Sunday, March 15, 2009
The Sandman: Dream Country...random thoughts
The Sandman: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman.
While not my favorite of the Sandman volumes that I've read so far, I'd be lying if I said I didn't love it. As opposed to following a continuing storyline, Dream Country is more of a collection of short stories.
In the first, "Calliope," we watch Richard Madoc, a once successful novelist, buy his way back to success and fame through enslaving a muse. It's an ugly look at the lengths some will go to to get what they want. Of the four stories in this volume, I believe this one and the one following are probably my favorites. "A Dream of a Thousand Cats," is a clever imagining of the power of dreams of all living creatures. Maybe not a cat story to share with Max, while at the same time, I think even he, at age six, could appreciate the underlying "justice" in the idea of turning "power" on its head. The third story, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," lets us in on the secret reason behind Shakespeare's writing of his delightful masterpiece. We watch him traveling with a theatrical troupe, and witness their performance before a very "special" audience. I'm glad I finally got around to reading Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream last year, or this story would have been much harder to follow. The very best part of this tale for me was the very last line...still makes me smile when I think about it. And finally, in the last story, "Facade," we meet Urania Blackwell, an ex-CIA agent who had to leave "the Company" after she was given an unwanted gift by the sun god Ra. This gift has left her a prisoner in her own home, and she wants desperately to die. But this gift has left her physically incapable of suicide. For me, this story seemed to end too quickly, and thus was probably my least favorite of the bunch. It's one incredibly saving grace is that Death reappears.
Being thoroughly comic-illiterate, I've often wondered how all the people, author, artist, letterer, etc. work together to put out a finished book. In a wonderful addition to the end of this compilation, I had some of my questions answered. For included is a script of "Calliope." And while Neil Gaiman is quick to point out that no two authors may work in quite the same way, I still found this a fascinating glimpse into the making of a comic.
*Nymeth at Things Mean A Lot ("A Midsummer Nights Dream" from Dream Country)
*Kim at Bold. Blue. Adventure. (The Absolute Sandman: Volume One)
*Rhinoa at Rhinoa's Ramblings (The Sandman: Dream Country)
I know there must be more reviews out there, so if you've got one to share please leave me a link in the comments and I'll add it here. Thanks.
Been so dang busy the last few days that I've had to stay away from blog world. Am hoping to catch up a bit today...hope everyone's been having a wonderful weekend!