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The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 Hardcover – November 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Comic-book publishers have grown expert at collecting individual issues of a title as graphic novels and later rereleasing those collections with hitherto unpublished sequences, further artwork, and other "bonus" material to entice buffs to purchase the same book twice and thrice. DC Comics brings the game to a new level with the Absolute series of oversized, slipcased, hardcover volumes of landmark titles. Neil Gaiman revived the name of an early comic-book superhero only to give it to a protagonist whose utter difference, and that of the cohort of relatives who took the spotlight whenever he--the Sandman--absented it, refreshed mainstream comics even more than Frank Miller's overhauled Batman had a few years earlier. The Sandman and his siblings are embodiments of the dark forces of nature----death, destiny, and other dismaying elementals. They play out their adventures mostly in contemporary settings that have been completely recolored for the first of four Absolute volumes that will re-present them all. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"* "Easily the best comics series around." Time Out * "A spellbinding series." The Sunday Times * "A comic strip for intellectuals." - Norman Mailer" --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 612 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; 1St Edition edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401210821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401210823
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 2.3 x 15.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 99 people found the following review helpful By J. A Magill VINE VOICE on November 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Every fan of the graphic novel format chooses for themselves the moment at which the medium "broke out." Watchmen. Miracle Man. Dark Knight Returns. The Contract With God Trilogy. While there can be no right answer to this question, for me it lies with Sandman, Neil Gaiman's brilliant, literate, and highly entertaining romp through areas as diverse as pop culture, Kaballah, Freudian analysis, serial killers, Shakespeare, death, and other areas too many to number. The story follows one of the endless, creatures that exist as personifications of certain eternal forces, Despair, Destiny, Delusion, Desire, etc, in this case Dream.

The story begins with Dream's capture by mystics in Britain between the world wars and takes off at his release in modern times, following his struggle to rebuild his realm, shattered and abandoned for his absence. While the first few issues touch at the edges of the traditional comic universe, Gaiman quickly departs this and enters his own deep textual musings. While a thread binds all the tales here together, a passion play of rise, fall, and self realization, what one finds here most pleasurable are the stories. Dream is the keeper of tales and many are to be found here. Shakespeare's troop performing a Midsummer Night's Dream for the real King Oberon, a man gifted with eternal life, another of a writer who captures and holds bound a muse for her stories, yet another of the trials of ruling hell, and many others.

Nor does this volume stand along on its prose, for the art too may be some of the most lovely in any modern graphic novel, rich and varied. While the book comes pricey, fans will love the oversized format and those beginning the collection will quickly notice that the price is only nominally higher then buying the individual soft back volumes. Of one thing I am certain, no one will likely regret taking this fine work home.
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88 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Isaac VanDuyn on October 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received mine in the mail yesterday, and it blew me away. This is a large, girthy, edifice of a volume. The black leather cover comes complete with raised flourishes on the spine and a subtle embossed key and lock motif on the front and back. The letters are embossed in silver, all in a subtle yet glorious old-style script. There is a wide, heavy black silk bookmarker anchored to the center of the spine. The pages are sturdily bound and obviously built to last. This book would look at home in any of the ancient, eldritch libraries Gaiman's artists draw so well throughout the series.

Much has been made of the recoloring job in this edition, and I can now fully endorse it. I do not own any other edition (and now I'm glad that I waited to buy it), but my roommate does, and comparing my copy to his is like comparing old and new photographs. Mine is crisp, clear, and beautiful. His looks muddy and decrepit by comparison.

If you have never bought an edition of Sandman before, this is the one to get. Gaiman's masterpiece in a presentation that rivals anything I've seen. Fully worth all the money spent on it. I just wish more publishers would give their masterworks this luxurious treatment.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jason N. Beil on October 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am completely geeked out over this super-awesome tome. It's huge, heavy, thick, and has that great new-book smell. It's leather bound, features high-quality, glossy paper, and comes in a sturdy cardboard slip-cover. It's a beautiful book that's built to last, and it damn well better be with a cover price of $99.00.

The Sandman is the respected, literary-minded, award-winning comic book series that ran 75 issues from the late 80's to mid 90's. Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 collects the first twenty issues, the first eighteen of which have been completely re-colored. Three more volumes are to follow that will collect the rest of the series.

Sandman is the first major project by Neil Gaiman, who has become well-known for his best-selling novels, including American Gods and Anansi Boys. The story follows Dream of the Endless, also known as Morpheus and the Sandman, a powerful entity who rules the Realm of Dreams. Gaiman blends history, classic legends and myth, religion, philosophy, fantasy, comedy, horror, and drama to weave his epic tale. The story takes us all over the world we know, in times both past and present. We also travel within the many realms of Dream, shifting places shaped both by Morpheus and our own subconcious minds. Briefly, we visit other realms as well, such as Faerie and even Hell itself.

If you enjoy dark fantasy, horror, or just heart-felt human drama, you do yourself a disservice by not checking out Sandman. This book is beautiful but pricey (although it's a lot cheaper on The story is available in smaller collections that are much more affordable.

In short, read Sandman... you won't be sorry.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ethan Zlomke on January 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
There are enough reviews and analyses of The Sandman Chronicles to warrant my cutting to the chase. I own the entire Sandman in hardcover with covers by Dave McKean. They are gorgeous. The recolouring alone is worth the price of owning this volume (and subsequent ones). Now looking better than ever, the strange world of the Endless is given extra depth. The care to the binding and slipcover as well ensures that this will live on your shelf for a very long time.
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