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Preludes & Nocturnes (Sandman, Vol. 1) (Sandman Collected Library) Paperback – 5 Apr 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (5 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563890119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563890116
  • Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 1 x 25.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 559,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neil Gaiman is a tour de force of creative talent. He is the bestselling author of Coraline and Stardust, both of which are major motion films. Neil also co-wrote the script for Beowulf starring Anthony Hopkins and Angeline Jolie. He is the creator/writer of the award-winning Sandman comic series and has written several books for children. His latest title, The Graveyard Book, won the Teenage Booktrust Prize 2009. Neil has been immortalised in song by Tori Amos, and is a songwriter himself. His official website now has more than one million unique visitors each month, and his online journal is syndicated to thousands of blog readers every day.

Product Description

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the most critically acclaimed comics writer of the 1990s and is the author of numerous books and graphic novels. He is the New York Times No. 1 bestselling author of American Gods and Anansi Boys, and won critical acclaim for his first feature film, Mirrormask, with long-time collaborator Dave McKean. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tasha S. on 23 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman's novels and television work, so I decided to branch out and give his Sandman series a go. I'm not a comic book/graphic novel reader at all - the last time I picked up a comic, it was an Archie one, if that tells you anything? - so I started reading Preludes and Nocturnes without any real idea of what to expect. Hopefully if you're in the same boat as me - comic book ignoramus with an interest in reading more of Gaiman's work - this review may be helpful to you.

First off, Sandman is just as fantastic as everyone has told you it is. It's macabre and madcap and thoughtful and sometimes just flat-out, unashamedly poetic. I hadn't realised comics could be so thoroughly lyrical, but there are times I've sat there reading and just been blown away by how beautiful it all is. Sandman reminded me a lot of American Gods and Anansi Boys, at times, but it also stands on its own as an original and really excellent piece of work. If you can get hold of the whole series and bunker down for a long reading session, I highly recommend that you do. You won't regret it.

That said, I've got to be honest: I didn't like Preludes and Nocturnes.

Preludes and Nocturnes plants the seeds of the bigger stories that follow. It also introduces us to our main protagonist Dream of the Endless, reveals the tragic and eerie world of the series, and also gives us our first meeting with Death (who is awesome, so awesome). But as a whole its the weakest volume of the series. The writing is really hit and miss - Gaiman admits in the volume that he thinks is a lot of it is not his best work, as he was still getting the hang of writing a serial comic, and he's dead right.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER on 16 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback
I read this one some 10 years or so ago when I was slowly returning to comics and, having re-read it now, I still maintain that Preludes and Nocturnes is a poor place to start with this series - though it’s a decent book.

My first time around, I read Sandman totally out of sequence starting with Vol 3, then Vol 5, then a couple more volumes (I was just grabbing whatever was on the shelves that week!) and I read Vol 1 towards the end thinking what an unimpressive first volume it was.

I’d recommend someone looking to understand the brilliance of this series to start with the standalone books, Vol 3 and Vol 6 rather than with Vol 1 - those are much more representative of why people love Sandman so much.

Alright - enough prelude! Onto the… nocturnes… ?

Set in the early 20th century, an Aleister Crowley-esque type tries to summon Death and gain immortality - except he botches the spell and gets Dream instead. Dream is imprisoned for 70 years until he escapes and begins to resume his role in the universe. But first he must gather his instruments: his helm, his dreamstone, and his bag of sand.

My biggest complaint of this book is the same criticism I have for a lot of Neil Gaiman’s work: the pacing is much too slow. But this is especially pronounced in a comic! Gaiman’s style was - and is - that of a long-winded storyteller who can spin a good yarn but will not be rushed and this can lead to a much less exciting read.

Not only that but he comes from the Alan Moore school of writing comics where each page is severely bogged down with blocks of text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erin Britton on 15 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
The Sandman is a landmark comic series; right up there with The Dark Knight Returns, V for Vendetta, Watchmen and Sin City its appeal has transcended the traditional comic market and it is still one of the most loved and revered series to date. Although The Eternals and Marvel 1602 were great books, it is in The Sandman, a collection of stories that are timeless, resonant and universal, that Neil Gaiman shows off his mastery of the comics genre. Preludes and Nocturnes is the first of twelve trade paperbacks and collects issues 1 to 8 of The Sandman.

The first seven issues collected in Preludes and Nocturnes comprise the "More Than Rubies" story-arc that introduces Dream [or Morpheus as he is also known] and establishes the world of The Sandman. The series begins in 1916, with Dream having been captured and imprisoned by Roderick Burgess, a magician who had hoped to capture Death and so achieve immortality. With no immediate avenue of escape open to him, Dream has no choice but to bide his time as best as he can until his captor dies and he is, indirectly, freed. However, when Burgess does eventually die, his son Alexander takes over as Dream's captor until finally, in 1988, he inadvertently weakens the containment spell and Dream is able to invade the sleep of his captors and secure his freedom. After punishing Alexander with an unending cycle of nightmares, a weakened Dream journeys to his realm via the dreamscape and begins a quest to locate his missing totems of power.

Preludes and Nocturnes ends with "The Sound Of Her Wings", an important single-issue story that serves as an epilogue to the preceding story-arc. Dream's older sister, Death, is introduced as she attempts to talk Dream out of a brief period of depression.
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