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The Filth Paperback – 23 Jul 2004

3.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (23 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840237392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840237399
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 1.9 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 684,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Quite simply unique, and it's not often you can say that about any work of fiction these days." -- Go! magazine, 1 October 2004, review by Matt Adams

"THE FILTH is the best thing Morrison has ever written. It's a bold work, deliberately confusing and boldly vertiginous. " -- Tim O' Neil The Comics Journal, February 2004

'Tortuous but oddly compelling...: -- Lincolnshire Echo Feb 1st 2005

Literate, subversive and even darkly erotic... Steeped in twisted violence and the very blackest of humour. -- Forum, Vol 38, No. 12, 2004

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In Britain ," Filth " is a word which can mean pornography,grime and dirt, or (in the expression "The Filth") can be slang for the police force. Grant Morrison,surrealistic graphic novelist supreme, plays with all three meanings,and combines them with his usual interest in the nature of reality,personality and the power of fiction to create new realities....the result?
A graphic novel which is confusing,stimulating,terrifying. hilarious and uplifting.
Through a sad sack loner who is obsessed with his cat(autobiographical echoes of Morrison's own life here!), the reader is introduced to "the Hand" a reality police force,clearing up threats to existence itself....but what do they really represent? And what is reality?
Readers familiar with Morrison's wonderful "Doom Patrol"," Animal Man" and "The Invisibles" will be on home territory here,while the casual reader may find themselves thoroughly confused. This work is dense,allusive and mind-expanding and is nowhere near as easy to follow as Morrison himself thinks..But,by God,it's thought-provoking,beautifully drawn by the magnificent Chris Weston and will resonate for weeks after reading. This work,perhaps more than any other,repays careful rereading and consideration.
Ignore the grudging response of much of the comics community. This is a challenging and complex work,but it is very worthwhile.The sexual and violent content,whilst disturbing in many ways,is neither gratuitous nor pointless,and the message of the work is empowering and positive.
Another meaning of "Filth" is the manure that makes flowers grow, and this compelling and difficult graphic novel makes the flowering of new concepts and ideas possible.
Recommended to all open-minded readers, willing to work hard to explore the limits of reality.
And that should include YOU!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think the best word to describe this novel is 'funhouse'. I chose that word with some care, because I think it captures both the strength of the novel and its weakness. Basically, we have a collection of ideas, each fascinating in itself, thrown together with little apparent attention to conventional narrative or plot. So, in the course of the book a number of strands run relatively parallel to one another, with little or no contact, but even within each strand there are shards or fragments, as if the strand were a collection of icebergs moving freely, so sometimes the touch briefly, but there is no obvious way in which they fit together.

So, this could be infuriating if what you are looking forward to is a simple narrative where good guys kick butt, or even a less simple narrative where everything is horribly complicated but at least you understand how all the parts fit together to produce a greater whole. But then again, what ideas they are. Gilbert and George images brought to life; a man whose official spokesperson is a woman who has been subjected to surgery so invasive that she is now simply a highly concupiscent automaton; extremely ambitious nanobots; mind-reading toupees; the 'paperverse' of superhero comics, whence characters can emerge into our world; chemically induced alter-egos leading to weird existential debates about which is the real personality; and so on.

So okay, loads of brilliant ideas. What about the novel as a whole? Well, this is my theory, and Grant Morrison may disagree, but here goes. In my opinion what we have here is almost the raw material for making a graphic novel.
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Format: Paperback
'The Filth' is an extraordinary achievement: an original illustrated narrative that sustains itself over 320 pages without once flagging. Grant Morrison has created a story that spins off a triple pun - 'filth' in the literal sense of detritus, waste, decay, corruption, dirt: 'filth' in the moral sense of impurity or obscenity; and 'The Filth', British street slang for the police. His central character is at one and the same time an agent of filth - as Greg Feely, balding pornography aficionado and suspected paedophile - and an Agent of The Filth in its most extreme aspect: as Ned Slade of The Hand, a secret 'supercleansing' organisation dedicated to the maintenance of Status:Q.

So far, so relatively conventional. But this brief outline barely scratches the surface layer of the metaphysical - and metafictional - fantasy that Morrison spins from his secret-agent and secret-identity scenario. Is The Hand real, or is Feely a sad little man undergoing a psychotic breakdown? Is hard-boiled 'Ned Slade' more or less authentic than cat-loving 'Greg Feely'? How far is our sense of identity merely a satisfying story - and if so, who is writing that story?

'The Filth' is complex, funny and scabrous, and not for the faint-hearted. You should read it, if for no other reason, to make the acquaintance of Dmitri-9: enhanced ape, foul-mouthed dope-smoking former cosmonaut and sometime presidential assassin. He's just one of a whole gallery of memorable, original figures that Morrison throws around with reckless prodigality.
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