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review 2018-05-04 16:23
The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1, Neil Gaiman
The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 - Neil Gaiman,John Costanza,Steve Oliff,Malcolm Jones III,Sam Kieth,Steve Parkhouse,Daniel Vozzo,Kelley Jones,Todd Klein,Chris Bachalo,Mike Dringenberg,Michael Zulli,Colleen Doran,Charles Vess

How good was Sandman, really? I asked myself. After all I was in my late teens and it was a long time ago. Also probably the first comic for adults I  ever read. Should I take a risk on those gigantic anthologies, The Absolute Sandman or a lesser commitment on the comparatively tiddly first paperback collection, Preludes and Nocturnes? How much of it did I actually read back then? There was Death and a Cereal Convention and a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream but there was definitely much more I had not read.

 

OK - let's play with house money and get The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 for my birthday.

 

Good choice! Because this book is utterly gorgeous simply as a physical object and the art is scaled up from the 8 issue paperback collections. (Also re-coloured, whatever that means for quality - ask a person who knows about comics.) There's also a pile of ancillary material collected at the back, some of which isn't available elsewhere. It's also, for the most part, even better than I remembered!

 

Both Gaiman and who-ever wrote the introduction feel that these comics really found their proper voice with the first appearance of the character Death in issue 8. I agree. This marks the end of the first story arc, involving many aspects of and characters from the wider DC universe and the start of a more isolated but deeper exploration of Gaiman's vision of The Endless and how they relate to life across the universe and time as well as humanity specifically. The Endless are seven "anthropomorphic personifications" that don't seem to always be anthropomorphic at all, since they exist for all types of life - as evidenced by fairies, aliens and cats. They are: Dream, Death, Delerium, Desire, Destiny, Despair...and the other one that I never remember but presumably has a name beginning with "D" in English. They're an interesting bunch.

 

These stories already show Gaiman's in-depth knowledge of world mythology and penchant for literary references, only the most obvious of which did I get back in the day. I noticed many more this time round. Makes me wonder if there are more I still missed...

 

Anyway, to sum up...book gorgeous. Art gorgeous. Stories great. And addictive. Bring me Vol. 2.

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text 2018-05-04 00:13
Reading progress update: I've read 496 out of 612 pages.
The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 - Neil Gaiman,John Costanza,Steve Oliff,Malcolm Jones III,Sam Kieth,Steve Parkhouse,Daniel Vozzo,Kelley Jones,Todd Klein,Chris Bachalo,Mike Dringenberg,Michael Zulli,Colleen Doran,Charles Vess

Dream of a Thousand Cats: didn't recall this one; very good though. (I'm a sucker for cat stories and this is a good 'un!)

 

A Midsummer Night's Dream next; I remember that this one exists but nothing of what actually happens.

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text 2018-05-03 12:26
Reading progress update: I've read 467 out of 612 pages.
The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 - Neil Gaiman,John Costanza,Steve Oliff,Malcolm Jones III,Sam Kieth,Steve Parkhouse,Daniel Vozzo,Kelley Jones,Todd Klein,Chris Bachalo,Mike Dringenberg,Michael Zulli,Colleen Doran,Charles Vess

I remembered the Cereal Convention but not the surrounding Vortex plot line...also the guy who ends up overburdened with story but not why.

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text 2018-05-02 01:33
Reading progress update: I've read 124 out of 612 pages.
The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 - Neil Gaiman,John Costanza,Steve Oliff,Malcolm Jones III,Sam Kieth,Steve Parkhouse,Daniel Vozzo,Kelley Jones,Todd Klein,Chris Bachalo,Mike Dringenberg,Michael Zulli,Colleen Doran,Charles Vess

I knew I'd only read a small fraction of the Sandman comics back in the day; didn't remember anything until Death showed up.

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review 2018-04-14 03:26
Sandman Review
Sandman - William W. Johnstone

Source: Netgalley

 

Sandman is a hard book to review, because it's a good book in certain ways. On the other hand, it would be easy for me to write an absolutely scathing review of it. Sandman is the very definition of a book that's so bad it's good.

It is not well-written. Some of it I feel might have been been deliberate. For example, the choppy sentences. Those can be used for dramatic purposes quite easily. However, I can't think of a good reason for the author to constantly reuse certain descriptions. The little boy's voice is, past a certain mark in the book, sounds like a 'deep well-hollow'. You are never given a chance to think otherwise, as the phrase seems like it was used at least 20 times!

It is, however, a fine example of cheesy 80s horror. It's awesome in that respect. Paul is the perfect 'evil little boy'. If over-the-top ridiculousness is your cup of tea, you'll love it for the drama of it alone. There's also no way you can read this book and not laugh your butt off at it. There lines that were so bad/good that I kept stopping to read them aloud to my partner. We were both groaning and snickering. It's one of those books that, if you go into it with the right expectations, you might love. 

Overall, I definitely enjoyed myself reading this book. However, unless I'm completely off the mark, I probably wasn't supposed to be quite as amused as I was. I wish I knew exactly how the author intended this book to be written, as it would make it much easier to review. As it is, I'm judging it on the assumption that it is actually supposed to be a horror book.

As a horror book, it fails. As a horror-comedy? It's absolutely awesome. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher for review consideration.

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