Aw, Season of Mists is great. I like it so much. It makes me nostalgic for Past Jenny, who was young and dumb and had yet to discover most of her now-favorite films and music and TV shows (including, of course, the other six volumes of Sandman). Oh, wow, that’s really, really true. I hadn’t discovered Joss Whedon yet, or The Office, or Doctor Who; I hadn’t yet seen any of my current five desert island DVDs (fifth series of Buffy, MirrorMask, Empire Records, Angels in America, and Before Sunrise); I didn’t know the Decembrists, the Shins, Neko Case – I’m amazed at Past Jenny. What did Past Jenny do to pass the time? Sheesh.
Anyway – wow, I’m just amazed at how many awesome things I have discovered since I left high school – anyway, this is the fourth Sandman book, and it starts out with Dream’s family getting together and sniping at each other until Dream finally decides that it was unfair of him to condemn his ex-lover to hell forever, just because she didn’t want to be his queen. So off he goes, to fight the hordes of hell and get her back – it’s so Dream – and when he gets there, Lucifer has decided to shut down hell. He gives the key to Dream, and takes himself off; and suddenly Dream is the center of attention from every deity and supernatural power ever, because they all want Hell.
I really don’t like the story where all the dead people come back to the public school. I seem to recall someone telling me that Neil Gaiman went to Whitgift, in Croydon – it has peacocks and wallabies and flamingos (hee hee hee), but I am beginning to wonder whether it was possibly COMPLETELY SCARRING. British public schools sound awful. And not-public schools don’t seem to be any better.
Neil Gaiman’s obsession with gods, which will come to a head in, no surprises, American Gods, is all too evident here. You have the Egyptian pantheon, a delegation from the faerie, the Norse lot of Odin, Thor, and Loki, angels from heaven in a supervisory capacity, and demons from hell; they all have things to offer Dream. Neil Gaiman’s obviously having fun with all of them, and it is fun – Thor’s hitting on Bast, and two of the hell demons are having an affair, and a sinisterly lettered little girl from the hordes of chaos giggles when someone gets made into sausages. It’s fun, and it wraps up tidily at the end. Except for the bit about Loki. That’s going to turn out worse than you think.
I am trying to decide whether I want to read A Game of You. I have to be in the mood for A Game of You, and I’m not sure I am in the mood for it.