Imagine a Britain stripped of democracy, a world of the not-too-distant future in which freedom has been surrendered willingly to a totalitarian regime which rose to power by exploiting the people's worst fears and most damning weaknesses.
This is the setting for the parable of Evey, a young woman saved from death by a masked man calling himself V. Beguiling and dangerous, V ignites the fuse of revolution when he urges his fellow citizens to shed the blanket of tyranny and oppression that they have permitted themselves to be cloaked in. While those in power take steps to neutralize the threat, police pursue the mystery of V, unaware of the terrible truth that awaits them. But it is Evey who, with V as her enigmatic guide, sets out on the painful path of deception and self-discovery, deconstruction and re-creation, vindication and vengeance.
Novelization by Steve Moore, based on the graphic novel illustrated by David Lloyd and published by Vertigo/DC Comics. Based on the screenplay written by the Wachowski Brothers.
©2006 DC Comics; (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks
Audio: Excellent. Narrator has a British accent, as appropriate for the context of the book, and was easily understood by this American listener. This is a dramatization, and the narrator does "voices in character", but there is no music except at the title introduction of each of the two audio segments. (I personally don't care for music-enhanced dramas in audiobooks)
Content: The audio intro says this book is based on the graphic novel based on the screenplay by the Wachowski Brothers. As such this is a VERY in-depth, fleshed-out and thoughtful portrayal. After listening one would think that the based-ons could easily have been reversed, as this book is not a mere description of a movie, but an insightful exploration of all the themes and issues. My highest kudos to the author for doing so. I had seen the movie previously and look forward to seeing it again, as the book seems faithful to the plot, to my recollection.
As a story, both book and movie have a near-term, futuristic setting with enough mystery, suspense, and action that appeals to my personal tastes. Fascism, anarchy, and "V"engence certainly give it a serious side, with enough references to current day England and several pointed jabs at America to express its opinions. I highly recommend it as a thought-provoking AND entertaining tale.
I thought this book was outstanding and a great compliment to the movie. Of course I love the movie, so perhaps my opinion is not completely objective.
Now having said that this book (and movie) is more of an Orwellian 1984 spin-off than an allegory of our current political atmosphere. It is a warning of what might be without diligence, not of what is happening now. To review a political philosophy as opposed to the book is unfair and more than a little disingenuous. The lust for power is not a political ideology of right or left it is a human trait.
This story spoke to my soul. In this time of governments lying to their people about everything possible, this story gives hope to the common man. While it is still fiction and a illustrated novel (comic book)story at that, it is still a great story. If you didn't see the movie, then the book is a great way to get the total experience. While the movie is also excellent, the book does have a little more than the movie.
I like a good dystopia. 1984 is my favourite work of fiction and I listen to it several times avery year. This work is not quite at the same standard but is pretty close because it is, sadly, just as plausible as Orwell's vision.
A bit wierd to have a book based on a comic (graphic novel) which was itself based on a film script but it never feels like its derived from anything else. It feels like an original and very well constructed original idea. And a well written one at that.
The narration is excellent, clear and with enough characterisation to aid comprehension without being intrusive.
Anybody with a taste for the future should read this.
I'm a politically conservative, technologically inclined, open-minded, all American citizen of this great terrestrial ball we call home. I keep my head in the clouds, I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels but I keep my feet on the ground, I stay informed on news and current events, and I love the fact that I can still form and express my own opinions in this great nation we call The Untied States.
I first saw the movie and loved it. I got the book and it seemed to follow the same story line so I enjoyed the book as well. A very good read
Just a fantastic story with the Perfect Reader, really unexpected when I was browsing the site.
I have listened to this repeatedly in the background and still been as entertained as the 1st time I listened to it.
Excellent Characters in a not too distant/ possible time of horrible ruling and abuse of power made you feel like joining in on the march yourself.
I love, love, love this movie. I usually re-watch it a couple times a year. When I saw this book on sale, I thought, why not?
At first it reads just like the movie, word for word. Once you get into it, it starts to give you more. In a movie you must have dialog to convey thoughts, feelings and intent. Not so with a book. This book gives a little more backstory to most of the characters and lets you in on their thoughts.
Most of the time I love the book and hate the movie, but you can't go wrong when the book was written based on a movie that is already awesome. It's a win/win. I would still like to read the original graphic novel, though.
There are books of the same chemical composition as dynamite. The only difference is that a piece of dynamite explodes once, whereas a book explodes a thousand times. ― Yevgeny Zamyatin
V for Vendetta is a dystopia (though some authors distinguish dystopias from anti-utopias, but I'd rather use the former term). So, as any dystopia, it is meant to be a critique of the social or political system that exist in reality. Dystopias express our modern age anxieties and fears, as well as disillusionment with the utopian thought.
VfV describes the tyranny of a totalitarian regime and its evils; utter misery of the people; an individual crushed by the police state; people living in a constant nightmare. Exploitation, corruption, destruction, decline of faith and terror.
What makes this dystopia stand out is that the audiobook is based on the comic book series, and the protagonist doesn't want to be trampled on by the totalitarian machine. Estranged, V takes revenge and, having no scruples left, defies the state by using 'like-cures-like' methods: murder, terrorism, and subterfuge.
Well, perhaps, the question the reader can ask themselves is, Does the end justify the means? What V does is immoral, but if the environment is sick, does social ethics need to exist? If you want to be free, is chaos the only way to gain freedom?
V is certainly not a fictional character. His anarchic prototypes are not remnants of the past revolutions, but quite an inspiration behind protests nowadays.
As D. Harvey wrote, 'There is a time and place in the ceaseless human endeavor to change the world, when alternative visions, no matter how fantastic, provide the grist for shaping powerful political forces for change.' But, honestly, dystopian visions don't seem so fantastic the minute you link them with real events that happened in the past or are currently going on. There's nothing depicted in dystopias that people haven't committed.
P.S. As for the performance, it was excellent. Simon Vance is unrivalled!
What more can I say about this book! I LOVED it from start to finish. The narrator invited my imagination into this gritty universe and held it there until the very end :)
I got this thinking it was based on the original comic by Alan Moore, but actually it's based on the graphic novel based on the movie, and bears little resemblence to the comic. My fault for not reading the description clearly enough! Still, I got it on special for $5 so I really can't complain. The narrator does a good job, and the story's okay.
Simon Vance's narration really brings this book to life - suiting the main character of V down to the ground. The pacing is excellent, and the book itself is gripping from start to finish. I found that I was sucked in to the storyline far more than is usual, and some of the sadder portions of the book had me in tears.
The best audiobook that I've had the pleasure of listening to!
"We can dream"
Whilst we don't find ourselves in quite the same world as V and Evey it doesn't take too much of a leap of imagination to get us there. A fascist state ruling by fear, by controlling the media and by the use of scapegoats. The justice system and Parliament have long since stopped serving the people but the people have to go along with it to save the country from catastrophe. Mmmm.
A great listen and uplifting in an odd way.
Well read by Simon Vance.
Did not live up to expectation, I enjoyed the movie but found the audiobook lacklustre and had to force myself to finish it. Narration was good except for the voice for Evey, it really grated on my nerves - too whinny and high pitched. Maybe this is what put me off the audiobook?
As a previous reviewer has said Simon Vance is an excellent reader. This is a novelisation of the film and is quite different from the original brilliant graphic novel by Alan Moore. None the less it is a wonderfully gripping version and one of the best stories I have had the pleasure of listening to. I highly recommend
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