Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the sandman

neil gaiman and his dog

i'm reading writer neil gaiman's collaboration
with artist yoshitaka amano
"the sandman: the dream hunters."

it's simply brilliant.

beginning with a wager between a badger and a fox,
the prize for the winner is a temple.

but first - how to get rid of the wise and insightful monk?

then, issues arise when the fox falls in love with the monk and has to save his life!

i am loosely participating in a meme that has the following rules:

"collect the book that you have most handy,
turn to page 161,
find the 5th complete sentence,
and cite the sentence on your blog."

all good until i discovered that this book ends on page 128.
so i chose the halfway point of the book.

here's a tasty sampler from the book (with the fifth sentence embedded!!)

"to begin, darkness.

in the darkness a light flickered into being.
then another and another.

the lights were moving.

they were fireflies.
first a handful, then a swarm,
and then hundreds and thousands of fireflies
glittered with their cold fire in the darkness.

it reminded the monk of a river of stars,
or a bridge of stars,
or a ribbon,
twining away into the darkness,
insubstantial and glimmering,
and it was along this ribbon that the monk began to walk.

in his hand he was holding a scrap of paper,
which glowed even more brightly than the fireflies.

as he walked, the fireflies, which had been flickering on and off,
began to fall away,
to drop and to tumble like camellia blossoms.

the monk tumbled with them.
he realized as he fell that he was not falling through fireflies,
but through the milky way,
the river of the gods that passes through the night sky."

how good is that?!!!


willow said...

Lovely excerpt from Gaiman's book. Interesting meme. I just might have to do this one myself! fun

Titus said...

Hi steven, good choice.
Gaiman's "Sandman" series amongst my very favourite books. Have you encountered the others yet?

steven said...

hello willow, the gaiman book is really cool. a rich, mesmerizing tale and really ethereal illustrations side-by-side. when you open it you literally open another world. thanks for sopping by. steven

steven said...

hi titus, i've read a fair bit of gaiman/s work but this is my first step into the sandman series. i love it and i'm so excited that there are several more to go!!! thanks for visiting. steven

Anonymous said...

This sounds like an good read to me. I hope the illustrations are good too.

Kay said...

This is very good indeed!!! I haven't come across this..the illustrations look amazing..i like other worlds so will go and take a look!!

hope said...

A+ for the teacher!

You managed not only to do a wonderful job, you picked one of my sentimental things in life: fireflies! My Granddaddy died the autumn I was 4 but the summer before that, he took us outside and we ALL caught fireflies in a jar. We played for what seemed like hours and then he helped us let them go.

To this day seeing fireflies outside in the summer makes me think of him. Thanks for making that memory come out to play.

steven said...

hello kay - i have read gaiman's novels but this is different writing entirely so it's a change - which i am all over!!! there's a sort of prose feeling to this book and the images carry me away from the real world into a fantasy allegory that is soft and made of essences rather than threads you can hold onto. thanks for your thoughtful comments. steven

steven said...

hello hope - ahhh thankyou for the good mark!!! i have seen fireflies but i have never caught them. i've read about people catching them and putting them in jars and then there's your real story with your granddaddy. it's little little moments in the course of a person's life that carry the greatest weight. not the promotions, the achievements . . . nope taking your litrle granddaughter out to catch fireflies. hold that moment. give it to your kids! thanks for that beautiful comment. steven

nollyposh said...

sighhhh... ~Fabulous~ X:-)

steven said...

and you know nollyposh - reading this little bit is like visiting a friend's house who's a really good cook and saying - "please just give me one bite of whatever you're making" - the rest of the book is easily as lovely if not even moreso than this little taste!!! nice to have you by. steven

Goldenrod said...

I LUV this meme idea ... not nearly as good as YOURS, Steven, with your "Transformative Moment", but I like it. I'm going to have to make a mental note to myself to try it the next time I read a book, but let's see, which book shall I choose? It's been so long since I read one! (More than just two or three of them waiting and gathering dust.) Nevertheless, I love the idea, and will probably incorporate it into one of my posts.

Linda said...

Extraordinary! I will read this book in September. Thank you for sharing the beautiful spirit of this writing.

steven said...

hello goldenrod, well what's fun about this meme - and i wasn't really thinking of being in it to be honest but i crossed a blog and there was my name so i thought well there you go!! get at it son!!! but what's fun is that it isolates a section of a book randomly, gives people a taste without being too wordy. i could see a meme called "give us a taste" where you literally pick the most magic moment in your favourite book and share it. that would be so cool!!!! i bet that between your blog and all the mind reading you have to do in card games, you're probably reading plenty!!!! see you. steven

steven said...

hi linda, if time and energy permits, look into this series a bot more closely because it's actually quite a few books. i bought this one because it's based on a japanese fairy tale. i don't know much about the others although in the comments for this posting there appear to be people who have read more of them than i so perhaps a note to them to get a real sense of what the rest are like. i really really like tis book though and would say it's magic, sensual, creative, strange, beautifully illustrated. thanks so much for visiting linda. steven