Customer Reviews


13 Reviews
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Dream
One of the best things about the Sandman series is that it isn't actually necessary to have Dream -- or any of the other Endless -- in much of the story. Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country" demonstrates that beautifully, with four lusciously haunting, sometimes horrifying tales of magic, muses, cats and faerie royals.

In "Calliope," a struggling...
Published on 26 Aug. 2011 by EA Solinas

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The series continues to unimpress
I’ve been re-reading a lot of books that I enjoyed years ago recently and it’s been very rewarding for the most part, rediscovering books I loved all over again. Unfortunately Sandman - a series I really liked the first time round - is not among them and it’s so disappointing! What I remember of Sandman was that the first two volumes weren’t that...
Published 4 months ago by Sam Quixote


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Dream, 26 Aug. 2011
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
One of the best things about the Sandman series is that it isn't actually necessary to have Dream -- or any of the other Endless -- in much of the story. Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country" demonstrates that beautifully, with four lusciously haunting, sometimes horrifying tales of magic, muses, cats and faerie royals.

In "Calliope," a struggling writer is willing to do anything if he can write his second novel, but he's got a wicked case of writer's block. So he gains possession of Calliope, the muse of literature, and rapes her so that he can write once again. Desperate to be free of her imprisonment, Calliope calls on the only one who can help her.

Then "A Dream of a Thousand Cats" shows a congregation of cats, one of whom tells a story of how her owners murdered her kittens. This led her into a journey into the Dream Country, so that she might see the truth about dreams and reality.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" takes place as Shakespeare and his company perform the titular play on a hillside. Morpheus appears, along with the Faerie Court of Titania and Auberon, and the origins of Shakespeare's talent are revealed at last as the play goes on.

And finally, "Facade" introduces us to Element Girl/Rainie, a retired superheroine who lives a reclusive life because of her frightening appearance. When an old friend calls her, she crafts a false face to hide her appearance -- only to have it fall off during their dinner. The devastated Rainie longs to die, but it will take a visit from one of the Endless to help her...

Despite the title ("The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country"), there's not much of either the Dream Country or Morpheus in this volume. In fact, there's only one foray into the Dream Country, and Morpheus makes two cameos, one major appearance, and is completely absent from the story "Facade."

Rather, this is a chance for Neil Gaiman to flex his storytelling muscles. Each of the stories is painfully bittersweet, and are shadowed by loss, loneliness and misery. There are some moments of wrenching horror (Calliope being raped for inspiration), but Gaiman also shows off his dark, witty sense of humor as well ("'I am that merry wanderer of the night'? I am that giggling-dangerous-totally-bloody-psychotic-menace-to-life-and-limb, more like it").

And the art is absolutely gorgeous. Charles Vess's delicately-drawn, colorful pictures make the entire faerie story come to life, and the muted, shadowed art of the cats and their vision of the Dream Country is entrancing. "Calliope" is brightly colored but clouded with shadows and darkness, as if the writer's heart is overshadowing the world around him.

"The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country" has small but significant connections to both the Sandman and the Dream Country -- four haunting, bittersweet stories from a master storyteller.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Individual stories from the world of The Dreaming, 28 April 2001
Compared to the others in this series, I was very disappointed in this collection, lacking the depth and emotional involvement I am used to in Gaiman's work. Having said that, its still miles better than a lot of current comic book writing! This volume contains a very nifty tale involving a man searching for inspiration literally finding his Muse, A Dream of A Thousand Cats, which lots of people really love, but I just find sketchy, Facade, where Death makes a welcome appearance and the most complete story, the award winning A Midsummer Night's Dream. This is the tale of Shakespeare's first presentation of his play for a VERY special audience... So, not top-notch Sandman, but if you are a fan, there's a lot you will get out of this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars The series continues to unimpress, 18 Feb. 2015
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I’ve been re-reading a lot of books that I enjoyed years ago recently and it’s been very rewarding for the most part, rediscovering books I loved all over again. Unfortunately Sandman - a series I really liked the first time round - is not among them and it’s so disappointing! What I remember of Sandman was that the first two volumes weren’t that great (and that checks out) but that the series starts to take off in this third volume, Dream Country, and… it doesn’t. It’s basically stuck in the mud for the third time.

Unlike the last two books which were lengthy narratives, Dream Country is a series of four thematically linked short stories with Dream and Death making cameos but not taking centre stage. I almost gave up this re-read after the first few pages where we see a woman getting raped. Wow, this was darker than I remembered! If I never see another rape in a comic, it’ll be too soon.

That story is Calliope where a desperate author attempts to overcome writer’s block by taking the physical manifestation of Homer’s muse back to his house, locking her in a room, and raping her for years. Turns out rape is just what he needs because he becomes a terrific success - except he doesn’t realise that Calliope is Morpheus’ ex. And the Dream King has very recent unpleasant memories of being held against his will…

I suppose it’s a noteworthy story for giving the reader more of Morpheus’ life story - he has a son, he had a partner - and it sets up one of the book’s two main themes: disguise/deception. But I felt the writer’s success was contrived and unconvincing and the story overall deeply repulsive. Not a good start at all and it may have coloured my overall perception of the book for the worse.

The second story is a whimsical fable of talking cats, one of whom recounts the story of how they once ruled the world until the humans dreamed that they were the rulers and reversed the roles. It’s cute and underlines the series theme of the power of dreams, and this volume’s other major theme of power displacement, but it’s kinda forgettable. It’s also the first time we see Morpheus live up to his name, shape-shifting from his human-ish form into a Dream cat, showing that he is Dream for all beings, not just humans.

The World Fantasy Award-winning A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the third and best story of the book. It’s 1593 and Will Shakespeare and his troupe of actors, Lord Strange’s Men, are in the provinces, about to perform Shakespeare’s Dream for the first time - and in front of a unique audience of faerie folk, guests of the Dream King himself.

I’m quite surprised that this is the second story in the book where a writer has had their abilities gifted to them by an ethereal presence. It annoys me a bit that Neil Gaiman is, in a way, undercutting humanity’s achievements by saying this - it’s just so reductive! And, though I can appreciate the clever way that Gaiman basically retells the Dream during the performance of the Dream (with Dream in the audience), it still felt like a pretty flat story.

But I am a huge fan of Charles Vess’ art and his Robin Goodfellow was wonderfully creepy (think a smaller Grinch-esque figure with a twisted mindset). And that scene between the Lady Titania (the real Faerie Queene) and Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, was especially chilling, as she hints of a plan to abduct him to her realm. In real life, Hamnet would die three years later aged 11 and a few years after that Shakespeare would write Hamlet, but the suggestion that Titania stole him away to live amongst the faeriefolk is both charming and horrifying at once - a brilliant writerly flourish from Gaiman.

The fourth and final story closes out the volume on the same miserable tone it opened with as Urania Blackwell aka DC superhero and Metamorpho-lookalike Element Girl sits alone in a flat, depressed and suicidal. Yup, this is the sad death of a minor superhero! Yeesh…

Goth chick Death makes a cameo that lightens the mood a bit but otherwise this wasn’t that great a story either. Again it hits the themes of power transference and deception (she can change her appearance using different elements), but that unshakeable gloomy tone is hard to like. This came out in the early 90s and it’s clear we’re still feeling the after effects of Alan Moore’s Watchmen where all superheroes must be dark and gritty beyond belief. I’m just not into that.

On the whole I wasn’t that impressed with Gaiman’s work in this book. Midsummer is the only story worth reading while the others range from horrible to miserable to lightweight. Charles Vess’ artwork is great and, though I didn’t love it, there’s nothing wrong with Kelley Jones, Colleen Doran and Malcolm Jones III’s work here. I almost want to stop re-reading the series now and preserve my fond memories of the later books - what if the rest of Sandman is as average as the first three volumes are? Eh, in this instance I’ll take reality over dreams - onwards!

(By the way, if you like Vess’ art and faerie stories, check out Susanna Clarke’s The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, illustrated by Vess with a corking collection of tales by Clarke!)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Sandman volume 3, 24 Mar. 2013
Four seemingly unconnected stories, in the first Calliope who was Homers muse is enslaved by a writer and then passed onto another writer who has run out of ideas and subsequently becomes a huge success through the inventiveness she prompts. Raped and abused she seeks help and here we learn of a past relationship with Dream thousands of years ago and a son born to them. There is evidence that Dream has changed due to his imprisonment as he shows empathy with Calliope's situation. This was my favourite of the four stories with some truly disturbing moments as we see the writers euphoria when he gets all he wishes for, until its all torn away.
The second story is about cats which usually is enough to put me off straight away but here we see Dream in animal guise and a cat prophet.
In the third issue Dream commissions a play from William Shakespeare and they give a performance to the court of the Faerie, the play is intended as a gift to the King and Queen so they may never be forgotten.
In the final issue we see the return of Dream' sister Death who gives an indestructible but suicidal woman a way to end her miserable life. Dream is absent in this story but we do get his gothic sister who is an interesting character with alot of potential.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars four beautiful tales, 7 April 2014
I read this collection about ten years ago and I remember thinking it the weakest of the Sandman books. Having re-read it again now, I appreciate it a lot more! The story of Calliope is a great start to this collection with very strong artwork and her imprisonment echoes Dream's in the first collection. It's quite moving to see how Dream's character is already beginning to soften.

Dream of a Thousand Cats is a clever tale suggesting an alternate history of mankind (and catkind!).

Facade is a genuinely moving portrait of a 'has-been' super-heroine who can't have the only thing she wants... until the Sandman's sister pops in to chat.

Finally, A Midsummer Night's Dream... the best story of the collection, weaving together magic and theater! It also contains some of the best artwork of the whole series thanks to Charles Vess.

So, although this book doesn't reach the dizzy heights of the epic Kindly Ones or the twists of Doll's House or Seasons of Mists, it's a very enjoyable chapter in the Sandman's story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Sandman books look great on the kindle fire HD, 8 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country (New Edition) (The Sandman series) (Kindle Edition)
I must say that high quality comic books were waiting for the hi res splendour of tablets like the kindle. The sandman series of books are really fantastic and we'll worth the price ticket. Good job amazon for including these titles in your range of products. I might suggest amazon marketplace, introduce more of these titles like Preacher....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars ... of the wider story arc but was still really good side stories in the same world, 12 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country (New Edition) (The Sandman series) (Kindle Edition)
little disapointed to discover this wasn't part of the wider story arc but was still really good side stories in the same world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great item, swiftly delivered, would definitely use again. Thank you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 29 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
So happy with the product
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vol. 3: Contains one of my favourite stories of the Sandman series, 10 Feb. 2012
There are four stories in this collection: Calliope, A Dream of a Thousand Cats, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Façade. I totally `get' A Midsummer Night's Dream - it is amazing. The way Neil Gaiman has combined fact and fantasy into his world is amazing and original. William Shakespeare's son really died at around the age depicted in the story. I can see why it won all the awards. The story about the cats is also fascinating. However, it was beaten as my favourite by some stories in Vol 6 of the Sandman Series, especially "The Hunt". The other stories were so-so in my view. I am not one for disturbing dreams, or for reading about them. This was a treat overall, though.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews