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From Hell - New Cover Edition Paperback – Jun 8 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions; New edition edition (June 8 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0958578346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0958578349
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 19.7 x 26 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #199,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

By C. Fletcher on April 26 2004
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on Feb. 7 2003
Format: Paperback
From Hell is Alan Moore's brilliant fictional interpretation of the Ripper crimes of 1888, told mainly from the perspective of the murderer himself. Moore's meticulously researched work - almost every major event can be attributed to one or more historical sources, some more trustworthy than others, and all listed in the fascinating endnotes - operates within the framework of the theory known as the "Royal Conspiracy", which suggests that Jack the Ripper was actually a deranged physician, Sir William Gull, operating to silence a group of East End prostitutes trying to blackmail the royal family. That's a sensational suggestion, and Moore makes things even more extravagant with his literary interpretation of the crimes as a symbol of the era's sexism and oppression; in the world of From Hell, Gull uses the murders as an opportunity to create an enormous work of ritual magic, with the purpose of keeping womankind enslaved for all eternity.
In so short a summary, a premise of that sort sounds like typical comic book fodder - in the worst possible way. But From Hell is no penny-dreadful account of a mad doctor slashing wildly at buxom streetwalkers. Moore refuses to exploit any of his characters: the prostitutes who are to become the Ripper's victims are shown as strong-willed individuals trying to make a living under truly hideous conditions; Gull is a brash, brilliant man, typical of the Victorian upper classes, whose underlying prejudices are grotesquely brought to the surface after he suffers a stroke early in the novel. No character here is a caricature - they're all real people, right down to relatively minor supporting figures like Gull's harried, ambitious coach-driver Netley.
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Format: Paperback
As the old song goes, "Alan Moore knows the score".
If you've seen the movie, forget the psychic detective, forget the whodunnit story. If you wondered where the film's brains were -- well, they were left on the comics page.
The black-and-white graphic novel is an exploration of Jack the Ripper -- his crimes, conspiracy theories, the police investigation and a lot of insight into the mind of the Ripper (whose identity is not kept secret). This book goes off into so many wonderful tangents about philosophy, history, little period details, all kinds of stuff that you couldn't fit into a movie's length. Yet it keeps very human characters.
Alan Moore's writing is superb as ever. Eddie Campbell's art is a bit stratchy but perfectly sets the mood.
The book also contains an length collection of Endnotes that will show where Moore's getting this stuff from and suggestions for further reading. And there's the history of Ripper studies in comic book form too.
Not for the faint of heart ("Jack" murdered and maimed viciously) or those with a short attention span (lots of artsy and intellectual stuff here, not a slam-bang actioner). But for those who want smart, well-written, well-drawn, insanely well-researched comics, this is the collection to buy.
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