[[ download Prime ]] Worlds End (The Sandman, #8) Author Neil Gaiman – Sharkmotorcyclehelmets.co.uk

A Reality Storm Draws An Unusual Cast Of Characters Together They Take Shelter In A Tavern, Where They Amuse Each Other With Their Life Stories Although Morpheus Is Never A Focus In These Stories, Each Has Something To Say About The Nature Of Stories And Dreams With An Introduction By Stephen King SUGGESTED FOR MATURE READERS Collecting The Sandman


10 thoughts on “Worlds End (The Sandman, #8)

  1. says:

    A reality storm is coming Look for some safe place Creative Team Writer Neil GaimanIllustrators Mike Allred, Gary Amano, John Watkiss, Mark Buckingham, Shea Anton Pensa, Tony Harris, Vince Locke, Steve Leialoha, Dick Giordano, Michael Zulli, Alec Stevens Bryan TalbotCovers Dave McKeanLetterer Todd Klein EMPERORS AGAIN, CITIES AGAIN, BUT THIS TIME ALONG WITH GRAVEdIGGERS, FAIRIES SHIPS Pictures and word balloons don t mean dumb. That first quote isn t from the pages of the volume World s End but from the introduction written by none other than Stephen King that I guess you may have heard that he has written some books here and there Indeed it s impressive the list of personalities that they have figured so far in the introductions to each The Sandman TPBs, and having Stephen King here is even impressive.I mean WOW Maybe my only humble critique is that when the Master King did a comment about how The Sandman is a comic book series suggested to mature readers and that if the readers wouldn t understand the stories, they should get back to Spider Man, X Men or Fantastic Four Honestly I didn t like one little bit that comment, for two reasons One, clearly he only mentioned Marvel titles, what All DC material is so adult oriented Sure, I was amazed how mature was the brawl showing none strategy against Darkseid in the first storyach of New 52 s Justice League Geez And Two, I wonder if he ever heard of materials such as Spider Man Kraven s Last Hunt, X Men God Loves, Man Kills or even a single issue like 267 A Small Loss from Fantastic Four I love DC AND Marvel, AND Indy comic book houses too, so I don t like when it s made a direct comment attacking the competition without need I don t need to choose I don t need to limit myself only choosing certain publishing house, franchise or literary genre.It s nobody s secret that many comic books aren t those great literary masterpieces, but hardly all prose novels have always a depth content It s not something about the writing format but about the writers And in any case, sometimes we aren t looking for a mature material to make us to mediate and to expand our intellect, sometimes we are in the mood of just want to read about a brainless brawl against a intergalactic tyrant, without looking to expand our understanding of the universo but just to relax a while.That s the magic and beauty of books, any kind of books, there are enough for any kind of reading that we wish to do, depending of our mood, our situation, our available time, etc Does everyone have a drink Good So let my auditors feel themselves transported far, far from here to lands far distant Like some other previous volumes in this run of The Sandman, this TPB is a collection of short stories, even the collection is so shaken but not stirred that you will have short stories inside of the short stories, I mean, you are reading a short story and before you know, you re reading another short story but inside of the current short story.There are some similitudes about elements, but definitely new stories from the developed in the sixth volume Fables and Reflections since cities and emperors will be pivotal in this totally new selection of tales.You will visit cities even ambitious about its surreal ambiances, abandoning for good the realms of Earth or maybe not but definitely out of the ordinary.The reality storm is comingBut no, you won t be involved in the taking of any throne, no, but you will visit a very special inn even amazing enough not the only one of its kind where you can be safe from reality storms and the price for your beverage and food is as cheap as a story.But that doesn t mean that they are cheap stories, oh no, imagination have no boundaries and when the tales are constructed with bricks of dreams, you can be sure that reality while may be storming out there, but you will be warm enough inside having the comfortable blankets of fantasy around you Sir Who are you Just one with an interest in tales I am Prince of Stories. The name of the inn is The World s End I guess that Simon Pegg the actor read this TPB, since there is a movie with the same title and it s referring too about an inn, maybe not as astonishing as the one in this TPB but definitely not normal either By the way, I didn t like much that movie since I found it too similar the angle to the done in the wonderful Shaun of the Dead also made by Pegg An odd detail about the illustration work was there is a character named Cluracan who is a male fairy, and he wears pointed ears on the scenes inside the inn, but when he appears in some stories, while he is a fairy and everybody knows that he is a fairy so there isn t any point to hide it, the artists assigned to those other section didn t draw him pointed ears.You can be sure that Morpheus, our dear Death, and other regular characters from the series, they appear here, and while some apparitions are clear in the opoen, even you will have to be quite observant to realize at some moments that you are meeting them.Obviously, since this is The Sandman, dreams are a pivotal element once again, here, in these short stories, where you will meet all kind of dreams, from the general American Dream to others kinda individual.And maybe, just maybe, a grim glimpse of things to come in the series Whose tale is next


  2. says:

    This eighth entry in the series is, like Dream Country, a collection of individual tales only tangentially connected to the characters and concerns of the series Gaiman, in a brief afterward, tells us that he crafted these stories to take advantage of the talents of some of his favorite artists, and in this he has succeeded admirably The visual styles are pleasantly varied, and many of the individual images are haunting and memorable.The tales are presented to us through a Decameron style frame a diverse group of people gather at an inn for shelter and safety, and tell stories to pass the time They seek shelter, not from a plague, but from a reality storm, an event that disrupts the lives of people living in many historical periods and different dimensions, and consequently the tellers of these tales are an extraordinarily diverse group.I particularly enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities a Mr Gaheris, traveling through his own city, finds himself in a dreaming city similar yet different from his own for artist Alec Stevens modernistic, one dimensional images which give to Gaheris cities a contemporary yet dreamlike reality I also enjoyed very much The Golden Boy an alternate United States in which an eighteen year old named Prez follows Dick Nixon as president and does very well and Cerements a series of tales told by the masters and apprentices of the necropolis Litharge, who discuss their work among the dead , but the other two tales were also entertaining, as was the resolution of the frame story itself.All in all, a worthy contribution to the series.


  3. says:

    And so we get our first taste of the infamous House of Mystery, the harbor at World s End, where safety and drink in the limbo between dimensions can be bought with the price of a tale.I m pretty fond of these short stories, but perhaps not as fond as I was the first time I read them They re solid and thought provoking, but not overly so.I suppose what really got to me was the end of the volume The wake shiver Okay, that was some seriously deep shit When death looked at us like that Oh lordy that was great Sometimes the art gets it right, and this one Yeah It gets it right shiver I LOVE great foreshadowing.


  4. says:

    A group of strangers all end up in an old, hidden inn tavern to seek shelter during a storm The storm appeared differently for each for one it was a snowstorm in the middle of June while driving somewhere in the U.S Midwest for another it was a violent thunderstorm while at sea..in 1914 The tavern is packed with people from different realities and timelines including non human creatures from Faerie and myth , and the only thing to do while they wait for the reality storm to end is swap spooky stories by the fire personal stories, mostly, or ones they d heard first hand And they re all strange and or creepy in some way, from straight monster tales to just plain weird A couple are overtly fantastical, while others are reality based, with eventual intrusions of the otherworldly.I really dug the cozy nature of the framing story portions inside the inn It was cool to meet all the different beings humans, a centaur, ghoul, fairy, etc., some of whom are from previous Sandman volumes, but this can be read on its own with no foreknowledge of the world Each short story is drawn by a different artist, including Mark Buckingham Fables and the great Mike Allred Madman who, with his Jack Kirby esque pop art style, is the one comic artist where I ll instantly buy anything he s involved in.This is definitely one of my favorite Sandman volumes, and one of my favorite Gaiman works in general Gaiman is, of course, one of the biggest writers in the world, but I feel he s still somewhat underrated as a master of short, weird fiction, both in prose and comic form, and this would be a nice intro for those who haven t delved into his comics or short fiction His tales almost always charm me, but here they gave a little of that eerie frisson that I m always seeking out, as a nice little bonus.5 Stars.


  5. says:

    What do you get when you wrap stories inside of stories featuring people in the stories telling stories about the people telling stories in the other stories Neil Gaiman at his Neil Gaimaniest This series continues to delight and occasionally confuse , even when, or perhaps especially when, it veers away from what is loosely the main narrative This volume is no exception, and we can go ahead and add World s End to the list of fantastical and imaginary places I desperately want to visit, which is extensive and shows no signs of shrinking, unlike me in anything that even approaches what might be described as cool weather Rivendell, incidentally, tops the list, I think, followed by Hogwarts Bonus points for some early Mark Buckingham art, though it s ink, not pencils.


  6. says:

    9 10 Brief Lives proved to be a hard act to follow I found myself re reading some of the single issues in this following album in order to fully enjoy them, after an initial lukewarm reception I was sucked back in after a while, as connections with the overall plot become evident, and as the framing story linking together the individual tales ended with a promise of troubled times ahead for the Endless.This framing story is a familiar device, of strangers seeking shelter from a storm and passing the time until the weather clears by telling stories A couple is driving at night from L.A to Chicago, when they are caught by a Blizzard in July, crash the car and end up at the Inn of the End of the World.It s a popular technique since the Decameron and the Canterbury Tales, up to the recent Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy or the lyrics to Hotel California Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door I had to find the passage back to the place I was before Relax said the night man, We are programmed to receive You can check out any time you like, But you can never leave The Inn is full of exotic travellers, marooned here by a reality storm a mysterious cataclysmic event that has reverberations through all the realms of the Sandman Universe Over an ale or two, these journeymen share something of their past experiences When a world ends, there s always something left over A story, perhaps, or a vision, or a hope This inn is a refuge, after the lights go out For a while Here they are A Tale of Two Cities Is there any person in the world who does not dream who does not contain within them worlds unimagined Told by Robert, a clerk in a big building, in a big city He is comfortable in his routine job, and his greatest passion is to explore his surroundings During his lunch hour he would wander the streets of the city, at night again he roams the streets lights, sounds, reflections in the water.This is the story that gave the most trouble, as I was put off by the minimalist graphic art, despite it s art nouveau, German Impressionist inspiration After a couple of re reads, I came to appreciate what Gaiman is driving at one of his favorite urban contemporary themes of people falling through the cracks of reality and ending up in an alternate universe ruled by magic and peopled by bizarro, grotesque misfits I was reminded strongly of my earlier read this year of Neverwhere Dreamers are particularly prone to this type of slippage In the subway train, in the morning, he would read a newspaper and wonder what would happen were the subway carriage suddently to be transported to a distant planet how long it would take before the passengers began to speak, one to another who would make love to whom who would be eaten should they ran out of food , and Robert ends up one day on the other side of the mirror, where his adventures take a turn towards horror Gaiman declares in an interview that he tried here to pay homage to the classic H P Lovecraft stories of sleeping Gods, and his writing, as usual, rises to the occasion, carrying the story forward regardless of the artwork Perhaps a city is a living thing Each city has its own personality, after all Los Angeles is not Vienna London is not Moscow Chicago is not Paris Each city is a collection of lives and buildings and it has its own personality So, if a city has a personality, maybe it also has a soul, Maybe it dreams Cluracan s Tale Cluracan appeared before in the series, as one the Faerie nobles delegated to negociate with Morpheus the ownership of Hell His choice of story is a sword sorcery high fantasy adventure, along the lines of Robert E Howard Once again, Cluracan is an ambassador from the Queen of Faerieland to an ancient city where he falls afoul of its current dictator Morpheus has a cameo, as in the first story, but the main actor remains the bragging, flamboyant and vengeful Cluracan I resolved to do the best I could With all the resources and craft and glamour I possessed, not to mention a certain amount of malice An entertaining issue, but not one of my top picks Hob s Leviathan by contrast, the third time lucky pick, may end up as one of my top five favorites of the whole Sandman collection After Lovecraft and R E Howard, it is the turn of Joseph Conrad to serve as inspiration to a sailing adventure Jim, a runaway youth with salt water in his veins, describes his voyage from Singapore to London on a barquettine named Sea Witch He meets at the beginning another returning character, Hob Gadling the man who tricked Death ans keeps coming back through the centuries to have a drink with Dream A stowaway on the ship has his own story to tell, an Arabian Nights fable of fakirs, jealous rajahs, unfaithful wives and the curse of mortality Great stuff Among other things, it made me want to read a book mentioned by Hob Saltwater Ballads by John Masefield Another reason for loving this issue in particular is the artwork by Michael Zulli, clear and detailed, reminding me of the French and Belgian schools The Golden Boy Is a modern fable about an alternate America were young people start to vote at 18 and elect one of their own for President This golden Boy refuses to enter into dealings with the corrupt Old Guard of politicians, and brings about world peace and prosperity Gaiman mentions some relation to The Watchmen comics, but I failed to notice them More clear are some biblical references, with a Smiley man as the Devil tempting the Golden Boy.Another so so issue Cerements is my second favorite choice of the album, une danse macabre of black humour and dark omens for future developments in the series The narrator is Petrefax, an apprentice mortician He tells the story of Lithargis, a city dedicated to the art of disposing of dead bodies, of the strict rules and traditions to be observed and of the surpsising link between the necropolis and the Endless World s End Closes the cover story of the Inn at he End of the World, and of the nature of the reality storm The less I talk about it, the better chance I have of not spoiling things for new readers I ll just mention that it made me want to start on book 9 immediately.


  7. says:

    Sandman Vol 8 Worlds End The Golden Boy is a bittersweet fable of leadershipAfter Vol 7 Brief Lives, which focused on Morpheus dysfunctional family and a road trip in search of Destruction, Vol 8 Worlds End is another stand alone story collection similar to Vol 4 Dream Country and Vol 6 Fables and Reflections Once again the Endless retreat to the corners of the stage, making way for a cast of characters gathered at the Inn at Worlds End to tell tales to while away the time during a fierce storm The initial characters we meet are two young co workers from our world who are driving to Chicago to save money Suddenly it begins to snow in June and the man swerves to avoid a strange beast in the road, and after crashing the car makes his way to the Worlds Inn.The Inn is filled with a motley assortment of guests, including mythical creatures like centaurs and some desiccated looking types who aren t very human in appearance But they are all amiable travelers, and decide to trade stories to pass the time This provides the Chaucer like framing narrative for Gaiman s stories, and he delivers some very memorable ones As has been the case before, in additions to sprinkling allusions to various fantastic stories from literature and history, his favorite game is to embed stories within stories, tell stories about story tellers telling stories, with those stories often featuring or critiquing the art of story telling itself This self referential moebius strip approach seems designed to make us conscious of the story telling process, and to highlight people s desire compulsion to tell stories that point to greater, profound truths and ideas than we encounter in our daily lives The first story, A Tale of Two Cities , is an allegorical story of a man in a nameless city, working a dreary office job, living a solitary life, commuting from the suburbs each morning, then heading home in the evening in order to do it again the next day The only distinguishing behavior for him is that during his lunch break he explores the city alone, observing other people in the city, and this makes him happy Gaiman captures his feeling elegantly in the following passage All these sights, and many others, he treasured and collected Robert saw the city as a huge jewel, and the tiny moments of reality he found in his lunch hours as facets, cut and glittering, of the whole One day Robert takes a different train and finds he has been decoupled from his drab reality and placed in an empty, unfamiliar city This existential moment becomes his new reality, as he is trapped in the new place and explores it as much as possible Eventually he does encounters some other people, which reveals about his reality, but I ll leave that for you to discover.The next story is a fable about the lost city of Aurelia, one of the greatest cities of the plains in ancient times The story is told by Cluracan, the faerie man who gave his sister Nuala to Morpheus in a previous volume He is a bit of a knave, and has been sent to the city by Queen Titania on a mission to interfere with a corrupt ruler who has seized control of both government and church This story is a lot of fun, as Cluracan initially underestimates his opponent, but eventually with some help finds ways to undermine the Psychopomp what a great title , who is quite odious in his power mad quest This harks back to other stories about various rulers in Fables and Reflections, especially Thermidor , August , and Ramadan.Following discussion amongst the travelers in the Worlds End, we begin the next story Hob s Leviathan Its a very beautifully illustrated tale of adventure on the high seas, with many sailing ships and even a sea serpent, but the story is about the secrets that people conceal from each other We even have a cameo from a man granted a powerful gift by Morpheus in a previous volume I liked this one quite a lot.The next tale is my favorite one, a bittersweet story, called The Golden Boy It s about an alternate America where an ambitious but idealistic young man named Prez Rickard is determined to make the world a better place via the presidency Thanks to his efforts, he is elected president at the incredibly young age of 19 Before that, he encounters two sinister figures who take an interest in his meteoric rise, Boss Smiley whose face is a smiley face like the iconic symbol, but who reminded me of Yellow Bastard from SIN CITY and Tricky Dick himself, Richard Nixon They want some influence on Prez, but the young phenom is confident of his own abilities to make a real difference and rebuffs their approaches There is a classic exchange with Nixon in which the latter extols the virtues of pure power, at which point Prez simply says, Sir, what about making the world a better place , to which Nixon replies, I, uh I m not following you Prez does miraculously transform America into a utopian place, negotiating a Middle East peace treaty, avoiding the Oil Shocks, and ushering in prosperity and equality for all It s all very moving, as I was thinking how wonderful a world that would be, and how incredibly far away we seem to be in this world, our own reality, especially in light of the endless series of tragic, senseless terrorist attacks and racial conflict in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Bangladesh, and Africa Sometimes it takes a seemingly simple fable to make us question why we can t have this glorious dream of peace and equality.The story itself has a very ambiguous and tragic final act, as Prez retires after 8 incredibly successful years Gaiman is interested in what happens to leaders when the reach the end of their tenure, especially successful ones However, I couldn t help thinking, when is the last time the world has truly seen a successful leader who has made the world a better place for everyone Thinking back to the enormous enthusiasm and swell of popular support for Barack Obama, and seeing all the tribulations and opposition he has faced during his presidency, along with the worsening geopolitical climate of the world, it makes me wonder, if he can t achieve his aims and policies, who can And have people truly become so ignorant or mean spirited that they would choose to support a monstrous personality like Donald Trump It just makes me despair for humankind.The last story is Cerements , a very complex tale with stories within stories, ostensibly about a Necropolis called Letharge and some of the dutiful servants who tend to all the clients who need to be properly disposed by one of the five proscribed methods earth burial, burning, mummification, water burial, or air burial that was a new one for me There is much discussion of death and giving proper tribute to those who have died We even have a very unexpected appearance from one of the Endless, who provides some insight into the history of Letharge before leaving At the end of the embedded stories, we are brought back to the Worlds End, where the travelers are treated to a sublime spectacle in the sky, which illuminates the previous discussion of death and commemoration in unexpected ways and really highlights the skills which Gaiman applies to this complex story After this cathartic event, the travelers discover that the storm is past and they are free to return to their respective worlds, but not all of them choose to do so.Once again Gaiman brings us closer to the final stages of his meta story, with subtle foreshadowing and hints some very tantalizing talk of watchmakers in The Golden Boy , for instance , whetting our appetite to know about the Endless When I initially heard all the hype surrounding the SANDMAN series and how amazing it was, I was skeptical at first, but I ve come to understand the level of craftsmanship and love of storytelling that Gaiman has brought to bear, and it is worthy of the praise Now on to the final two volumes.


  8. says:

    reality storm, Death What s a reality storm I mean, it does sound like something from Star Trek or something Well, sometimes big things happen, and they echo Those echoes crash across worlds They are the ripples in the fabric of things Often they manifest as storms Reality is a fragile thing, after all.I think I fell in love with her, a little bit Isn t that dumb But it was like I knew her Like she was my oldest, dearest friend The kind of person you can tell anything to, no matter how bad, and they ll still love you, because they know you I wanted to go with her I wanted her to notice me And then she stopped walking Under the moon, she stopped And looked at us She looked at me Maybe she was trying to tell me something I don t know She probably didn t even know I was there But I ll always love her All my life.


  9. says:

    The first time I read this trade paperback, I went straight to the story pages, completely ignoring the wonderful Stephen King introduction It was his thoughts and praise on Neil Gaiman and his work on Sandman that would make it worthwhile to pick this trade, even if you already have the issues that comprised this arc King wrote in his introduction that Gaiman s work was a filling meal even if it was served in bite sized chunks in a short story collection like this trade or as longer arc that could be read as a single graphic novel.I agree, any work by Gaiman, be it a novel, a short story collection or a monthly comic is a satisfying read If I could expand on the food analogy, this collection, to use an apt metaphor, is a six course meal with a uniting theme, a common ingredient used in different ways like they do in Iron Chef Some of the trade volumes in the Sandman series, like for example the ninth book, The Kindly Ones, is like a whole roast turkey or a roast suckling pig or lechon It is one dish that in itself is a feast, where all the issues appear homogenous because it utilized one artist to tell a single story within its covers Worlds End is a variety of dishes prepared by different chefs using techniques suited to their talents.


  10. says:

    3 and 1 2 starsThe blurb on the back states that this volume is in the tradition of The Canterbury Tales, but The Decameron is a apt allusion The storytellers aren t in a villa waiting out the Black Death but they are in an inn, seeking refuge from a mysterious storm or storms that has deposited each one of them there perhaps they too are facing Death.I wasn t engrossed in any of the stories until I arrived at the tale of a necropolitan yep, he lives and works in a necropolis And what a tale it is, or rather tales, as it spins out into a nested Chinese box of stories within stories within stories, appropriate for the volume s overall theme of worlds existing within other worlds Cities are prominent in the stories, not only the necropolis, but also a decaying Roman empire like capital and a modern NYC like city that s dreaming.The ending is a good one, subtly advancing the overarching story of the collection I m withholding that 1 2 star only because I wasn t truly engaged until than halfway through.