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Signing up for the 2010 Graphic Novel Challenge gave me the perfect excuse (in case I really thought I needed one) to re-read the Neil Gaiman Sandman series from scratch, alongside the fascinating-and-occasionally-dipped-into-but-never-properly-read Sandman Companion by Hy Bender. And of course you start at the beginning, with Preludes and Nocturnes.

The thing about the need for an excuse is that my TBR pile (which with my tendency to be unable to avoid buying books plus all the stuff the Book God has in his possession) has actually become a TBR room, if not taking over the whole house, and so any re-reading has to be carefully thought through because there are just so many new(ish) books waiting for me to pick them up.

This is a problem that will not go away for two reasons:

  • the Book God and I currently have a combined age of 106, and if you assume that we both started buying our own books as teenagers (let’s say arbitrarily 15) then that’s potentially 76 years of book buying

Which brings me to reason number 2:

  • I am constitutionally incapable of getting rid of anything vaguely book shaped. At all. So I almost certainly have just about everything I have bought since I was a teenager

So you can see my problem.

Nevertheless the draw of Sandman was irresistible and I ploughed on, really enjoying the opportunity to get back inside a world that I have always enjoyed. And then  another issue hit me – how do I review this? I mean, I can’t really review this as if I have come to it fresh, because I haven’t, and it is such a well-loved series and so many other bloggers have written about it all so eloquently. So I’m not going to attempt the feat at all.

I love it still, and if you haven’t read the series I urge you to have a go.


I’ve also had a couple of relatively rare outings this week (I don’t count cocktails with Silvery Dude and friend on Wednesday because in my simple little mind that’s the sort of thing I should be doing every day); no, this is proper going out for the evening stuff, involving:

  • on Thursday, the Birmingham Royal Ballet performing Sleeping Beauty at the London Coliseum – wonderful stuff with costumes based on the court of Louis XIV and a classic fairy tale on stage the way it should be done
  • on Saturday, The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers at the Royal Albert Hall, with the full score performed live by the London Philharmonic Orchestra – and lovely to see Howard Shore, the composer, take a bow at the end.

And then home to Dr Who and River Song. What more could a girl want?

So having enjoyed volume one (reviewed here) and just so happening to have volume 2 kicking around the house for some strange reason, I decided to leap straight into the world of Fables once again with Animal Farm.

So after the fall out from the events of volume 1, not to be discussed here in case there is someone out there who has been even tardier than me in coming to the series, the Fabletown Mayor, Snow White, is heading upstate from New York for her annual visit to the Farm. This is the property, hidden by a glamour, where the non-human fables can live away from the prying eyes of the “normal” world. So we have the Three Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a few dragons and sleeping giants and so forth.

But all is not well; these fables want to take their homelands back from the Adversary, and are fomenting a revolution in order to do so, led by a very different take on Goldilocks than you would have seen before. Can Snow White stop them, and who can she trust to help her?

If anything this was even more fun than the previous story, with some well-known characters from literature (Shere Khan and Baghera, anyone?) involved, plus who could resist animals with weapons? Not giving away what happens but the fable approach to justice is brutal if necessary.

And you have to feel a bit sorry for Colin the Pig.

Will definitely be continuing to follow this series.

This was my third read for the 2010 Graphic Novel Challenge.

Bride of the Book God

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Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

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April 2010