Why Does A Tragedy Remind Us of What is Important?

So yesterday I found out that one of my best friends passed away. She was an amazing person who was kind, caring, brave, and lived life to the fullest. She packed so much into her 27 and touched so many people. She lit up a room with her laughter and personality.

I’m sharing this not to try and get responses out of you or fishing for anything, but after the denial of it, the anger at the person who caused this, I became angry at myself. I wish I had done more with her. I wish I had given her more time instead of letting life get in the way. I wish I had been more adventurous, didn’t worry so much about money, and gone on trips with her as she invited me to. But I can’t.

I worked with grieving people for years and I wish that I remembered:

Don’t let life get in the way, don’t let it keep you from making those relationships and spending that time with the people you care about.

Don’t Fear the Reaper

Guess What Today Is?

Fridaythe13th

At work everyone was talking about how it is a Friday the 13th, and a full moon.

attack Wolf Boy Meets World moon full moon night

I know that freaks some people out.

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So I thought I would bring you something to put you at ease:

Erik: [at the Bal Masque as "The Red Death"] Beneath your dancing feet are the tombs of tortured men! Thus does The Red Death rebuke your merriment!

(Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult

This song was written by the lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser and is about accepting the fact that we are mortal and eventually our time will end. In the song he tries to talk about how we shouldn’t be afraid, after all:
Nothing in the world certain but Death

And that when our time eventually ends the love we have with others will carry on until we can meet again on the other side.

“And then he [the third brother] greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly.” J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I love this song, not just for the message, but the guitar:

BacktothefutureMartyMcflyrocknrollguitarsolo

And the cowbell! I just LOVE it. It is just perfect.

And of course this song has been on countless films and TV shows, including Halloween (original and remake)

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And Supernatural.

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It is a fantastic song.

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For more on Friday the 13th, go to Who Ya Gonna Call?

For more of my musical choices, go to No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

For more on Jean Froissart, go to It’s A Hard World: Backfire (1950)

For more Harry Potter, go to What Separates the Real Fans from the Fakes

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So you guys know what Friday the 13th means to me. My annual tradition:

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Time to Ghostbuster up in uniform or shirts:

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Bring out the pizza!

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And horror films:

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Or TV shows:

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Have Frightful Night

She'll get what's coming to her.

She’ll get what’s coming to her.

It’s A Hard World: Backfire (1950)

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“You’re amusing, Mr. Connolly… and hard. 

It’s a hard world.”

So like Dial 1119 (1950), this film came on the Film Noir Classic Collection, Volume 5.  Out of all the films on this set this seems to be the one everyone dislikes the most.

Whattheheck

To be honest, I just don’t get it.

Who knows!

I didn’t think it was as horrible as everyone else said. In fact I thought it was pretty good and I enjoyed it.

I like it.

I like it.

One of the reasons why many people don’t like this is because it is a bit unusual. This postwar film was written to show the hardships about G.I.s coming back into civilian life, trying to find work, etc; kind of like The Best Years of Our Lives. However the project was pushed back two years, being premiered in 1950; where that type of story wasn’t as popular. Too much and too little time had past.

clueless mybad oops

The film is also set at Christmas, being a Christmas Noir film like Lady in the Lakeand not something a lot of people enjoyed. It is supposed to be a juxtaposition between the “happiest time of the year” fused with the dark underbelly; and while you think that would be a winner, not a lot of people like it.

TwinPeaks dark henious evil

Also at this time, studio’s owned actors and actress. This meant that as an employee they couldn’t just make whatever film they wanted to, it was the decision of the head of the studio; however on the flip side they always got paid whether they were in a film or not. These actors were Edmond O’Brien, Virginia Mayo, Dane Clark, Viveca Lindfors and Richard Rober.

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So let’s talk a look shall we?

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So the film starts out with WWII veteran, Bob Corey (Gordon MacRae) recuperating in a hospital in the LA area. They never say exactly what happened but he has been undergoing several operations and had some severe psychological trauma.

Aw, man.

Aw, man.

He and his friend Steve Connolly (Edmond O’ Brien) met in the war and planned on going to California, buying a ranch, and living their days there. That was before Bob had his accident. Steve comes to visit him at the hospital, suggesting they use their money to buy a gas station while they are waiting for Bob to recover, as who knows how long it will take.

Hmm...

Hmm…

Bob says no, and Steve says fine he will try to find some other work. He tells Bob he’ll be back in a few days. But that is the last Bob hears of him.

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Bob has been worried about Steve, and his nurse and girlfriend, Julie Bensen (Virginia Mayo) tries to get him not to worry, but he just can’t stop.

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He has ten days left, and after he receives his clean bill of health he will be out searching for him.

That night he is asleep when he is visited by an Austrian beauty, Lysa (Viveca Lindfors). She tells him she is a friend of Steve’s and that he is in horrible pain. Should she end it or have him keep fighting. Bob says to wait, he will be out in ten days and can help then. The next morning, Bob can’t tell if it was real, or all a dream?

Whattheheck

On New Year’s Eve, Bob is finally released. He says good-bye to Julie as he is out to search for Steve. He hasn’t gone far when he is stopped by Captain Garcia. It turns out that Steve is wanted as he is a suspect in a murder.

Steve? A murderer?

Steve? A murderer?

It turns out that before the war Steve was involved in all kinds of underhanded things and has quite the reputation. Sully Blayne, racketeer, was murdered, shot to death.

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They think Steve is guilty, but Bob is certain that Steve wouldn’t do such a thing.

Now the film is told in the present time, with a series of flashbacks. We see Sully being killed, but the angle and lighting make it impossible for us to see who the killer is.

#4

Victim #1

Could it be Steve?

suspicious Hmm

Bob is intent on finding out what happened.

On the case

On the case

He moves into the room Steve was staying and interviews the cleaning lady. She has a flashback about how Sully would comes to see Steve many times. She gives him a card that Steve dropped. It is for a mortician.

OMG gasp

Bob heads out to the funeral home and it turns out to be Ben Arno, his old military buddy. Bob is a little weird out about the “dead” thing, but when Ben couldn’t open a nightclub, too much red tape and the bank’s didn’t feel he was a safe investment, he decided to take another route. After all:

And taxes

And taxes

We flashback to when Arno bumped into Steve. He went to a boxing match and found Steve there getting pummeled.

ouch Hermione

After the show he goes to speak to him, and finds out that Steve is getting paid good money to lose the match every day. Arno gives him is card and tries to get him to work for him, but Steve is also creeped out and says no. And that is the last Arno saw of him.

Bob goes back to the hotel and takes care of Steve’s charges that he “ran out on”. One was a phone call, and he takes the number. When he calls he reaches a women at the end and pretends to be Steve and finds out about Steve’s girlfriend Lyssa Radoff. He gets her address and heads to the house.

phone number

When he gets there he finds a note about the key, discovers its hiding place and waits. Lyssa doesn’t come, but her roommate, Bonnie, does. Bonnie tells them how Steve and Lisa first met.

Lyssa is Lou Walsh’s woman, even though she doesn’t love him.

Hate YOu

Part of her duties are singing in his club. Steve left boxing to work for Lou Walsh and as his gofer, he has to fetch Lyssa to take her to his private residence. Unlike Walsh’s other men, Steve is always polite and treats all the women (call girls) right. Lyssa begins to fall in love with Steve, and he with her.

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Bonnie starts to question Bob, and when she leaves to make coffee, Bob runs out. Shortly after Bonnie is shot, murdered by the unseen Walsh.

#4

Victim #2

Captain Garcia brings Bob and Julie in, claiming that they are messing up the investigation. He blames Bob for Bonnie’s death, telling him he should have called and given  him the phone number instead of leading the killer right to her.

clueless mybad oops

Before Garcia could continue his wringing out, they receive a call about Walsh’s wounded butler, Quong. Quong claims that he has information on Steve’s whereabouts, and everyone runs out to see him. Quong is suffering from a bullet wound, but starts to give his testimony in another flashback.

Quong didn’t buttle for Walsh, but his girl Lyssa, in the extravagant home that Walsh bought her. To keep her safe and from any other men, Walsh instituted Steve as Lyssa’s bodyguard. But this caused the two’s love to grow and grow.

Especially when you fall for a mobster's girl.

Especially when you fall for a mobster’s girl.

After Sully was killed, Walsh told them both to remain in Lyssa’s house as they would be safe there. That night Lyssa and Steve declared their love, planning on running away together. Steve leaves to go tell Walsh and he owes him for all the help he has given  him. However, unbeknownst to them, Walsh heard everything and released the parking brake, so that it rolls down  and crushes Steve.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Walsh calls a doctor to come visit and care for Steve.

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Quong was shot by Walsh, as he knew too much. The police try to get an address out of him, but it is too late. He’s dead.

#4

Victim #3

Afterwards Bob and Julie are talking about what they found out when Bob wonders why Walsh would call a doctor when he wanted Steve dead. Julie points out that he did it for Lyssa, who thought it was an accident and not attempted murder. Julie then gets an idea and calls Mrs. Blayne, Sully’s wife, to see what doctor came to check on him. She tells Julie that it is Dr. Herbert Anstead.

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Julie goes off in her nurse’s uniform and breaks into the office by telling the janitor that she is one of Anstead’s nurses. While there Anstead returns and Julie has to hide from him. Anstead is about to destroy Steve’s file, when he is interrupted by the janitor asking when he and the nurse are leaving.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Anstead tries to find the nurse, while Julie attempts to smuggle out the file. Unfortunately she is caught by Andstead. Julie yells at Anstead telling him he will become an accessory to murder and Anstead shocked at this, locks Julie in the closet and calls Bob to let him know where Steve is. But Anstead is interrupted by Walsh, and killed.

#4

#4

Man bodies are dropping everywhere. In the words of Angels with Filthy Souls:

Don’t gimme that! You’ve been killin’ everybody! Sully, Bonnie, Quong, etc.

Bob rushes over to the address. Meanwhile Julie is let out by the janitor and calls the police, relaying the murder and the address.

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

When Bob reaches the house he finds Walsh and it is none other than his old pal……………………….

Get it together!

Get it together!

Steve.

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

Just kidding

So obs

So obs

It is Ben Arno.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Ben couldn’t have the nightclub as Ben, so instead he led this double life of Lou Walsh. Steve was boxing because he owed Sully money, Ben paid him off and gave him a job for him.

Bob is trying to find Steve, but Ben doesn’t believe him. He thinks that he is in love with Lyssa and trying to get her.

completelydelusional

Ben is obsessed with Lyssa and can be the only one who has her. He did everything he could to make her happy; clothes, jewelry, house, etc. But Lyssa doesn’t love him.

HateYou

On the night he injured Steve, he called the doctor to save him for Lyssa, as Lyssa thought it was an accident. However, when she found out there was nothing wrong with the brakes on her car she wanted to leave. But Arno didn’t want her to go and strangles her.

How quickly love turns to hate.

How quickly love turns to hate.

They say “love” can quickly turn to obsession, and when one is obsessed they will do all they can to have that person. Even kill them.

#4

Bob asks why he didn’t just kill Steve as that is the one he doesn’t like, but Arno couldn’t have him be a martyr and he needed someone to talk to about Lyssa.  Everyone else was dead. Steve doesn’t know that he killed her, he thinks she just ran off on them.

run-away

While they are talking, Steve has very slowly walked down the stairs as his body is covered in braces. Arno is about to shoot Bob, and Steve jumps on him, saving him just in time.

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Arno gets up and Bob tells him the police are almost there, and we can currently hear the sirens. Arno tries to make a break for it, but is killed. Pretty high body count…

wolfman dead bodies lots cart

In the next scene we see that Steve is alive and has recovered. He is leaving the same hospital that Bob was at. Bob and Julie pick him up and take him to their new ranch, Happy Ranch.

believehappyending

I liked it. I wasn’t quite sure who Walsh was but I never thought it would be the mortician. That was a good twist.

loveitSupernatural

I liked how the theme of “backfire” played well into the character of Steve. He was always trying ti do something good and it backfired. I liked the actors, and I didn’t mind the flashbacks. I thought it was very well done.

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Plus I thought the filming was done very well. We have some great angles when hiding the identity of the killer, the shadows on the wall instead of the characters, the scene when Julie is looking for case, etc.

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It was some good watching.

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to Heroes are Not Born, They’re Created: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

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For more on the Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 5, The Mad Killer: Dial 1119 (1950)

For more films told in flashbacks, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)
For more Jean Froissant, go to Dreaming of the Sandman

The Taxman Cometh

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Today is Tax day. And I am sure most of you are feeling like me.

really?

Now I understand the need for taxes and how we have to pay them; but they are definitely not fun. It’s scary to think about how much you have to collect and nerve-racking to fill out every form.

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I feel faint just thinking about it.

Whenever this happens I feel as if I don’t know how “to adult”.

I don't know what to do

So I work four jobs, one of them being my own business; and I still don’t have enough to fully live on my own. And they wanted me to pay an exorbitant amount in taxes. I started to feel like the poor villagers in Robin Hood.

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I was lucky to eventually bring price down of what I have to pay. But pay I still had to do. With only a $10 refund check from California.

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But that’s life right?

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Or in America dollars and cents

But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Laura Angry Mad Upset

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For more on Robin Hood, go to A Man of Great Worth and Respectability

For more Charles Dickens, go to Make My Day

For more quotes, go to Nothing Wrong With It

The Death of Christ

1500-Pieta Michelangelo

So happy Good Friday everybody. This year we have looked at very different mediums; a photograph, woodcut, and now a sculpture.

This piece is the Pietá by Michelangelo. He did this piece when he was extremely young, in his early twenties, and it shows his genius at sculpture. Even though Michelangelo could paint and sculpt, he never thought of himself as a painter. He always said that he saw the things he wanted to make in the marble, that it was alive and spoke to him; all it wanting was to be freed.

1500-Pieta Michelangelo

This piece is amazing. First of all it is not proportionate and Mary is too young; but Michelangelo wanted to create the essence of the person rather than the actual, realistic self. So let’s talk first about Mary.

We have the youthfulness of when she was told by an angel that she would be the mother of Christ. She is distraught at the death of her son, that she is holding his body in her lap.

Her body os much larger than Jesus’ is as to mimic the way the mother could hold a small child, their baby; which even though Jesus is an adult he is still her baby. Mary’s stance also mimics the way that mother’s would give birth in that time, the birthing stool. So in birth and death she is with her child.

Now let’s look at Jesus:

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In his face we see no life in him, but that he died with a smile on his lips. He has fulfilled the plan of God and the great sacrifice; to save us and have us reign in heaven forever.

Also look at his body and hair, not to mention the folds of his clothes. They just look so real. As if they are two people under a cloth rather than carved out of marble.

Many people didn’t believe that Michelangelo created such an advanced piece of art, so he went back and signed his name in a large script. This is one of the few pieces to bear his signature.

“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”–Luke 23: 39-43

“At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)… Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.”–Mark 15: 33-36

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”–John 19: 30

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open…When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”–Matthew 27:51-54

“So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body…Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.”–Mark 15: 42-46

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For more Good Friday posts, go to The Lamentation of Christ

For the previous painting, go to The Arrest

Promises Were Made to Be Broken

Now everyone knows that there are three things you should never break:

Don'tBreakTrustPromisesHeart

But I guess not everyone got that memo. Especially one in particular, John Dashwood.

sense&sensibilitydashwoodfamilyjohnFanny

But I am getting ahead of myself, let me back up just a bit.

So when we last left off on Sense and Sensibility, Mr. Henry Dashwood’s rich uncle had died and left his state entailed. That means the money and estate gets passed on only to the male heirs.  When Mr. Henry Dashwood dies everything goes to his son John, leaving his second wife and three daughters out in the cold. Yep, entailment sucks.

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But all is not yet lost. Mr. Henry Dashwood is not that old of a man. He is sure to live a long life and squirrel away enough money for his daughters. Everything is going to be just fine.

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I know, that’s what you think. Within a year of having the riches, Mr. Henry Dashwood fell gravely ill, and soon death was knocking on his door.

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As soon as Henry Dashwood discovers that he has no chance of surviving, he calls his son John for a meeting. He makes John promise to take care of his sisters. And John does promise.

“[John] promised to do every thing in his power to make them comfortable.”

Yeah right.

Sense&SensibilitypromisesJohnDashwood

So John isn’t a complete monster. In fact his biggest fault is that he tends to think of himself more than others. And this would have been easily fixed, if he had married a nice woman. The problem is, he married this.

fanny dashwoodSense&Sensibility

This horrible, horrible woman.

ThewomenBadnameBitch

So John decides to give them £1000 a piece. And that is perfectly generous (he could easily give more). After all, he has the rest of his mother’s fortune, and then he will be given £4000 a year. All is good. Only one problem:

Sensefanny dashwoodSense&Sensibility

As soon as the body is in the ground, she comes to the house and starts cataloguing everything. And when she heard the plans John had she was like no way!

You-serious?-Not-happening-babe!

She thinks that by removing £3000; their boy is going to the poorhouse. So she wheedles John into decreasing that amount.

“[Henry Dashwood] did not know what he was talking of, I dare say, ten to one he was light-headed…”

Unbelievable!

ThewomenBadnameBitch

So John  decides that he is giving too much and that he will instead give each sister £500. £1500 in all. It could be better, but at least it’s not nothing. But “Oh too much”, Fanny exclaims again, after all they are only half-siblings. It’s not like they are actually blood.

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Did you just say what I think you said?

Ryan-Gosling-Oh-No-You-Didnt-Half-Nelson

You girl are horrible and wrong. Half-siblings are real siblings! I know as I have one. It doesn’t change a thing. Fanny you make me so ANGRY!

dean_punching_supernatural

I feel better now.

Anyways, as I was saying, Fanny thinks the amount is still too much. So John decides again to knock the amount down. Now they get £100. £300! That’s all!?  Come on man. That’s horrid.

And still, this is far too much for Fanny.

“I am convinced within myself that your father had no idea of your giving them any money at all. The assistance he thought of, I dare say, was only such as might be reasonably expected of you; for instance, such as looking out for a comfortable small house for them, helping them move their things, and sending them presents of fish and game…I’ll lay my life he meant nothing farther; indeed, it would be very strange and unreasonable…”

Ryan-Gosling-Oh-No-You-Didnt-Half-Nelson

You know that is exactly what the dad wanted. Oh you, you are

you're evil

Now those girls have hardly anything to live off on. And they will be unable to get married. If you thought the Bennet situation was bad, this one is much, much, much, much, much worse. At least they had a chance to marry off one of their girls to Mr. Collins, but here they have nothing.

willy-wonka-you-get-nothingyoulose

Oh that Fanny! Curse You!

Replace Rothbart with  Fanny

Replace Rothbart with Fanny

And you know what, she doesn’t even need it. Not only does John have a ton of money from his mother and now the entailment; but she comes from money too. Her mom’s loaded. And still, she has to begrudge these girls a few dollars.

How rude

Just goes to show you:

mannersmoralscommonsense

And that some people do not know how to keep their promises.

truestoryofmen beauty and the beast

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For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to A Family Affair

For more on Beauty & the Beast, go to Heaven on Earth

For more great quotes, go to It’s Fantastico! 

Dreaming of the Sandman

So I’ve developed a little crush on the Sandman

He’s awesome, but no not him.

Ew, no. Defintely NOT him.

No I’m talking about Neil Gaiman’s series The Sandman Chronicles.

SandmanChronichlesNeilGaimanmorpheusbymarak24-d45vh51

Yeah? Pretty good looking. So the series is really interesting. Gaiman actually melds together different things to create his stories. Christianity, Greek mythology, Shakespeare, fairy tales, Egyptian mythology, fantasy, science fiction, retelling of classic literature, etc. And what comes out of this is AMAZING.

love it

As my friend described it, you fall in love with Neil Gaiman’s brain, and his creation, Dream.

fallinloveBookBFliterryboyfriend

So Dream is one of the Endless, those who were in the beginning and will last until the last human dies. First there was his older sister Death, then his brother Destruction, Dream, the twins Despair and Desire, and lastly Delight who became Delirium.

At the beginning of the series, Dream has been captured by a man. The man was afraid of dying and had attempted to capture Death, but accidentally captures Dream. He traps him for years and causes his son to as well. Eventually, Dream escapes and find his kingdom and all the the dreaming places in ruin. He has to repair it along with dealing with the issues that were caused by his imprisonment.

It is really interesting as Dream’s story and his siblings are told in present day, along with flashbacks. You see how he was, but then how he has changed due to his imprisonment. And that’s not the only thing that is attractive about him.

He’s so eloquent. How he speaks, sigh. It is beautiful.

swoon dreamy

He himself is just so, sorry couldn’t help it, dreamy! He’s one of those tall, dark, handsome, broody types you all know I love and adore.

TallDarkBrooding

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Now let me warn you. I wouldn’t go farther than book 8. It just, well I don’t want to give anything away but his reigns ends.

Leave me alone so I can cry over the death of my fictional characters

Why! Why, Neil WHY!

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For more on Neil Gaiman, go to Love Stinks

For more on tall, dark, & brooding men; go to Simply Fantastic

For more of my favorite books, go to A Whole Lot of Fanfare

For more of my favorite quotes, go to A Sad and Lonely Place

For more of my favorite songs, go to O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree