- Paperback: 310 pages
- Publisher: Millsverse Books (13 Jan. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0995661200
- ISBN-13: 978-0995661202
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 72 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 236,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Serial Killer: Volume 1 (Read Em and Weep) Paperback – 13 Jan 2017
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I'm going to be honest and say that for around the first third of the book, I really didn't think this one was for me. And that broke my little heart as together (and apart), Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill have written / created some of the most memorable stories and characters I've ever read, and their work at 2000ad and elsewhere was hugely influential throughout my life, so I wanted to like this SO MUCH!
It wasn't the premise - that could have been written just for me: a murder mystery, with the blackest humour, and a thinly veiled exposé of the 1970s London comics industry?? hello?? sign me up!
It was something in the tone, and the style of the humour, specifically around the lead characters Dave and Joy, that wrankled. Joy seemed originally to be introduced as little more than the sexy love interest, and our (anti)hero Dave, was, well, just deeply unpleasant and not a little skeevy....and nobody else seemed to be particularly likeable either!
But, hey, you've seen the 5 stars, you know what I'm going to say..... I'm SO glad I didn't put this book to one side ("nevertheless, she persisted", right on sisters) - because oh boy did they turn it around!
I'm not going to give you any spoilers, but Joy? she is SO much more than the sexy love interest, she's a sexy flipping BADASS and my role model now forever :) And Dave? ah god I can't help myself, I think I'm in love with the fur-lovin' freak! And the dialogue, so many amazing one liners, proper laugh-till-you've-got-tears-streaming-down-your-face stuff.
I was enjoying the book so much by the end that I literally did the "nooooooooo!!!!" thing when I got to the last page and realised it was over :( That's the problem with a kindle edition, unlike with a physical book, unless you are paying attention, the end of a book can creep up on you a bit! I have since purchased the paper copy of this one so I can read it again without the ending taking me by surprise :) Needless to say I can't wait for the sequel(s).
My only teeny tiny disappointment - which I might have knocked off half a star for if Amazon did fractions - is that I was hoping for lots of illustrations from Kevin O'Neill, as I'd seen some pre-press that suggested they would be in the book. They don't seem to have made it in to the kindle or paperback editions, but maybe they will turn up one day in a nice fancy hardback....it would have been nice to see some of the comic characters mentioned in the story brought to life by Mr O'N, especially Feral Meryl!
And before I sign off, one piece of advice, if, like me, you have no idea what a "fourpenny one" is, look it up before you start reading. It will help.
I grew up in East London, in this era, so I'm not sure how this particular bit of slang managed to pass me by...
If you've ever seen Future Shocks, the documentary about 2000AD, you'll have seen Pat Mills talking about the state of British comics in the 70's, with terrible titles and ludicrous stories, (Paddy McGinty's Goat??) That is the starting place and it has so much fun with it. I actually found myself googling some of the crazy comic titles, because like all good satire, they are just this side of believable.
With all this as its setting, the story then takes a turn for the macabre, with a supernatural/perverted lunatic, murder mystery whodunit.
I bought this on kindle first, but then just had to get the actual book. It is so funny, with genuine laugh out loud moments on almost every page. When I was reading it on the train, my constant guffaws and snorts were getting lots of side-eyes thrown my way, so I wanted people to see the source of their annoyance, plus I'd love to get it signed one day
Apparently, the first of a trilogy, so I can not wait for the follow ups. Just utter brilliance
Carrying Pat Mills’ and Kevin O’Neill’s trademark polemic style this disturbing and hilarious story deals with the establishment, class, idiocy, and any number of shibboleths. With some cruelly accurate pastiches of the stories that I enjoyed as a child this book will delight and comics reader, class warrior, or cultural explorer. A breeze and a delight to read.
However you define this book - comedy, period drama, thriller, expose - it's most definitely a page turner which I couldn't put down. It's crying out for a screenplay and would make a great TV series. Eagerly anticipating the next book.
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