Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrators: Glenn Fabry, Milo Manara, Miguelanxo Prado, Frank Quitely, P. Craig Russell, Bill Sienkiewicz, Barron Storey.
Genre: Graphic novel, Fantasy
160pp. ISBN: 978-14120-0893
Published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics. 2003. $24.95 USA, $37.95 CAN
Available in print and eBook.
Why I Read It
Gaiman, while not a personal favorite, is reliable for an interesting tale. Though Endless Nights was published years after the conclusion of the original Sandman series, I wanted a quick peek into that world. Reading it has helped me decide if I want to read the original series.
Neil Gaiman fulfills his promise to return to The Sandman series with stories of his siblings, The Endless.
Seven stories. Seven illustrators. One author. Each story stars one of the Endless, the siblings of the Sandman, including the Sandman himself. In the introduction, Gaiman writes that he’s wanted to work with these artists for years, but didn’t have the right stories to tell until now.
Here’s what I think
Endless Nights is very different from anything else I’ve ever read, period. Having seven artists, seven different artistic styles, seven takes on the same characters was jarring. I found myself picking my favorite depictions of each sibling. Two artists stood out for me. The first, Barron Storey, illustrated “15 Portraits of Despair,” for which Gaiman wrote fifteen little stories. It was the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. It was easy to see that despair can arise in many different situations, but always lead to the same place: ALONE. The second, Bill Sienkiewicz, illustrated “Delirium: Going Inside.” Let me tell you, I have never seen artwork that so perfectly captured madness and made it coherent. It was the perfect melding of story and artwork. Readers of the original Sandman series will want this. It brings up a lot of questions that may be answered by the original series, while also probably providing answers that the original series brought up.
Endless Nights, though published after the original series, is a prequel. One does not, though, have to have read the original series to read this entry. For that matter, one does not have to read the original series at all. Each chapter stands alone, as enduring as its Endless subject.
If you can’t tell, I really enjoyed this.
5Q–Hard to imagine it being better written
4P–Broad general or genre appeal
Readalikes, courtesy of NoveList Plus
Charles de Lint
Y, the Last Man, Brian K. Vaughn
Fray, Joss Whedon
Book Talk Notes
Death is a woman. p. 27
Desire comes in many forms. pp 43, 64
Dream (The Sandman) was in love. p. 60
Despair is. p. 81
Delirium is lost and needs to be found. p. 119
Destruction is protective. pp. 134-135
Destiny is chained. p. 148
All ways, always, and ever Endless. The siblings as you’ve never seen them before.
Book discussion questions
1) What do you think happened to Delirium?
2) Why do you think her name changed from Delight?
3) Why is despair an obese woman?
4) In the introduction, Gaiman says the Endless are not gods, because gods can be forgotten, but the Endless simply are. Discuss how Chapter 3 illustrates this concept.
5) Did any of the “15 Portraits of Despair” resonate with you? Which one and why.
6) Why do you think Destiny is chained to the book and vice versa?
Clues to the Future
Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, the Endless, different illustrators, two masks on the cover, creepy artwork
Awards and Lists
Locus Awards 2004, Nonfiction/Art
Links to the Author, Interviews, and Reviews
Author website: www.neilgaiman.com
NPR Interview: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1435177
Interview with Bookslut: http://www.bookslut.com/features/2006_10_010057.php
Until next time!