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The Sandman: Brief Lives, Vol. 7 Paperback – 1 Dec 1994

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (1 Dec. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852865776
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852865771
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 1.1 x 25.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 430,036 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.

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Justin Sheppherd on 24 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
For me, The Sandman is the finset work of comics literature we've yet seen, and "Brief Lives" is my favourite story from the run. Let me tell you why.
Neil Gaiman was once asked to summarize The Sandman in one sentance, and his reply went something like this:
"The Lord of Dreams learns that he must change or die, and he makes his decision"
Brief Lives is a road trip, and such tales are essentially about self-discovery. What Dream discovers about himself in this story, as he travels the waking world in the company of his youngest sister, the adorable, fizzy princess Delirium, is two-fold.
The first thing he learns is that life and change are inseperable. Dream is travelling with Delirium, who embodies Change, in search if their absentee brother Destruction, who quit his position 300 years ago. Delirium wants to see her most beloved brother again, and find out why he left. Dream is just looking for some distraction after the end of his latest doomed romance. The answers they find say more about Dream's emotional immaturity, his inability to change and his stubborn obsession with his duties as Lord of Dreams, than he is comfortable with hearing.
Which leads us to the second thing Dream learns; that his duty to his work is far less important than his duty to the ones he loves and who love him, and to his own heart. This understanding leads Dream to a course of action that is at once the finest act of kindness and mercy we have seen him perform (at a huge emotional cost to himself), but which has enormous consequences in later stories.
Throughout the story, Neil Gaiman's writing shines. His grasp of character, story and dialogue has never been better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Delirium of the Endless has resolved to find her missing brother, Destruction. She asks for the help of her family, but the only one to respond positively is Dream. Recently dumped by a mortal woman, Dream needs something to take his mind off moping and decides this quest is the answer. He and Delirium set out on what promises to be an adventure...until people start dying and Dream is asked the impossible by his son.

Brief Lives is the seventh volume in the Sandman series, picking up after the events of the Fables and Reflections collection. In particular, it expands on the story Orpheus in which Dream's son awoke the rage of the Furies and was left in a dire predicament. Dream, who has been changed more than he will care to admit by a century's imprisonment at the hands of a mortal, finds himself in a situation where he requires Orpheus's help but the price that is asked in return is dire. This in turn has grave consequences that will extend across the remainder of the series's run. This dark undercurrent gives Brief Lives a lot of weight for something that starts off as a light-hearted adventure (or at least as close as Sandman ever gets).

The collection has a number of memorable characters, such as Destruction's laconic talking dog Barnabas, but it's Delirium who receives the most attention and development. Delirium talks in non-sequiturs and apparently has the attention span of a five-year-old, but during the course of the story we learn more about her and how she sees the world. We also get interesting glimpses of her former life as Delight, before she changed (for reasons even the other Endless do not understand). The collection also delves deeply into the purpose and nature of the Endless, explaining who they are and what they do.
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Format: Paperback
With The Sandman: Fables & Reflections ending up being such a letdown, I was hoping that this seventh omnibus, The Sandman: Brief Lives, would be a return to form. The last couple of installments had been great, and I had heard a lot of positive things about this story arc.

Well, I'm glad to report that The Sandman: Brief Lives is my favorite omnibus thus far! In the past, I have complained that the plotlines are often all over the place, without any sort of continuity, that many of the stories appear to be vignettes that have little or nothing to do with one another. Yet the great thing about this story arc is that it does tie a lot of what seemed to be loose ends together. The Sandman: Brief Lives unveils connections between various plotlines which, at face value, did not appear to be linked.

Here's the blurb:

From Neil Gaiman's award-winning Sandman series comes the longest story arc in Gaiman's extraordinary saga of the Endless. This is the story of the search for the Sandman's long missing brother, Destruction, and of the consequences of that endeavour. The great quest begins when Delirium, the youngest of the Endless family, prevails upon her brother Dream (the Sandman), to help her find her missing sibling. Their travels take them through the world of the waking until a final confrontation with the missing member of the Endless and the resolution of The Sandman's painful relationship with his son, Orpheus, change the Endless forever.

The presence of Delirium helped with the overall characterization. Like Death, she brings out another side of Dream that shows a more human side to the character. It was a delight to follow their adventure as they wander in search of Destruction.
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