I started out this book without remembering much about the last one, and for a while I was uncharmed by the Queens. But learning their histories, seeiI started out this book without remembering much about the last one, and for a while I was uncharmed by the Queens. But learning their histories, seeing them squabble and mess up and fight and help each other just the same, I fell for them all over again. Much adventure, so jokes. ...more
The art was headache-inducing and damn near impossible to follow, so I stopped looking at it. The story was BUGH.
Go to bed, Neil Gaiman, you're drunk.
The art was headache-inducing and damn near impossible to follow, so I stopped looking at it. The story was BORING, unless you were just gagging for another sequence of Dream posing, prosing, and espousing his utterly serious worldviews. (I really, honestly, cannot tell if Gaiman intends Dream to be a cliche, a caricature, a dig at the poseur artistic types who carry the world on their elegantly-groomed shoulders, or if he's supposed to be a character we like. Does anyone like Dream?)
There was nothing, nothing, to anchor the reader to the only world we know. Sure, this is a story about the multiplicity of worlds, galaxies, universes, out there, but it's fundamentally uninteresting (to me?) if it's not in some way related back to us and our world. It's an exercise in sophomoric creative writing - Rr'aar'rrrll the giant blob, a mathematician who is also a germ, a suspiciously wookiee-like character in a 'fourmarriage' (really?!). Look at me, look how creative I am, look how many worlds and life-forms and lifestyles I can invent!
It's easy targets, low-hanging fruit, there's no accountability for the characters and their worlds because we spend no time in any of them. Dream just saunters sadly across them, gathering a few here and there, gazing at them in distant, detached interest, dropping profound blatherings out of nowhere and crying about how his parents will never get back together. And then he solves all the universe's problems - which he caused in the first place, which is yet another exercise in humblebragging from the Prince of Humility himself - and gets tired, and gets trapped, and then...
This felt like the most arbitrary, half-arsed, gave-up-in-the-middle type of story, it was a boring nightmare to look at, and it simultaneously made me want to go to sleep, and tear my hair out in frustration. ...more
Fans of me will know that comparing something to Wicker Man, the classic weird British folkloric mythology horror movie, is about the highest complimeFans of me will know that comparing something to Wicker Man, the classic weird British folkloric mythology horror movie, is about the highest compliment I can give something. I don't mean just in content - though this has it in spades - but in tone, in atmosphere, in the little thrill at the bottom of my gut that happens at the mere mention of standing stones and green men, of the origins of myths and the foundations of folklore, and the utter despair at the realisation that no matter how they came to be, they're still going to kill you.
Another thing that I am constantly searching for companions to is the X-Files. This book pays not-so-subtle homage to that most excellent of weird procedurals in a couple of comical scenes. But the framework of it, the flashback-current-slow-reveal storytelling, was classic X-Files: a strange story, well told, a mystery to solve, a cast of odd and strongly-drawn characters with Histories and expertise.
Basically, this book is just what my brain ordered. I want to dive inside it, I want a movie of it, a TV series that doesn't suck, a long philosophical discussion of the ins and outs of the Injection and its implications. I want more, soon....more
A handy omnibus of the two Death short novels, but including the old stuff in there is a bit much. Also the talk about AIDS at the end was mystifying.A handy omnibus of the two Death short novels, but including the old stuff in there is a bit much. Also the talk about AIDS at the end was mystifying.
Even after reading it the one that sticks most with me is the Venetian island story, with a group of eighteenth century nobles hiding from death and time and existing for pleasure alone.
A bit of a wank, particularly the Delirium episode. Not a whole lot about any of them, and as usual the best ones were the stories about other people,A bit of a wank, particularly the Delirium episode. Not a whole lot about any of them, and as usual the best ones were the stories about other people, with the Endless as peripheral characters - Destruction and Death.
Dream's episode, as usual, was a teenage boy's bedroom poem scratched with a rusty safety pin into his forearm, watered with the tears of righteous manhood and the pain of existence that is the love of women. UGH....more
Could not get into it at all. I was surprised at this, because I'm such an Alan Moore convert, but this just rang hollow for me. There's nothing muchCould not get into it at all. I was surprised at this, because I'm such an Alan Moore convert, but this just rang hollow for me. There's nothing much else to say. Go read The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters instead. You won't regret it....more
An overall review of the Sandman series, since I didn't review the individual books.
I enjoyed Sandman. Having not read too many other graphic novels/cAn overall review of the Sandman series, since I didn't review the individual books.
I enjoyed Sandman. Having not read too many other graphic novels/comic collections, and having no experience with superheroes, I can't say for sure that I engaged with it in the revolutionary, ground-breaking, game-changing way that a lot of others have over the years, but it was a damn good yarn.
As always with Gaiman, I find that I frequently can't really immerse myself in his storytelling - he's just too present in the text, almost like he's too aware of his own prosiness and clever things. This is always the most obvious in any of Morpheus's speeches - the guy is a born emo kid. Pompous, uptight, self-important, frequently out of touch with those around him and totally unaware of how ridiculous he appears. To me, anyway. I really couldn't stand him.
The stories that have lingered the most with me are the Shakespeare stories, the Hob Gadling thread, and that one episode where Hell closed and the dead came back to life and one boy was stuck in a boarding school. I like Death. I don't really understand Despair. Delirium was pretty annoying. For me, the best parts of all the stories were the ones where the Endless took a back seat and just let their influence show through the tales of normal (or not so normal) people.
In the end, I don't feel completely connected to the closure of the story, but that's probably because I had no connection to Dream. I couldn't really see why he decided to die (apart from the obvious being-a-massive-emo theory) and I resented the fact that it was a woman who caused it, and a woman who called him away when he could have fixed it. The undertones are screaming so loudly my ears hurt. The way everyone turned their admonishing gazes and sternly-wagging fingers on Lyta when it was all over turned my stomach. It was a poor sort of ending for a story of this calibre....more
A dark-horse Christmas present from my lovely fiance, this one really appealed to my sensibilities as a reader in general - the time and place, the moA dark-horse Christmas present from my lovely fiance, this one really appealed to my sensibilities as a reader in general - the time and place, the mood and the slight science fiction of it were all big draw cards.
I never find convoluted plots a deterrent to enjoying a well-presented story (see for example The Big Sleep), and reading a bit about these stories, it seems that convoluted plots were kind of the point; Tardi was parodying this type of penny-dreadful by making it practically impossible for us to follow the plot. He even makes reference to the complicated end of Pterror over Paris in the second story.
I enjoyed the colour palette, too, although many people seemed to find it dull. I thought it suited the noir-adventure theme very well.
I was most reminded of Tintin and of H.G Wells when reading these stories, as Tardi seemed to capture the mood of the fin-de-siecle/early 20th century adventure tales almost pitch-perfectly.
Just don't ask me to explain the plot to you......more