a potted history of 'Ripperology', is a savage and very clever attack on all those, including himself, who have made a living out of devising ever-more fanciful theories about the killings. The ending, in which Moore describes a visit to the 'Ring O'Bells' pub during his research, where he saw a stripper working there and wondered what had changed since the Victorian era, is simply one of the best endings I've ever read.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By B. Vaughan on 9 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
With this book Alan Moore regains the crown as the greatest graphic novel writer. For so long untouchable in his field, recent works by Neil Gaiman had placed him firmly in my mind as the new number one. Until now. Don't read "From Hell" as an accurate investigation into the Whitechapel murders, read it as what it is, a wonderful fantasy. Unlike what another reviewer has claimed, this book will expand your knowledge of the Ripper case, by debunking most of the popular theories around today, including its own. If you're a fan of graphic novels don't miss this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By m VINE VOICE on 6 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
Alan Moore's stated aim was to solve in fiction, that which could not be answered by conventional analysis or enquiry and my word, did he succeed.

A giant tower house of a thing, it must be one the most engrossing reads ever - part examination of the crimes, part critique of Victorian society, part history lesson and part mythical analysis. In some instances even one page can take ages to properly read and understand, but in each an every case it is well worth it. The epilogue `Dance of the Gull Catchers' should be required reading for anyone even remotely interested in history of any sort.

Eddie Campbell's black and white ink-style is wonderfully complimentary to the narrative; you simply couldn't imagine it any other way.

Well done to Topshelf for going all out with this edition - good quality paper (unlike other versions) and a good size and well bound. The only sadness for me was the lack of inclusion of Campbell's cover-paintings for each issue, but no doubt it was the financial consideration - I recommend seeking out the individual editions if you can, or have a look at Eddie Campbell's blog spot for more background and info.

Everyone always talks about `Watchmen' but this powerhouse beast of a thing must rank among Moore's best work, if only because it transcends it's own medium and genre to become something of real relevance way, way beyond what it's initial appearance suggests. I'm not even that curious about the case, but that is almost irrelevant because of the amount of insight this work has in a broader context.

I strongly urge anyone with even a passing interest to check this out - you are unlikely to be disappointed. And if you can, treat yourself to the hardback edition.
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