So, I read Batman: The Killing Joke a little while ago, and whatever it was, I missed the punchline. I was so frustrated with it, but then I saw that it was at the top of NYT's bestseller list for graphic novels. I'm trying to figure out if there's something that I missed. Who else here has read it? Anyone have any insight into why this is considered such a masterpiece?

Explaining my stance (spoilers, ahoy! Also, trigger warning: violence, sexual assault):

In short, I thought the whole thing was badly handled. Not one but two women (the joker's wife and Barbara Gordon) are harmed, but their suffering is completely ignored. Instead, the story prioritizes the pain of the men who happened to be associated. I mean, Barbara is shot in the spine, photographed naked, and left for dead, only for the main focus of the story to be her father's mental anguish over what's happened to her. I get that the Joker is trying to make him snap, but why should his anguish be more important than that of the girl who was shot and violated? (Yes, Commissioner Gordon is violated too, but his trauma was acknowledged by the story. Barbara's is all about upsetting *him*)

Second, on a lesser note, the Joker's song and dance routine was like a bad acid trip. It wasn't scary; just kind of clunky and silly looking. The execution of the theme-park bit was awkward. It was like they'd had sociopaths killer joker in one half and goofy clown joker in the other. Didn't work for me.

And third, the possible origin story that was presented for the joker was just a string of cliches--innocent man trying to provide for his family, dead wife, a botched heist. I've read some of Alan Moore's other work, and after having seen what he's capable of, this all felt so...obvious.

So, anyone else disappointed? Any alternate interpretations?