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Quick review: Watchmen

I can't remember the last time I couldn't put a book down, and just had to finish it. Actually I can, but I'm not particularly proud that the book was the first Harry Potter book (read between 10pm and 4am just after I'd finished college :)) Lately, I've fallen into the bad habit of reading 3-4 books at the same time on and off.

So, I think it says something about the quality of the book that I decided to pick it up from the UChicago library sometime yesterday afternoon, started reading it a little bit after that, and between dinner, a little TV-time and sleep, finished it today morning. The book is the graphic novel (yes, it was a comic book!), Watchmen by Alan Moore. I'm pretty sure I only picked it up because I found out that it was the only graphic novel in Time's 100 greatest novels since 1923,

I was blown away. The grandness of the overall plot and idea, the comic tragedy of an organization of superheros, the frailty of each of the characters and what they stand for, how it all fits into the history of the period and the Cold War, and the sub-text (that I've only got parts of on the first read) is just brilliant. The stylistic tools are brilliant too: there's a comic book being read within the comic book, there's text and pages of novels written by characters within the book, dialog occasionally spills over into other panels. The story is a little disturbing, and if you're looking for moral dillemmas and big questions about the point of it all (I always am:)), they're there. Overall though, very highly recommended!

Aside: It looks like they're making a Watchmen movie, and Tom Cruise wants to play Ozymandias. Thats almost perfect casting.:)


shmoo said…
I'm pretty apprehensive about a Watchmen movie. Alan Moore is even more so, he's disallowed his name being used on any films made from his works, as seen (or not seen I guess) in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell, and V for Vendetta.
Satyajeet said…
I concur.
This one seems particularly hard to convert into a movie, particularly a successful commercial one.
LoEG was a trainwreck; I actually liked V though.:)
The guy who's directing the Watchmen is the one who did 300 (and got the gig because of that), so ...yeah...

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