When BBP’s Chief asked me to review The Sandman on Audible. I thought, “Oh, man…I HATE Metallica!” That joke will probably get me served with a C&D from the band… another review I have floating around out there makes a joke about a celebrity being litigious but this band actually sued a pizza place near me because they decided the name of the place was infringing on their trademark.
Anyways, the Sandman in question is Audible’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s seminal Vertigo comic book series and it is a doozy. For starters check out this cast list.
It’s been over a decade since I last read the complete run of The Sandman (thanks to my local library) and I have to say this adaptation is just like I remember the book. It also doesn’t hurt that Gaiman himself is the narrator of the whole thing. James McAvoy’s Morpheus sounds just like I always imagined Dream of The Endless would sound and Taron Egerton’s John Constantine was particularly inspired casting.
Previously, I had only dabbled in Audible’s productions due to an ill-advised prejudice against audiobooks. When I grew up books on tape were considered “cheating” by some and I had also made the mistake of getting an abridged audiobook once which soured me on the format. Fortunately, none of this held true for The Sandman.
Aside from having an absolutely stellar voice cast, the sound design for the entire production is incredibly lush. When I work, I tend to consume a lot of podcasts and I usually stream them to my CIA-approved government listening device, an Echo Dot. That would be, in my opinion, the entirely WRONG way to listen to The Sandman. It’s something that should be listened to on the best pair of headphones that you have available to you since the production has that level of polish.
Going in to this, I was incorrectly expecting something akin to an old radio play with one person making simulated noises from a variety of household items. You know, like Monty Python and the Holy Grail with the coconuts. Anyways, there’s some serious big budget foley work going on here and it creates an immersive experience the likes of which I was not prepared for.
I don’t currently subscribe to Audible but I was able to…finesse a copy of The Sandman as part of my free trial. If you ARE an Audible subscriber this is one that you simply must download. The whole production clocks in at about 10 hours and it’s 10 hours well spent in my opinion. Comic book fans are well known for wanting “comics accurate” productions of their favorite works and the Sandman Audible production could be the new gold standard when it comes to that. There’s been a long-gestating The Sandman TV adaptation coming and it’s got a lot to live up to when it’s going up against this version and the original text.