Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

Basically porn.

For no reason whatsoever, at least none that I can comprehend, the story of Lost Girls is set in and around an Austrian Hotel, next to one of the most iconic event of 20th century – Gavrilo Princip taking out the Archduke Ferdinand. Maybe an inside joke on people who say, these things barely require a premise. Plot follows, explicitly and quite graphically, the sexual adventures and experiments of fictional versions of three already fictional female characters- Alice, Dorothy and Wendy (Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of the Oz and Peter Pan respectively). Story line is more or less a sharing activity in retrospection, by their adult selves, at the wake of WW1, aided with artful renderings of their past adventures. Narrative is layered, with definitive visual layout and writing elements for each character. For example, through most of the first book, Alice story line was represented via the looking glass, woods(and her shoes) were a recurring theme for Dorothy and for Wendy, everything around her were a bit Victorian. (Also their first encounter with adventure was interpreted as their sexual awakening.)

Then there is sex, lots of it, in all imaginable/unimaginable permutations and combinations. And, in its entirety, art is not the kind that our teenage self would have loved a peek, or adult self would find erotic (though, many are), but the kind that exhausts you as a reader. Its unapologetically provocative, artistic and didactic, but the prolifically was barely complimenting the plot. I put genuine effort in understanding the nuances in book 1, but by the next installment, the graphic nature transformed my reading into skimping and eventually skipping. By the last book, so called plot felt more like an excuse to slide show the remaining erotic sketches, that Moore and Gebbie had already crafted.

I don’t know where porn stops and art begins, or whether a distinction was even intended here in the first place. Anyway, whatever be the reasons – plot, art, expression, experimentation, provocation, shock et cetera; Lost Girls is quite literally a ‘graphic’ novel where pervaded perversion overshadows all other elements.

These words from Moore himself would give a better understanding towards the inspiration and intentions of Lost Girls.

Certainly it seemed to us [Moore and Gebbie] that sex, as a genre, was woefully under-represented in literature. Every other field of human experience—even rarefied ones like detective, spaceman or cowboy—have got whole genres dedicated to them. Whereas the only genre in which sex can be discussed is a disreputable, seamy, under-the-counter genre with absolutely no standards: [the pornography industry]—which is a kind of Bollywood for hip, sleazy ugliness.

source : wiki

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