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on 4 October 2007
Neil Gaiman's Sandman collects the first 20 issues of the comic series , and highlights one of the UK's brightest talents in the industry . The story focuses on an immortal being , Dream , who is one of the seven Endless . These demigods are eternally tied to all living things in the universe ( not just on Earth as is demonstrated in the first few issues ).

The book is presented in an enlarged "prestige" format , with high quality paper and binding , as well as recoloured artwork throughout the book . There is also the added extras of Neil Gaiman's initial pitch and plot synopsis for the first few issues , and a complete script for the award winning 'Midsummer's Night Dream' issue .

The book is beautiful , and as you read on ( almost three years worth of issues ) you can see the increasing maturity of Gaiman and his artists . It may be quite pricey , but is certainly no dearer than if you had bought each issue individually ( or even now in terms of the rarity value ) , and represents excellent value .

Thoroughly recommended .
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on 13 May 2010
I will start by saying that this is an absolutely gorgeous book. It's a compilation that was obviously done with great care and attention to detail, and as a result it has a very imposing physical presence. I found myself checking if my hands were clean before picking it up to read (and I'm not kidding).

What to say about the comic itself... "Sandman" is fantastic, quite different from what I got used from a comic book (and it must have been quite ground-breaking at the time it came out). I started reading Watchmen at the same time I was reading The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1, and found myself comparing the two. While Watchmen is undoubtedly much more political and thought-provoking (and also quite original in its storytelling), Sandman is a lot more subtle. It's an intricate world of fantasies, of metaphors and of symbols. I could read only one story at the time, and after a while I figured out why. I found myself being unable to fully appreciate all the little details, references and symbols, because there were so many. Thus, I slowed down (and good thing I did), making this the book that has taken me the longest time to read in my life.

The final part of the book is dedicated to the making-of the comic, and is really an excellent read. I enjoyed immensely going through the whole issue of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", step by step, with the quirky commentaries of Neil Gaiman to the illustrator.

The artists that collaborated on this book are all very talented. I have a soft spot for Dave McKean's work, and his issue covers were another thing that made me love this book. If you like comic books, then I heartily recommend you get your "clean" hands on this.
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on 6 February 2007
First off, this is not an item you have to pay full price for so don't be daunted. Shop around and don't assume you have to fork over £70. I had to wait a bit, but in the end got it for about £[...] new from america.

Onto the book itself. I've only really begun to read comics recently (Personally I don't much like the term graphic novel, I think it was Neil Gaiman who said "Graphic novel is to comic, what 'lady of the night' is to prostitute) and what I've read has mainly been restricted to the darker comics: Sandman, Hellblazer, Lucifer, Sin City, etc. Sandman is by far the stand-out. Simply for the scope of the narrative (I'm a sucker for old mythology and high tragedy anyway), the quality of the writing, and the beautiful artwork.

That little intro established, I would like to say that while I object very much to the stereotyped view of the teenager with a comic book obsession, harping on about a spiderman villain in issue #91, I confess that reading Absolute Sandman brings out something of the anorak in me.

Effectively, what we have on our hands here is the equivalent of your favourite film, remastered, extended, on solid gold DVDs, with a leather slip case and about as many comentaries and interviews as you could wish. Not only is the first quarter of Gaiman's superb comic series reproduced here with early editions recoloured (the colouring on some of the early issues not being great), in large format, on beautiful quality paper, superbly bound, with a big presentation slip case, large amounts of concept art, Gaiman's original proposal, and so on and so on...

This books is quite simply a joy to read, even if you almost feel bad about touching it. It's that nice.

I won't really repeat anything about the comics themselves, as it has all been said in other places far more eloquently than I ever could. Anyway, if you're reading this chances are you're a fan, as few people would fork over this much for 1/4 of a comic series they didn't already know.

But to all you Gaiman fans out there: Start reserving your expendable income, the other volumes are coming.
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on 31 July 2012
bought this as a gift for a Gaimen fan - they response was all the young persons txt abbreviations - omfg etc. for the 60 quid price it was cheaper then buying in waterstones and better packaged than most box sets. score some brownie points, buy it as a gift. :)
think of it as a DVD, theres a few extras, a foreword, amazing art work, recoloured as well...
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on 4 January 2007
The quality of this volume is hard to beat, both in terms of content and packaging. The first 20 issues of Neil Gaiman's Sandman have been collected in the Absolute oversize format with new colouring that compliments the artwork.

I had no prior experience of Sandman and was blown away. Highly recommended.
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on 20 January 2012
this series of books is an absolute bargain at around £40 each. the scope and scale of the stories and their settings throughout history are an education as well as being very entertaining. absolutes 1-4 plus absolute death are all you need - avoid absolute 5 as it is a money making ploy.
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I've become a graphic novel fan recently through Joss Whedon's After The Fall series. I wondered where to go next, and then I remembered The Sandman. I knew next to nothing about the series other than I have often heard it spoken of in awed and reverent tones by people who are more at home with Joyce and Shakespeare than they are with comic books. Now being a fan of the medium I decided it was high time I went for the pinnacle of graphic novels. More than that, it had always seemed inevitable that I would - other things I liked seemed to be guiding me in that direction. I'm a fan of Terry Pratchett (favourite author), Tori Amos (favourite musician) and Babylon 5 (still my favourite science fiction series) - all of whom have strong Neil Gaiman connections. I read the first issue of The Sandman to see if I liked it, and then I did something wonderfully reckless and self-indulgent. I bought the entire series of it all at once - four Absolute Sandman collections, the Absolute Death edition and the hardback of Endless Nights. I'm not all the way through, but I haven't regretted it yet.

To review all the Absolute Sandman volumes and Absolute Death first in terms of their quality, these are every bit as well made and high quality as you'd expect from the price. Bound in faux leather and with glossy pages, bookmark ribbons and beautifully designed hardcover slipcases, these are tomes the quality of which would make wizards and priests envious. Not only that, the artwork has been re-coloured to make it the best that it can be.

Absolute Sandman Volume 1 contains the first twenty issues as well as many, many pages of wonderful miscellany. I know each volume contains something extra that the ten standard collections do not, so this is surely the ultimate treasure for any fan of The Endless.

I read the first story arc (which would be volume 1 of the standard collections) with the same awe and reverence that I have described hearing from others. Captivating, spellbinding, shocking and amazing - it has already entranced me into an avid fan. There's now something of a new ritual in my life. Each day I pick up a slipcase, tip out an absolute edition, sit down on the bed and read no more, no less than one chapter, put the volume back in the slipcase and stand it back with the others in its pride of place on a very sturdy shelf.
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on 28 December 2006
I started reading The High Cost of Living: Death when I was about 13. I've followed the Sandman and Death characters ever since. Most of my reading of this was done in my teens. I recommend it for teens in particular. It is not "adults only" unless intelligent, literate authors are off-limits to teens. While schools teach young boys & girls Animal Farm and 1981 and people at home are reading the safe Harry Potter out of creative interest in the otherworldly: this will show you the familiar as you never saw it. It will take the reader into the taboo realms of mortality, through the Arabian Nights, Shakespeare, mythology & folklore and saying goodbye to those you love. It will present those things familiar and taken for granted and show you how the King of Dreams & his court (& cohort: The Endless) dally in those aforesaid subjects. He is the stuff of nightmare, terrible to behold, with the emptiness of the cosmos starry in his eyes. He has a sister and once, a son, he had a lover and many friends along the way; rarely does he realize that last, however. What would the world be like without The Sandman?
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on 20 January 2009
When my kids grow up and come of age, I will pass onto them items of inheritance, good advice, driving lessons and copies of Sandman.

This is truly a worthy special edition that sits pride of place amongst my comic book collection. Beautifully told stories that are truly epic in scale with breathtakingly grand artwork that accompanies. Sandman glamorises simple stories of family, duty and honour in a way that transcends time, social circumstance and societal obligations.

Sandman represents the things we take for granted by humanising aspects of life humans fear and embrace in equal measures, such as death, dreams and desire - characters brought to impressive life by Gaiman.

I now have all 4 of these special editions and will cherish them till I die.
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on 15 December 2009
Really happy with this a high quality print and a 1/4 of the sandman comics in one massive black leather grimoire. Really good as so large shows up all the art work. I was unable to get this anywhere else.
Also made xmas easy as is a present for my partner.
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