Book Review: The Sandman, Vol.1 by Neil Gaiman

Thursday, 5 March 2015 20:50
Title: The Sandman, Vol. 1: Nocturnes and Preludes
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publication Date: January 1st, 1991
Genres: Graphic novel, Fantasy, Mythology
Rating: 4 of 5 stars


Once I was all done with this book, my very first thought was "This book is really weird."

Neil Gaiman, as all of you know, is a God at creating the most intricate and best of all story worlds. Honestly, every time I pick up his books, I never have a single clue with where he's going to take the readers with his story lines. Reading the blurb seriously does not help. Gaiman's works always have depth and much more stuff going on than what the blurb normally says.

So, I finally have gotten around to picking up one of his most hyped books or it sounds better when put this way, one of the most hyped graphic novels of all time, The Sandman. Of course, when I opened the book I immediately wanted to love this book like I always think whenever I start reading an extremely hyped book. Plus, it's by Neil Gaiman and I loved the two books of his I read recently so yes, I was very much prepared to love this book.

Everything went on really great considering half the time I was trying the figure out what the hell was going on. With the dream sequences intervening the story line, it was kind of hard to follow but ehh I managed quite well, I guess. Except for the last bit. If not for that, this would have gotten a solid 5 star rating. But we'll come to that a bit later.

I feel like that going into this graphic novel without knowing much would provide the best reading experience but I will give you the gist of the story line. Feel free to skip the next paragraph if you're interested in going into the graphic novel without knowing much about it. 

So, there are these people who decide to summon Death and cure the disease of dying. But alas, their summoning does not bring Death but another kind of Endless. Their summoning brought the King of Dreams, The Sandman. They ask him for wishes but he never talks to them. Many, many years pass and finally the Sandman makes his escape from the glass prison his human captors have created for him. He had three tools into which he put most of his magic and now they're missing, stolen by his human captors and passed onto others. The first volume, Preludes and Nocturnes is about Sandman recovering his most prized tools. 

At times, there was a lot happening in the graphic novel and it was really hard to follow because after Sandman's capture and his tools going missing, people don't have proper dreams. They have weird dreams, like how dreams are always like and these dream sequences keep interrupting the story line and many at times, it threw me off balance with what was actually happening. It was a slight inconvenience but it did not annoy me or made me want to rip this book. I just wish I understood it better but people say it gets easier to understand as you keep on reading the volumes. I guess you just get used to it. After all, this is a story about the King of Dreams and dreams generally don't make any sense.

Also, I'm really addicted to how the King of Dreams looks like in Gaiman's graphic novels. The Sandman looks a bit like him, don't you think? 

I really, really, dig this look. I love this version of Sandman! He's so sexy! :D

Coming back to the story line, you also get to see certain DC characters and it was really cool how Gaiman incorporated those characters into this graphic novel. There was a lot going on in this first volume and the last bit was hella confusing but hey I know dreams are fucking incomprehensible and I decided to go with it. Maybe,after reading the sequels and years later when I pick this amazing book again, I'll be like, "Yep. I get it!".

Let's not forget the artwork! The artwork for this book was very dark and gritty. The colors were stark and never soft and at times, a lot of stuff happens in one page which might make it quite hard to follow. Sometimes, you wanna stare at the plethora of characters in a single page and other times you just want to get on with it. The illustrations weren't swoon-worthy and they weren't bad either. It was good. I guess more importance was given to the Sandman and his story lines which I was completely fine with.

I know my review makes me sound like I'm torn between liking and disliking this book, but to be honest, I really did enjoy this book a lot. It had so many characters (some very familiar), so many ideas, so much depth and on the whole, I had a lot of fun reading it even when it was confusing as hell. It didn't even bother me much. Just don't ask to me explain every single thing, okay? :D



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