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The Last Temptation Hardcover – September 27, 2005

3.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gaiman meets rock star Alice Cooper in this Halloween tale that originally appeared in the early 1990s. It adapts a story from Cooper's album Lost in America, to which Gaiman contributed story and lyrics. Halloween is coming, and young teenager Steven is scared—scared of girls, scared of his friends and scared of growing up. When he and his friends stumble onto the back-alley Theatre of the Real ("The Grandest Guignol"), it looks like the Master of Ceremonies (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Cooper) may have a way to save him from those fears—permanently. Soon, he's seeing the creepy master of ceremonies everywhere. This is not Gaiman's most sophisticated work, as he admits in his introduction. But the story borrows some strong horror tropes—mashing Nightmare on Elm Street together with Something Wicked This Way Comes. Moreover, Gaiman writes Cooper's Master of Ceremonies as a whimsically demented horror show host made of equal parts Torquemada and Willy Wonka. Zulli's black-and-white art uses cross-hatching and shadows to create a suitably creepy atmosphere. His characterizations are also dead-on: Steven is a convincing early teen, and the Master of Ceremonies looks just like Alice Cooper. (Sept.)
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About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the most critically acclaimed graphic novel writer of today and is the author of numerous books and graphic novels. Future work includes big screen versions of Stardust, Neverwhere and Death: The High Cost of Living. Michael Zulli's moody and evocative art has appeared in The Sandman, Witchcraft and Seekers into the Mystery. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse; 1st Hardcover Ed edition (September 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159307414X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593074142
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 6.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,533,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As of right now, there are 8 reviews for this item ahead of me. Very mixed reviews. With that being said, let us continue.
Having been a Neil Gaiman fan for several years, being weened on The Sandman and Stardust, I had fairly high hopes for this graphic novel. Upon purchase, I sat down and read the dark tale in a matter of about 30 minutes. I was impressed by the fine artwork and twisted story, but overall I felt a little let down.
Don't get me wrong, it's a great read, but if you're expecting Sandman caliber work in Last Temptation then you should just press the back button now. The story was rather predictable and, I felt, was rushed into a mere three parts, or "acts," as they're called in this novel.
Overall, a fun read and a must have for Gaiman fans, but don't expect too much.
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Format: Paperback
Neil Gaiman is one of the most inventive, respected and popular writers of fantastic fiction for many years now. His run on Sandman for DC Comic's Vertigo has put him in the league of other comic book greats like Alan Moore & Frank Miller...Alice Cooper is a rock legend, forgotten by many, but still... in the world of rock n roll. Alice paved the way for just about every popular "shocker" in the last thirty years.. He is the original showman, an Alice Cooper concert is a trip into a nightmare of violent acts and brutal punishments of torture, usually inflicted on Alice himself... But when Alice Cooper had an idea for a new concept album, he summond the talents of Mr. Gaiman to pen a story to bring his album to life... The story is about a young boy named Steven (a character first met in Alice's greatest solo album "Welcome to My Nightmare") who is the [brunt] of everyone's jokes...he's a scardy cat, and on a few days before Halloween, the boys come across a hidden theatre in the city and encounter a strange man in a top hat with creepy face paint (obviously Alice). The man offers one of the boys a ticket to his show...Steven is chosen and he steps through the doors alone into a nightmarish world where all of his fears will attack him and the mysterious showman will try to steal his soul.
This book is a must for Alice Cooper fans...
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Format: Hardcover
At one point in Neil Gaiman's The Last Temptation, the macabre master of ceremonies (a perfect 2-D rendition of Alice Cooper, as drawn by Zulli) makes a most tempting final offer to the young protagonist, Steven. There's only one thing he wants in return, and it's so small that the boy will barely notice it's gone. He doesn't need it, won't even miss it.

Let me guess, Steven says, at his age already worldly to horror cliches. My soul?

"Oh, no!" replies the master of ceremonies. "Your potential."

This little exchange is typical of Neil Gaiman - always refreshing, he never falls back on cliches. It is difficult to read much nowadays without guessing motives and endings, because so many authors get so lazy. But Gaiman manages to elevate the most frequent scene in literature - that of evil tempting innocence and offering fantasies come true, all in exchange for the poor sap's soul - into something quite unique.

Gaiman has therefore, understandably, been a favorite author of mine for years. From his graphic novels (Sandman, Books of Magic, 1602) to his welcome foray into mainstream literature(American Gods, Good Omens, Anansi Boys) and film (Mirrormask), he continually impresses with his talent. Like his Sandman protagonist, the king of dreams, Gaiman creates whole ficticious worlds and actually makes you believe that maybe it's all real. And he makes you care about what his characters go through.

Unfortunately, regarding The Last Temptation, that's the end of the pluses for me. I really didn't care what happens to Steven; I never got a sense of his personality, any feeling that he was real or realistic. As a lead character, he's a bit dull. The plot itself doesn't offer much. I found myself skimming bits of it just to get to the end.
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Format: Paperback
I am a HUGE fan of Neil Gaiman's work. I have been following his work since the early days of The Sandman. With that said, it is hard to be honest about this work. When it was first released I refused to give it a chance, due to the Alice Cooper tie-in. However, I recently decided not to be so close-minded and read this story for the first time. This story is a lackluster tale, full of allousions to the Alice Cooper album. The story itself is a Tales from the Crypt retelling of the "Faust" story. There is very little that is original or inspired. The effort to work in Cooper's lyrics holds back the plot and dialogue in more than a few places. The ending is horribly cryptic and vague. I would recommend this story only to diehard Gaiman fans.
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By A Customer on October 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Alice Cooper continues to entertain and amaze, even in comic book form.
Superb art and story line tie in (by design) with Cooper's "Last Temptation" album, which is now refered to as the first of Alice's three part album series followed most recently by "Brutal Planet" and "DragonTown" albums.
I recommend this read for fans of Alice Cooper, comic books and creepy stories of the heart. Not fans of the above? Read "The Last Temptation" and you will be.
But please remember, "Nothing's Free!"
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