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The Sandman, Vol. 3: Dream Country Paperback – October 19, 2010

112 customer reviews
Book 3 of 12 in the Sandman Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

The third book of the Sandman collection is a series of four short comic book stories. What's remarkable here (considering the publisher and the time that this was originally published) is that the main character of the book--the Sandman, King of Dreams--serves only as a minor character in each of these otherwise unrelated stories. (Actually, he's not even in the last story.) This signaled a couple of important things in the development of what is considered one of the great comics of the second half of the century. First, it marked a distinct move away from the horror genre and into a more fantasy-rich, classical mythology-laden environment. And secondly, it solidly cemented Neil Gaiman as a storyteller. One of the stories here, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," took home the World Fantasy Award for best short story--the first time a comic was given that honor. But for my money, another story in Dream Country has it beat hands down. "A Dream of a Thousand Cats" has such hope, beauty, and good old-fashioned chills that rereading it becomes a welcome pleasure. --Jim Pascoe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the most critically acclaimed comics writer of the 1990s and is the author of numerous books and graphic novels. He is the New York Times No. 1 best-selling author of American Gods and Anansi Boys. Kelley Jones is a regular artist on Batman for DC Comics. Past credits include Sandman, Swamp Thing, Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, Batman: Bloodstorm, and Batman: Dark Joker - The Wild. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401229352
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401229351
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Dream Country" contains 4 unrelated stories about Dream and Death. The first story, "Dream of a Thousand Cats" is an amusing tale, but it does not deserve an entire issue to tell. It could have easily been one of the stories told to Rose by the old women in "Kindly Ones" and taken up only a few pages.
The second tale "Calliope" is much better, but is still missing that Gaiman magic. It does however, introduce us to one of Sandman's great loves and mother of his only child. It's a good story, but it's unoriginal.
The third tale is the real treat. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" takes off from a chapter in "Doll's House" where Dream tells William Shakespeare to write 2 plays for him. Shakespeare and his troop of actors perform Midsummer Night's Dream on a grassy hill in the English Countryside for the actual fairies that are represented in the play. It's a wonderful story and the art is just breathtaking.
The last one, "Facade", doesn't include Dream. Instead it focuses on an obscure super-heroine of the 60's and how she longs for a normal life which is granted by Death. It's a moving story, the kind of super-hero tale that only Neil could write. Super powers may be great, but being a normal person would be much more appealing sometimes.
All in all, Dream Country is not the best collection of Sandman stories, but "Midsummer Night's Dream" is the single best Sandman issue and actually won a slew of awards. It's worth checking out for that tale alone.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Allen W. Wright on July 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Yeah, I know it's not the first volume in the series. But I don't think Neil Gaiman really hit his stride until Dream Country. As this collection is a bunch of stand alone short stories, I think it makes an excellent book get people hooked on the Sandman.
There's Calliope, a one-hit novelist's muse really is one of the muses. He rapes and abuses his muse -- bad news when her ex comes to the rescue. Creepy, creepy story. Best of all, the collection includes the script to this story.
A Dream of A Thousand Cats... A charming tale that shows what cats dream of, and why those dreams will never be reality.
A Midsummer Night's Dream .. The real Oberon, Titania and Puck (and other fairies) attend the first performance of Shakespeare's classic play. Simply magical with superb art by Charles Vess.
Facades ... The life of a has-been superheroine. It takes a silly and forgotten character and makes her painfully human.
All of these stories are must-reads -- each told with different styles. What a wonderful way to sample what comics can be.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 1996
Format: Paperback
This collection contains two of Gaiman's best short stories. "Dream of a Thousand Cats," with its gorgeous artwork by Kelley Jones and Malcolm Jones III, is one of the great ironic cat stories. And "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which actually won a World Fantasy Award. The Award committee was so chagrined by the notion of a comic book winning the prize that they changed the rules to prevent such an abomination from ever happening again. Ah, what fools these mortals be. The collection also includes, as a bonus, a copy of Gaiman's script for another story, "Calliope," in which the magician shows us how the illusion is created. In one of his panel descriptions we see the key to his method: "NOW I WANT TO GET ACROSS THE RAPE, AND THE HORROR AND THE DOMINANCE, FAIRLY SUBTLY, DOING ALL THE WORK IN THE READER'S HEAD." Yes, indeed. That's where Gaiman always does his best work. In the reader's head
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on March 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Mythologies take longer to die than people believe. They linger on in a kind of dream country that affects all of you."
- Death of the Endless, in "Facade", herein

"Calliope" in some ways is the most interesting entry; Gaiman has also included his script for Calliope, as annotated during his conversations with the artist. Gaiman emphasizes that this isn't the One True Way of scriptwriting - but a student would have to look long and hard to find a better published example. The script supplies both dialogue and detailed descriptions of the accompanying visual images the artist should capture, also documenting their origins. (Failing author Rick Madoc's workspace, for instance, is based on Gaiman's own, without the Groucho Marx statue.)

Calliope and Dream were once lovers, but the fate of their son (one of the key elements of the Sandman mosaic, in FABLES AND REFLECTIONS) caused a rift between them that never healed. Like Dream, Calliope has spent much of the 20th century as a mortal's prisoner - in her case, Erasmus Fry captured her as she made a nostalgic visit to Greece in 1927, and rather than wooing her, forced her to provide inspiration. Now an old man, Erasmus as the story opens has sold her to Rick Madoc, who wants to break his writer's block before the deadline of his second novel falls due. (Forced inspiration involves Madoc raping Calliope, telling himself she's not really human.) Tasting success, Madoc gets greedy, and continues to exploit Calliope as he rises to fame and fortune - and enough time passes for Dream, an ultimate source of inspiration with a gift for epic vengeance, to escape his *own* unfortunate incarceration.
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