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Sandman, The: The Kindly Ones - Book IX (Sandman Collected Library) Paperback – September 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Series: Sandman Collected Library (Book 9)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563892057
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563892059
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By P. Nicholas Keppler on August 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
Although it is actually its second-to-last story arc, The Kindly Ones is, for all intents and purposes, the climax of Sandman, Neil Gaiman's acclaimed fantasy comic book starring Morpheus, a glum, superhuman entity who rules over the realm of dreams (The subsequent The Wake is like a long epilogue). While no previous Sandman story arc seemed like a continuation of a preceding one, The Kindly Ones is a meta-sequel of sorts that features characters and plot threads from Preludes and Nocturnes, The Doll's House, Season of Mists, A Game of You and Brief Lives. Likewise, new readers should best begin with one of the aforementioned volumes but those who have already devoured two of three of the preceding Sandman story arcs, will delight in this excellent conclusion.
The Kindly Ones features sub plots galore. But the main story concerns the abduction of three-year old Daniel Hall. Daniel is the child of Lyta and the late Hector Hall, who as The Fury and The Silver Scarab, respectively, were part of the superhero team Infinity Inc. In a series of events too complicated to recount here (see The Doll's House), the Halls were swept-up into the Dream World for most of Lyta's pregnancy. Because of this, Morpheus considers Daniel "his" and when the child is kidnapped, Lyta believes the Dream King the culprit. After the real captors trick her into believing that Daniel has been killed, Lyta seeks out the Kindly Ones, avenging spirits who torment and slay those who have killed their kin. Because he committed the mercy killing of his own son (see Brief Lives), Morpheus has little defense against the Kindly Ones as they ravage through the dream world.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By "lexo-2" on June 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first came across the Sandman because a flatmate of mine had some collections of it; her name was Nuala (hi, Nuala) and she was quite proud of the fact that Nuala is a character in the saga. Being generally allergic to fantasy of any sort (I'm usually a sternly Realistic sort of person) I picked up one of the books (I think it was "A Game of You") and was surprised to find myself quite enjoying it. Little did I know that I'd end up a total addict. I've now read the whole series, including both the Death spin-offs, and am somewhere at the back of the queue of people who would like to shake Neil Gaiman by the hand and thank him for repairing my battered faith in people's capacity for hope and renewal.
Enough about me. "The Kindly Ones" is the climax of this vast saga about the imagination. It's incredible that a story that was basically written on the fly could be brought to such a grandly symphonic and yet intensely moving end - even though it's not really an end. I mean, I write plays for a living, and wild horses with voluptuous succubi on their backs couldn't persuade me to try and come up with a new and brilliant episode per month. And yet, Gaiman did it.
If you haven't read the previous episodes it's not going to make a hell of a lot of sense, but basically what we're talking about here is a story about a man who's also a sort of god (Dream) and his realisation that he's not really able to change. The previous stories, written as the mood and the necessities of the plot came to Gaiman, are brought together here with fantastic skill and generosity.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an order of magnitude better than the rest of this already best-of-the best comic series known as the Sandman. Gaiman takes every single plotline he's ever touched on and weaves them all together into one fiery coruscation of pain and joy and love and hate and comedy and tragedy and death and birth and...well, I could go on forever! Even better, for once it's a story arc that can last quite a long time (that graphic novel's nearly an inch thick!). It's the most immensely satisfying read(graphic novel or normal printed book!) that I've ever set eyes upon. PLEASE take my word, if you haven't read the Sandman, and read from the beginning to the end. Not only do you get the ingenious works preceding this, but you get THIS!!! Sorry for the capitals, but I feel more strongly about this than any other creative work I've ever seen.
Now, here's a more analyzing, less gushing side to why I love this so much. Let's start with the art. The art is amazing. It's a big change from the basic comic style of the other Sandman novels. This one is very expressionistic and the lines are very simple and nearly abstract. It makes a few characters hard to recognize until they're called by name, but it adds wonderfully to the drama, and a few characters look better than ever before(Delirium especially, not to mention ole Murphy and Death). The overlying drama is in the form of a towering tragedy, and it is in The Kindly Ones where we finally see the developments of everything that came before match up to drive home a truly powerful feeling. And the elusive, "is it good" criteria? This one went off the charts for me. And the end...oh, what an end. I _don't_ cry(Not because I'm some overly macho guy. I wish I could, but I'm so dead inside...
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