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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

The Medusa Chronicles
Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter
Progress: 20/336 pages
Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth
John Garth
Progress: 190/398 pages
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 2
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 133/789 pages
The Essential Shakespeare
Ted Hughes
Progress: 75/259 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Bruegel: Defining a Destiny
Amy Orrock, Jennifer Scott
Progress: 79/128 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages

The Absolute Sandman, Volume II, Neil Gaiman

The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 2 - Neil Gaiman, John Watkis, Duncan Eagleson, George Pratt, Vince Locke, Steve Oliff, Malcolm Jones III, Stan Woch, Dick Giordano, Daniel Vozzo, Bryan Talbot, Shawn McManus, John Bolton, Kelley Jones, Todd Klein, Matt Wagner, Mike Dringenberg, P. Craig Russell, Dave McKean, Co

Volume II of this series is as gorgeous as Volume I. There are two main stories, only one of which I'd read before. The first, about Lucifer abdicating as ruler of Hell, did not appeal to me as much as the second, about The Cuckoo, with its cast of characters from under-represented groups and very mysterious goings on. Apparently I'm unusual in liking it more than the other. I still feel Sandman is at its best when it relies on Gaiman's own invented mythology of the Endless more than on any connections to the wider DC universe or obvious borrowings from elsewhere.


I keep forgetting the strong horror sensibility that Sandman has - it's not prominent in Gaiman's prose fiction. I like it.


There's heaps of bonus material in the back, most of which has not been collected before, including a very short piece featuring Desire. Presumably the original comic is quite valuable now. It's all worth reading, including the script for the issue in which Sandman returns to Hell. Hilariously, we find out what Gaiman was watching on a B&W TV whilst writing it and that if you're not fully paying attention one might mistake Boorman's self-aware, ironic and hilarious film Excalibur for rubbish...


Bring me Volume III !