Posted on Saturday, October 22nd, 2005 at 6:42 pm under Fiction

Title: Voice Of The Fire
Author: Alan Moore
Genre: Fiction

Why I liked this book: Alan Moore always seems to avoid the tired cliché and write from a unique perspective. In Voice of the Fire, he writes from 12 different unique perspectives. The framework of this novel consists of glimpses of one particular region of England, as seen through the eyes of these 12 diverse characters that span a timeframe from 4000 BC straight through to the present. Each part is written in a distinct “voice” that works on it’s own as a short story, but the thing that makes this a coherent novel, is the recurring patterns and symbolism that run throughout, and the raw, warts and all portraits of humanity. We might expect a work like this to begin with a “caveman”-and it does, but this isn’t your typical run of the mill, hunting, gathering and discovering fire kind of caveman. This caveman is an individual. He’s young, and wandering around on his own. When his mother dies, he’s abandoned by his companions and left to die because he’s not quite as bright as the other cavemen, and can’t contribute his share to the group. The situation is harsh, and Moore doesn’t pull any punches, but the writing style is beautiful and poetic, particularly in this first section. On the first page he’s contemplating starvation, in a world where nobody is likely to come to his rescue, but the sparse poetic writing style goes right to the heart of the matter, and gives the story an authentic feel. “In bove of I is many sky-beasts, big and grey. Slow is they move, as they is with no strong in they. May that they want for food, as I is want a-like.” It does take a little bit of work to decipher this first section, but it’s not too difficult if you take your time and sound out the words phonetically. In any case it’s well worth the effort, and the other chapters are written in more straightforward styles (with standard grammar). The main characters of each of the other sections are equally interesting and unique. One of the stories is written from the point of view of a severed head, while another one is a witch at the point of being burned at the stake. If you’re at all curious about the stories that the rest of the characters have to tell, then I recommend picking up a copy of this book. You won’t be disappointed.

One Response to “Alan Moore doesn’t pull any punches”

  1. Bill Eynon (Colton) Says:

    You should also read http://www.themysteryreader.com/pears-instance.html. Very interesting view of life in England in the 1600s. Also good mystery

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