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Sandman, The: Book Of Dreams Paperback – Mar 6 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Eos; Reprint edition (March 6 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061053546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061053542
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,411,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Though he won the World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction in 1991, Gaiman is best known as the writer who transformed the WWII-era DC Comics character the Sandman from a Batman-style detective/vigilante into the much darker Morpheus, aka Dream, the being who presides over the realm of Dreaming. One of seven siblings who represent various states of consciousness?Destiny, Death, Destruction, Desire, Despair, Dream and Delirium?Morpheus is head of the allegorical family called the Endless. Here, popular fantasy writers expand upon Gaiman's original concepts, with mixed results. Colin Greenland's bittersweet "Masquerade and High Water" and Barbara Hambly's "Each Damp Thing" provide insights into the backstage workings of the Endless. Tad Williams's "The Writer's Child" is a finely crafted story about loyalty and the value of innocence. Weak spots include George Alec Effinger's resurrection of a saccharine Little Nemo for "Seven Nights in Slumberland," Lisa Goldstein's bland "Stronger Than Desire" and B.W. Clough's vignette "The Birth Day." Susanna Clarke's "Stopp't-Clock Yard" and a lyrical meditation on Death by songwriter Tori Amos close the anthology on a strong note; a b&w drawing by Clive Barker opens it on a garish one. Though perhaps most interesting as an example of media-crossover, this collection presents some powerful writing about, and memorable images of, the other reality wherein we while away a third of our lives.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This anthology features stories about The Sandman, DC Comics' best-selling adult graphic novel by Neil Gaiman. Clive Barker wrote the frontispiece (not seen), and singer Tori Amos contributed the afterword. The 18 mainstream writers expand and elaborate the Sandman mythos. Readers don't need a familiarity with the Sandman comic to appreciate these stories. Recommended for short story collections.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sandman, Neil Gaiman's wonderful creation, is the concept that this group of stories is based on. Like any story collection, this one has its hits and misses.
Hits:
"Chain Home, Low" What happened to those affected by Dream's disappearance?
"Each Damp Thing" Barbara Hambly has a good grasp of Gaiman's cast of characters. Set in The Dreaming this one would have made a good comic.
"Seven Nights in Slumberland" Little Nemo? Now Windsor McCay's work makes more sense. I think.
Both Wanda stories. A character that certainly warranted more examination than the comic allowed.
"Endless Sestina" For the sheer nerve of it.
"The Gate of Gold" The flip side of "The Writer's Child," but much more fulfilling. There really are "good" dreams.
"A Bone Dry Place" Dream and Delirium together again.
"The Mender of Broken Dreams" The concept is not new, but it is so well written you won't care.
"Valosag and Elet" There are so few folktales being written anymore. At least good ones.
"Stopp't-Clock Yard" Captures the true essence of Gaiman's creation. This is another one that Gaiman could have written.
Misses:
Desire stories. This character is tedious as all stories end up being variations on the same theme. Especially "The Witch's Heart" it goes on and on....
"The Birth Day" A clever idea but not fully developed.
"Splatter" A little obvious.
"The Writer's Child" Ditto.
"Ain't You 'Most Done?" 32 pages long and I couldn't remember what it was about by the time I finished the book. And it's one of the last stories.
Advertising Clive Barker's participation. It's a frontispiece and it's Death not Dream.
Taking an existing character, whose popularity lies in a graphic medium and using him and his supporting cast as the basis of an anthology is a risky proposition. While this book is not entirely successful, it's definitely worth a read for the Sandman fan.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Taking the good with the bad July 22 2002
By J. Carroll - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sandman, Neil Gaiman's wonderful creation, is the concept that this group of stories is based on. Like any story collection, this one has its hits and misses.
Hits:
"Chain Home, Low" What happened to those affected by Dream's disappearance?
"Each Damp Thing" Barbara Hambly has a good grasp of Gaiman's cast of characters. Set in The Dreaming this one would have made a good comic.
"Seven Nights in Slumberland" Little Nemo? Now Windsor McCay's work makes more sense. I think.
Both Wanda stories. A character that certainly warranted more examination than the comic allowed.
"Endless Sestina" For the sheer nerve of it.
"The Gate of Gold" The flip side of "The Writer's Child," but much more fulfilling. There really are "good" dreams.
"A Bone Dry Place" Dream and Delirium together again.
"The Mender of Broken Dreams" The concept is not new, but it is so well written you won't care.
"Valosag and Elet" There are so few folktales being written anymore. At least good ones.
"Stopp't-Clock Yard" Captures the true essence of Gaiman's creation. This is another one that Gaiman could have written.
Misses:
Desire stories. This character is tedious as all stories end up being variations on the same theme. Especially "The Witch's Heart" it goes on and on....
"The Birth Day" A clever idea but not fully developed.
"Splatter" A little obvious.
"The Writer's Child" Ditto.
"Ain't You `Most Done?" 32 pages long and I couldn't remember what it was about by the time I finished the book. And it's one of the last stories.
Advertising Clive Barker's participation. It's a frontispiece and it's Death not Dream.
Taking an existing character, whose popularity lies in a graphic medium and using him and his supporting cast as the basis of an anthology is a risky proposition. While this book is not entirely successful, it's definitely worth a read for the Sandman fan.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
cool book Feb. 14 2002
By Marymac - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a really very cool book, although you need a fair bit of the Sandman background for it all to make sense - I first read it when I'd only read the 'The Kindly Ones' sequence and some of it went over my head. Then I got the rest and suddenly quite a lot of things became clear...
It loses a star cause there's no actual Gaiman stories (although his comments at the start of each book are nearly as interesting as the stories - 'what Gandalf's rock'n rolling younger brother would look like if he were secretly a pirate' is a truly funky description for anyone).
For me the best are the Barbara Hambly, 'Stopp'd Clock Yard' and the 'Ain't you the most done' stories - the collection does veer pretty wildly between cool, cute 'n funky and seriously weird / sick.... Depends what you like. Like the comics, don't let children read it.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Faithful to the Dreaming Jan. 20 2005
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is funny how one can initially misjudge a book. When I first picked this volume up it was because I saw Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker's names on the cover. Then, on first perusal, I saw that Gaiman had not even written the introduction. Moreover, Barker's only contribution was the frontispiece- a drawing of Death. Nor did I immediately recognize the names of any of the contributors to the collection. I felt cheated. I jumped to the conclusion that this was a hack written collection of short stories intended to exploit the popularity of the Sandman series. I threw the book down in disgust.

Then, a little over a year later, I came back to it. Upon actually reading it, I discovered that Gaiman handpicked these stories. Indeed, he actually wrote the brief introductions for each writer and story. As for the stories themselves, there are some hauntingly, lovingly, skillfully, written tales here. What is more important, most of them genuinely capture the atmosphere of the Dreaming from the graphic novels. I could not have been more wrong about this fine collection- it was exactly what I was looking for.

These stories are so faithful to the original that the reader might want to read the entire 10 volume Sandman Library before attempting it. There is much here that assumes a familiarity with the entire series.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
average-to-good collection - Kiernan and Wolfe notables July 22 2000
By "silo1013" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
An average-to-good collection of short Sandman stories. My two favorites: "Escape Artist" by Caitlin Kiernan, while not technically perfect, is touching and memorable; "Ain't You 'Most Done" by Gene Wolfe represents the Dreaming as it's really like -- no German Expressionist tilting dark walls and Hollywood special effects, but real life gone just a little bit... different. Very well done.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A pleasant visit to The Dreaming March 20 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Between 1988 and 1996, over the course of seventy-five Sandman comic books (plus various specials and mini series), Neil Gaiman told the complex, moving story of Morpheus, the Lord of the Dreaming, and his family, the Endless. Taken as a whole, the series constitutes a tale about a single character (Dream, a.k.a. Morpheus) and, as Frank McConnell points out in his excellent introduction, "an intricate, funny and profound tale about tales, a story about why there are stories."

Dream is the central figure of the story. Tall, thin, pale, always dressed in black (the image of his creator?), he is truly a flawed hero, a godlike figure subject to the emotions and weaknesses of mankind. Able to create and destroy worlds on a whim, he fails as father and husband. Seemingly invincible, he can be brought down by the righteous anger of a distraught mother.

For eight years, Gaiman mined this rich vein, only to stop at the height of the series' popularity, at a point in time when he felt the story he had in mind from the beginning had reached its natural conclusion. Gaiman's creations live on however, in DC's new series The Dreaming, and in this anthology, written by several mainstream (i.e., non-comic book) writers.

Given the brilliance of the original comic, and with Gaiman co-editor, Sandman aficionados and novices alike might approach this anthology with high hopes. Unfortunately, they are likely to be somewhat disappointed. Perhaps the writers had to operate under severe restrictions; perhaps they didn't feel comfortable working within someone else's universe-it's hard to say. Although the stories are uniformly well crafted, they fail to break any new ground or provide novel insights into the rich cast of familiar characters. This is not to say that the anthology is entirely a waste of time-many of the stories are excellent, and all are readable. Still, the writers might have done more with the material.

Enough negativity. The best story in this collection is Susanna Clarke's "Stopp't Clock Yard," a tale that could easily have been part of the "World's End" story arc from the original series. (Gaiman himself comments "I wish I had written this story.") Clarke tells the amusing tale of magician Isaac Trismegistus and rogue John Paramore, a pair who invade Morpheus' realm to bring the deceased back to their loved ones. Morpheus is rendered perfectly, a distracted deity, swift to anger, but patient in the extreme. Dream waits out his tormentors, only to have his revenge stolen away by one of his siblings.

Other strong entries are Will Shetterly's "Splatter" (set at the infamous Serial Killers Convention seen in The Doll's House), George Alec Effinger's "Seven Nights in Slumberland" (a delightful tribute to both The Sandman and Little Nemo), Barbara Hambly's "Each Damp Thing" (a scary, funny piece featuring Cain and Abel), and Brenda W. Clough's "The Birth Day" (wherein Dream visits a storyteller who may be too clever for her own good). Honorable mentions include Colin Greenland's "Masquerade and High Water," Tad Williams' "The Writer's Child," Delia Sherman's "The Witch's Heart," Nancy Collins' "The Mender of Broken Dreams," and Gene Wolfe's "Ain't You Most Done?".

One need not be familiar with the series to enjoy this book, but it helps. Most of the writers here seem content pursuing themes Gaiman has already visited rather than developing their own. It's hard to recommend the hardcover to general audiences, but the trade paperback is an elegant solution-for twelve dollars, most will be able to spend a few pleasurable hours with Dream and his kin. Rabid fans of the series may be disappointed, but general readers should enjoy the time they spend in The Dreaming.


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