New Perspectives will be releasing Voice of the Fire a debut audiobook of the critically acclaimed first novel from celebrated comic book writer Alan Moore to mark the publication’s 25th anniversary year.
Set in the writers’ hometown of Northampton, the twelve chapters will each be read by a stellar cast including Mark Gatiss, Maxine Peake, Toby Jones, Pamela Nomvete, Aisling Loftus, Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson, and the author.
Spanning six millennia, each chapter follows a different character that lived in the same region, with stories packed with lust, madness and ecstasy, the final chapter narrated by the author himself. Moore has just announced a five-volume series of epic fantasy novels, Long London, and a short story collection to be published by Bloomsbury.
Alan Moore is a prolific writer of comic books, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and worked with DC Comics on major characters including Batman and Superman. Voice of the Fire was his first novel set in his beloved Northampton which establishes many of the themes and literary techniques that Moore built upon in his second novel Jerusalem.
He said, “After 25 years, not only does this novel finally have a voice, it has a heavenly chorus of them. I couldn’t be more excited about this stupendous project. I’m fired up.”
Toby Jones returns to New Perspectives following episodes of the company’s PlacePrints podcast by David Rudkin. He will be narrating Limping from Jerusalem, a chapter set in AD 1100 around the Crusades. Sleaford Mods vocalist Jason Williamson narrates two chapters, the first in the Roman occupation of Britain and the second as Northamptonshire poet John Clare on his historic doomed walk from an Essex asylum to incarceration in Northampton. Tom Edward-Kane, who made his professional stage debut in the New Perspectives production of Richard Bean’s Harvest, also narrates two chapters, including giving a voice to infamous Northampton murderer Alfred Arthur Rouse.
The chapters are spoken by:
Chapter 1: Hob’s Hog – Tom Edward-Kane
Chapter 2: The Cremation Fields – Maxine Peake
Chapter 3: In The Drowings – Jason Williamson
Chapter 4: The Head of Diocletian – Nathaniel Martello-White
Chapter 5: November Saints – Pamela Nomvete
Chapter 6: Limping to Jerusalem – Toby Jones
Chapter 7: Confessions of a Mask – Mark Gatiss
Chapter 8: Angel Language – Jonathan Slinger
Chapter 9: Partners in Knitting – Aisling Loftus
Chapter 10: The Sun Looks Pale Upon the Wall – Jason Williamson
Chapter 11: I Travel in Suspenders – Tom Edward-Kane
Chapter 12: Phipps’ Fire Escape – Alan Moore
Director Jack McNamara said, “Voice of the Fire, in my view, is one of the great works of literature this country has produced. Nowhere have I read something that so deeply articulates a sense of place and the characters, real and imagined, that inhabit it. It is also a visionary exploration of Northampton, a place close to our heart that is rarely given such a platform. And so we have set about the task of bringing its astonishing words and ideas to life, in an epic experience for the ears, spoken by an amazing cast of actors. These twelve tales were always written as ‘voices’ and so it is a great thrill to know that, finally, they can be heard”.
Voice of the Fire is Jack McNamara’s final directorial project for New Perspectives before he starts a new role as Artistic Director of Newcastle’s Theatre Live. Also this month, New Perspectives will be presenting Tim Crouch’s digital installation of BS Johnson’s House Mother Normal at the Brighton Festival, with the online version available from today (5th May). Their second postcard drama Dare to Look Down! will be available later this month, and a new WhatsApp trilogy, The Group, will be presented as part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival.