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Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Return and The Watchmen

So…after more than a year of not blogging (I still can’t believe it’s actually been a year?!) I’m BACK! This year has been way too busy and stressful so far, and I’ve just realized that I really miss the steadiness and routine of blogging. With that said, my goal for the foreseeable future is to read a book and blog about it every week. Now, this is my GOAL, but seeing as how it is April of my Junior year of High School and SATs, AP tests, college apps, and just generally craziness are looming large, it might not happen every week. But I will certainly try!

Now, without further ado, let me present to you one of the best books I’ve read in a long long time: Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. I’ve read great graphic novels before (Persepolis immediately comes to mind…) but this was unlike anything I have ever read before in my entire life. It presents a world ticking towards disaster–1980s New York under the threat of nuclear war–and the fallen heroes who have grown tired of saving a doomed world. This vibrant cast includes Dr. Manhattan, the human H-bomb, Silk Spectre, his long-time girlfriend who is unsure of both her career and Manhattan himself, the Comedian, whose death reunites the old gang, Rorschach, the nihilistic vigilante, and many others. Over the course of the book, the past converges on the present and the characters’ lives warp and connect as they each draw closer to the inevitable crisis that faces them.

What struck me the most about this book was its sheer scope, encompassing classic superhero tropes, the threat of nuclear war, friendship, love, existential angst, abuse, tragedy, evil geniuses, diabolical plans, the landscape of Mars, parental issues, ineffectual shrinks, funerals, and pirates, just to name a few. It did what I think is the hardest thing for fiction to do–to feel like life, in all its enormity, confusion, and chaos.

Each chapter ends with a quote, and this one, the second to last, is my favorite:

“It would be a stronger world, a stronger loving world, to die in.” – John Cale

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