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Book Review < Back

The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes (vol. 1)

Credits: Written by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III
Publisher: Vertigo (DC)


Someone kidnapped the King of Dreams, stripped him of his possessions and his dignity and held him captive for a lifetime. Here's a tip: not a good idea to fuck with the Dream King. In this, the first book of the SANDMAN series, Neil Gaiman introduces the mythology of The Endless, seven alliterative siblings who are neither Gods nor men, but forces who serve and rule them both. Gaiman has created an entire belief system here, and more impressively still, a fantasy novel with a brain at least the size of its heart. And don't let that word "fantasy" keep you away. This is no ren fest text, SANDMAN is fantasy the same way Paradise Lost is fantasy, the same way The Mahabarata is fantasy. It's the kind of storytelling that's more true than real. The genius of this thing is that it doesn't seem like Gaiman invented Dream and The Endless so much as he discovered them.

Here in the first volume we follow Dream through his incarceration and escape and watch as he travels literally to hell and back again to retrieve what was stolen from him. The battle to regain sovereignty in his realm culminates in a handful of strangers spending 24 semi-conscious hours in a diner with a sadist running rampant through their minds and Dream, powerless to save them.

-- Kelly Sue DeConnick

Kelly Sue DeConnick relocated from Brooklyn, New York to Kansas City, MO, where she lives with her husband and artbomb.net colleague, Matt Fraction. Kelly Sue writes the English adaptations of several manga titles published by Tokyopop and Viz. She can be found on the web at kellysue.com.


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