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Please Note : I will do my best to include no spoilers!
I first discovered Neil Gaiman's highly acclaimed "Sandman" series several years ago, but only recently found myself in a position to a) find and b) buy his work. The Sandman is a graphic novel that spreads across several volumes of artwork, and has gone on to spawn spin-offs in various formats (there is talk of a movie in the offing).
"Season's Of Mists" comes near to the middle of the series, and because of this it is a good example of Gaiman's more mature work, when the series had found its feet and was comfortable with its style. The main storyline running through "Season's of Mists" is Dream's journey to Hell in an attempt to free his once-lover Nada. In the process he is given the key to Hell by Lucifer, and all manner of problems start...
What attracts me to this volume, however, are the minor sub-plots running through. The short story featuring orphaned schoolboy Charles Rowland was especially shocking and touching (echoing the treatment of other Sandman character Jed, but that's another story...)
The agonies suffered by Remiel when he receives unwelcome news from the Silver City is sensitively scripted and strikingly drawn, and the depiction of Hell is thought-provoking - especially the reluctance of some "damned souls" to leave. The ending of "Season's of Mists" is as well crafted and surprising as any of Gaiman's works, leaving enough unfinished business for the story to continue.
Another good point to "Season's of Mists" is that, for the first time in the series, the Endless gather together in one place and are introduced in detail. This makes "Seasons of Mists" a good starting point for new readers, though they may not pick up on of the more allusive qualities in Gaiman's writing. This won't matter - "Seasons of Mists," like most of the Sandman library, is something you want to re-read, whether for the story or the artwork.
Welcome to Ciao, A superb first opinion, well done...Brian
Sali 12.07.2001 15:52
Thanks for the op - very helpful! :)
joannavos 12.07.2001 15:27
I am desperately trying to read a compilation of short stories by this author but am failing to get into it. It's called Smoke and Mirrors. I've heard of the Sandman series though and may well give this a go as it sounds completly different to what I'm trying to read right now! I'm not that keen on short story compilations. Excellent op though and has helped me decide that I should give his other work a try however hard I'm struggling with Smoke and Mirrors! Thanks, Joanna.