My fellow cannonballers have suggested I stop torturing myself and just give up on Neil Gaiman, since it’s clear he’s not my sort of author, and The Wake has motivated me to finally do precisely that, I think. Having finally finished The Sandman, I can say, without any reservations, that I didn’t care for the series as a whole.
The Wake, for the most part, spends its time running through all the characters we’ve gotten to know over the course of the series and showing their reactions to the death of Morpheus, and I realized that I didn’t care for, or about, any of them.
Certain volumes might trick me into liking them momentarily – I did like volumes 1-4 and 7 (varying amounts) – but, in the end, I don’t care to read or remember them and their stories. Were it not for my being a completionist, I wouldn’t have even stuck through till the end.
Partly because of a disinterest in the over-arching story and characters as a whole, and partly because I find Gaiman, more often than not, lacking in those regards and many more. He has the potential in him for, say, aMirrorMask, which is to say he can write something where I’ll see it and, for a moment, understand why he gets so much praise as to be treated as infallible, except it’s not worth it drudging through the rest in the hopes of finding that rare pearl amidst the pig shit.
So, like Joe Hill, Lisa O’Donnell, and Chuck Palahniuk before you, I’m breaking up with you Neil Gaiman, and it isn’t you, it’s me.
Travis Smith’s blog, containing this review, as well as others, photography, and more, can be found here.