Book Review: Preludes & Nocturnes

After reading the epic novel The Brothers Karamazov, I was sad, and for two reasons: 1. After reading a book I really love, I’m always sad to see it end, to no longer be part of it, to see the characters stop, but also, 2. because I didn’t have any other booked lined up to read after it. Usually I have a stack of 2 to 5 books somewhere on my shelf that I’m dying to read, but haven’t gotten to yet. At the end of BK, I was not in the same position. This time, I was left wondering ‘what to read next?’ Sure, there are a couple books I haven’t read that are on my shelf, but I’m not dying to read them. One for instance is the follow up to the Mars Trilogy: The Martians by Kim Stanley Robinson, which is a collection of short stories. Or perhaps I could finally dive into Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I also have Flatterland, the differently authored follow up to the amazing Flatland by Edwin Abbott. But none of these were itching at me. All sitting on my shelf, but none were calling my name.

So this was my frame of mind, sitting at my book shelf, hopelessly looking for a new book to read, when I ran across The first instalment of the comic series The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I had gotten this graphic novel a few christmas’ ago (and I can’t remember which of my family members gave it to me), but I just put it on my shelf and forgot about it. As I was apparently in a world of literary lostness, I decided it couldn’t hurt to at least flip through it and see what it was like. After I got started, I really didn’t put it down!

Preludes & Nocturnes is the first of 10 graphic novels in the Sandman series, each consisting of multiple mini episodes. This novel tells the story of Morpheus, the king of dreams, who is somehow summed by a human cult leader. This leader was actually hoping to summon Death itself, but ended up with Dream. Not sure of what to do, the cult leader imprisons Dream for decades, until Dream finally escapes. In order to regain his full strength he spends the course of the novel looking for the three objects stolen from him: his helmet, his ruby, and his bag of sand.

I actually found it very hard to switch genres from the epic Russian drama The Brothers Karamazov, to the graphic novel fantasy The Sandman. In reading graphic novels, most of the tone and story line is not told in the reading, but in studying the images given. If you only read the conversation bubbles, you’re missing everything! I had to force myself to slow down, and appreciate what I was seeing, and not just reading. My experience in graphic novels is limited only to The Watchmen, which I loved, but it has been a while since I read it.

I very much enjoyed making the switch, and have decided to purchase the rest of the series. Come on Amazon, ship faster! I have nothing to read while I wait! I recommend reading this series if you are at all into graphic novels/comics.

Happy reading!

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