Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

  • Music:

Alan Moore.

This morning I read Rich Johnston's article on Alan Moore, but since then I've reread bits of it a couple of times as it is pimped around the blog community at large. After about the sixth time, I figured I should join the linking parade, but mostly because I want to recommend Moore's novel, Voice of the Fire, which is one of my favourite things written.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because Johnston's article mentions that Moore's next novel will be Jerusalem,  "a follow up to the recently reprinted Voice Of The Fire. Voice told stories set in Alan Moore's home town of Northampton, over 10,000 years. He mockingly told me, "I feel it was a little too cosmopolitan. So my next novel is set in just three or four blocks in Northampton, where I grew up. It's the most important historical area anywhere anyway.""

It's not the first time I've heard it mentioned, but since Moore makes mention that he is drawing the cover, the implication is that it is finished and will see print sooner, rather than later. Which is excellent news.

Voice of the Fire is the kind of book a lot of people wouldn't like because it begins with a cave boy with a limited vocabulary. The first line of the novel is, in fact, "A-hind of hill, ways off to sun-set-down, is sky come like as fire, and walk I up in way of this, all hard of breath, where grass colding on I's feet and wetting they." It's beautiful and demanding and I have nothing but respect for it as many authors would not begin a novel (much less a first novel) with such a difficult narrator. After the cave boy, it follows ten different narrators in different times, their stories connected by being set in Northampton, with the tenth narrator being Moore himself.

I'm not going to describe any more of the book, because I think you should read it. If my recommendations on this blog have ever directed you to something you haven't tried, now is the time to show some trust and go there. If your only experience of Moore's work is From Hell and Watchmen or one of his other graphic novels, then you're missing one of his few works where you, the reader, experience Moore's intricate and layered authorial voice without an artist interpreting it for you. Understand me, this is not a comment upon the quality of his graphic novels, for the majority of them are fine things and worth your money and time... but not one of them is like Voice of the Fire.

It will never be a movie, for which I am eternally thankful.
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