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The Sandman Vol. 7: Brief Lives (1994)

by Neil Gaiman, Dick Giordano (Illustrator), Jill Thompson (Illustrator)

Other authors: Todd Klein (Letterer), Dave McKean (Cover artist), Peter Straub (Afterword), Danny Vozzo (Colorist)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Sandman (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,790531,591 (4.46)73
Older and more powerful than the gods themselves, the Endless are a dysfunctional family of cosmic beings that have ruled over the realms of dream, desire, despair, destiny, destruction, death, and delirium since the beginning of time. But three hundred years ago, one of the mythical beings gave up his duties and left his realm, never to be seen again. BRIEF LIVES tells the tales of Delirium and older brother Dream on a mission to find their missing sibling, as they encounter immortal humans and various deities while trying to locate the prodigal Destruction. But as their adventure draws Dream into a final, tragic confrontation with his son Orpheus, the eternal being learns the true meaning of fate and consequences.… (more)

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» See also 73 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
What is really a road trip is really a helluvalot more than just a roadtrip when Dream and Delirium search for their long lost brother of change, Destruction.

Nothing is quite as funny and quirky in these Graphic Novels like Delirium, and nobody is quite as quietly disturbing, deep down. How does one need to so completely retreat from Delight by willingly throwing oneself into deepest madness? *shiver*

I really loved this volume. Things change.

The other most memorable and thought-provoking stories are those of Ishtar and Bast and Orpheus, but honestly, I can't bring myself to pick which I liked the most. They all resonate deeply. :)

This is the Sandman I remember decades later, and it holds up as endlessly now as it did the first time I read it. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Why does he have to be so...
The Sandman characters are so removed from life that I can never fathom why they make me feel so strongly. Or maybe because they are so removed from life, so much larger than life itself, that gives it the beauty nothing else could quite capture. ( )
  MahiShafiullah | May 25, 2020 |
In this book, we are fully back with the Endless family. Delirium wishes to see her brother Destruction who walked away from the family 300 years ago. After failing to persuade Desire and Despair to go with her, he manages to convince Dream to come with her. They start with his last named contacts, but as they visit them, these people are either killed or run away and hide. After Dream talks to one of Destruction’s former lovers, Ishtar, she performs her final furious dance at the strip club where she works. It is destroyed, and she dies too. Dream realises that as they seek Destruction, they are leaving a trail of death and destruction behind them, and decides to cease searching. Delirium withdraws into her realm, shocked and angry that they have given up. After seeing the goddess Bast, Dream is told by Death that they must continue. After visiting Destiny they are directed to Orpheus, Dream’s son, who knows the whereabouts of Destruction.

With this new information they find him and his dog in a small cabin, painting and writing. During dinner he admits that he had put safeguards in place should anyone try and locate him, and reveals why he had abandoned his realm. He decides to put himself beyond the reach of all, by disappearing into space. Dream returns to Orpheus, and as a way of thanks, permits him finally to die.

Whilst it is not as bleaks as some of the earlier books, Gaiman has taken these stories as a way of introducing us to the wider family of Dream, and the various power plays between the siblings and their strange roles that they have. Great illustrations make this such a good series to read. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
This entry in the series was different from the others in that the entire volume was the continuation of one story-the search for the missing member of the Endless-Destruction.

We also get to see the final story of Orpheus, Dream's (Morpheus') son. It was a very sad note to end on, or was it? I felt a little bit of hopefulness that perhaps Orpheus was finally reunited with Eurydice after years of suffering.

This volume also had a nice afterword from Peter Straub that I enjoyed.

I thought this was yet another excellent entry in the series and I'm excited to move on to the next! ( )
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
While every bit as well written as the rest of The Sandman, Brief Lives doesn't stand on it's own quite as well. Whereas the previous books are either a collection of shorts or a complete arc, this one is a segment of a much larger storyline, and as such doesn't quite reach closure. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Dec 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, NeilAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giordano, DickIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Thompson, JillIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, ToddLetterersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Straub, PeterAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vozzo, DannyColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Locke, Vincesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
As he laye unravelling in the agonie of death, the Standers-by could hear him say softly, I have seen the Glories of the world.
john aubrey
the minutes of lives
Dedication
For Bob and Allison on the occasion of their engagement. Pete and Dana on the occasion of their wedding. Beth and Chris, on the occasion of my dedicating a book to them. - Neil
for Basil - Jill T.
to Mom and Dad for their encouragement and support and to Khrysta for helping me through the rough times. - Vince
First words
It is of course, a miracle.
Quotations
The priests of Orpheus have had thousands of years to learn the art of misdirection.
I know how gods begin, Roger. We start as dreams. Then we walk out of dreams into the land. We are worshipped and loved, and take power to ourselves. And then one day there's no one left to worship us.
And in the end, each little god and goddess takes its last journey back into dreams...and what comes after, not even we knows.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Collects "Brief Lives" parts 1-9, originally published in The Sandman #41-49.
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