Patti's Reviews > The Sandman, Vol. 10: The Wake

The Sandman, Vol. 10 by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Jun 24, 09

bookshelves: graphic-novels, summer-2009
Read in June, 2009

The Wake, the epilogue to the sprawling Sandman saga, includes the series' last six issues. The first four, comprising the "The Wake" story arc, are outstanding, touching and contemplative with undoubtedly the best art in the entire series.

The final two issues, however, one a stand-alone about an exiled man wandering the desert and the other an account of Shakespeare writing The Tempest, were good but not exceptional, a flaw I might be more willing to forgive if they weren't the stories Gaiman chose to conclude his thousand-page opus.

Overall, my problems with this volume mirror my conclusions about The Sandman as a whole. There are some truly exceptional moments, but these flashes of brilliance are frequently broken up by mediocre and/or unnecessary storylines. Perhaps this is a unavoidable result of working in the comics medium--Gaiman didn't have the luxury of charting out his plot in advance and then editing afterward to tighten up the pacing, because he was locked into producing one issue per month for an initially unpredictable number of issues. As a result, The Sandman doesn't hold together quite as tightly as I would prefer--it's by no means as cohesive as, say, Alan Moore's brilliant (and much shorter) Watchmen.

However, when this series is good, its amazing, and ultimately, The Sandman as a whole is worth reading just for those exceptional issues scattered throughout.
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Christine Great review and one I'm inclined to totally agree with. I still have the last volume to finish, but your critique speaks the feelings that I have about the series so far. I wonder what the series would be like if a full-on revision were to be completed.

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