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The Sandman: Dream country by Neil Gaiman
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The Sandman: Dream country (edition 1991)

by Neil Gaiman

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5,55863777 (4.24)1 / 196
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Title:The Sandman: Dream country
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:DC Comics (1991), Edition: Second Printing, Paperback
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The Sandman: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman (Author)

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English (59)  Portuguese (1)  All (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All (63)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
After the very continuous narrative of the previous volume, I was somewhat disappointed, at first, to come into this fragmented collection, but in the end, I was actually glad. In fact, I just wish Gaiman had saved some of his unrelated asides from the previous volumes (I'm looking at you, Part Four of Vol. 2) for this collection to make it a stronger stand-alone. Because my biggest criticism of this volume is that there isn't enough to it. The four stories themselves comprise just two-thirds of the book. The rest is the original script from one of the stories, which was interesting and illuminating to read, but the cynic in me doesn't 100% buy Gaiman's reasons for including it. I mean, yes, I believe that those are the reasons why he assented to including it, but I'm guessing that his editor said, "Look, Neil. We aren't going to be able to sell this volume at the same price point as all the rest of the books if it's this slim. Either give us another story or compromise with me on another way to fill the pages. Why don't we take this opportunity to reprint one of your scripts. Readers would love to peek behind the curtain and see how this stuff is actually made." "That's called selling out, Karen," Neil said. "I'm not going to include one of my scripts just to sell copies." "It's not selling out," his editor assured him. "How did you learn to write a comics script?" And so he was convinced that there was a larger, better reason for including it rather than simple economics. But I digress. Because this is a collection of five self-contained pieces, I want to say a brief word about each of them. Here goes.

"Calliope" - I love the story here. It's darker, somehow, than an entire volume about serial killers. I think it's because serial killers like those in The Doll's House actually exist. Meanwhile, muses like Calliope are only fantasy, and gratefully so because if they did exist, they would probably be abused in the way the story gets at. The fact that the villain is a writer, as is his creator and, as it were, am I made the story all the more haunting for me. I felt so-so about the illustration. More on that later.

"A Dream of a Thousand Cats" - I loved this story even more and especially appreciated it's placement following "Calliope." There's a horrifying moment, to be sure, but there's also humor and levity that I needed after the weightiness of the first story. I can see this humor leading others to dismiss this story as frivolous, but I think it's what made it so great. It is serious. And dark. But it doesn't take itself too seriously, and at the end, I was smiling instead of just feeling icky.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" - I didn't appreciate this one as much as I would have if I liked and remembered Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream better. I never fully appreciated the play, though not for lack of trying, but I regret that now. I loved that the character of Shakespeare made his return. (All the more reason to have included 2.4 in this collection, perhaps.) This is often regarded as Gaiman's best work, and though it isn't my favorite, I can see why. It's complex. Unfortunately, much of its complexity was over my head.

"Façade" - This was my least favorite of the short stories, but I still enjoyed it. I had a suspicion that there was some intertextuality that I wasn't picking up on, a suspicion that I confirmed after finishing the book. The main character is "Element Girl," an obscure character from the DC universe. The Sandman is my first introduction to the comic book world, so my knowledge of the DC universe is limited to the first three volumes of Sandman and some of the more popular movie adaptations. Mostly Batman. That's lame. I know. But it explains why I wasn't as into this one as an avid DC-reader likely would have been.

Original Script of "Calliope" - So, as much as I hated on the inclusion of this script in the collection, as a writer (one who has never tried writing comics before), I found it very interesting. It was surprisingly conversational, which was neat, and very specific. For the first half of the script, I was flipping back and forth between it and the final product to see how well they matched up, and I found that the parts I didn't like about "Calliope" were liberties that the artist had taken with the original concept. (Some of the liberties made it better though, so maybe it's a wash?) Reading the script showed just how collaborative the process of comic writing is--that even though it's Gaiman's name that got me to give the series a try, how much I enjoy reading it is greatly influenced by how his ideas are realized in the visual art. Another thing that intrigued me was how conscious Gaiman was of the pagination. He knew exactly when a new page would be started, when we'd be turning the page, and even how the inclusion of advertisements in the individual issues would cause a difference in layout from the collected volume. That's a lot to consider! I didn't end up reading the entire script all the way through--flipping back and forth was annoying since there aren't any page numbers on the final version to match up with the script--but it was definitely illuminating to go backstage and see how, exactly, the Sandman comics are made. In the end, I suppose I'm glad it was included. Better than just the four stories on their own, anyway. ( )
1 vote StefanieBrookTrout | Feb 4, 2017 |
I took a break from flying through Discworld books and read this. The introduction describes it as a bridge between volumes 2 and 4, and it did feel like Dream was off doing important things while we paid attention to some plain old humans. But somehow Gaiman made that interesting and I didn't even wonder too much about the Endless. I'm looking forward to volume 4! ( )
  jlharmon | Nov 3, 2016 |
*Book source ~ Library

From Goodreads:
The third book of the Sandman collection, DREAM COUNTRY continues the fantastical mythology of Morpheus, the King of Dreams. In these centuries-spanning tales, the powerful entity known as the Sandman interacts with a diverse assortment of humans, fairies, heroes, and animals as he walks the mortal plane. Including an amazing encounter with William Shakespeare and an interesting take on the origin and first performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," this book depicts the dreaming world of cats, the tragic life of forgotten super-heroes and the folly of imprisoning and torturing a former lover of the King of Dreams.

I actually didn’t like this one as much as the other two volumes I’ve read, yet I still give it a 4 for creativity, weirdness and artwork. I like Calliope’s story the best and A Midsummer Night’s Dream the least because it doesn’t make any sense to me and I’m really not a fan of Shakespeare. I only flipped through the script for Calliope because while it was interesting, it wasn’t so interesting I wanted to take the time to read it all.

In this volume:
Calliope ~ Poor Calliope
A Dream of a Thousand Cats ~ Very bizzare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream ~ Shakespeare, Neil Gaiman-style
Façade ~ Weird and a bit disturbing
Script for Calliope ~ behind the stage of how this comic was written and drawn ( )
  AVoraciousReader | Jan 20, 2016 |
This one was a bit more enjoyable for me. More than the second, less than the first. I'm having a hard time getting into this series, but I'm told "just wait". So I'm doing just that. ( )
  liso | Sep 18, 2015 |
I liked these four stand alone stories before what I imagine will be the next story arc in the series. Enjoying them. Midsummer was very ambitious! ( )
  BooksForDinner | Jul 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, NeilAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doran, ColleenIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones III, MalcolmIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, KelleyIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Vess, CharlesIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Erickson, SteveIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, ToddLetterersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vozzo, DannyColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"I do not know whether you know all that is to be known concerning small mirrors: but of this, silence." - Arthur Machen, in a letter to James Branch Cabell. 17 Feb. 1918
"Writers are liars." -Erasmus Fry, a conversation 5 May 1986
Dedication
First words
May, 1986. So what is it? It smells quite disgusting.
Quotations
When the last living thing dies, my job will be finished. I'll put the chairs on the tables, turn out the lights, and lock the universe behind me when I leave.
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Book description
Collects "Calliope," "A Dream of a Thousand Cats," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Façade," originally published in The Sandman #17-20.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 156389016X, Paperback)

Absolutely NO publisher overstock or black remainder mark on page edges!! BRAND NEW, NEVER READ -- A+ MINT!! NO blemishes. From a dry/smoke free environment --Tight, crisp, and clean - you'll hear the book CRACK when opened. Published by Vertigo Press. Book has NO names, highlights, underlines, dog ears, loose pages, or wrinkles. Soft cover is in excellent condition and has cover illustration featuring the "wooden face"!! An exceptional copy! GIFT QUALITY!! NO remainder mark. NOT ex-library book with markings. I ship daily. Carefully packaged with bubble wrap for the journey and I provide email verification at time of shipment. Delivered in 3-6 days (Expedited) or 6 -14 days (Standard) -- additional delivery time required for AK, HI and APO. Expedited shipping recommended for speedy delivery. Book will ship same or next day! Customer service and satisfaction is a priority. Know EXACTLY what you are buying with my detailed description -- Full disclosure on all books all the time! Buy with conidence from an Amazon Pro-Merchant

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:29 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The third book of the Sandman collection is a series of four short comic book stories. In each of these otherwise unrelated stories, Morpheus serves only as a minor character. Here we meet the mother of Morpheus's son, find out what cats dream about, and discover the true origin behind Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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