The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

jacket $19.99, 240 pages, Graphic Novel

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The goal of this graphic novel involves the attempt of a wizard to capture Death.  And yet, in the process, it is actually Dream (or Morpheus), who is captured.  Dream is the younger brother of Death.  The graphic novel is divided into a series of shorter chapters and stories in which characters often represent much more.  Morpheus travels throughout the graphic novel in an attempt to retrieve the items lost to him while he was away for some 70 years.  Multiple characters are introduced which will eventually create the need for additional volumes of the Sandman series.  Gaiman’s writing introduces elements of life and death, mythology and Biblical references, as well.

This graphic novel was very dark and disturbing to me.  I found the vignettes or short stories hard to follow and often filled with multiple meanings.  When not struggling with the text, I often turned to the visuals for guidance.  Perhaps if I read more of the volumes of the Sandman series, I would understand the storylines a bit more.

Appeal Factors: Character-driven, Gruesome, Moody

According to Novelist, read-alikes for this book include:  Y, the Last Man by Brian Vaughan, Black Hole by Charles Burns and Finder by Carla Speed McNeil (accessed May 4, 2013).

Sandman Series Summary

I read this book after it was selected as required reading and discussion for our Readers’ Advisory class.

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