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The world of comic books was a very different place before the Sandman came into being. Neil Gaiman revolutionized the graphic novel with "The Sandman," an exquisite story filled with shadowy realistic art and strange magical beings. Bringing together the entire brilliant series, this collection is an essential read for fantasy and/or comic book fans.

A group of occultists once attempted to summon and trap Death... but instead, they capture Dream (aka Morpheus) and lock him in a glass orb. One day, Dream escapes his prison and reenters the world -- but soon discovers that the world of the Dreaming is in ruins, his creatures have escaped into the mortal world, and his magical items have been lost.

But restoring the Dreaming isn't his only problem. Morpheus also must deal with a dream vortex that now lives in the human world, the abandonment of Hell by Lucifer (and all the people who want it), and a woman locked in a strange dream world threatened by the Cuckoo. There are also tales of Dream and his family, the Endless, and their feuds, losses and quests -- such as when Dream is dragged off by his sister Delirium, in search of their long-lost brother Destruction.

There are also smaller stories, sometimes starring legendary figures like Augustus Caesar, Marco Polo, William Shakespeare, one of the Muses, and most notably Orpheus -- as well as tales of werewolves, faeries, ruined superheroes, cats and ordinary people.

The world of "The Sandman" is a strange one -- it lightly interlocks with other graphic novel series, effortlessly slips from one world to another, and exposes both the beauty and ugliness of our own world. It's a universe that is both strange and epic, but there are also a lot of layers that can terrify you.

And the artwork is sublime -- realistic in style, but often bizarre and a little frightening in theme. And despite the core colors being shadowy greys, whites and blacks, there are splashes of bright colors everywhere. Green fields, blue hallways, psychedelic skies, hallucinations filled with sickly pallid hues.

Gaiman created one of his most iconic, complex characters in Morpheus -- his inhumanity is reflected by acts of great cruelty and kindness. He starts off as a rather cold figure who does some rather nasty things, but he grows gradually over the course of the series, becoming a warmer, more compassionate creature. But Gaiman isn't afraid to occasionally poke fun at Morpheus' gloomy persona.

The author also spun up a very nonstereotypical version of Death. No robes, scythes or skeletal faces here. In fact, forget about anything sinister -- this version of Death is a delightfully quirky, perky goth chick. And she's only one of the dozens of memorable, fascinating and/or endearing characters who litter the pages -- from gods to animals, faeries to mortals.

But there is one way this could have been better: it does not contain "Dream Hunters" (either the novel or the graphic novel) and the follow-up collection "Endless Nights."

The complete Sandman series is a must-have for anyone who fancies themselves a reader -- especially if they have the guts to tackle a worlds-spanning epic, full of darkness and beauty. Do not miss Neil Gaiman's comic-book opus.
33 comments55 of 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 14, 2013
I've never been a fan of graphic novels, but I am very much a fan of Neil Gaiman, so after years of reading rave reviews of the Sandman series, I took the plunge and bought the slipcase set. So far I've read the first three volumes and enjoyed them immensely. Since I never saw the earlier editions, I can't give any opinion as to how the recoloring compares, but it seems reasonable to me. Judging on content only, I'd give 4 stars, based on averaging 4.5 stars for writing and 3.5 for artwork.

What I dislike intensely, and brings my overall rating down to 2 stars, is that the printer left no margin at the inside edge of the pages, and often there are speech balloons or artwork details which the reader must attempt to smash the spine flat in order to read. It makes me want to unbind the volumes to be able to see everything properly. For a "remastered" product, I really expected better.
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on May 14, 2013
Sandman is amazing, Neil Gaiman is one of the best comic book authors of his or any other time, and if you're thinking of buying the ten books in one box, all that is probably an overstatement. So I'm going to skip the bit about how I love reading these books, and talk about what I thought of this boxed set, in comparison to other ways to buy this same story.
The slipcase set does the job: it has all the stories, every book is introduced by a different person, printing is ok (if that worries you at all). And that's why I give it a 4 star rating. Because it does the job. But there is nothing that made me go nuts over this boxed set, beside the Sandman story, that could be bought in now so many different formats from "ten gazillion paperback comics" to "five or six hard cover box" to "a blurry bootleg downloaded off a fansite".
The box in itself is pretty disposable, being useful only for moving purposes.
But in terms of cost/benefit, I'm very happy with the buy. It saved me a lot on loose books, space, and the box art looks pretty on my library.

Over all, I recommend this, just don't expect any "special edition" gimmick.
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on December 13, 2012
There's nothing I can tell you about 'Sandman' that you probably haven't already heard, I wish to add only that this series not only lives up to the hype but often surpasses it. That being said, I was quite happy to have stumbled upon this collection on Amazon and promptly purchased it. Having received it in the mail yesterday, I can safely say that it was a great investment.

As the description says, it collects the ten remastered trade paperbacks in one slipcase. Nothing differs in the volumes collected here to those available separately, they are the exact same. What makes this collection, to me, worth buying is the convenience of nabbing the entire series in one shot as well as the wonderfully illustrated slipcase to house them. Contrary to what others have been saying about the slipcase, I found it to be very sturdy, made from a thick cardboard with a glossy finish, and holds the ten volumes very snugly; though I would admit it might be too snug, having to tilt the box completely face down when I first opened it in order to remove the books. Other than that, I believe it to be very well made and suitable for its purpose.

While I do recommend this product to any and all Sandman/Gaiman fans I would have liked to see 'Endless Nights,' 'Dream Hunters,' and 'Sandman Midnight Theater' included as well. Even a supplemental art gallery volume would've been a nice addition, but one can dream.
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on September 15, 2014
Firstly, I must say I am a hardcore Neil Gaiman and Sandman fan, and I had been saving cash to buy this for a long while now. Getting it was a real big joy.
I have written a big, detailed review on this box's content on my blog, where such thing belongs. Here, I shall stick to whether or not this is the fittest way to buy the series.
I'll start with the fact that, if you haven't read the Sandman, I should read the Sandman. It is the finest piece of comics ever written, it's high quality literature, it's magical, it's big and world encompassing and it is also deeply personal.
So, if you want to get started on the series, I would recommend either buying this slipcase (if you are pretty confident you'll like it, which I am) or buying the first TPB, feeling whether it's your thing and then going on to buying this.
Two comments on those scenarios: firstly, there's pretty much no reason at all to buy the 10 TPBs separately. They are more expensive that way and you get less one cardboard box on your shelf. Secondly, if you are going for the buying the first TPB, I must warn you: the first Sandman volume is very different from the rest of the series. Master Gaiman was still finding his voice in comics and around his new brilliant characters, and the result is rather clumsy and unpleasant. Therefore, while the first arc is important for the story and the character development as a whole, if you are specially uncertain if you are going to like it and want to get some real taste of Sandman to decide, you should better buy Season of Mists (TPB #4). It is widely regarded as one of the greatest Sandman arcs, is relatively self contained and gives you a real taste of the real thing, so it would probably be your call (The Lord of Dreams going down to Hell to free his former lover and face Lucifer Morningstar's revenge for past offenses? Doesn't get sweeter than that.).

Anyways, for those of you familiar with the work and struggling to decide whether this is the way to buy the series, I'll present you with my two cents.

Firstly, this is the cheapest way to get all of the Sandman content (apart from Endless Nights, Death stories and extra stuff from the Absolute editions, this is just the core story), and a fine thing at that. This consists of the 10 remastered TPBs, and that remastering can definitely be seen. I'm one who read the previous editions, and can say for sure that the alleged recoloring was actually a very big thing.

Now, the option to this would be buying either the Absolute or the Omnibus editions. Considering you have the money and love the series, I suppose the Omnibus would be the way to go, as it presents all the same core content with a much better binding and amazing hardcover. The 4 Absolute ones didn't quite do it for me, as they are big, not as beautifully wrapped and feature kinda pointless extra content (that being said from a hardcore fan who would certainly LOVE to see meaningful extra content).
The TPB value shouldn't be ignored, though. Reading 10 thin, handy volumes is much more pleasant than reading two preposterous tomes, and that goes for lending your collection to people in order to spread word of this magnificent work (which is personally one of the main reasons I bought this).
Also, speaking from the condition of a Brazilian resident, this was the cheapest and easiest way to buy this, shipping cost wise.

So, that's what I have to say. If you wanna ask anything, feel free to do so at the comments.

Dream on.
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on May 1, 2013
There's nothing much to say about Sandman that hasn't been said already. This is a milestone in comic book history, and contains "Season of mists", a literary masterpiece, and my favourite comic book story of all time. The content deserves 5 stars, nevertheless, the slipcase is bad. Is too narrow, getting the books in and out is very difficult, and it arrived completely ruined and torn on one of the borders. Anyway this was a great opportunity for me, since I live in Uruguay, and getting the whole series in one purchase saved me a great deal of money. A great purchase for overseas buyers.
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on December 8, 2012
It is great to have all 10 of the books in one place and held together by a slipcase. However the slipcase itself is flimsy already shows tears along the top.
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on March 7, 2013
I bought this for my fiance as a Christmas present and he loved it so much he choked! The cover art is really beautiful and the box itself is well made. The corner did get a little bit munched I assume during the shipping process and it is extremely hard to remove the books when all of them are in there (not to mention getting the last one into the box). Overall I would recommend this product to any Neil Gaiman fans out there!
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on August 22, 2015
There is no question that the content of this series is phenomenal and masterful storytelling. The pitfall to this exact purchase is the quality of the actual books. The paper is flimsy, about the same as a magazine page, and extremely prone to any amount of finger oils. The colors may be richer with this print version, but comparing these to the straight up single-volume trade paperback purchase, I'd much rather have the more robust matte pages. As others have mentioned, the binding is stiff and there were points at which I was concerned I would ruin the integrity of the book by forcing the pages apart to read. For the price (and from Neil Gaiman, for that matter), I expect better quality.
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on July 25, 2013
I've always wanted to have the whole Sandman collection, so I took advantage of this set. It is beautiful, the box keeps the books safe and it looks great. And the books are very high quality, both the paper and the printing. About the comic itself...what can I say that hasn't been said already? It is a masterpiece. I am extremely happy with this set.
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