by Neil Gaiman
Started: July 17
Finished: July 18
Notes: For me, this collection is where Sandman really comes into its own. Dream returns to Hell in order to set right a wrong he did many, many centuries ago, but when he arrives he discovers Lucifer is retiring, locking up and closing Hell and taking a permanent vacation in the Waking World on Earth. Unfortunately, as he is leaving, Lucifer gifts Dream with the key to Hell. At that point, Dream's existence doesn't become easy. But I've said enough. This has been one of my favorite sections of The Sandman, and as it's been a while since I've read it, let's see if it stands up well to time.
Mini review: Yes, the story still stands up as a favorite. Also, I found myself affected by the ending most strongly, stronger than I ever had before. I think it is because I am a widower and there are reflections of such a fate within the final pages of this tale, though I will say no more on that subject. However, I will say that here Dream is offered possibilities, ones which he refuses, though in time to come many a reader will wish he had done otherwise. It is a sad thing, but in many ways The Sandman is a sad tale, one of a refusal to change. Again, I've said enough. Perhaps more than enough.