Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Book Review: Lost Girls by Alan Moore & Melinda Gebbie

Alan Moore, writer of the ground breaking graphic novels, Watchmen and From Hell, here turns his considerable talents to erotica or pornography produced as art. His partner in this endeavour is his wife, the equally talented Melinda Gebbie, who provides the beautiful but sexually explicit drawings. The titular lost girls are the adult versions of three characters from classic children's fiction-Dorothy (Wizard of Oz), Wendy (Peter Pan) and Alice (Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.) They all meet by chance as guests at the exotic hotel Himmelgarten on the Austrian border, prior to the start of World War 1. Their meeting soon blossoms into a triangle of lust and friendship as they recount to each other their randy exploits-Alan Moore bases these on the plots of the original stories-while engaged in copious amounts of lesbian sex. This is marketed as classy erotica, but please don't think Lost Girls is softcore; it's very hardcore indeed, suffused with a genuine (porno)graphic explicitness and will be considered obscene by many.

But unlike boring formulaic porn made to make money, Lost Girls is something more then a cheap turn on. Melinda Gebbie's colourful, fantastical but also realistic art is based on many different types of late Victorian and Edwardian styles, complimenting its Fin-de- Siecle decadent feel. Alan Moore's writing is wonderfully overripe, the story and the stories within a story engrossing and most importantly it's more then about sex as a mere bodily function to be gawped at for visceral thrills (although there is a lot of that too!) It deals with the lose of innocence of the three 'lost girls'; combining a subtle feminist critique of male values with a literal 'make love not war' message; nor does it shy away from difficult subject matter such as child abuse. It's overriding theme though is the power and ecstasy of the sexual imagination which does not always relate to reality-what gets you going inside your head might not do the same if acted out in real life. As one character says: "Fiction and fact: Only madmen and magistrates cannot discriminate between them."


Sibel said...

hi! thank you for your nice comment, I stopped by and I am very interested with the content of your blog. In this age of cyber technology, even reading is done for us... I love books, to hold them, to open the first page and I love to see the letters on the pages as I decipher them and discover the story unfold in my head. I am not looking forward to the day when books will become a thing of the past and we all will walk with mini audio noog holding thousands of stories... but we cannot stop progress...

Miss Adventure said...

Wow that sounds good! I love that post modern inter-textual cleverness/plot twists. (Media Studies degree talking - and going to waste). Sex isn't bad either, to read about anyway. I think I'm going to have to get that book.

God. As if the pile of books by my bed isn't big enough as it is. New year's resolution? Read more. Fuckin' write more Amy! (Sorry. Just beating myself up again).

Was that another tricky one to read underground? All those illustrations I mean. *Cheeky grin* Just do it anyway!

Happy New Year and happy reading.

Emma Michaels said...

sounds great!!!


BrucePavon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Miss Adventure said...

You were right Underground, it is a HUGE book. I caved and ordered it for myself. (Hang the expense!) It arrived this morning, just moments ago. I read the blurb, it sounds delicious.