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The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House by Neil…

The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House (edition 1991)

by Neil Gaiman, Chris Bachalo Jones, et al. Malcolm (Illustrator), K. C. Carlson (Editor), Clive Barker (Introduction)

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Title:The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Other authors:Chris Bachalo Jones, et al. Malcolm (Illustrator), K. C. Carlson (Editor), Clive Barker (Introduction)
Info:DC Comics (1991), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:20th century, British, graphic novel, fantasy, The Sandman

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The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman

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English (74)  Spanish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (78)
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Volume II begins with a recap of everything that happened in the first volume. There’s a story set in the midst of a barren desert about a queen named Nada. She falls in love at first sight, but she can’t find the man who stole her heart.

Then we move onto Rose the main character in this volume. She discovers her real grandmother is alive and well in England. She returns to America to search for her missing brother Jed. She moves into a boarding house with a collection of strange characters, Gilbert the landlord, Ken and Barbie, and two creepy sisters who collects spiders.

We learn that Rose is actually a dream vortex and her presence is causing problems. While the people in the boarding house all dream very different dreams, but walls begin to break down and Rose's vortex merges their dreams. Meanwhile Morpheus is searching for the missing nightmares who escaped from the dream world while he was imprisoned. We also stop by a horrifying “cereal” convention. Without going into detail I’ll just note that this part was seriously scary.

One of my favorite stories in this volume was about Hobbs, a man who wants to live forever. He meets Morpheus and the two decide to meet up once every hundred years. During that time they run into Shakespeare and other major historical events. I love that Morpheus, who is so lonely and distant, finally has a friend of sorts in Hobbs.

Neil Gaiman always weaves mythology, religion, fables, and pieces of history together in such an interesting way. Nothing is off limits in his writing. I love that he uses all those elements in his stories. It’s the plot, not the illustrations that keep me coming back to these. Although I do love how every character’s thoughts and dialogue has a different font.

BOTTOM LINE: Whenever I read one of the Sandman comics I struggle with how dark some of the content is. But when I get to the end I tend to love the overarching message, depth of character and the well-thought-out plot. I am glad that I got a more balanced taste of the Sandman comics instead of just stopping after the very first one, but I do think they are a bit too dark for me.

"Life as a human contains substance I never dreamed of in the dreaming, Lord. The little victories, and the tiny defeats." ( )
  bookworm12 | Feb 12, 2015 |
I'm working my way through a reread of these and they are just as enjoyable the second time through. If by "enjoyable" I mean disturbing, dark, gruesome, lurid, confusing, and yet still somehow lovely. And I guess I do. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
Like the first volume, this book was a joy to read. :)

I really can't believe that I spent my whole life looking down on comics when there was stuff like this out there waiting to be read. I suppose I shall have to take the time to catch up now. :)

The writing and the stories are creative, visionary and interesting, and the characters are fascinating. I really love the 'metaphysical' characters, or as Death says in the first volume "anthropomorphic personifications." Dream is still by far my favorite of them, although Desire was really...something. Still not exactly sure what s/he was trying to do, but hopefully we'll find out about that more later. :)

Can't wait to read more! ( )
  sammii507 | Aug 19, 2014 |
The first big story arc where we meet many new characters including some of Sandman's siblings. The storytelling is just remarkable and puts you in a state of not feeling worthy of reading its greatness. ( )
  capiam1234 | Jul 4, 2014 |
A dream vortex threatens to disturb the dreaming of all people and thus the order of the waking world as well. The Sandman/Dream/Morpheus must determine who's behind it and stop it.

Important note: There will be some spoilers in this review, although I will try to be as vague as possible.

To start off, I have to admit that I am not really a Gaiman fan and I've been more or less forcing myself to read a number of his works (children's, comics, and novels) because they have gotten so much buzz and positive feedback. This book is the end of the line for me and The Sandman series though. I really could not get in to this one, as with other Gaiman books but even more so. With past Gaiman reads, I've felt like there's nothing I can point to that's technically wrong with them, but I just had an overall feeling of "eh" about them. Here it's a different story ...

For some reason, this story just didn't seem to all mesh together. While there were a lot of strands going on in Preludes and Nocturnes, they eventually all came together and made sense. Nothing appeared out of place by the end. With The Doll's House, I felt like there were plenty of things introduced that were not really related to the story here or didn't add anything absolutely necessary. For the former, I'm thinking particularly of the section titled Men of Good Fortune, which shows Dream making a friend of a man who neither ages nor dies over the centuries. This was all well and good, but it seemed completely out of place. As this book made references to the previous one and I'm aware that the next one contains more of the Shakespeare plotline briefly introduced in this section, I can see how this is an important setup. But it isn't beneficial to the story at hand in my opinion and just breaks up the flow. For the latter, I'm thinking of the whole serial killer plotline and their anonymous "Cereal Convention" (a title which had made me yukking). I know the Corinthian was somehow related to the dream world, but I felt that was never fully explained so his presence was somewhat lackluster. The entire Cereal Convention seemed to take place solely for the Corinthian and Gilbert to run into each other and for Rose to get into a dangerous situation so that The Sandman could save her, thus showing that he had no personal issue against her. Altogether, this book felt disjointed and didn't come together satisfactorily by the end.

In this book I also noticed some troublesome issues related to the representation of women. At one point, there is an attempted rape, after which the victim remembers little, with the narration noting: "Rose doesn't know what's going on. Doesn't understand what's happening. Doesn't care. One thing penetrated. One thing she knows. She's getting out." The emphasis is mine, because it really stood out to me as ridiculous that Mr. Gaiman chose that wording. I'm not sure if he thought he was being clever or he was just oblivious, but I did not find that word choice to be appropriate. Meanwhile, seeing from the perspective of a serial killer is always a tricky thing for an author to do. If they do it right, that means they create a despicable human being whose mind we enter, which does not lend for pleasant reading. It remains a difficult line for authors to tread to create a believable character without offending too many readers. Populating his graphic novel with numerous serial killers gives Gaiman an harder task. For the most part, I wasn't too turned off by the serial killers' perspectives, but I did find it hard to accept the opening "joke" told at the convention: "I, uh, heard a story recently I thought might amuse you. It seems that the telephone rang in a police station. The duty cop answers and a woman's voice says, 'Help -- I've been reaped!' He says, 'Don't you mean raped?' 'No,' she says. 'He used a scythe.'" Haha, funny joke (in sarcasm). I'd heard before on multiple occasions how The Sandman series was a more literary set of graphic novels that appeal to women, but I guess I just don't see it.

Overall, I wasn't thrilled with the content of this book and the illustrations were perfectly fine but not necessarily notably exceptional. As I noted earlier, this is the last of The Sandman books that I plan to read. I haven't given up Gaiman's oeuvre entirely, but this series has not done anything for me. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Mar 16, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (47 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neil Gaimanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bachalo, ChrisIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dringenberg, MikeIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Zulli, MichaelIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
"Dreams and visions are infused into men for their advantage and instruction..." -Artemidoros at Daldus, Oneirocritica Second Century A.D.
"Dreams are weird and stupid and they scare me." -Rose Walker April 1990
For Pete Atkins, Nick Vince, Anne and Kate Bobby for no particular reason (Neil Gaiman)
To GiGi, Paula and Eric (Mike Dringenberg)
To Malcolm Campbell (Malcolm Jones III)
First words
There are tales that are told many times.
We do not murder for a profit. We do not murder for governments, or for hire. We kill to kill. We are entrepreneurs in an expanding field.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Collects "The Doll's House" parts 1-8, originally published in The Sandman #9-16. Early editions also include "The Sound of Her Wings" from The Sandman #8.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0930289595, Paperback)

New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision. During Morpheus's incarceration, three dreams escaped the Dreaming and are now loose in the waking world. At the same time, a young woman named Rose Walker is searching for her little brother. As their stories converge, a vortex is discovered that could destroy all dreamers, and the world itself. Features an introduction by Clive Barker. This volume includes issues 8-16 of the original series.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the dream world of the Sandman, Rose Walker encounters many bizzare things in the doll's house, including a serial killer convention, long-lost relatives, and herself.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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