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The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil…

The Sandman: The Dream Hunters (edition 1999)

by Neil Gaiman, Yoshitaka Amano (Illustrator)

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2,503322,434 (4.3)33
Title:The Sandman: The Dream Hunters
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Other authors:Yoshitaka Amano (Illustrator)
Info:DC Comics / Vertigo (1999), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 96 pages
Collections:Your library, Fantasy

Work details

The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman

Recently added byprivate library, AndyMD, nfwhite, readbearded, Ciruelo, Schlyne, AnirudhTewathia, JaynaLG, t_apollonius
  1. 10
    Yume No Hon: The Book of Dreams by Catherynne M. Valente (Jannes)
    Jannes: Japanese-inspired mythology of dream and unreality. Valente and Gaiman are both masters of their craft, each with a unique and powerful voice and an inventiveness that leaves you awe-struck and wishing for more.
  2. 00
    Moonsinger's Friends: In Honor of Andre Norton by Susan M. Shwartz (DisassemblyOfReason)
    DisassemblyOfReason: If you enjoyed The Dream Hunters, "The Foxwife" by Jane Yolen in Moonsinger's Friends features another fox spirit who falls in love with a mortal man.

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» See also 33 mentions

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3 years after the Sandman called it quits, and just over 10 years after issue #1 hit the stands, the Dream Hunters was the best return the King of All Night's Dreaming could've asked for.

I was nervous about this story: It's structure is a departure for the Dreaming, being a novella with accompanying illustrations instead of a 'comic book.' I didn't expect it could capture Dream's trademark twinkle nearly so well--and I was wrong. This is the Sandman, and it's one of Dream's most powerful stories. Gaiman spent years evoking the style of myths of all colors to tell stories about--well--stories, and this is him exercising that experience to pay homage to Japanese and Chinese folklore.*

This isn't a continuation of the original series, either, making it a safe read for new-comers. The nods are there--and satisfying--but they're unimportant to the story itself. The Dream Hunters is all Morpheus and his fatal hubris from beginning to end. He guides two potential lovers, a fox-spirit and a monk, to care for one another despite their doomed situation. Theirs is a sly, sad defense of forbidden love only Morpheus could deliver.

The illustrations decorating every other page were provided by Yoshitaka Amano, best known for his iconic Final Fantasy artwork. Amano's simple, yet complex images go hand-in-hand with Gaiman's prose. They're both detached and maybe a bit cold in the same fairy-tale way, gently carrying a story for any time and as old as time to the reader. His pencil lines are sparse, but still provide fine details to strike humanity in his characters. (& his ethereal style captures the '80s goth-punk vibe of Morpheus' (contextually-ridiculous) figure so well!)

I loved it. It was sad, tender, cute 'n' sweet, and oh-so-powerful: The best collaboration you could want from these two artists.

*The Dream Hunters has a Japanese flavor. Gaiman cites a collection (pub. 1908) of Japanese myths by Yei Theodora Ozaki as the source (with minimal alterations to fit in with the Dreaming) in the afterword. He was wrong, for whatever reason; it's source is Pu Songling (c. 1700) of the Qing Dynasty--though how similar it is, I have no idea. ( )
  rickyrickyricky | Nov 17, 2015 |
Exquisite ( )
  swampygirl | Dec 9, 2013 |
Gaiman + Amano is a pairing that's like a dream come true, pun intended. Gaiman blends his Sandman characters with a Japanese fable and Amano, the artist and character designer behind many Final Fantasy games illustrates. It's beautiful, and while some video game fans complain that Amano is a one-trick pony, I think that having more of his signature style can only be a good thing. ( )
1 vote BrookeAshley | May 21, 2013 |
It's a little inaccurate to tag this as a graphic novel, as it's actually more of a novella with illustrations. The illustrations are gorgeous -- but then, I expected that, since it's illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano (who did a lot of designs for the Final Fantasy game series).

It's a simple little story, based on a Japanese myth. The writing feels very much like a fairy tale, which is nice; Gaiman is good at adapting his writing. It's interesting to see how easily Dream and his realm are woven into the story which, I'm told, isn't much different to the original folk tale. ( )
1 vote shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
I first clicked on 4 stars and then thought, what are you thinking? You loved this. Gaiman's writing with incredible illustrations. A new folktale with all the power of a centuries old tale. ( )
1 vote akmargie | Apr 4, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neil Gaimanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amano, YoshitakaIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
PELLIZZARI, DANIELTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
A monk lived in solitude beside a temple on the side of a mountain.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the illustrated novel version The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano, which is different from the Graphic Novel adaptation by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russel.

Please, don't combine them.
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Book description
A novelette illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 156389629X, Paperback)

Sandman fans should feel lucky that master fantasy writer Neil Gaiman discovered the mythical world of Japanese fables while researching his translation of Hayao Miyazaki's film Princess Mononoke. At the same time, while preparing for the Sandman 10th anniversary, he met Yoshitaka Amano, his artist for the 11th Sandman book. Amano is the famed designer of the Final Fantasy game series. The product of Gaiman's immersion in Japanese art, culture, and history, Sandman: Dream Hunters is a classic Japanese tale (adapted from "The Fox, the Monk, and the Mikado of All Night's Dreaming") that he has subtly morphed into his Sandman universe.

Like most fables, the story begins with a wager between two jealous animals, a fox and a badger: which of them can drive a young monk from his solitary temple? The winner will make the temple into a new fox or badger home. But as the fox adopts the form of a woman to woo the monk from his hermitage, she falls in love with him. Meanwhile, in far away Kyoto, the wealthy Master of Yin-Yang, the onmyoji, is plagued by his fears and seeks tranquility in his command of sorcery. He learns of the monk and his inner peace; he dispatches demons to plague the monk in his dreams and eventually kill him to bring his peace to the onmyoji. The fox overhears the demons on their way to the monk and begins her struggle to save the man whom at first she so envied.

Dream Hunters is a beautiful package. From the ink-brush painted endpapers to the luminous page layouts--including Amano's gate-fold painting of Morpheus in a sea of reds, oranges, and violets--this book has been crafted for a sensuous reading experience. Gaiman has developed as a prose stylist in the last several years with novels and stories such as Neverwhere and Stardust, and his narrative rings with a sense of timelessness and magic that gently sustains this adult fairy tale. The only disappointment here is that the book is so brief. One could imagine this creative team being even better suited to a longer story of more epic proportions. On the final page of Dream Hunters, in fact, Amano suggest that he will collaborate further with Mr. Gaiman in the future. Readers of Dream Hunters will hope that Amano's dream comes true. --Patrick O'Kelley

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A fox who wins a monk's temple to use as her den falls in love with the cleric and bargains with the Japanese bringer of dreams to protect the monk from his enemy, the lord of a neighboring estate.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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