Anne's Reviews > The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1

The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Apr 06, 2012

really liked it

Years ago, my friend Robert lent me his gigantic precious box of original Sandman comics all in their individual wrappers and I read every one. I'm sure I didn't read them all start to finish in a single weekend-long marathon, but I did read them all in a very intense short period. It soaked in, infected my dreams and it came out in my personal art for quite a while after I gave him back the box.
I don't love everything Neil Gaiman writes (although I do love his blog, especially before his AFP days) but the Sandman series came along for me at exactly the right time, as books often will that become Important. Friends who read it on my recommendation didn't like it - it wasn't for them or bad timing.
The comic art is erratic since scores of artists worked on the many issues. The story and writing itself is erratic. But it is also magnificent and it is epic --disturbing, inspiring, creepy, allegorical, metaphorical and so many other things because it is just so very BIG.
It would be hard to pick and choose certain story arcs to recommend but I'm sure there are plenty of websites with intense fans who can. And now the Absolute Sandman series is out with improvements to the color and corrections made by Neil and the artists.
I loved the experience of reading it (especially taking each one out of its plastic sleeve and then replacing it -- like it was a historical specimen) but I don't think I will ever re-read the series. It created an internal change like a great book will, but I have a feeling it will not resonate the second time around. (Demian is another example of a powerful book that I wish I had read just once).

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