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Mirrormask: The Illustrated Film Script of the Motion Picture
Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
William Morrow, 331 pages

Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is the author of one of the most critically acclaimed comic books of the decade, the Sandman series from DC Comics. He is also the author of a collection of short stories, Angels and Visitations, and the co-author (with Terry Pratchett) of Good Omens. His first anthology was The Sandman Book of Dreams, edited with Ed Kramer. He is the creator and author of the BBC series "Neverwhere," which inspired his novel of the same name. Born in England, he now lives in Minnesota.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Sandman: Endless Nights
SF Site Review: Coraline
SF Site Review: A Walking Tour of the Shambles
SF Site Review: American Gods
SF Site Review: Stardust
SF Site Review: Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions
SF Site Review: Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions
SF Site Review: Neverwhere
SF Site Review: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish
SF Site Review: The Sandman: Book of Dreams

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Alma A. Hromic

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Mirrormask: The Illustrated Film Script of the Motion Picture I very much wanted to see Mirrormask the film -- see it cold, as it were, without knowing anything about it other than the hints dropped, for instance, by Neil Gaiman himself on his blog or snippets of information gained from the media. So when the review copy of this book arrived in the mail I was torn between writing a timely review, or hanging onto it fiercely until I could see the movie and only then dive into the book.

In the end, I did a little of both -- I started the book, I began a review, and then the movie came into town unexpectedly so I took myself off to that and then I re-read the book and now I am rewriting the review. It's that kind of book. It's that kind of review.

In some ways, you need to see the film before the book will make sense -- inasmuch as any part of this story is supposed to make sense in a straightforward kind of way. It's a dream, after all, and dreamworlds aren't supposed to be sensible. Even the reality of this world is a bizarre place because circuses just are -- they're pieces of dream inserted into reality, and people go to them in order to slip sideways through the fabric of time and space and be enchanted and amazed and taken back to the times when everyone was twelve years old and the whole world tasted like cotton candy.

We start there, and already it's a fable. But then Gaiman and McKean get hold of the "reality" and all bets are off.

The book is a faithful line-by-line script, broken by two inserts of colour photographs from the film. It's like shining a flashlight into the wonderful dreamspaces of Neil Gaiman's imagination and seeing them all take on shape and form. I can't say much about it without wrecking the movie for those who haven't seen it, and that I emphatically do not wish to do -- let me just recommend this book as a perfect addition to any Gaiman collection. For those who haven't seen the film and may not be able to for the foreseeable future, it's the closest thing there is for a substitute; for those who have seen the movie, it's a repository of treasure and memory.

Copyright © 2005 Alma A. Hromic

Alma A. Hromic, addicted (in random order) to coffee, chocolate and books, has a constant and chronic problem of "too many books, not enough bookshelves". When not collecting more books and avidly reading them (with a cup of coffee at hand), she keeps busy writing her own. Following her successful two-volume fantasy series, Changer of Days, her latest novel, Jin-shei, is due out from Harper San Francisco in the spring of 2004.


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