V for Vendetta – Bookcast #29

V for Vendetta (1982-1989) by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Set in a futurist totalitarian England, a country without freedom or faith, a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask strikes back against the oppressive overlords on behalf of the voiceless. Armed with only knives and his wits, V, as he’s called, aims to bring about change in this horrific new world. His only ally? A young woman named Evey Hammond. And she is in for much more than she ever bargained for…

A visionary graphic novel that defines sophisticated storytelling, this powerful tale detailing the loss and fight for individuality has become a cultural touchstone and an enduring allegory for current events. Master storytellers Alan Moore and David Lloyd are at the top of their craft in this terrifying portrait of totalitarianism and resistance.

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A very brief description of “V for Vendetta”

  • Set in a futurist totalitarian England, a mysterious man codenamed “V” fights to bring freedom to the country. 
  • A visionary graphic novel that defines sophisticated storytelling, this powerful tale detailing the loss and fight for individuality has become a cultural touchstone and an enduring allegory for current events. 

What Moore and Lloyd set out to do / Purpose of the book

  • To introduce anarchic philosophy and the value of fighting for what is right – even if it involves “criminal” activity

What challenges/problems does it attempt to solve?

  • To show the truth about fascist philosophy

The intended audience of the book / Who will benefit most

  • Anyone who loves graphic novels / comic books
  • Anyone who loves hero stories
  • Anyone who liked the movie V for Vendetta and wants a much deeper story
  • Anyone who wants an optimistic – and practical – application of anarchic philosophy

Who probably WON’T like “V for Vendetta”

  • People who don’t like dark stories involving violence and cruelty
  • People who can’t appreciate history or war stories
  • People who don’t like comic books
  • People who hate masks

NEW Q: How does this book specifically benefit Men? 

  • Shows you a great story of a man who knows who he is, what he wants and how a man like that can make a massive difference

Is this book Easy, Average or Difficult to read? / How long is it?

  • Easy to read, difficult to think about
  • Print: 296 pages – About 4-5 hours
  • Audio: N/A

What are the overall book reviews?

Is the book well-known? Popular? Significant?

Book-To-Movie Translation

  • Movie is awesome…8.1 rating on IMDB
  • Graphic Novel is BETTER!

Alan Moore Bio

  • Alan Moore is widely considered to be the best comic/graphic novel writer of all time
  • Alan Moore (born November 18, 1953, Northampton, England) – Age now 68
  • Grew up in poverty and a neighborhood lacking basic facilities. His father, Ernest Moore, was a brewery worker and mother, Sylvia Doreen, a printer.
  • Moore’s greatest childhood influence was his highly religious and superstitious maternal grandmother who lived with them.
  • Moore began publishing his poetry and essays in various fanzines during the late 1960s and eventually set up his own fanzine named Embryo. He continued to live with his parents for some time and worked on different jobs, including cleaning toilets.
  • In 1971, Moore met Phyllis, whom he married some time later and had two daughters, Amber and Leah. Also, during the 1970s, Moore became a cartoonist. His work began appearing in publications such as Sounds and NME under various pseudonyms including Curt Vile, Jill De Ray, and Translucia Baboon.
  • Moore gained life changing recognition when he started writing for the British anthology magazine, Warrior. He worked on his most important series, “Miracleman” and “V for Vendetta.” He was awarded the British Eagle for Best Comics Writer awards for both these works in 1982 and 1983.
  • His 1986 work, “Watchmen” redefined the comic book medium, changing the tone of comics to date. Many readers and critics consider Watchmen to be the best comic ever produced.
  • Alan Moore’s comics and graphic novels have won over a dozen Eisner awards (comic equivalent of Academy Award)
  • Check Wikipedia for a list of all of Moore’s work (trust us, it’s a MASSIVE list)

David Lloyd Bio

  • British comic artist, best known for his work on V for Vendetta
  • During his forty years as an artist he’s worked on many major titles, including Sandman, Doctor Who and The Incredible Hulk.
  • Lloyd is the one who created and designed the iconic Guy Fawkes mask that V wears and has become a cultural symbol…currently most associated with the hacktivist group “Anonymous”

Table of Contents / Breakdown of Themes

  • Freedom and Anarchy
    • The central theme of V for Vendetta is freedom and its relationship with anarchy, or the absence of government. 
    • V describes himself as an anarchist (as does Alan Moore, the author) — one who believes that all governmental authority is corrupt because it infringes on human freedom. 
  • Bigotry
    • One of the most immediately noticeable characteristics of the society in V for Vendetta is its profound bigotry. 
    • England under the Norsefire government celebrates the achievements of one racial group—here, Caucasians—and attacks members of nearly all other races, sending many of them to die in concentration camps and eradicating their cultural achievements. 
    • Norsefire society also directs its bigotry towards women—all the prominent authorities in the government are men
  • The Power of Symbols
    • From the first chapter of V for Vendetta, Alan Moore shows us the enormous power that symbols have over a society. V, the protagonist of the graphic novel, wears a Guy Fawkes mask, and draws “V” symbols almost wherever he goes. After saving Evey Hammond from a group of murderers, V takes her to watch as he blows up the Houses of Parliament, a centuries-old symbol of the strength and power of English rule.
  • Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal
    • Webster’s Dictionary defines “vendetta” either as “a feud between two parties, leading to long-lasting animosity and retaliatory acts of revenge” or as “a series of acts attempting to injure another.”
    • In essence, Moore leads us to ask, “Is V motivated by revenge, or by a more abstract, philosophical objection to the fascist government?”
  • Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State
    • Throughout V for Vendetta, Evey struggles with her conflicted feelings for her father—feelings that have enormous ramifications for her relationship with V and with the Norsefire state.
    • Evey’s father, whom she adored, was arrested by the Norsefire government for his socialist leanings when Evey was a child. It’s likely, Evey acknowledges, that her father was then taken to a concentration camp and murdered. Because Evey lost her father at a young age, she searches for a father of her own.

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V for Vendetta – Bookcast #29 1

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