Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
I read a lot. Books, magazine articles, blogs, etc. I don’t usually blog about something I have read unless I consider it really top shelf. Therefore, I don’t often update my blog with book reviews. Just a few days ago I authored a blog on “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” Now I find myself writing a blog on Watchmen. I really enjoyed Watchmen and will probably read it again in a few years just because it is so different.
Watchmen is a graphic novel. We used to call them comic books, but my how they have changed since I was a kid reading Superman and Spiderman. Before you pass judgement be forewarned Time magazine named Watchmen one of the 100 best English language novels since Time started publication in 1923. I picked Watchmen up out of curiosity. How could a comic book, albeit a long, long one, be one of the 100 best English language novels?
The setting for the novel is a dystopian future of 1985. The setting is mostly the United States although there is an interlude on Mars. Through an awful trick of fate Nixon is still President! If that is not bad enough the cold war is getting very hot and everyone is expecting World War III to break out any day. There are many other differences from what really transpired. For example, with the aid of the superheroes we won the Vietnam War.
The Watchmen are none to “super” super heroes who for the most part don’t really have any super powers. The exception is this blue dude Dr. Manhattan. He got discombobulated in a nuclear accident a few years before our story begins and is not bound by space, time, or laws of physics. He reminds me of Michael Jordan.
Watchmen begins with the murder of one of their own (The Comedian). They (primarily Rorschach and Nite Owl) investigate and uncover a plan which threatens to change the World as we know it. However since this an alternative future the World is not as we know it anyway.
The book is non- linear and the story jumps around in both space and time constantly. There is also another narrative (Tales of the Black Freighter) intertwined with the main plot through the reading of one of the main plots characters.