Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sandman Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones


Rating: WARTY!

After negatively rating Sandman Overture, I was urged by a Goodreads acquaintance to read this one, which precedes it and which was supposedly better. It wasn't! Not from my perspective; for me, it was confused and unappealing. If I'd asked my youngest son to write a story, and make it as weird and gross as he could, I'd have got something just like this.

Even the titles are confused. How anything can precede an 'overture' I have no idea, unless it's taking your ticket at the door hand having an usher show you to your seat, which wasn't what happened here. This was more like having someone shred your ticket at the door and having Roderick Usher show you to his sister's tomb where she's grossly rotting. 'Prelude' and 'overture' really mean the same thing - a light introduction to something more weighty, but neither of these graphic novels had any weight as insofar as it impacted upon me.

There was only one part of this which made sense, the interlude (as long as we're employing a musical motif!) wherein the Sandman, who honestly looks like a cross between Neil Gaiman and Alice Cooper as depicted here, interacted with John Constantine. That story made sense after a fashion, but it was boring, and it's like the writer and artists knew this and tried to punch it up, but instead of achieving that by making it interesting or exciting, they simply piled on the gross, and declared themselves happy with it. I wasn't.

You'd think someone with the Sandman's powers would be able to find his own sand pouch, but no! After that we went downhill again and I gave up on this when the epilogue appeared about two-thirds the way through, I don't read epilogues any more than I read prologues.

So this was a fail as far as I'm concerned and I'd just like to take this opportunity to send out a general message, not aimed at anyone in particular. You may well adore Neil Gaiman, but I am done with him for now at least. I have literally scores of other authors I want to read instead. I know you mean well and it's admirable that you want to share your enthusiasm for an author. That's why we amateurs do these reviews, after all. We sure get no other reward for it!

But no more Neil Gaiman recommendations and while we're on the topic of advice, no more strident attempts at belittling my views by telling me that I can't review a novel if I haven't finished it, or by suggesting that I just haven't read the right work from author X, and if only I'll just read book Y I'll be in seventh heaven!

If I don't like an author, then reading more of what that author wrote isn't going to make me suddenly like them! No, it's just going to irritate me and worse, waste my time. To paraphrase Gotye, Neil Gaiman is just some author that I used to know, and now I'm moving on to other, potentially more rewarding stories.


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