Narrated by Neil Gaiman & performed by a full cast, based on The Sandman graphic novels, created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg.
Written by Neil Gaiman
Adapted and directed by Dirk Maggs
Wow, what a fantastic experience this Audiobook production was! I could honestly listen to this again straight away and thoroughly enjoy it again; it was that enjoyable.
For those that don’t know (as I didn’t) this is based off of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels for DC which actually began back in 1989. I’m new to Gaiman and my introduction came through Norse Mythology a couple of weeks ago and now The Sandman, both audiobooks and both completely magical, alluring, fulfilling and full of wonder. Gaiman has that knack for storytelling and this has just confirmed I need to consume every book he’s ever created.
Apparently this is only based on the first 3 volumes though the 12 chapters blast through plenty of storylines and really do offer such a range – I felt loads of different emotions going through them. There was love, tragedy, action, excitement, horror, humour, magic and so many thought-provoking elements. Some of it was really creepy and I’d definitely describe it as dark fantasy, all set in our world and the dream world running parallel. The titular Sandman is The Lord of Dreams (played by James McAvoy) who is a fascinating character to follow, both heavily involved with yet completely distanced from mortal beings – his job being to keep the natural order of dreams and the control the dream world though most of his interactions are on Earth in the physical world. His story starts when he is captured and imprisoned by the Order of Ancient Mysteries.
I really liked the combination of present day and historical events aswell and there are even a few historical figures featured and mentioned. Aswell as real figures I enjoyed the cameos and the mentions of some of the DC characters, too. This was usually very subtle and it was nice that The Joker wasn’t forced into a story just for fan service (as cool as that might have been in some respects) but it was cool to incorporate Gotham and Arkham Asylum.
Perhaps the creepiest chapter (24 hours) featured an inmate, Dr. D and was equal parts horrific and entertaining. This and in fact any of the storylines will translate brilliantly to TV so I’m really interested to learn more about what the upcoming Netflix series is going to base it’s material on.
A big reason aswell as the storytelling that this was just so excellent was the quality of the production – the sound effects music etc. but also the incredible cast. Actors include Riz Ahmed, Kat Dennings, Taron Egerton, James McAvoy, Samantha Morton, Bebe Neuwirth, Andy Serkis and Michael Sheen. And these are just a few of the names; there are loads and they’re all bloody brilliant. I can’t stress this enough. I especially liked William Hope as the creepy Dr. Destiny, but there was such talent and passion come through in the acting that the acting alone made The Sandman so memorable.
I feel like this is perfect to listen to at night, lying comfily in the dark and just let it transport your mind away. Enjoy the production, the acting, the story.
And then listen to it again.