Sunday, June 26, 2016

Books read in 2016: No. 27 -- The Books of Magic

by Neil Gaiman

Started: June 25
Finished: June 26

Notes: This graphic novel originally came out in 1990 as a four-part limited series though later it became a regular series, though Gaiman did not pen those tales. This one is a favorite, done during Gaiman's fantastic run on Sandman, and it briefly alludes to those characters. The story surrounds a young, be-speckled Timothy Hunter who is apparently supposed to be the modern age's most powerful wizard (and though there are some similarities, especially physically, this was about a decade before Harry Potter). Four modern mages (of sorts) take it upon themselves to show Timothy the worlds of magic, taking him into the past, the present, the future, and into worlds beyond our own. The hope is to guide Timothy along his path, for he has the potential for great good or great evil. This is Gaiman at some of his best writing, and I look forward to dipping into these pages once more. For those unfamiliar with magic within the DC comics universe, this is a good place to start as much is explained or at least mentioned.

Mini review: Just about as perfect as a story can be. It follows the hero's journey perfectly, almost beat per beat, but without feeling stale while keeping a freshness that still feels true more than 25 years later and after multiple reads.


Charles Gramlich said...

I finished Preludes and Nocturnes. Pretty good. I had a tough time following the stories in some cases. May be my newness to reading graphic stuff, although by now I've read a fair amount.

Ty said...

The artists change often in the Sandman, so that can throw readers for something of a loop. Also, being that the stories involve Dream and/or the Dreaming, plus other powerful entities and planes of existence, the layout and art sometimes have something of a surreal quality to them.

That being said, Preludes and Nocturnes is just the beginning, and there are much, much better stories coming. Not that everything in the Sandman is perfect. There were a couple of story lines which didn't do much for me, but then there was Season of Mist, and The Wake, both of which still bring a smile to my face.