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Sandman, The: Book Of Dreams [Paperback]

Gaiman
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

March 6 1997 Sandman
A collection of stories based on the World Fantasy Award-winning comic book series includes contributions by such authors as Clive Barker, Tad Williams, Barbara Hambly, Gene Wolfe, and Nancy A. Collins. Reprint.

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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
3.0 out of 5 stars Taking the good with the bad July 22 2002
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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 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
4.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
4.0 out of 5 stars 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
3.0 out of 5 stars it's alright - recommended for fans only Nov. 13 2010
By Acacia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ho hum, ho hum, after the absolute power house that was The Sandman I find myself assured in my beliefs that no one but Neil himself should ever write for the series. Over all this was a very bland collection of stories hat at times had very little to do with any of The Endless that ranged from mediocre to down right painful for the most of the book. However there were a few good pieces in here that definitely made it worth while to drudge through the lesser parts.

Masquerade & High Water, Ain't You Most Done Yet and the Witch's Heart were all middle ground for me, being entertaining but not particularly outstanding. The true stars for this collection for me were Each Damp Thing, Splatter, Valosay and Elet and Stopp't Clock Yard. The only story I found absolutely 100% appalling beyond belief in it's insipid story telling was The Birth Day which was so bad that I almost put down the book and decided to stop reading if it hadn't been for the fact that blissfully I decided to read one more story and came across Will Shetterly's absolutely brutal, if at times a bit obvious, Splatter.

Over all this isn't the worst way to spend an evening, but it's by no mean's Gaiman's Sandman and anyone looking for the brilliant story telling we got in canon will be advised to look elsewhere.
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