Page 45 Review by Stephen
Note: these new softcover editions have had the same luscious re-colouring treatment as used for the Absolute editions.
Morpheus is the Lord of Dreams, his family are The Endless. Each of them is older than you can comprehend, though some are older than others. They are as gods to mortals - though they can surely die - and they can change as we change, for they are reflections of our everyday existence.
Destiny, cowled and quiet, holds in his hands the book of all that is, all that was, and all that will ever be. Dream, his skin as white as the moon, his clothes the colour of midnight, is remote and cold and unforgiving, meticulous in his duties, obsessive when in love. By contrast, Death, his older sister, is kind and compassionate and far better company than you'd image, though one day you'll discover that for yourself. Desire is fickle but irresistible: he/she will appear as the most beautiful woman or man you have ever seen, whereas its twin Despair is terrible to behold and terrible to endure. Delirium doesn't know what she is for most of the time, but in her rare, lucid moments she remembers many things, most tragically, perhaps, that she used to be Delight. They are a family, like the Greek gods, and like most families they fall out. One member of the Endless is missing. Who that is, I will not tell you, nor why he went away. All I will impart is that one member of The Endless is playing a very dangerous game, as another is going to find out
Over the course of ten books Gaiman introduces us to The Endless, and their roles in Morpheus' story. This will draw him to Hell and back via ancient Africa, the East and Greece, Elizabethan England, the dreams of cats, an American serial killer convention and a city preserved in a bottle. You'll meet Norse and Egyptian deities, demons and angels, Lucifer, Shakespeare, Barbie and Ken, Orpheus, the Faerie, and a host of contemporary individuals as they come into contact with Dream and his siblings. For The Endless have always played a role in our lives - often benign, sometimes less so - and they're not above making mistakes.
Overwhelmingly this is a story about stories, about decisions and consequences, responsibility, growth and the power of dreams. It opens in Britain in 1916 where an obsessive occultist, Roderick Burgess, is planning to live forever. To do that he must capture Death herself. He fails. He captures someone else instead, which has ramifications all over the world, until his son makes a fateful error in 1988...