The Sandman by Dirk Maggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A top-notch radio play-style adaptation of some of Neil Gaiman's greatest writing, the Audible adaptation loses little in translation to audio.
Because of the dreamlike, theater-of-the-mind-style nature of "The Sandman" anthology, this may be the strongest possible medium for the storytelling. The bluntness of a film or TV series adaptation might take away from the depth and grandiosity of the material.
Gaiman's narration leads the charge from an excellent voice cast, which includes James McAvoy, Kat Dennings, Bebe Neuwirth and Taron Egerton. The application of music and effects is pitch-perfect, rather than shoehorned into the production in the clumsy manner typical of audiobooks and podcasts.
Bouncing across myriad time periods, settings and species, Gaiman's finely-woven tapestry explores the intricacies of dream and desire in a haunting manner. His series has echoes of "The Twilight Zone" and "Black Mirror."
Fan service also abounds, with connections to the larger DC superhero universe present, without taking center stage. This is thought-provoking and challenging fiction meant for comic book readers ready to graduate to a higher plane of thoughtful analysis.
There's a reason Gaiman's creation has stood the test of time and is continually regarded as a great work of transmedia art. This production only solidifies its grandiosity.
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