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Sandman, The: Endless Nights Paperback – September 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Now that he's a bestselling fantasy novelist, Gaiman returns to the comics series that made his reputation with this new volume of seven gorgeously illustrated stories. Gaiman specializes in inventing fantastic allegories for the quotidian, in a voice that casually shifts between uneasy realism and Borgesian grandeur. In Sandman cosmology, "The Endless" are seven immortal siblings who personify abstract concepts: Dream, Death, Destiny and so on. This work devotes a story to each of them, drawn in distinctly different styles by an all-star lineup of American, British and European cartoonists and fine artists. Gaiman is famous for writing to his artists' strengths, and he does so here. P. Craig Russell draws the surreal fantasia "Death and Venice" with the opulent brio of his opera adaptations. "What I've Tasted of Desire" is a darkly sexual fable, painted by Milo Manara in the style of his more X-rated work. A couple of the stories find Gaiman working in a more experimental mode than usual, notably "Fifteen Portraits of Despair," a set of anecdotes and prose poems accompanied by Barron Storey's tormented, abstract drawings and paintings. Longtime comics fans will notice plenty of inside jokes in "The Heart of a Star," but most of this book is a red carpet-or perhaps a Persian rug-rolled out for Gaiman's prose readers to see his visions turned into lush, dramatic images.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

When Gaiman ended his phenomenally popular comic-book series The Sandman in 1996, he promised to eventually revisit the characters. Now he keeps that promise, with results that are everything his fans could have hoped for. The series centered on the brooding title character, also known as Dream, who rules over the realm humans visit when they sleep, and also dealt with his godlike siblings Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction, and Destiny, collectively known as the Endless. In this book, each of them is the focus of a separate story, illustrated by one of an array of world-class comics artists whose approaches range from the relative straightforwardness of P. Craig Russell (see Isolation and Illusion [BKL Ap 15 03]) to the wildly disturbing work of Barron Storey. The stories themselves vary, too, from accounts of mortals' encounters with the Endless to depictions of those demigods' lofty existence. Gaiman's eagerly awaited return to his most successful creation shows his mastery of the characters and their world to be intact, and if these shorter stories don't allow for the complexity of the original series, they still demonstrate the brilliance of his concept and the elegance of his storytelling. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Sandman
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; 1st edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140120113X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401201135
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.3 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Roby, slave to the endless on June 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
For anyone who has followed the sandman series already, don't expect to find part of the wonderous trail of events here. But there are mentions of events that tie into the original 10 books.

Of the things that make this book worth reading are...

A) the chapters are divided into detailed descriptions of the 7 endless. It lets you really get inside each aspect.

B) in this book you get the oppurtunity to see many things not found in the original 10 books. 2 of my favorites include what started the feud between dream and desire and you are graced with the presence of delight before she became delerium.

C) the artwork in this book is truly amazing. The same could be said for any book in this series (save some of "Kindly Ones, Volume 9 which features a much more cartoon style) yet in my opinion the art in this particular book goes above and beyond the rest.

D) There are beutiful poetic symbols laced throughout this book about the endless. From Delerium's fish to portraits of despair, it is a truly beautiful image.

Therefore, although it truly cannot be compared to the original 10 works, it is a worthy epilogue; a study in the characters the reader by this point must have learned to love.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful By P. Nicholas Keppler on December 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When I heard that Neil Gaiman was working on a new Sandman graphic novel, I was skeptical. The seventy-five issue comic book series began, proceeded and ended just fine. With dozens of spin-off mini-series, an illustrated Sandman prose novel, a "companion" book, a collection of quotes and a book of covers, the amount of peripheral volumes has become excessive. Then there are the posters, statues, and action figures. Even an artist as genuine as Gaiman can be tempted by the right amount of money and publicity and I feared Sandman: Endless Nights was just another part of the small marketing blitz that has accompanied Sandman's lasting popularity.
Now that I have read Endless Nights I am not sure. There are fantastic stories in here that are superb additions to the Sandman saga and there are also stories that seem like they did not need to be told.
Perhaps the reason Endless Nights is hit-or-miss is its format. In Sandman, seven all-powerful siblings, called The Endless, each have a different role in regulating conscious experience. The main character was the morose Dream, but the saga also featured the omniscient Destiny, the upbeat yet intelligent Death, the easy-going Destruction, the stoic Despair, the condescending Desire and the loopy Delirium. Endless Nights consists of seven chapters, each drawn by a different illustrator and each devoted to a different sibling. The problem is that these characters are defined by their mysteriousness and strangeness and do not easily lend themselves to central roles (Even Dream, the member of The Endless who readers knew best, played a role other than protagonist more often than not during the run of the comic series).
In three cases, Endless Nights adapts with structures as abstract as its characters.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sibelius on June 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
For those of you ready to take the plunge in making purchase of this excellent graphic novel, do yourself a favor and spend the few extra bucks on the hardcover version. For starters the hardback is slightly oversized and the thick, glossy paperstock wonderfully frames every panel of this diverse and beautifully illutrated book.
Fans of Neil Gaiman will find much to be delighted about in this return to his beloved, 'Sandman,' series. Made up of 7 chapters, each chronicles one of the Endless (Death, Desire, Dream, Despair, Delirium, Destruction and Destiny) in a self-contained story superbly illustrated by a different artist. Particular standouts are Milo Manara's contributions in 'Desire,' the subdued tones of Miguelanxo Prado in 'Dream,' and Barron Storey and Dave McKean's gritty work in 'Despair.' As a volume of bonus material post-Sandman, this book is a wonderful treat for fans and certainly lives up to the quality we've come to expect from Gaiman and company.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Carroll VINE VOICE on January 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Neil Gaiman revisits his creations, the Endless, in this collection of new stories. Working with some of the top artists in comics, Gaiman focuses on stories that feature each one of his creations with varying degrees of success.
Death- the idea behind this story is an old one: "How can someone cheat Death?" Gaiman's take on this old chestnut is not really a new one, (In fact, the movie GROUNDHOG DAY comes to mind) but P. Craig Russell's art makes the most of a forgettable tale.
Desire- This is the first Desire story that I feel truly captures the appeal of the character. This story of someone paying the ultimate price for her desire and still believing it was worth it, goes a long way in showing me what Gaiman was trying to convey with this character all along. Milo Manara does a fine job on this story as it plays well to his strength as a storyteller.
Dream- Wonderfully otherworldly art by Prado is a welcome sight on this story. It takes place in the distant past when our sun was young and Gaiman shows long time fans the reason for the animosity between Dream and Desire.
Delirium- Sienkiewicz is at his lunatic best with this trip into Delirium's realm. When Delirium falls too deeply into her own world, Dream and Delirium's faithful dog, Barnabas, collect some denizens of her realm to go in and find her. Gaiman cleverly utilizes Sienkiewicz's inspired illustrations to paint a portrait of what it is like inside the minds of Delerium's charges.
Despair- 15 intuitive portraits of Despair by Barron Storey are used as templates for short pieces by Gaiman allowing the reader to get a glimpse of Despair's realm. Each story is as dark as Storey's art is haunting.
Destruction- This is basically a decent SF story that happens to have Destruction (and Delirium) in it.
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