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The Sandman Vol 6: Fables & Reflections

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Sandman Vol 6: Fables & Reflections (1993) Neil Gaiman

This may be my favorite Sandman collection. There are several different tales told, some in the past, some in the far past, and all excellent.

It starts with “Fear of Falling,” a story of a man who is afraid to succeed. It’s a short story and is the prologue of this book.

What follows is one of my favorite stories, “Three Septembers and a January,” which tells of Joshua Norton, Emperor of the United States. Plus there is an appearance by Samuel Clemens. The story is fascinating in and of itself, even without intrigue by Despair and Delirium and Desire. (Oddly, the Despair in this story seems different somehow, from the despair of later stories. But it could just be me.)

A good portion of the book is dedicated to Orpheus, Dream’s son. The first story, “Thermidor”, tells of Johanna Constantine and her recovery of Orpheus’ head from France during the French revolution, as well as the end of St Just and Robespierre. The second Orpheus story, “The Song of Orpheus,” tells of his journey to hell to recover Eurydice.

But in this book it is the other stories that I like so well. I particularly like “The Hunt.” A grandfather tells her a story of the past to his granddaughter, who may love him, but who is also a teenager. I particularly love the scene where she has interrupted him one too many times, “Listen, blood of my blood. Although I’m a hard man to anger, and I love you deeply, if you interrupt me again so help me I’ll rip your throat out with my teeth.” “Sorry Grandfather.” It reminds me very much of “The Princess Bride” where the sick boy keeps interrupting the story. (“Yes. You’re very smart. now shut up.”) I also love the art in this story. The way the boy is drawn I particularly like, although I couldn’t tell you why. Also, Baba Yaga and her hut on chicken legs. Yay!

The story “August” I like, but find it terribly sad.

“A Parliament of Rooks” sees Daniel out on his own in the Realm of Dreams, although the heart of the story is the stories told by Cain, Abel, and Eve. I particularly like the way the art changes in Abel’s story, to match the story he is telling Daniel–as well as the way it switches back to what is really happening.

And then there is “Ramadan,” which is just beautiful all the way around. I love the story and I love the artwork. This is one of the few tales where I was really drawn into the artwork (the other is Dream Hunters)

It’s not one thing about this book, it’s everything really. But at the center are the stories. And I particularly love the stories in Fables & Reflections.
Rating: 9/10

Categories: 9/10, Graphic Novels     Comments (0)    



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