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Voice of the Fire is the first novel from Alan Moore, acclaimed comic book writer. The twelve-chapter tome was initially published in the United Kingdommarker circa 1996. The narratives take place around Moore's hometown of Northamptonmarker, Englandmarker during the month of November, and span several millennia — from 4000 B.C. to the present day. The 2004 edition from Top Shelf Productions features an introduction from Neil Gaiman and color plates by artist José Villarrubia. A new paperback edition, retaining all of these features, is scheduled to be published by Top Shelf in April 2009.

Plot summary

The story follows twelve people's lives who lived in the same area of England over a period of 6000 years, and how their lives link to one another's. The opening chapter, "Hob's Hog" proves challenging for many readers, as the first-person narrative voice is supplied as Moore attempts to render the language and thoughts of a character from around 4,000 BC (similar in fashion, though used in a more immersive manner than Russell Hoban's post-apocalyptic characters in Riddley Walker). Each chapter carries the reader forward in time, but circles around the center of Northampton, drawing in historical events and touchstones, before finally segueing into metafictional narrative in the closing chapter, as the author himself comments directly upon the previous chapter's ambiguous closing line, before relating a personal (possibly fictional) anecdote about Northampton which relates a personal experience of local myth, and features an appearance by his daughter and son-in-law, the writers Leah Moore and John Reppion. Throughout, the image of the fire sparks resonances between the tales, while Moore finds a different voice for each character - though most are inherently duplicitous in some manner, leading to a further commentary on the disparity between myth and reality, and which is more likely to endure over time.

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