Revisit: The Sandman: World’s End


World’s End

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After the beautiful and satisfying Brief Lives, World’s End was inevitably going to be a letdown. True to the concept, these are just stories to pass the time, to fill in a gap before the final storyline.

Other than “A Tale of Two Cities,” which features the most distinctive art and layout in all of The Sandman, these are pointless adventure stories. They are fun (and I do particularly love “Hob’s Leviathan” because Michael Zulli never stops being wonderful) but they’re largely forgettable.

World’s End isn’t a waste of time, mind you, and the foreshadowing of the end is important and beautiful. Still, “Cerements” and “Cluracan’s Tale” don’t offer much artistically or texturally. I can take or leave “The Golden Boy.”

So yeah, I really don’t have much to say about this one. There’s not much here to say much about. I kind of fall in Charlene’s assertion that these are all “Boy’s Own” stories and there aren’t really any women in them. I find it odd that Neil Gaiman threw in a criticism of his own stories in there but I do agree.

2 comments

  1. wdave says:

    Followed a link from Neil’s blog over here. I’d have to say The Wake was one of my favorite collections in the series, once I realized the depth of nesting he was able to achieve without it seeming contrived. I think it was Cerements — Gaiman tells the Sandman story, in which a master tells a story of when he was a prentice, and I believe there was at least one more nested story there. Then at the close of the story, we find the narrator was telling this to a bartender; yet another layer. In any case, I’ve just read your thoughts about each volume, and I thank you for helping me remember how wonderful a series of stories this is, as well as giving me a few new reasons to appreciate them that I hadn’t considered before.

  2. andrewducker says:

    I think that World’s End is cleverer than you think.

    Cerements is very much a story about stories – At one point the apprentice is telling a story about his master telling a story about _his_ mistress telling him a story about meeting Destruction. And the information there ties directly into The Wake.

    Cluracan’s Tale is more about the way that people tell stories – which bits they skip over, which bits are important – it’s a style piece, about prophecy and debts, and it tells us something about Dream and Nuala and the relationship that he now has with his staff.

    As for them being “Boy’s Own” – they are, this is a return to his conversation about Men’s Stories and Women’s Stories, which you mentioned in A Game Of You.

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