June 19, 2006

48 Hour Reading Contest: Dreams and Nightmares

I know I'm posting these late! Somehow, this turned into the worst weekend EVER to do a reading contest, but never mind, I got through it, and it was fun to keep snatching moutfuls of story whenever I had a moment. And, for the first time, I got to read a graphic novel! Neil Gaiman's Sandman: The Dream Hunters was unexpectedly not like a comic book, but a deeply involved and stylishly illustrated novel in its own right, beginning with a strange story about a badger and a fox, who, seeing the coming winter, try to drive a monk out of his temple in a variety of interesting and menacingways (which backfire on them most amusingly). From an almost fable-like beginning, the novel morphs into a more substantial and detailed story, which is about greed, desire and fear. In the end, the fox who once only saw him as a means to a warmer place to sleep, falls in love with the monk, and makes a desperate bid to save him from his enemies with the help of dreams. The Dream King, stylishly illustrated by Yoshikata Amano, is beautifully androgynous, dangerous looking and powerful. A convoluted tale that is too short, with pictures startling enough to keep you turning back to them over and over again.

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