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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Graphic Novels Challenge and Sandman:World's End

I have been meaning to join this challenge for a while, actually. I got all excited when I saw that the challenge is being opened again for late arrivals. Instead of reading 6 books, you can read 3 between now and the end of the year.

And Dewey's offering an awesome contest to get everyone fired up about the Graphic Novels Challenge. If you comment on two posts at the Graphic Novel Challenge Blog, let people know about the challenge on your blog, and let Dewey know here, you can be entered to win a copy of We Are On Our Own by Miriam Katin.

With that, I'm going to lead off with my first book review for the challenge. I spotted Sandman: World's End at the library, and picked it up at random. This is a bit unusual for me, as it is the eighth book in the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman, and normally I'm a bit obsessive about reading series books in order.

Nothing to fear, however, as this book is a series of short stories, so no background knowledge of the other comics was needed. The context is that a group of travelers caught in a reality storm find themselves at an inn. It's called the Inn at the End of the World, and to pass the time, the travelers exchange stories.

This is Neil Gaiman, so the stories are anything but normal. An 18 year old boy runs for president... and wins. A businessman finds himself trapped the dream of a city. A fairy tells how he outwitted the dictator of a neighboring nation with the help of a mysterious man in black.

The stories sometimes branch into stories within stories... within stories... and I pretty much lost track of what level of "story within a story" the book got to. The entire book had beautiful artwork, but the first story was especially cool. Instead of the usual speech bubbles, the narration above each horizontal panel explained the story.

I'm starting to wonder if the day will ever come when I will dislike something Neil Gaiman wrote. I really hope that day doesn't come. Because, you know, the world might end or something.

Anyhow, I'd highly recommend this book, even if you haven't read the other Sandman novels.


Nymeth said...

This is definitely the perfect Sandman book to pick up at random. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It's one of my favourites. I just love the stories within stories structure.

Debi said...

Glad you enjoyed this, Kim! I'm like you, obsessive about keeping things in order, so I probably never would have ventured out like that...good for you for being adventurous!

DesLily said...

when you find an author you like... the thing is to hope he writes forever!

Kim L said...

nymeth-it is pretty cool, isn't it?

debi-thank you :-)

deslily-no kidding!

Trish said...

I've heard great things about Gaiman's short stories from Stephanie's Confessions of a Bookaholic. I picked up American Gods and Stardust this afternoon and can't wait for my first taste of Gaiman. I think I'm going to read Stardust to hubby during our cartrip tomorrow (at least part of it).

Have a great time with the challenge!

Andi said...

The Sandman is one series I haven't read (have the first one on my shelves, no fear), but I really need to get around to it. What better time than now, eh? I think I put it on my projected list for this challenge.

Dewey said...

I haven't disliked anything Gaiman yet, either, but I was left sort of indifferent by Neverwhere. Might have just been that I was distracted then.

Glad you're joining the challenge for the rest of the year!