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I don't think I could ever overstate how much I love this entire series. This book introduces us to the characters and universe of The Sandman, a graphic novel series which brings a thousand stories into one. This book is a must for anybody who loves fantasy, myths or good old fashioned fairy tales, even if you have never picked up a graphic novel before. In this book we are introduced to Dream of the Endless who at the start of this book has been imprisoned for decades. Dream or Morpheus is the personification of dreams and stories, one of the 7 Endless (Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair and Delirium) who have existed throughout all time. This book tells the story of Dream's escape and return to his own world in 5 complete and distinct stories, each introducing different styles, genres and aspects of this universe. The series as a whole continues as a sequence of many smaller stories which tell a much longer one. Different stories from different people intertwine together to tell a compelling tale of Gods and Monsters and the beings beyond them. Whilst I loved this book it is not the best book in the series, it's really just the first few chapters of a complex and involved story. This book introduces lots of exciting and interesting concepts and threads which are developed during the course of all ten volumes and it will definitely leave you wanting more. I can promise you as well that the series as a whole more than lives up to the promise of this first volume as it gets better and better as it progresses. Moving from the story telling to the art in this book, the style shifts and changes a lot, both in this book and throughout the series. Generally the art style reflects the storyline which I found added an extra layer to the storytelling, although honestly I wasn't a great fan of some of the drawing styles. I liked the art in some of the chapters better than others but the storytelling more than made up for it. This book will suck you in and get you totally addicted to this entire Universe. Be prepared to be hooked by the end.
In the first collection of Neil Gaiman's acclaimed Sandman comic, we quite possibly find his best work. We are treated to one of the most detailed and vibrantly fantastical worlds ever to have been seen in comic books. In fact the second half reads as if it is a much better version of Milton's Paradise Lost (yes, I'm a philistine). The artwork does not limit the imagination, it simply fuels it. Gaiman and artists Kieth, Dringenberg and Jones have fleshed out a universe so teeming with life that upon reading Preludes and Nocturnes, you will have no doubt that there is enough to cover in the next ten collections. And in Dream, with his dead expressionless eyes - we have a character that will remembered among the best comic book creations of the last twenty-five years. Read it, get lost in it and dream on, because Sandman is a comic book series that is definitely worth your time.
Preludes and Nocturnes is the first of ten volumes in Neil Gaiman's much acclaimed Sandman series. It follows the personification of Dream as he is captured by mortals, escapes and searches for his personal artefacts that compliment his power. Overall I found this book to be a very easy read. The story is engaging, and the artwork compliments it well. Though it is usually Neil Gaimen who gets all the acclaim as the writer, the artists must really be congratulated as well. The story is great, but without the excellent artwork it wouldn't be nearly as compelling. The main character is The Sandman, or Dream, and throughout this book it becomes very clear that though he is called the master of dreams, he is also a master of nightmares. Several of the plot elements have a nightmarish quality to them, and explore darkness and madness and the less appealing sides of human nature. The section call 24 Hours is a particularly good example of (and is also my favourite chapter). Preludes and Nocturnes is a very good book in it's own right and an excellent start to the saga. There's nothing truly mind-blowing in here (provided your mind isn't blown by demons and dreams and madness). but it is very good. The major downside to this series, as with any graphic novel is the price. At around £14 per novel (and considering there are ten in the series) it is a very expensive read. But then, the price is fairly justifiable, given the amount of work that goes into producing them. My advice would be, if you're not sure that this series is for you (and it won't be for everyone, it is quite odd at times) rent the first few books from a library and see if you like them. For myself, I really enjoyed this graphic novel, and I already have the second in the series in front of me just waiting for me to read it.
Preludes and Nocturnes opens Neil Gaiman's amazing Sandman saga. Gaiman mixes in mythology and folklore from a wide range of sources to produce a detailed and intelligent modern fantasy. Unlike DC's original Sandman, Gaiman's Sandman isn't a costumed hero, but an anthropomorphisation of Dreams, probably originating from Sleep in Greek mythology. The first book tells the story of Dream's escape from imprisonment and subsequent journey to collect some of his artifacts and regain his power. The journey takes him to various locations on Earth and down to Hell. Dream is an intelligent and mysterius central character, relying on cunning to achieve his aims. There is a strong sense that we do not yet know the full extent of his power or the world he lives in. Later events certainly prove this to be true. A number of familiar members of DC cast trun up including the Martian Manhunter and John Constantine. Gaiman maes the effort to relate this story to the DC universe, but fortunately never takes this too far. The art throughout this book is dark and moody, ideally suited to the subject. Page layout is used to great effect at time, something too often overlooked in modern comics. The artwork often has a scratchy, unclean style to it which fits right in with the characters being dealt with at this time. Throughout the run of the sandman the artists working on the title were changed, generally in line with each new book of the story. Off the top of my head I can't think of any art style I found inappropriate to the title. The whole of the Sandman is highly recommended as an example of intelligent modern day fantasy and comic work. Gaiman is a very talented writer who uses a lot of knowledge from mytholgy, real world or DC. This is the book to start with as it collects the first 8 issues of the Sandman story. Get this and you'll have to read the rest though.