on 28 May 1999
A glorious expansion of the senses, Neil Gaiman somehow manages again to capture a peculiar humanity to the most "misunderstood" member of the Endless. Death in Neil Gaiman's world is a beautiful teenage girl who once a hundred years is fated to walk the earth in the body of a human so she can understand the bittersweet dilema of humanity, to experience what she ultimately takes away. The book also introduces two more reoccuring characters of the Sandman universe, and sets up future storylines, and so is essential reading. after introducing us to Death in "The Sound of her Wings" it was inevitable that she would require her own series, and after Morpheus she is the most compelling member of the Endless.
A definate recommendation to all true Endless fans.
- Read this one before Death: The Time Of Your life!!!!
on 23 April 2001
Many books portray Death as a lead character, but none have done it as well as Gaiman with this, one of two books focusing on the ultimate goth-chick. As a sideline from his acclaimed Sandman series, and using characters from those books, Death: the High Cost of Living is a thought-provoking and beautifully illustrated graphic novel that shows us the power, and the weakness, of a force that none of us escape. The style of Death herself was established in the Sandman series, and this book does not detract from that, but this is a good thing; it's not often that you can say that you found yourself attracted to Death. In places the quality of the background colouring and linework appear to suffer in deference to Death herself, but as this is such a strong character, and the story so compelling, this is insignificant. A fine read.
on 29 June 2001
This book is a very good attempt to isolate one of the members of the Endless (The main characters of Sandman) and tell a little more about her, while at the same time another story loose from her is also developping along the road. The credit here should be partially given to Neil Gaiman who is not incidental also the writer of Sandman, but the very clear and nicely flowing artwork of Chris Bachalo isn't exactly hurting either. Art that is perfectly suitable for a "suggested to mature readers" title. Focused and telling the story without taking the attention of the story itself. A thing I also need to mention to give the book the credit it deserves is that, although it obviously being heavily related to Sandman, knowledge of the Neil Gaiman success-series isn't a neccesity. You can enjoy it without that knowledge without missing out on any vital part of the storyline. For those who DID read Sandman there are some little references to the series, not essential ones, but they're fun to spot.
About the story: When his mother decides to do a spring clean-up a young boy named Sexton Furnival decides he'd better go out of the house for a while. Sexton is a depressed boy who doesn't see the point in all of it that they call 'life' and wouldn't mind being dead either, a thought that has been plaguing him for a while now. He wanders around aimlessly a little untill he gets at the garbage-dump. Lost in his thoughts he gets involved in a small accident and a young girl named Didi turns up to help him. Since his jeans are ruined Didi offers him to come home with her so she can fix his jeans. Meanwhile a strange old woman called Hettie is searching for Didi and when she finds her she has a strange request. Didi decides to help her with it and takes Sexton with her for a night on the town. A time in which Sexton gets to see many other perspectives and variations of the life he thinks so boring. And a time in which he gets to think of Didi as a very strange person, mainly because she thinks she's the incarnation of Death on earth. And she doesn't seem to have to pay for anything ! Another person who calls himself the Eremite is also looking for Didi at that time, for mysterious reasons, and HE doesn't seem so friendly. And who or what exactly IS Didi ?
Sandman is over and we will have to live with it. But when stories like this one pop up every once in a while we have no reason for complaints. A story that stands on his own perfectly well. It's not the best story ever but it's a competitor for the sub-top, and wouldn't be a shame to many bookshelves
on 12 May 2010
Once every 100 years Death becomes human and walks the earth.... now, for the brilliants imagination of Neil Gaiman death is only a teenage girl sensitive, a bit sad, beautiful in her own right and wise.
I don't want to say much, don't want to spoil the fun- but as you can imagine this one day is full of surprizes, of characters that can only exist in a hyper-active imagination, of twists and turns. Beautiful reading, magically designed, excellent characters, fantastic quotes. Most of all, this one day that happensa only once every hundred years, death is.... full of life!