Worth the wait

On Tuesdays, I post a bit about what I am currently reading.

It’s been weeks since I finished reading From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, but I just wanted to document how great I thought it was!

I think I’d mentioned before that I’d received this book as a Christmas gift a long time ago…back in 2008! I feel bad that I let it sit around that long before reading it, especially since I had specifically asked for it as a gift :(. I think I was mostly putting it off because:

  1. It’s long for a graphic novel (572 pages) and since it’s hardcover, this makes the book quite heavy and not easy to cart around while one is reading it.
  2. It’s in black and white.
  3. Some of the drawings are really tiny.
  4. The lettering is crooked and sort of hard to read.
  5. The characters all speak with accents.
  6. The story seemed dense (in other words, not like a quick, light read). This is fine, but I have to be in the mood.

Well, it turns out I was wrong about number 6. Yes, the story was complex and involved and deep (and dark, too, of course, since it’s about the Jack the Ripper murders) but…it felt quick and light. Once I got started reading this, it was like I no longer noticed how small and black and white the drawings were, or how crookedly-lettered the speech bubbles were. The characters’ accents presented no problem for me. I’ll admit I had a harder time forgetting the physical heaviness of the book, but even so…I didn’t want to put it down. I flew through it and totally loved it.

You know how when you finish a book you totally loved, you wish you could call up the author and ask them a million questions about it? That’s how I felt about this one. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered this appendix at the end:

DSCF3461Moore’s notes cover almost every single page in the book!

And while he didn’t answer every question I had, he covered a lot of ground and shared all sorts of insight. I loved reading all that extra material. It was like the next best thing to having a conversation with Moore about the story over coffee…or tea, I guess, as he is British.

DSCF3465Seriously, why don’t all (great) books have this?!

I have learned there is also a From Hell companion book available, so I’ve added it to my wishlist.

I’ve read several other books in the past few weeks, too, but I’ll maybe cover those in a different post. If anyone is really curious, I track almost everything I read over at LibraryThing. Feel free to add me if you want! I’ll add you back. And let me know what you are reading, too. Anything that you’ve loved?

Happy reading,


PS – If you decide to read From Hell on my recommendation, please be forewarned that it is intended for, as the movie ratings board likes to call them, ‘mature audiences.’ It contains nudity and graphic violence.


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