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From Hell - New Cover Edition [Paperback]

Alan Moore
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 8 2004
Synopsis: Alan (Watchmen, V for Vendetta) Moore and Eddie (Bacchus, Alec) Campbell finally collect From Hell, wherein they exhume the rancid body of the Whitechapel murders, using fiction as a scalpel they cut open Jack the Ripper's crimes and show those glittering entrails for the world's delight.

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The mad, shaggy genius of the comics world dips deeply into the well of history and pulls up a cup filled with blood in From Hell. Alan Moore did a couple of Ph.D.'s worth of research into the Whitechapel murders for this copiously annotated collection of the independently published series. The web of facts, opinion, hearsay, and imaginative invention draws the reader in from the first page. Eddie Campbell's scratchy ink drawings evoke a dark and dirty Victorian London and help to humanize characters that have been caricatured into obscurity for decades. Moore, having decided that the evidence best fits the theory of a Masonic conspiracy to cover up a scandal involving Victoria's grandson, goes to work telling the story with relish from the point of view of the victims, the chief inspector, and the killer--the Queen's physician. His characterization is just as vibrant as Campbell's; even the minor characters feel fully real. Looking more deeply than most, the author finds in the "great work" of the Ripper a ritual magic working intended to give birth to the 20th century in all its horrid glory. Maps, characters, and settings are all as accurate as possible, and while the reader might not ultimately agree with Moore and Campbell's thesis, From Hell is still a great work of literature. --Rob Lightner

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars pas pour moi Dec 19 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
c est pour un ami, il a adoré, c est long, sombre et bien agencé, y a beaucoup de texte, c ets en noir et blanc et faut s y connaitre en anglais quand même
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing April 26 2004
I was absolutely amazed by the depth and quality of Alan Moore's FROM HELL. I've been reading graphic novels for a little over a year now, and in terms of subtlety, nuance, and overall storytelling, FROM HELL is head and shoulders above anything else I've read. I'm currently reading Moore's WATCHMEN, which also seems to be of equal quality.

I've never experienced anything close to what FROM HELL delivers in the admittedly short time that I've been reading comics. Alan Moore writes with the ear of a novelist and the eye of a portraitist. He packs this well-researched story of the Jack the Ripper murders with a wide and observant representation of life.

This graphic novel isn't just a retelling of the facts of the Jack the Ripper case (though it does an extraordinary job of that). It takes it all to the next level, and examines the reasons for examining such things.

It's not so much a suspense story (you know who the killer is right from the beginning) but rather one of internal discovery. A fascinating work of art and work of literature that should be read by anyone who wants to see just what comics are capable of.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stellar April 2 2004
The pages can get quite ugly; ink splotches, grotesque dissections et al. All this was very necessary, but the story, however, was homogenous- it was a dark and intelligent epic, and one that has numerous elements of realism, so this doesn't step in that "fantasy" category with truculent elves and other Dei ex Machina. In short, I loved the book. Here was a story which dared to stick it's thumb up at the comics establishment (published in the '80s, wot.) and it did it remarkably well.
Truly, this book told its tale like a movie, and the numerous mises-en-scene were deftly handled, and the royal chaps were masterfully portrayed. It had a fine start, and good closure too, quite unlike many money-churning comics you see on the shelf today with issues running into the hundreds. Definite start, definite end, definite masterpiece.
'Tis a shame pop culture so mangled the movie, and if you hated the film (as I did) and want to read the book nonetheless, please do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Comic books aren't literature?....Bah! Oct. 30 2003
You really don't realize just how amazing this book is until you get to the end and read the appendices. These go over in detail every page of the graphic novel and circumstantiates the aspects of each panel. This isn't just a comic book. It's Alan Moore's view of what and why the murders occured and who the ripper was. This version is a result of Moore's own extensive investigations into the Whitechapel murders and he provides thorough evidence for his version of the story, all bound together in a graphic chronicle of the world's most famous unsolved murders. Not just for Ripperologists and comic geeks.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, not great Oct. 3 2003
By A Customer
I was a big fan of the Watchmen and Top Ten, though I haven't enjoyed all of Moore's work nearly as much. So I picked up this collection without overly high expectations.
I found myself engrossed by the story, but the art was so unclear that I found myself frustrated. The use of a large number of panels per page was a fine choice, and I think that a dark gritty approach was called for by the material. But in many panels I couldn't even tell what was represented, indistinct figures blend into the indistinct background so that many panels seem to be just a square full of shading with no forms for the shading to fill.
Overall I'd recommend this to all the Alan Moore groupies and people who have the patience to sit and stare at each page until some sort of image finally becomes clear.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One word: Dense. June 19 2003
Firstly, if you're new to comics, stay well clear of this little baby. Secondly, if all you've ever read is comics, stay well clear of this little baby. Thirdly, if you liked the movie and want to see where it all came from, stay well clear of this little baby. All others: dive in! The water's tepid, and so is the plotting in places, but on the whole this monster of a graphic novel is worth your time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece from the great Alan Moore March 10 2003
While Alan Moore will go down in comics history for Watchmen, his painstakingly researched synopsis of Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel Murders is almost as equally great. Moore teamed up with artist Eddie Campbell to show us the horrific dread and gloomy atmosphere of a city in terror of a killer. Thanks to Moore's great writing, the reader is drawn into this massive story from the first page on as we are introduced to the killer himself (his identity based on Moore's own research along with specualted opinions and hearsay) and Campbell's scrathy yet beautiful black & white art sustains the atmosphere of From Hell perfectly. Eventually it would be made into a film starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham, and even though I liked that as well, this graphic novel beats it on every level (if you liked the film I strongly suggest checking this out, and I guarantee you'll love this). The characterizations, dialogue, art, and riveting storyline keep the reader interested up until the final panel, and whether you like comics or not this is an essential read no matter who you are.
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