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Death: The High Cost Of Living by Neil Gaiman

The 1st book in Neil Gaiman's "Death" graphic novel series.

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Could Death really be this bovinely mindless?

  • Nov 20, 2008
  • by
The story begins in an alley where Mad Hattie is searching for her heart, and quickly moves to an urban apartment where fifteen year old Sexton Furnival lives with his "slightly off" mother Sylvia, an aging Earth Mother type.

Sexton is sitting at his computer typing out his suicide note when his mother obliviously sends him out for the afternoon because she has taken the day off to spring clean their apartment. When he literally falls into a garbage dump, he meets a cute and saucy Goth girl named Didi, not knowing that she is Death walking in flesh for a day. She takes Sexton back to her apartment to mend her torn jeans, and now the story begins its long slide downhill.

Mad Hattie confronts Death and threatens to cut off Sexton's nose if Didi (Death) does not go out to find her missing heart. So Didi and Sexton set off into the city at night, to have some fun and search for Mad Hattie's heart. And unexplained thread unravels as Didi (Death) continually is offered free goods by kind people. I didn't get it, and Gaimen never explained it. They go into a "hot" club (for free), and once inside with them, we are subjected to some extremely cheesy lyrics sung by lesbian acoustical guitarist.

Outside the club, a strange blind man and his minion do unexplained things to find Didi in the club, and when the minion lures them out, Death follows as bovinely as a cow does into the slaughtering pens. It gets worse. Once Sexton and Didi are trapped in the cellar, the story becomes even more aimless, filled with pointless conversations which all build up to a ridiculous and anticlimactic ending.

For me, Death lost her charm as Didi when she became so naively helpless and stupifyingly frivolous in her actions and speech. I was interested in Death presented as a charming Goth girl, but I expected her to have more power, more intelligence, more drive, and something more to say. Oh, and I have never met a Goth girl who babbled like a Valley girl...another disappointment.

To top off my disgust, this unsatisfying story is followed by a brutally inane short in which Didi (Death) lectures us on condom usage. I never thought that I would be subjected to a cartoon character putting a condom onto a cartoon banana, but it happened and I shudder every time I think of it.

I love stories of Death, and if you do too, I would caution you to glance through this particular graphic novel in the bookstore before laying your hard earned cash down on the table. This was very disappointing.

Death: The High Cost Of Living by Neil Gaiman

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More Death: The High Cost Of Living reviews
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
One of my favorites! Love The Sandman Series and Neil Gaiman! Added Plus, Tori Amos wrote the introduction!
Quick Tip by . June 20, 2010
Good Book
Quick Tip by . June 18, 2010
Can't we think of anything new to write about besides a poor girl or woman who's having trouble in life?
Quick Tip by . June 18, 2010
This graphic novel is the perfect introduction to the "Sandman" series by Neil Gaiman!
Quick Tip by . June 11, 2010
its an ok book
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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Product Description
/Neil Gaiman /Dave McKean, Chris Bachalo and /Mark Buckingham, illustrators From the pages of THE SANDMAN LIBRARY Neil Gaiman tells the story of the one day every hundred years when Death, older sister of The Sandman, walks among humans to gain a better understanding of.
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ISBN-10: 1563891336 (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9781563891335 (pbk.)
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Comics & Graphic Novels
Publisher: Vertigo, DC Comics
Date Published: (June 1, 1994)
Format: Paperback: 104 pages, Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.7 x 0.3 inches
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