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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

on 27 March 2017
The Dream Hunters is the Sandman book of least consequence to the overall continuity of all the books released so far, but it is a very well told story with some unique and beautiful artwork.

It is inspired by Japanese folklore, though apparently Gaiman's claim in the Afterword that it is based on a real Japanese folklore was a ruse. In any case, as someone largely ignorant of Japanese folklore, it felt very authentic to me.

It's difficult to recommend the Dream Hunters, not because it isn't a great read, but because it is unusually distant from the rest of the Sandman story. There are several familiar characters that make an appearance, but even Morpheus plays a fairly small role in the story. It's not required reading for those who have read and enjoyed the main 10-volume series, nor is it a good entry point for newcomers, but it is absolutely worth reading.
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on 19 December 2013
I bought this because I love the art of Yoshitaka Amano. However, the story is captivating - a sort of modern fairy tale, well-written and emotive. This book tends to be classed as a 'graphic novel' but the style is nothing like a comic - it is simply a story with a lot of illustrations. Neil Gaiman is an established writer (he wrote the stories on which the hit films 'Stardust' and 'Coraline' were based) and this book was well received by critics. I'm not entirely sure what my expectations were for this, but they were certainly exceeded - I have now bought two more copies of the book to give to friends.
One word of warning, though. There is a 2010 reprint which is comic book style and is illustrated bt P.Craig Russell. With all due respect to his work, I don't feel the artwork compares with that of Amano in this edition (from 2007), and I prefer continous narrative to the comic style. Others may disagree, but it's important to check which version you are buying.
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on 15 November 2017
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on 20 December 2014
sad story but worth reading and the illustrations are wonderful
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on 28 December 2012
Great product. Love it. Believe I have received value for my money. Great work amazon. Very pleased with the purchase. Would definitely recommend this to a friend.
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on 5 July 2015
on time,great brithday pressie,most greatful,
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on 21 December 2013
Was thrilled with this story of Morpheus. If you love Sandman you'll really like this. I'm on the lookout for any extra sandman stories.
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on 21 October 2013
Along with Alan Moore's Watchman and Frank Miller's Sin City, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman is one of the most popular, as well as the most critically acclaimed, comic book series of all time. With a distinct lack of burly men in tights and voluptuous women in neon spandex jumpsuits, The Sandman was in the vanguard of titles published in the late 1980s and early 1990s that sought to break away from the traditional conception of comics through darker, more relevant storylines and so to appeal to a wider, more sophisticated audience. The Sandman follows Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, as he escapes into the modern world after spending seventy years in captivity. Having avenged himself on his captors, Morpheus sets about rebuilding his dream kingdom. As Neil Gaiman has summarised, "The Lord of Dreams realises that one must change or die, and makes his decision".

Having run for seventy-five issues, The Sandman concluded in 1996 and is now available from Vertigo Comics in a series of ten trade paperbacks or four fabulous re-coloured slip-cased hardback Absolute editions. In 1999 Neil Gaiman returned to the world of The Sandman with The Dream Hunters, a novella illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano that told the tale of a love affair between a Buddhist monk and a fox spirit. The Dream Hunters was tangential to The Sandman comic book series and only featured a small role for Morpheus. Although Gaiman had originally claimed that the fable at the centre of The Dream Hunters was taken from Y.T. Ozaki's Old Japanese Fairy Tales, it has since been revealed to be an original work of fiction. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Sandman, P. Craig Russell adapted The Dream Hunters into a four issue miniseries for Vertigo which ran from November 2008 until February 2009 and which has now been collected into an excellent hardback graphic novel.

The Dream Hunters begins with a wager between a kitsune, a fox spirit, and a tanuki, a racoon spirit, that whichever of them can convince a pious young Buddhist monk to leave his temple may make that temple for their dwelling place. Both the kitsune and the tanuki fail to influence the monk and the tanuki flees in disgrace. The kitsune, however, has fallen in love with the monk and so, in the form of a beautiful woman, she appears to the monk and begs his forgiveness. The monk permits the kitsune to remain in the temple provided that she promises never to cause him any trouble.

Meanwhile, far away in Kyoto, a rich onmyoji (a civil servant responsible for magic and divination) is plagued by fear and so seeks the advice of three witches. The witches reveal that the onmyoji will only overcome his fear by stealing the strength of the young monk. In order to achieve this, the onmyoji must send the monk evil dreams over three consecutive nights until, on the third night, the monk dies. The onmyoji sends demons to the temple to work his evil but the kitsune overhears their plot and, in an attempt to save the monk, she travels to the Dreaming and seeks help from Morpheus. After talking to Morpheus, the kitsune formulates a plan to capture a baku (a supernatural being that devours dreams) and substitute it for the monk on the third night.

The Dream Hunters was an excellent novella but the faithful adaptation coupled with the beautiful art by P. Craig Russell has made it an exquisite graphic novel. Taking his cue from traditional Japanese artwork, Russell weaves the story of The Dream Hunters around elaborate panels full of soft, muted colours. His realistic recreation of feudal Japan is complemented by the supernatural wasteland inhabited by the witches and the ephemeral visage of Morpheus himself. Gaiman's delightful fable of impossible love is brought to breathtakingly beautiful life by Russell's stunning paintings. With its magical storyline and mesmeric artwork, The Dream Hunters is a visual treat, a true work of beauty, as well as joyous read.
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on 24 April 2004
In Dream Hunters Neil Gaiman retells a Japanese Legend about a monk and a fox in his own manner, tying it in with his Sandman series of graphic novels.

Dream Hunters fits in with the Sandman series in that it features the King Of Dreams, but really it's a book that's more free-standing than any ofthe graphic novels. It isn't in comic strip format, and although some of the Sandman characters appear the book is about two separate characters.

The book is told in prose, with every page of prose countered by an illustration by Yoshitaka Amano - and it's the illustrations that make this book so wonderful. Gaiman's story telling is good - in thisparticular book he takes on a formal storytelling voice, which works pretty well - but the illustration are beautiful. Even the cover is something I'd happily hang on my wall, but there's a picture that good on nearly every page - and some are even better.

Fans of the Sandman will probably enjoy seeing a different side of the King of Dreams, and a different writing style from Gaiman, but people completely unfamiliar with the series aren't left out at all. The book is a complete story in itself, and a very good one.
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The Dream Hunters is more than a boook, it is a thing of beauty. Neil Gaiman here show, once again, that the term author is insufficient, Just as mozart was more than a mere composer. In this reworking of a traditional Japanese fairy tale, as with his other work, Mr Gaiman once again demonstrates a link whith the tradition of story, the bards, fireside orators and dream-weavers who entertained with spoken tales long before the written word. The illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano are as spellbinding as the words, subtle yet powerful. As I said, this is a true thing of beauty, destined to take it's rightful place alongside my Sandman collection as a prized posession. Those who are familiar with Neil Gaiman's work will know what to expect and, as always, all expectations are surpassed. Those who have yet to discover Neil's work, where have you been and WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!
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