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The Books of Magic The Deluxe Edition by…

The Books of Magic The Deluxe Edition

by Neil Gaiman

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Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and one of my favorite things about him is his unabashed, genuine, passionate love of story and myth. The Sandman is his greatest work because it allowed him to delve deep into this love and while I love or at least enjoy almost all of his other work, The Books of Magic is really the only thing I've read that captures that same magical enthusiasm that made The Sandman so captivating and thought-provoking so long ago.

In typical Sandman fashion this story is low on conflict but high on powerful themes. Basically, a group of DC characters with magical leanings decide that it's time to teach a boy about magic, because he could be the greatest magician of his age, and because others are eyeing the boy with envy and they want to make sure he knows all the choices laid out before him (obviously hoping that he will choose to use his magic for good).

What follows is, quite simply, magic. Pardon the pun, but really, it is. Between the illustrations, the themes, and Gaiman's beautiful prose this book made me feel like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole.

They show the boy how the universe was born, and how it ends. They show him the various planes of existence that exist beside our own: Faerie, Hell, The Dreaming, etc. Dream, Death, Destiny, Cain, and Abel from The Sandman all make an appearance. Many other DC characters I wasn't familiar with do as well.

My favorite line from the book was from Titania, queen of faerie, and perfectly shows off Gaiman's masterful prose which washes over you like a waterfall and smashes into you like a tsunami:

"You wish to see the distant realms? Very well. But know this first: the places you will visit, the places that you will see, do not exist. For there are only two worlds--your world, which is the real world, and other worlds, the fantasy...These worlds provide an alternative. Provide an escape. Provide a threat. Provide a dream, and power, provide refuge, and pain. They give your world meaning. They do not exist; and thus they are all that matters."
( )
1 vote ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
I have had this book on my shelf to read for a while. I finally got around to reading it. It was a very very good read. It ties into the story of some of the top magic users in super hero history, has cameos from the Endless, and discusses the repercussions of using magic.

Timothy Hunter has been identified as having a great capacity for magic should he choose to use it. He is identified by the Trenchcoat Brigade (consisting of John Constantine, the Phantom Stranger, Dr. Occult and Mister E) and offered a choice to explore magic or not. Each of these practitioners of magic takes on him on a different type of tour. Timothy visits the past, the present, and the future and also the fairylands.

This graphic novel takes an interesting look at the history of magic (both in general and in the DC universe), the future of magic, and realms of magic. Each magic practitioner takes Tim on a different journey and each journey emcompasses one of four “books of magic”.

We meet a wide variety of magical characters throughout this story from more classical magical characters (Baba Yaga, Titania) to a number of magical characters that pepper DC comic history (including Gaiman’s own Endless).

The books of magic get more abstract as they continue, with the final book (the one looking at the future of magic) being the most abstract. The illustration throughout follows this trend. Each book has a very distinctive artistic style. Charles Vess (my favoorite illustrator of the bunch) illustrates the fairy land journey and this was a perfect match for his style. The final book which journeys into the future had a very abstract style that was my least favorite of the bunch, but still matched the story very well.

I will be honest in saying that a lot of the DC comic references were lost on me since I haven’t read a ton in this universe. I still really enjoyed the story of Timothy exploring all these different avenues of magic and learning about them. The story is written in a way that even comic ignorant people like me will really enjoy it.

There is a fun twist at the end of the novel as well that had me chuckling. I love how the whole thing was wrapped up.

Overall I really really enjoyed this graphic novel. It was well written and provided a good story about the dangers of power and magic. It should be appropriate for YA and older. I also enjoyed all the wonderfully different illustration styles as well. Highly recommended to fans of fantasy graphic novels and to fans of the magical side of the DC universe. ( )
  krau0098 | Apr 4, 2013 |
Being interested in all things Gaiman, and a big time fan of his Sandman series, I'd been wanting to read The Books of Magic by Gaiman (and various illustrators) for some time. It doesn't reach the level of the Sandman series, but it is continuously interesting and an entertaining read.

Apparently DC Comics initiated the project because they wanted to feature some of their "magic" characters in an ongoing series. Gaiman created the story of twelve-year-old Timothy Hunter, a potential modern day Merlin who could instead choose to live normally, without magic. He tours various magical areas, accompanied by magically-powered DC characters to help him decide.

Before being collected in one volume, the story was told in four comics, with a different artist to draw each issue. Charles Vess (Stardust) is probably the most generally known of them. In Book 1 Timothy learns about the history of the DC magical universe, accompanied by "The Phantom Stranger", in Book II the present day, accompanied by John Constantine, who some will remember from the Keanu Reeves movie or the Hellblazer comics, in Book III Faerie, Camelot, and other mystical worlds with Doctor Occult, and in Book IV a possible future universe with Mister E.

A series based on this foundation, with other authors, continues to be published.

Gaiman gets to capitalize on his extensive knowledge of mythology and fantasy worlds, and as usual tells a good story. This one would probably be most appealing to Gaiman enthusiasts, those who enjoyed the storytelling in the Sandman series, and those who enjoy well done fantasy graphic novels. ( )
2 vote jnwelch | Jan 9, 2013 |
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Timothy Hunter é um típico garoto de treze anos de idade que passa suas tardes assistindo à tevê e andando de skate. Mas ele é diferente de praticamente todos os outros adolescentes do planeta e está prestes a descobrir o porquê. Resumindo em uma palavra: magia. Tim não acredita nela, mas a magia certamente acredita nele – pelo menos o suficiente para que alguns praticantes já estejam planejando sua morte. Mas, pra sorte do garoto, ele também tem aliados nos planos sobrenaturais. Quatro dos maiores e mais misteriosos magos juraram protegê-lo e instruí-lo, e cada um deles está preparando uma jornada para demonstrar os perigos e as recompensas da magia. E, acima de tudo, lhe mostrarão o preço.

NEIL GAIMAN criou uma magistral história sobre os perigos e as possibilidades da juventude, ilustrada pelos aclamados artistas JOHN BOLTON, SCOTT HAMPTON, CHARLES VESS e PAUL JOHNSON. Esta edição de luxo reúne as quatro edições da minissérie original e inclui também uma introdução de Roger Zelazny – lendário autor de fantasia e ficção científica –, além de textos e esboços inéditos.
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