Moore hasn’t retired from storytelling. He is now an estimable writer of fiction with three books, including his latest, the story collection Illuminations, and while none of these volumes have the gamma-ray punch of his comics, all of them burn with Moore’s soaring intelligence and riotous humanity ... Illuminations, Moore’s first collection of short fiction, finds the writer working on a smaller scale but still swinging for the firmament. An assemblage of eerie sublimities with more pyrotechnics than Guy Fawkes Day — and just as many shadows — the book showcases all of Moore’s strengths as a fantasist ... Moore has never encountered a genre he cannot subvert, often fiendishly...and yet what lingers is not his creative irreverence but his ability to inhabit his human and inhuman characters alike ... Moore has written both a dynamite story collection and a dynamite monster manual. Rather fitting, considering that this is a book obsessed with revelations; nothing, after all, reveals our logics, our fears, our desires — in short, ourselves — quite like a monster.
He crams his sentences past bursting point, displaying the lexical gluttony you might expect from somebody whose prose has largely been kept within the spartan confines of speech bubbles for 40 years ... His prose fiction thrums with the zest of somebody who feels newly untrammelled ... His postlapsarian anger gives it a vigour and depth of feeling that will resonate even with readers who don’t know the heavily hinted at real-life identities of the characters ... Moore’s prolixity is oddly energising, conveying the exhilarating sense of words rushing to catch up with the author’s never-ending stream of ingenious ideas. Still, without wishing to put anybody off Jerusalem, 50 or so pages at a time seems like the ideal dose.
... a collection of solid, well-written yarns that would have been groundbreaking to a teen comics reader 30 or 40 years ago (me again) ... Technically, Mr. Moore’s writing is as brilliant as ever—from dizzying wordplay in scene-setting detail to cuttingly succinct summaries ... As for the stories themselves, there is no shortage of wild invention ... Loyal fans of Mr. Moore in all his incarnations will love this collection. Boring grown-up people who can also appreciate a well-written 'graphic novel' (a term the author despises) will also enjoy them—if while sighing a little, with, it has to be said, nostalgia.
The original novella What We Can Know About Thunderman is the savage heart of the volume – and not just because it takes up more space than all the other stories combined ... Although many elements are exuberantly fictionalised – I doubt that any female executives at DC Comics were married to a painting of Augusto Pinochet – part of the story’s pleasure lies in Moore’s insider knowledge of the industry: there is a sense that there’s a kernel of sordid truth within each satirical fictionalisation, as though Moore is airing everyone’s dirty laundry for the world to see ... gives a savage, satirical perspective on the American superhero industry – and by extension America itself – unmatched in his previous writing. The collection as a whole demonstrates that although Watchmen may be Moore’s best-known work, his storytelling has transcended its origins in the vexed commercial medium he now conscientiously eschews.
Moore further burnishes his reputation in his first prose collection ... The stand-out short novel, 'What We Can Know About Thunderman,' is a scathing take on the American comic book industry and its impact on popular culture and politics, and will undoubtedly attract the most attention ... The superhero genre’s loss is fantastic fiction’s gain.
If Moore’s debut novel...is anything to go by, the difficulty is getting him to stop his flow of words. One might hope, then, that the restrictive length of a short story would provide some necessary structure. This collection definitely includes some tight, clever, and vivid entries ... But Moore goes off the rails with 'What We Can Know About Thunderman,' the book's longest work, taking up fully half the pages. It’s a self-indulgently savage lampoon of the comic-book industry ... The story never has any clear destination other than to suggest that the industry is a cesspool that’s impossible to escape in any clean way. The well-informed reader will infer that Moore is still extremely angry at DC for a number of intellectual property issues, remains upset with the way Warner Brothers adapted his works for film, and isn’t exactly happy with Marvel, either. A mixed bag with a misshapen boulder in it.