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Voice Of The Fire [Hardcover]

Alan Moore , Jose Villarrubia , Neil Gaiman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 6 2004
In a story full of lust, madness, and ecstasy, we meet twelve distinctive characters that lived in the same region of central England over a span of six thousand years. Each interconnected tale traces a path in a journey of discovery of the secrets of the land. In the tradition of Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill, Schwob's Imaginary Lives and Borges' A Universal History of Infamy, Moore travels through history blending truth and conjecture, in a novel that is dazzling, moving, sometimes tragic, but always mesmerizing. This edition presents Voice of the Fire for the first time in hardcover format, with full color illustrations by Jose Villarrubia.

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First Sentence
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 is grass colding on l's feet and wetting they. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Novel of the 90s? March 8 2004
Most comics readers have heard of Alan Moore, and EVERYONE working in comics has been influenced by him. So when he released his first prose novel several years ago (1995?) I bought a British import and read it in a few days. Devoured it. Savoured every concrescence manifesting through the man's words. Loved it.
And then the book went out of print...
Until Top Shelf brought it back! (yesh)
Watchmen? From Hell? Tom Strong? Swamp Thing? A Small Killing? Halo Jones? Naw, it's different from all of them. Here's a quote from a current Moore interview: "I'd like to think that if I've shown anything, it's that comics are the medium of almost inexhaustible possibilities, that there have been...there are great comics yet to be written. There are things to be done with this medium that have not been done, that people maybe haven't even dreamed about trying. And, if I've had any benign influence upon comics, I would hope that it would be along those lines; that anything is possible if you approach the material in the right way. You can do some extraordinary things with a mixture of words and pictures. It's just a matter of being diligent enough and perceptive enough and working hard enough, continually honing your talent until it's sharp enough to do the job that you require."
He does the same thing with prose, pushing the medium in surprising directions. The closest literary equivalent I know of is 'Ulysses' - but that takes place in one day. 'Voice of the Fire' covers a few thousand years. Both are equally dulcet and disquieting. It's a book worth owning. And rereading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a work of magic Feb. 26 2004
By A Customer
I think that Rebecca Scott explains the book best in her greenmanreview.com review. Here is an excerpt:
"If Voice of the Fire has a protagonist, it must be Northampton itself, because this is the story of the formation of the mythology of that place. It is a geological study of the strata of the collective unconscious of the area. Each of its twelve chapters is the first-person story of an individual who crystallized into the forming stones in the hill of tales, whose bodies fed its grass and trees. Their histories wind through that of the land, bringing us closer and closer to the present day.
Each of the chapters includes a full-color plate, a photographic character portrait by Jose Villarrubia (who contributed to the very fine graphic novel Veils). These glow softly, and have a painterly quality about them that makes even the grimmest a gem. Yet this is a text novel, not a graphic novel, and the words are the things. Very fine words they are, too: "Trust in the fictive process, in the occult interweaving of text and event must be unwavering and absolute. This is the magic place, the mad place at the spark gap between word and world." The language is vivid, graphic (sometimes too graphic for someone who reads while eating). Each chapter, each story, has a distinct voice, radically different from the others...
This book is a work of magic ... If you let it, it will work a change in your consciousness ... So come, climb this hill of tales in the night of myth, draw close to the flames, listen to the voice of the fire, and let it work its spell in you." -- Rebecca Scott, GreenManReview.com
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These reviews I found would express what I think better than I can.
"Part mythic cycle, part fictional history of Moore's hometown, part collection of fireside ghost stories, Voice of the Fire is as clever and well-crafted as Moore's other genre experiments, and by taking his dialogue out of word-balloons and panel arrangements, it gives his limitless literary ambition room to stretch out into new and fascinating forms." -- Tasha Robinson, The Onion
"[Voice of the Fire] blends witchcraft, savagery, subjectivity, and the darkness that lies within each of us. The resulting narrative is a meditation on the twisting annals of history, the supernatural world between life and death, and the oft-thin line between fantasy and reality." -- Lloyd Babbit, MetroPulse.com
By summoning up the voices of the dead and burned, Moore stakes his claim as a grand magician and, unlike his colleague in Oz, he invites us to look at him behind his curtain of fire. Now singing, now screaming, he signals his message through the flames." -- Adam White, Indyworld.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly literate, highly original Jan. 4 2004
This neo-pagan novel is a psycho-spiritual portrait of one English town told in a dozen first-person snapshots over a period of 6,000 years, beginning with the story of a Neolithic man and ending with a mystical, poetic monologue in the author's own mind in the Northampton of 1995. Northampton is examined as a phenomenological entity with Moore attending as occult detective, a shaman mapping its mental geography. Brilliant, disturbing, overwhelming and highly original.
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