Sunday, August 3, 2008

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1

Oh boy! We had our biggest turn-out yet at the book club meeting to discuss The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 - including a special type of member little-seen at book clubs across the nation (from what I understand): men.

Those who think graphic novels are little more than adventure comics might be surprised by The League's copious literary references. Turns out so were about half of the attendees, for whom the (sometimes) obscure references passed right by (myself included). So, there was a lot of talk about 18th and 19th century British literature and influence, and the changes that have occurred across gender, cultural and racial lines, and how various people experienced reading a parody of some of those issues today. Once again, despite whether people liked or disliked the book, we had a really terrific conversation and (at least I) learned a lot.

Naturally, we also spent an obligatory amount of time talking about how terrible the Sean Connery movie was.

More than one person showed up with notes and lists of references - it's an interesting graphic novel because it can been read on a lot of different levels - it can be read at face value - an adventure, or it can be a real jumping-off point to learn/explore other (mostly) British literature, or it can be scoured for clues and references.

Read D's review on his website, DeBordian Perruque, or my review on Bookish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for the link, and thanks for hosting/starting this bookclub!

Again, the thing I liked most about this graphic novel is how it made me want to learn more, but is was nice to re-discover it as a socio-historical cultural perspective (warts and all)!

And Saints Preserve Us- the LoEG movie is a horrific atrocity against the book. It's a terrible movie in its own right, but the existence of a restored action-hero Allan Quatermain & a fainting Mina (Harker) Murray destroys most of the ideological-cultural critique that the Moore work had. As we said in book club, modern Hollywood can be even more sexist than 19th century British fiction.