Death: The High Cost of Living
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Death: The High Cost of Living (Death of the Endless #1)

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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  25,271 ratings  ·  336 reviews
/Neil Gaiman /Dave McKean, Chris Bachalo and /Mark Buckingham, illustrators From the pages of THE SANDMAN LIBRARY Neil Gaiman tells the story of the one day every hundred years when Death, older sister of The Sandman, walks among humans to gain a better understanding of.
Hardcover, 104 pages
Published January 1st 1994 by DC Comics Vertigo (first published May 1993)
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Dfordoom
This graphic novel seems to me to be all too typical of Gaiman’s work. It’s slick, but there’s not really terribly much to it. There are good ideas but he doesn’t do much with them. It’s not that it’s bad, it isn’t. It’s just not as good as you’d hoped it would be after reading the cover blurb. The idea is great: for one day every century Death becomes a mortal, walking among us, so that she can understand what it is that she takes away from us. The character of Death herself is marvellous – I l...more
Justin
It is nothing short of criminal that I call myself a comic reader and yet have never read any of Gaiman’s Sandman books. I actually have the first volume at home ready to read, but thanks to my involvement with a comic book discussion group, this one ended up being my introduction to the Sandman universe, instead.

Other readers have claimed this book has problems as a standalone book, but I found it to read quite nicely on its own. The book largely centers on a depressed teenager named Sexton’s e...more
Airiz C
“It would be really neat if death was somebody, and not just nothing, or pain, or blackness. And it would be really good if death could be somebody like Didi. Somebody funny, and friendly, and nice, and maybe just a tiny bit crazy.”

Sexton Furnival, one of the main characters of Death: The High Cost of Living, shares this sentiment with me—and perhaps also with legions of other Sandman readers when they meet Death of the Endless for the first time in Preludes and Nocturnes. It’s a nice thought, o...more
Craig Williams
The only thing I like more than Dream, is Death. Hmm, maybe I should explain the context of that statement. Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic book series (which is profoundly good - read it right the fuck now) centers around a family of immortal beings called The Endless. The Endless are not gods - they simply personify certain aspects of reality, such as Dream, Death, Desire, Destruction, Delirium, Destiny, and Despair. Being entitled "The Sandman", the series focuses on Dream, however his sister, De...more
Christina
Death and Sandman was my introduction to the world of graphic novels and - well, it's pretty much the only graphic novels I've read... But they're amazing!
Love Death - love the fact that she gets to live once every hundred years and then uses it to the fullest - to eat hot dogs and appels other food! And how she just love life! In theory these stories should be dark and gloomy, but they're not - they're actually very life-affirming and humoristic!
Brooke
This three-issue book chronicles one of Death's once-per-century days as a mortal, and while it was enjoyable, it just left me wanting a bit more.
Meagan
Death is one of my favorite characters in Sandman, and I don't think I'm alone in that. Of course I also love Dream, but there's something about this particular portrayal of Death that's just irresistible. The menacing grim reaper and the weeping angel and all the other popular manifestations of Death are unsatisfying next to the goth girl with the perpetually cheery disposition and the unending appreciation for life.

It was nice revisiting her, but I still prefer her appearances in Sandman.
Bunny
It is the curse of The Sandman series, and it's offshoots, that they are fast reads. I zoomed through this so fast, and then got very sad because it was over.

There aren't words for how much I adore the character of Death. I've loved her since her first appearance in The Sandman series, and finding out there were novels based solely on her made me squeal with glee. My library not having either of them made me not so squealy. Thank you, ILL! Worth the $2 fee.

This story was so lovely. She's so play...more
Will
There was a time when comic books were about all I would read. Luckily, over time I got tired of the more formulaic superhero titles, and acquired a taste for the more literary stuff. This was my favorite story arc by Neil Gaiman. It was also one of the first things I read that had a strong, smart female character, so it may have helped to erode some of the archaic stereotypes that young people are often fooled by.

Gaiman's wonderful conceit is that destiny is governed by a bureaucracy of differ...more
Icats
2009 had some of the best of times but it also had a ton of the worst of times for my family. That is why I thought it appropriate for the last book of my 2009 reading to be the graphic novel, Death: The High Cost of Living by Neil Gaiman with illustrations from Dave McKean, Chris Bachalo and Mark Buckingham. Finished it at 11:45pm on New Years Eve. Yes that is right, I am such a party animal.

As usual, Mr. Gaiman does not disappoint. Death: The High Cost of Living centers around Sandman’s sister...more
Kenny Mitchell
Life is a beautiful thing, but you know what? So is death. In the trade paperback (orginally a limited series, but collected here in one volume) Death is personfied by a perky, sociable & downright lovable young goth girl.

I won't give too much away but if you've followed the Sandman Series which the character is derived Death (personified as the young girl Didi) is the phyiscal manifestation and a member of the Endless (the actual representations of war, dreams, delirium & yes death). D...more
Jacquelyn
Death was my favorite part of Sandman in Preludes & Nocturnes. I enjoyed that story but the art really got on my nerves. I couldn't get over the fact that Dream looked like a cross between Peter Pan and KISS, and the whole technicolor thing was too bright for me. But when Death showed up, I thought, "Ah, here's the story I was looking for."

So when I saw Death: The High Cost of Living on Adam's bookshelf, and it looked like a pretty short book, it was a no-brainer.

The art didn't bother me a...more
Jonathan
Honestly, I was very disappointed indeed. Death was, as always, a fantastic character; but the story to her spin-off just wasn't that interesting. It just felt like so much more could have been done with the concept of Death living one day as a human. There was never any true sense of urgency; it wasn't terribly funny. There were cute details and lines, of course. Death deserves a tale as epic as her brother Dream's; but while Dream has had many epic tales in "The Sandman" saga, "Death: The High...more
Nikki
Death: The High Cost of Living is a short and sweet little comic, featuring Death as she appears in The Sandman, but as the star. None of the other Endless appear, instead it follows Death during her one day in a hundred years of being a mortal. It's a pretty simple little story: it's interesting because it stars Death, who as a character is awesome, but the story itself isn't dazzling. The art is nice and the bonus story where Death talks about STDs and such is fun, but in itself, it isn't dazz...more
Federiken Masters
Mar 03, 2010 Federiken Masters rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Todo el mundo.
Recommended to Federiken by: Val
Edición hardcover releído el año pasado y el único tomo de Sandman que tengo en este formato. Linda historia de la Eterna favorita del público (no mía, aunque me cae bastante bien). Cuando lo rerrelea seguro lo rerreseñe. Soy un cara dura, lo sé.
Colleen
I love how Neil Gaiman created deaths character, she is such a great character. I have enjoyed every book so far with this character in it and hope to see more of her in the future.
Hannah
A spin off of the Sandman comics, his sister death has a adventure of her own.
Bcpl
creepy but annoying and excessively teenagerish. also seems dated.
Tricia
Isn't ironic that Death is having her take on life?
Bill Kte'pi
Though I still like it, it's interesting how this ages - a lot of my original love for it was clearly just joy at having anything new from the Sandman universe, for one thing, a joy which in mid 2014 happens to be tempered by my impatience with the constant delays of Sandman Overture. Apart from that, it's a little cringey how much of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl Death is, though since that is much more pronounced in this volume than in Time of Your Life, I guess it can be chalked up to 16 year old...more
Aleksandar Nikolov
Епа заглавието си го казва за какво иде реч - "Цената на живота"! Според Геймъна е две пени , ама може и аз да не съм го разбрал както трябва, а пък може и да не ме интересува! :) И какво ни трябва за да разберем "Цената на живота"? Епа трябва ни един депресиран тийнейижър които да срещне "Смърта". Само че "Смърта" е също тийнеиджърка която веднъж на столетие приема човешки образ само за един ден. Заради , разбираш ли , един вид наказание за това че отнема най ценното от хората(за които не е раз...more
Stephanie
enjoyable tale. Every century Death must become mortal to understand what life means, as Death, not the goddess,but death itself. We first met Death in the early volumes of Sandman, and she easily became one of my favorite characters. She's spunky and vital, and vibrant. She's funny and kind. She's everything you don't think Death will be, and is at the same time everything you think she is. It's complicated, but a beautiful kind of complicated. This tale is short, but long for a comic. We never...more
D.M.
Maybe it's just that I've officially become a cranky old bastard, but this Death miniseries is definitely too cutesy-poo for me. Or perhaps it's always been that way. After all, Bachalo and Buckingham do make quite possibly THE cutest females in comicdom, and Gaiman has never shied away from making Death quite possibly THE most adorable incarnation of anything anywhere. Reading High Cost now, though, I can only think this was not written for crochety old men, but almost perfectly pitched at cute...more
Paul Hamilton
Having (finally) finished the Sandman series earlier in the year, the last remaining unread graphic novel on my shelf by Neil Gaiman was this slim 90-page volume featuring everyone's favorite cheerful harbinger of change, Death.

I can't say I'm any more immune to the appeal of Gaiman's version of the not-so-grim reaper as a button-cute goth girl with an irrepressibly sunny disposition (though it should be said that she is not a one-note character). I loved her occasional appearances in Sandman an...more
John Kirk
This was the first Vertigo comic I bought, so I didn't read the actual Sandman books until later, but it still works ok on its own merits.

(view spoiler)...more
Rachel
This graphic novel, not one of Gaiman's best known but certainly one of his most fun, tells the story of Death, who spends one day each century among the living, learning about their lives. In her current incarnation, she is Didi, a perky sixteen-year-old Goth with an intense interest in all the excitement life has to offer. She takes up with Sexton Furnival, an apathetic and suicidal teenage who quickly learns more about the value of life than he had ever anticipated.

I first read this book in...more
PurplyCookie
Gaiman's character Death is not the Grim Reaper all are accustomed of hearing, it may seem that the flapping cloak and menacing-looking scythe are all bad press. Gaiman didn't want a Death that agonized over her role, or who took a morbid delight in her job, or who simply didn't care. He wanted a Death that you'd like to meet in the end--someone who would care. I think he succeeded immensely.

"Death: The High Cost of Living" follows Death through the streets of New York in 1993. It turns out that...more
Lauren
I haven't read the entirety of the Sandman, I had to stop after the sixth book because I could not find the seventh, but I bought this after reading the first several Sandman trade paper backs. The story is pretty good, the reader knows that it will end with Didi's death but not the manner of it or what all will happen in between. Given that many of the characters were previously mentioned in the Sandman it assumes that the readers know them already, which could be a turn off for new readers.

Sex...more
Sunil
The unfortunately named Sexton Furnival spends a day with Death, here named Didi, on her one day per century as a mortal. When we first meet him, he intends to kill himself, so this may very well be the last day of his life. Or the first day of the rest of his life. Which will it be?

Death is at her perkygothiest in this book, letting absolutely nothing faze her and considering just about everything neat. She encounters some familiar faces as well as a new foe.

It's a very strong story overall, es...more
Ross
It's probably been noted before, but after reading a half-dozen or so "Sandman", and "Sandman"-related books, I've come to the realization that the Universe Gaiman created bears little in common with the one we live in. Ours is too mundane.

Similarly, Death in the Gaiman universe is not the Angel of Death everyone is familiar with. She (that's right, "she") is not even an Angel, she's the personification of an idea. (Like that deathly maiden in Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", whose ver...more
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“On bad days I talk to Death constantly, not about suicide because honestly that's not dramatic enough. Most of us love the stage and suicide is definitely your last performance and being addicted to the stage, suicide was never an option - plus people get to look you over and stare at your fatty bits and you can't cross your legs to give that flattering thigh angle and that's depressing. So we talk. She says things no one else seems to come up with, like let's have a hotdog and then it's like nothing's impossible.

She told me once there is a part of her in everyone, though Neil believes I'm more Delirium than Tori, and Death taught me to accept that, you know, wear your butterflies with pride. And when I do accept that, I know Death is somewhere inside of me. She was the kind of girl all the girls wanted to be, I believe, because of her acceptance of "what is." She keeps reminding me there is change in the "what is" but change cannot be made till you accept the "what is.”
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“Over the last few hours I've allowed myself to feel defeated, and just like she said if you allow yourself to feel the way you really feel, maybe you won't be afraid of that feeling anymore.” 25 likes
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