Page 45 Review by Stephen
Collects Sandman issues #38-56, plus some short stories.
Every bit as eloquent as you've been told, I honestly do consider this the finest mythology of the last century in any medium. And it draws on so many more mediums, centuries and indeed mythologies.
Morpheus is the Lord of Dreams; his family are The Endless. Each is older than you can imagine, though some are more ancient than others. They are as gods to mortals, though they can surely die, and they change as we change, for they are personifications of aspects of our everyday existence.
Destiny holds in his hands the Book of All That Is, All That Was and All That Ever Will Be.
Dream, to begin with, is aloof and unforgiving; meticulous in his duties, obsessive when in love.
Death, by contrast, is kind and compassionate and far better company than you would imagine as, one day, you will inevitably discover for yourself.
Desire is fickle but irresistible. They will appear as the most beautiful individual you have ever beheld whereas their twin, Despair, is awful to behold and terrible to endure.
Most of the time Delirium doesnt know who, what or why she is, but in her more lucid moments she recalls many things; most tragically that she used to be Delight. Alas, were no longer content with joy but demand it on drugs, so Delirium she has become. She also recalls that the six were once seven.
Who is missing? Why did they leave? And what would happen should they ever return? Gaiman is a master of foreshadowing so armed with hindsight a second reading may send shivers up your spine.
The Endless are a pantheon like Greek mythologys inasmuch as theyre a family who squabble and in spite of their own protestations they decidedly do interfere with the living. Over the course of the ten numbered books and many centuries, then, youll be taken to Hell and back via Ancient Africa, Greece and the East, Elizabethan England, land of Faerie and a city preserved inside a bottle. You'll meet Norse gods Thor, Odin and Loki, the Egyptian cat goddess Bast, plus Lucifer, Orpheus, Shakespeare, Barbie and Ken. Please do enjoy the contemporary serial killer convention too: it's like a comicbook convention, only for psychopaths who get together and swap top tips.
Filed under fantasy, this is an epic which will speak to you personally on so many levels about stories and storytelling, about decisions and consequences, responsibility, growth and the power of dreams.
It opens in Britain, 1916, where an occultist plans to live forever.
In order to do that he must capture Death. He fails. He captures Dream instead.
And the ramifications all over the world are catastrophic.
Also recommended by Neil Gaiman: Oh everything, really. He has does have a Way with Words.
SANDMAN FAQ: What should I read, and in which order?
Gaimans central series with a beginning, middle and end is SANDMAN BOOKS I-IV.
The DEATH collection by Gaiman, Chris Bachalo and Mark Buckingham can be enjoyed any time as an introduction or as a life-affirming entertainment in its own right.
Later works: BOOK V contains SANDMAN MIDNIGHT THEATRE, SANDMAN: THE DREAMHUNTERS (original prose version illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano) and SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS which contains short stories focussing on individual members of The Endless; BOOK VI contains THE DREAMHUNTERS comic adaptation by P. Craig Russell and the SANDMAN: OVERTURE prequel.
Art to the right by Mike Dringenberg from BOOK II