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From Hell Paperback – 30 Oct 2006
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"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
About the Author
Alan Moore is widely regarded as the best and most influential writer in the history of comics. His seminal works include Miracleman and Watchmen, for which he won the coveted Hugo Award. Never one to limit himself in form or content, Moore has also published novels, Voice of the Fire and Jerusalem, and an epic poem, The Mirror of Love. Four of his ground-breaking graphic novels--From Hell, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen--have been adapted to the silver screen. Moore currently resides in Northampton, England. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
The characters are striking from the first page and the story of Jack the Ripper comes alive once more.
From Hell takes a very interesting spin on the Ripper tale and follows follows the story a detective trying to track him down. The super natural meets the bloody and cruel steeds of Victorian London in a gripping tale that I dare not say to much about lest I give away the plot. Needless to say anyone who buys this book will not be disappointed.
The artwork is highly detailed and realistic - yet is presented in a rather stark fashion, in black and white (with lots of shades of grey). Campbell excels at creating a dark and tense atmosphere, full of shadows portraying danger. The illustrations are most engaging - and, on occasion, highly explicit (depicting sex and prostitution, as well as murder and mutilation). The art perfectly complements the detail and depth of the story offered by Moore.
The Jack the Ripper murders are conceived as part of a conspiracy to conceal the birth of an illegitimate royal baby (fathered by Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence) born to a young prostitute. Moore undertook a great deal of research in order to ground the various plot points of the story in reality. And, as an appendix, this volume presents a 40+ page set of notes explaining which aspects of the narrative are based on fact, and which are fiction.
This is one of finest pieces of Ripper story-telling. The book is a high-quality publication, and presents the graphic novel in a deluxe manner.
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Most recent customer reviews
Great artwork though
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