A nice collection of stories that I enjoyed: some insightful, some simply fun, some too smart for me, and a couple that add nice touches to the overal...moreA nice collection of stories that I enjoyed: some insightful, some simply fun, some too smart for me, and a couple that add nice touches to the overall Sandman mythology. (less)
I think that, yes, this is the best of the series so far. Will be hard to beat the captivity, the pull, of the ideas and themes presented in this stor...moreI think that, yes, this is the best of the series so far. Will be hard to beat the captivity, the pull, of the ideas and themes presented in this story. Each of the seven Endless siblings, each possessing traits they embody, two sides of the same coin as the story states, each complex and self-involved and somehow also struggle with setting right their wrongs. The philosophical questions and statements presented within these stories are smart than me, I think.... yet I keep reading for the inspiration, as Death puts: we want to know some truth, but in order to bear that truth, we pretend it does not exist.
I don't even know if that's the review I set out to write, but there it is. This isn't a good story, it's a collection of deep thought.(less)
Couple of decent stand-alone stories in this volume.... I enjoyed the "Calliope" story and thought it carried some merit, but the other three didn't d...moreCouple of decent stand-alone stories in this volume.... I enjoyed the "Calliope" story and thought it carried some merit, but the other three didn't do much for me. I like the side-stories within the larger story, though appreciate this volume for artistic integrity. (less)
Hilarious! This was a great, fun book to read, and a quick one at that. Bright, shining characters with a strange, twisting, and engrossing plot. Afte...moreHilarious! This was a great, fun book to read, and a quick one at that. Bright, shining characters with a strange, twisting, and engrossing plot. After you finish some books with heavier content, bring yourself back down to earth with this one :)(less)
& Sons was a bit difficult for me to get through - I felt like I was missing something most of the time - though I did finish it, so I must have f...more& Sons was a bit difficult for me to get through - I felt like I was missing something most of the time - though I did finish it, so I must have found some redeeming quality to the book.... almost like I hoped for more emotion, instead of the blunted affect offered from the characters. I wanted a bit more in other aspects of the book as well: deeper sympathy and motivation from the characters, some redemptive acts or representations, whether trite or otherwise. I felt only really empathetic for Richard, who seemed more developed than the rest of the characters. I realize that the choice of narrator - someone removed yet invested - was intentional and reflected the "emotionally claustrophobic" men that tromp tragically, self-pityingly through the pages, but the choice only left me confused. At times, I would feel hope for some father-son connection, an understanding at the least, and Richard and his son come closest to this wish fulfillment; but the hope would be dashed, a failure to re-make these disgraced men. I struggled with all of the references to literature and art and architecture; it many novels this works quite well but here I just felt - again, like the characters were inauthentically captivated by something they really didn't understand. Like the men of & Sons, perhaps I expect too much from my books.(less)
Meh. Not my favorite Batman story, not by far. Although I liked how much this story involved all of Batman, Inc. it was just too chaotic- basically Jo...moreMeh. Not my favorite Batman story, not by far. Although I liked how much this story involved all of Batman, Inc. it was just too chaotic- basically Joker running around fucking with people. Not much in the way of character or plot development. Oh well, on to the next!(less)
I loved reading this biography so much. I feel eager, excited, obligated to get my thoughts down and share the inspiration of Jim Henson with everyone...moreI loved reading this biography so much. I feel eager, excited, obligated to get my thoughts down and share the inspiration of Jim Henson with everyone I know. In the beginning of his career, Jim never wanted to be pigeonholed as a puppeteer, or merely a children's entertainer (which, decades later, none of us believe possible in that adults love the Muppets just as much as children), so I admittedly feel some slight guilt in how much I enjoyed the parts of this book when we would learn the origins of historical characters like Kermit, Big Bird, Rowlf, Gonzo, etc.... even how cool it was to learn Henson's role in other venues such as Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Saturday Night Live, and HBO. I am fascinated by how much of entertainment history Jim and his company touched, from IBM to Cher and late night talk shows. Jim's forward-thinking is inspiring, whether he was technologically ahead of the times, buying back his property to prevent its manipulation, or even writing a letter to his children prior to his death describing his wishes for funeral arrangements and ensuring his love and support of them. Even Jim's shortcomings deserve the forgiveness he was dedicated to practicing, and I was more than o.k. to let him slide on having extra-marital relationships, his discomfort with emotions and conflict, and vanity with sports cars, decorating, and tailored clothing. Jim is the Muppets, the Muppets are Jim; the Muppets are everyone around him; his staff and colleagues, his sidekicks and his family. And it's a family I'd like to be part of as well.(less)
This is one beautifully written and inspired book, with fully realized characters each with intricately detailed histories and personalities. You will...moreThis is one beautifully written and inspired book, with fully realized characters each with intricately detailed histories and personalities. You will feel compassion, hope, deep sadness and just as tortured as the protagonists with each page. Even the extraneous characters are made unforgettable by the tiniest details and shortest glimpses into their pasts. Why only four stars, then, with such high praise for the writing? I had trouble keeping up…. as important to the art as the details are, they also left me confused as times. The story jumps through time as often as the bombs fall, as quickly as hope fades and resurfaces, and that was difficult for me to maneuver, so subtracted from the overall experience for me. Lots of people didn’t seem to have this problem, though, so read the book.
Upon finishing, I’m left with the following: a more perfect title would be difficult to choose. I close this book haunted by the impact of one’s past, our choices and environment and fate and the actions of those around us weighing equally in our journeys through life. Humanity, and respect, in all its promise, does little to explain or justify our connections to one another, through interactions and the items we own, through those we touch and the people and things we hold most sacred; we can’t comprehend complexity, emotion, regret, or shame or desire or truth or sadness or joy from one point of view, but only from every angle. (less)
Damn, what a book! I felt equally parts confused and engaged through all 830 pages... despite the intimidating length and plot, I do tend to love book...moreDamn, what a book! I felt equally parts confused and engaged through all 830 pages... despite the intimidating length and plot, I do tend to love books just along those lines. I'm not even sure I understand how everything played out, but at the end, well it's kind of like the end of Lost: you've gone on such an adventure that it doesn't even matter. That someone created a novel like tho deserves five stars no matter what. (less)
I was a bit skeptical with the first few issues, the despicable characters with no reason to continue investing in them (and unsure who to invest in a...moreI was a bit skeptical with the first few issues, the despicable characters with no reason to continue investing in them (and unsure who to invest in at all), but I have to admit I'm always a bit nervous starting a new read, like the content must prove itself worthy. But I read a ton, so that' okay if I want to be choosy about what I invest in. The remaining issues, however, sucked me into the story. Once Morpheus begins the quest to regain his "tools" he is revealed to be likable and worth my time; desperate, kind, seeking a reason to validate his existence as any good mortal will do. How Morpheus wins the "competition" with the hell demon is enough to make anyone love this guy... even the "24 Hours" story with crazy-ass Dee had me appreciating the art of telling a side-story within the larger story. Interested to see where this series takes me!(less)
I have reservedly decided to go with a four-star review because I have a lot of respect for this book, yet I felt like my own tastes might instinctual...moreI have reservedly decided to go with a four-star review because I have a lot of respect for this book, yet I felt like my own tastes might instinctually give it three. This is a grand novel, one I hope I may be of a mind to revisit in a few years with a different mindset. My only criticism is that at times, the history and details and plot advances were a bit hard to follow, and felt tedious to do so. This is, however, a novel with well-developed characters and an impressive historical narrative. I could see this book being used in English/American Lit courses for its contribution to literature, its themes and character development, historical significance and commentary. I hope this review helps someone smarter and more detail-oriented decide to read this novel. (less)
A truly spectacular book, rich and classic in nature, true to its theme and characters; decidedly one that will continue to ask questions, show itself...moreA truly spectacular book, rich and classic in nature, true to its theme and characters; decidedly one that will continue to ask questions, show itself in your deepest thoughts... The thoroughly realized and inspirational characters and ideas contained within this lengthy novel are viewed from the perspective of its easily imprint-able narrator. Through Theo, we are exposed to tragedy and promise alike from the very beginning, and you quickly understand what a remarkable read you're in for. I'm left with lessons learned and valued from all of Theo's loved ones, from Mrs. Barbour who only through tragedy and loss we understand that a flawed charitable nature leaves much to be desired; the reality of the struggle for acceptance that Pippa personifies; Hobie's irresistible preference for the preservation of beauty and quest for the all-important inward desire to create and find meaning; Xandra and Theo's father's blur of a dialectical search for goodness; and certainly not to be forgotten: Boris, that the best of friends can be found among the worst actions and choices, that nothing is good or bad but some convoluted twist in-between.
Three-quarters into the book, as the story jumps from Theo's naive years of exploration and desperation to adulthood, depression, opiate dependence and profoundly poor choices, I found myself mourning the loss of Theo's adolescence and I struggled with continuing the novel; it reflects the time when we have no choice but to forgive a tragic teenage boy and jump quickly to blame and criticize an adult made sick and almost unlikeable from those very uninformed choices. But the novel ultimately comes together with meaning and adequate resolution - at least for me - and lessons I hope to make a special place for in my heart, and can only dream of putting back into the world as the author does so well with her words. As with the painting the novel is named for, I hope this books survives the times. (less)