- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Top Shelf Productions (January 6, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1891830449
- ISBN-13: 978-1891830440
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Voice Of The Fire Hardcover – January 6, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
"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
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.
Moore, who is so famous I can trust to odds that you know the top three or four works he's most famous for, as revolutionized the comics industry in terms of storytelling, style, and tone time and again. And yet Voice of the Fire remains low on Amazon.com's list of books sold, its decade in the 84,450s list include the English Teacher's Book of Instant Word Games and a certainly captivating Dictionary of Financial Terms.
This, inasmuch as concerns what the public is fed through the New York Times Best Seller List, is unsurprising. Moore's book begins with a 40+ paged chapter about a Neolithic cave-boy's exile from his hunter-gatherer tribe. An emotional and moving story to be sure...if you can make it to the end. The story is told in the first person, using what Moore estimates to be less than five hundred words--his creative attempt at mimicking Neolithic speech and thought.
If you're wondering what to expect from the story: expect fire. And blood. Horror. Nightmares. And more fire besides. Be it ancient, Roman, Norman, or modern, Northampton has never been a very safe place to live, an issue Moore addresses personally as the protagonist in the final chapter, written in a stream-of-consciousness style.
Expect a smorgasbord of writing styles.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book for fans of Alan Moore. I would call the genre Horror. Extremely challenging but very engaging. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mitch Laird
This book deserves a lot more attention and praise than what it gathered so far in the ten years it has been in print. I believe that one day this will be considered a classic.Published 17 months ago by Nick
Interesting novel by Alan Moore. Very dense and difficult to get into, but definitely rewarding. Certain passages are absolutely beautiful and thought provoking in a way only Moore... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Daniel C Durbin
Alan Moore's first novel is a psychogeographic history of Northampton, England, tracing its bloody, magical roots from the late Neolithic to the modern. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Ryan
Heavy book, it'll take you an age to finish it. A bit overdetailed at times, and the prehistoric and historic language is impressive, but challenging.Published on December 28, 2013 by David K. Stolowitz
Shamans, heads, magic, a bridge, crossroads, dogs, pigs, flame: elemental and elusive, this powerful novel recapitulates the evolution of English and the growth of Northampton,... Read morePublished on August 10, 2013 by John L Murphy
I know most Alan Moore fans are die-hard but I just couldn't get into this one. I am still fighting through and have read three other books in the interim....it just drags on.Published on May 28, 2013 by Kristin M
The reviews written about this novel describe it perfectly. I can only add that I check Amazon every week looking for Alan Moore's new novel JERUSALEM to be released. Read morePublished on February 18, 2013 by Cheri
This text is an amazing accomplishment in writing which makes several bold experiments work well. The first chapter's reimagining of English grammar through the lens of a stone... Read morePublished on February 15, 2013 by Christopher Wise