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Death: the High Cost of Living Turtleback – Sep 1 2002


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Turtleback, Sep 1 2002

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Product Details

  • Turtleback
  • Publisher: Demco Media (September 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606247157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606247153
  • Product Dimensions: 26.7 x 17.1 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Schtinky on April 18 2004
Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
Neil Gaiman truly is the consummate storyteller able to weave first-class storylines and memorable characters seemingly at the drop of a hat. In this 3-chapter collection, Gaiman expands on his epochal Sandman universe by focusing on the Dreamlord's fetching younger sister - Death. Those who already follow the Sandman series are already familiar with this sassed-up, Goth personification of Death and will surely be remiss not to indulge in this graphic treat. Those completely new to the Sandman saga will still be able to dive straight into the story without missing a beat, enjoying the full brunt of Gaiman's genius.
The strangest thing about this volume is a 6 page, Public Service Announcement of sorts found at the very end. In this PSA, Death gives a full blown lecture on safe-sex, AIDS, and even gives a demonstration of proper condom insertion utilizing a banana! A bit weird, no doubt and in the end very much dates this book as somewhat of a relic from the mid-90's.
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Format: Paperback
This story follows Death after she rescues a teenage boy with a strange name. A very old homeless lady tells Death to find the heart she hid, but can't remember where it was placed. Death and the boy go to various places, and Death gets to experience the life of a human for a day. One of my favorite graphic novels. You don't have to be familiar with the Sandman books too well either, unless you want to know about some of the characters that also show up in this book. It's a fun book to read and Death is quirky as always and true-to-character.
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By Mitch Jones on Dec 17 2002
Format: Paperback
Death is the most lovable character of the Endless and this book just helps flesh that aspect out some more. Yet it isn't quite as good as it could've been. The main problem with it does not lie with her, but rather with the supporting cast and the "plot," if you could call it that, regarding the ankh and the blind man. This makes it seemed like a rather rushed work because while there is a lot of exposition regarding Death, it still feels as if there isn't *quite* enough and there is never a peak or climax of sorts to the conflict at hand. I guess to conclude, The High Cost of Living is not the most serious or well written tale you'll read from Gaiman and I guess was expecting that coming in from Sandman - compared to that this is, well, rather light-hearted - but it does make a short and interesting read at the comic shop.
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Format: Paperback
It's been said so many times in so many different introductions and reviews, but it remains true: Neil Gaiman is the king of dreams. With deft and subtle touches his work lifts you out of ordinary life and into a world where Great Things Happen, imagination-sparking things. In Death: The High Cost Of Living there are no supreheros in spandex, no ultrapowerful weapons, just hi-fidelity characters that catch tantilizing glimpses of magic just beneath the surface; it is one fun and fulfilling comic, best read by those who haven't yet encountered the classic Sandman series (knowing more about the character of Death spoils some of the tasty ambiguity, in my opinion), and a perfect introduction to Neil Gaiman and Comix-as-literature in general.
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By Cas on Aug. 27 2002
Format: Paperback
I used to read "Sandman", in its early days. I thought Death was a pretty cool character (if a trifle over-imitated by Gothling chicks). There are several incarnations of Death as imagined by people -- one of them is the well-known "skeletal guy with the scythe". Another is the "Gay Deceiver", which is more how I see this Death -- handsome, personable, approachable. Gaiman, who has shown himself to have an exquisite handling of leitmotifs, does his usual good job here. The story is well-told, with few false notes.
The story is simple and does not assume any previous knowledge of "Sandman". Didi, a Gothling, saves the teenaged Sexton's life when he figures out at the last second that he really doesn't want to die. Though Didi's existence is quite explainable (she has neighbors who know her, and photos of her family in her apartment), she claims to be only a few hours old -- and she says she is the incarnation of Death. Sexton, a cynical grunger, doesn't believe it at all, but he ends up hanging around anyway. Didi has a lust for life and all sensations it holds, from the good taste of food to the pleasure of "a really good party". She also has major problems in the form of a few supernatural folks looking for her, including a creepy old mage looking for her ankh necklace (thinking that she puts her power into it, like Dream did his toys), and a British bag lady who's lost her heart and thinks Didi can find it. After 24 hours, Didi dies, having changed Sexton's outlook permanently. He never knows if she is what she claimed.
It is a sweet story, with none of the superhero bombast pervading comics today. Death has a nice day out and shows a very human side of her personality. When she dies, she whispers "No. Please." She doesn't want to die.
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