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Headscratchers / Neil Gaiman

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  • "Murder Mysteries". I'm completely at a loss for what importance the human protagonist serves. I can tell he's important somehow, or else Gaiman wouldn't have written it as a frame story. What does he do?
    • The point was that he Killed someone, didn't he?.
    • Well, yes. That news bit about the child and women being killed, that's what he did to the woman he was visiting.
    • But if he did do that, wouldn't you expect Raguel to take more definite action? Assuming the thing hinted at happened, why is Raguel calmly sitting and telling a story. In what way is the memory trick at all appropriate to Raguel's role?
    • The narrator killed the woman and child. Probably killed the woman who gave him a ride too, since there is a blank in his memory at the end of the ride. You can conclude he was either a serial killer or extremely violent. What Raguel did was erase all his "evil" memories, the ones of him doing evil as well as what made him into a killer in the first place. He is now innocent and we can presume he will no longer kill anyone again. That is why Raguel did what he did, and why he said he was saving people, even as a fallen angel.
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  • When Raguel finishes his first job he is a bit upset about his role as the events played out. He is told that he cannot tell any angels what what has happened and he can choose whether or not to remember it himself. He chooses to remember. Then he make the narrator forget (something). Is this inconsistent? Or is it a sign that he has reconsidered his earlier choice? Either way he is not giving the protagonist a choice at all. It seems like sloppy motivation, which keeps the story nice and vague for people to spend ages discussing.

  • His books make references to each other implying that a lot of them take place in the same fictional universe; from references I've noticed: American Gods, Neverwhere, Anansi Boys, Stardust and Susanna Clarke's two books, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel and The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories all take place in the same universe but then Delirium from the Sandman appears in American Gods. Does that mean that all his books take place in the DCU?
    • Probably yes. Since pretty much all those verses are All Myths Are True, it kind of makes sense that they would be mutually compatible.
      • What references lead you to connect Neverwhere with other books? Or those Susanna Clarke things?
      • Susanna Clarke (who, incidentally, was discovered by Neil Gaiman) wrote a short story set in the village of Wall from Stardust, which stars the Duke of Wellington, who is a major character in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.
      • The Duke of Wellington is a real historical figure, though, so his appearance in "The Duke of Wellington Loses His Horse" doesn't necessarily link it to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which takes place in an alternate history where magicians have been a matter of publicly-acknowledged fact in England and the country was for a time divided into two Englands, one ruled by the Raven King. I don't think that's compatible with American Gods, Stardust or Neverwhere.
      • Neverwhere is horribly vague on the rules and backstories of the canon. Therefore; the Beast of London? Islington? Possibly the Marquis, or even Door plus countless references to things Richard had heard of but never thought to be real — all of those could be considered 'gods'. Coraline and MANY short stories are compatible with the American Gods outline. And anyway, it would be absolutely amazing if all of Gaiman's works were part of the DCU. Imagine the possibilities.
      • Sandman actually takes place in a multiverse meaning that not all those books have to take place in the same world per see to be connected. also if i'm not mistaken Vertigo's comics are not considered part of the DCU anymore but reter their own continuity,} and Sandman left the DCU along with them.
      • Actually, I think Sandman is still part of the DCU. Death met Lex Luthor, and Dream met the JLA. Dream also saved his parents from an ice-cold hell that the Spectre sent them to.
      • Sandman takes place in the DCU... and elsewhere. It's primary Universe is the DCU but as Death has been in Marvel (albeit in a cameo) and Delirium was featured in American Gods, which obviously isn't the primary DCU (or else the Gods fighting wouldn't be that big of a deal) you can comfortably say that, as seen in the comics, Dream can inhabit and go into many different worlds and Universes. Doesn't the first issue of Sandman even begin with Dream returning from a visit to a different Universe?
      • It's a different Galaxy, but it's also established that there are different Earths out there and Dream has no difficulty going to them.

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