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The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition) (The Sandman series) by [Gaiman, Neil]
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The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition) (The Sandman series) Kindle & comiXology

4.2 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews
Book 1 of 10 in The Sandman (Collections) (10 Book Series)

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Amazon Review

"Wake up, sir. We're here". It's a simple enough opening line--although not many would have guessed back in 1991 that this would lead to one of the most popular and critically acclaimed comics of the second half of the century.

In Preludes and Nocturnes, Neil Gaiman weaves the story of a man interested in capturing the physical manifestation of Death but who instead captures the King of Dreams. By Gaiman's own admission there's a lot in this first collection that is awkward and ungainly--which is not to say there are not frequent moments of greatness here. The chapter "24 Hours" is worth the price of the book alone; it stands as one of the most chilling examples of horror in comics. And let's not underestimate Gaiman's achievement of personifying Death as a perky, overly cheery, cute goth girl! All in all, there is a roguish breaking of new ground in this book which is preferable to the often dull precision of the concluding volumes of the Sandman series. --Jim Pascoe

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 84573 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; Reprint edition (21 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0064W67IM
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,027 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
These first 8 Sandman stories establish the character, how he came to be incarcerated through most of the twentieth century - and some of the damage resulting in the mortal realm. Don't be put off by the early artwork; Sandman's artists took time to catch up with Gaiman's writing, and began to mesh properly towards the end of this volume.
This incarnation of the Sandman is *the* Sandman: Dream of the Endless, the king of the realm of dream and nightmare.
Seeking to capture Death, an order of magicians in Wych Cross, England accidentally snare Death's younger brother, Dream, in "Sleep of the Just". They seal him within an airless glass cage, then attempt to parley: his freedom in exchange for immortality, power, and his promise not to retaliate. But Dream is of the Endless; while time passes no more quickly for him than for mortals, he has *all* of it at his disposal - and a temper like an angry god rising from the bottom of the sea. The artwork has weaknesses, particularly in depicting Dream himself, but Gaiman's writing is magnificent, opening deeper mysteries in passing. For the elements of his spell, how did the magus steal a song from dirt, or a feather from an angel's wing? How did Dream come to be in such a weakened condition that a petty spell could snare him?
Gaiman's excellence as a writer shines through, as he creates depth with layer after layer of consequences to actions, planting the seeds of future stories as he does so.
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