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on 5 November 2014
Having heard the positive reviews on Neil Gaiman's seminal work I decided to give it a punt. Don't regret it. The series starts ok in volume 1 but really picks up and expands the universe(s) here with a real feeling of depth to the worlds seen. There is a definite story arc across the collection with a single issue straying elsewhere. I wouldn't read without starting in volume 1 where the for dating are set but there is a prologue (very interestingly written) that fills you in. Look forward to volume 3.
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on 17 November 2017
I've read a few bits and pieces of Gaiman's work and I've loved all of them to some degree or another. This was something else again. I'd enjoyed the first Sandman trade paperback but I didn't think it stood up all that well to Gaiman's other stuff. The second one blew all of that out of the water. The way you're drawn into each level of dream through a story that mostly takes place in the real world. The drift between fantasy and nightmare and all things inbetween. The palpable otherworldliness of the character Dream. I know this is already gushing but Neil Gaiman is a legit freaking genius and this volume clearly demonstrates that.
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on 25 April 2017
This is a great graphic novel. Highly recommended
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on 5 October 2017
My first supplier of this book fell through- thankfully you came through and were able to supply this much needed addition to our Neil Gaiman collection
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The Sandman has returned to his country of dreams, but his long absence is still showing -- he's gotten his magical items back, but not all of his followers. "The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House" picks up some threads from the first collection of Sandman stories, and while the story is often confusing and scattered, Neil Gaiman's writing is a glittering jewel of sadness, horror and beauty.

Among the current-day stories, we get some Dream backstory. As part of his coming-of-age ritual, a young boy is told of how a beautiful woman fell in love with Lord Kai'ckul, king of the dream realm. And we see a story of a man untouched by Death, and his ups-and-downs over the centuries as he keeps meeting with his Endless friend.

In the present, Dream learns that a dream vortex has appeared. That vortex is Rose Walker, the granddaughter of Unity Kinkaid (who has slept most of her life), who is searching for her imprisoned little brother. She goes to live at a boarding house full of eccentrics, and is taken under the wing of the mysterious Gilbert (who looks a lot like G.K. Chesterton, and is named "Gilbert").

Additionally, some of Dream's creatures have escaped -- the horrifying Corinthian, who is the guest of honor at a serial-killer convention; Brute and Glob, who have made their own "New Sandman" out of a dead superhero; and Fiddler's Green, who is already close to the dream vortex...

"The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House" is a somewhat messy story -- the two "past" stories feel disconnected from the rest of the book, and it takes awhile for some of the subplots to fully flower. Additionally, I was a little confused by the sudden inclusion of a pair of DC superheroes who have been folded into the world of Dreams -- although their story is the beginning of a much larger, more pivotal one.

And as the story winds on, Neil Gaiman's spellbinding style draws you in -- he fills these pages with bloody horror, love, sorrow, and the occasional glimpse of the lonely lives of the Endless. His style that is all glassy edges and lush poetry, and he pops in some moments of ghastliness (the Corinthan finally taking off his glasses, revealing empty sockets lined with teeth) as well as some moments of warmth (Unity's final shared dream with Rose).

Similarly, Gaiman's characters are a mixture of the lovable and the horrifying -- we get to see Morpheus as he has been throughout the centuries, as well as his flaky, devious sibling Desire (whom I desperately want to sock in the mouth) and the ghastly Corinthian. And he spins up the down-to-earth Rose, as well as a motley band of eccentric characters -- the lace-shrouded lesbians and the creepy yuppies spring to mind, as well as the genial Gilbert.

While some parts of it are clunky, "The Sandman Volume 2: The Doll's House" gradually twines together its many subplots, and sets the stage for what is to come.
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on 27 February 2003
The whole Sandman series is not only amazing in it's weird characterisations (Death is a funky upbeat lass and Dream is her morose, depressed brother) but it is very cleverly written. Each book could be read on it's own but you really realise Gaiman's genius when you read them all in order and then reread them again. The intricate way the story weaves itself and the characters around themselves is not something you will find done so well anywhere in the graphic novel genre. There is always a new connection and twist. Gaiman and his wonderfully quirky way of seeing the world is shown best in these works, but for a really accessible and fun introduction you also need to get hold of Good Omens (written with Terry Pratchett). Priceless stuff.
Watch out for references to any and all important literature in the last 400 years, including Shakespeare, who plays a modest role in the Sandman.
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on 8 August 2016
Just as good as the first one, if not better. I am absolutely loving this series and cannot recommend it enough!

In this volume, we continue Dream's journey as he works to make up for his long absence. In doing so, we also get an eye-opening glimpse into his backstory, allowing us a further and deeper understanding of this character as Neil Gaiman presents us with a younger version of Dream...in love. We are introduced to Nada, a beautiful young woman who fell in love with the King of the Dreamworld, not realizing the sacrifices she'll need to make to be with him until it's too late. Nada plays a significant role in Dream's storyline and in shaping him, and we discover that he can be possessive and hurtful when he doesn't get his way. We are also introduced more thoroughly to Dream's older sister, Death, as she goes about her day doing her job and sending people to the afterlife.

The highlight of this volume, however, is the story of Rose - a human dream vortex, who happens to be the granddaughter of Unity Kincaid (a character we met in the first volume, who was asleep for most of her life during Dream's captivity), and who is on a mission to find her little brother.

Intertwined are all these different stories introducing different characters, each seemingly unrelated to one another, each seemingly, random and curiously strange and nonsensical, and although you are enjoying each and every one of these stories in isolation, you are confused as to what it has to do with the Sandman, and how it is all related.

But in the end, Gaiman brilliantly brings together all the subplots making you unable to react in any other way except to say "ahhh...I get it now", as he sets the stage for what's to come in this bizarre and dark journey of his.
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on 18 July 2003
This is certainly my favourite of the Sandman series that I have read so far, the others being Preludes and Nocturns, Dream Country, Season of Mists and Brief Lives. In my opinion The Doll's House has one of the better realised story lines, and the way that the different perspectives of the main story, as seen by different characters, blend togther is perfect. It's also the one where I found myself empathising with the characters most, sharing in their losses and triumphs. I have enjoyed all the Sandman books so far, but this one is definitely top of my list so far.
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on 30 March 2014
Mind bending brilliance from Neil Gaiman. Vol 2 of the sandman series is cleverly written and thought provoking in a weird surreal kind if way. Strange characters and settings but mind expanding all the more for that oddness. Grim and somehow hopeful all at the same time.
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on 15 March 2015
Brought this for my teenage son, I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman so I hoped he would enjoy it. He didn't put it down and has requested the rest of the sandman books. Success!
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