Customer Reviews: The Sandman Vol. 5: A Game of You (New Edition) (The Sandman series)
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on July 14, 2000
I have always found this to be an underappreciated chapter in the Sandman series. I don't think people realize what Gaiman has pulled off here. Besides coming up with a fascinating adventure story and a dizzying sideline into how we categorize ourselves (profession, gender, dreams, affinities, relations), he has done something few men have ever done -- written intelligently about what it is like to be a woman and a little girl.
At first this may not seem like much, but the whole tale of Barbie's quest is inherently feminine. The dream world she inhabits is not a boys world. The questors are female (well, most of them and the last one is trying hard), and the ending turns around the whole notion of being a girl (even more than merely a child) that one of my female friends was convinced that someone TOLD Gaiman what to write!
This is also a tale of loyalty. When it all comes down, each of the characters has to make a decision based one what has happened, a decision that could ultimately change each of their lives. Surprising decisions are made, but they are understandable if you stop and think about them.
I love this volume, as I love the Sandman series in general. I only wish (as many did) that Gaiman had written some more. Like any good story, we hate to see it come to an end.
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on August 13, 1999
Neil Gaiman does it again! He takes Barbie, a marginal character in the "Doll's House" storyline and makes her into a 3 dimensional character. He also introduces some other great characters like Hazel, Foxglove, Clarissa, and my personal favorite in this volume, Wanda. After reading this tale, I was struck by how the characters matter so much in Sandman stories. How Neil cares about them so much that they keep popping up again and again in unlikely places. Even when someone mentions another person, I can tell that Neil has a character description written up for that person and they will appear in another story. Clarissa will appear again in "Kindly Ones", while Hazel and Foxglove are in both "Death" mini-series. (Also Foxglove is mentioned by another character in the "24 Hours" chapter in "Preludes and Nocturnes.")
That aside, "A Game of You" is probably the most personal story of the entire Sandman oeuvre. It's primarily the story of Barbie and her childhood dreams that become very real. The heart of the story is Barbie's relationship with Wanda which is both funny and touching. Dream doesn't appear much in this one, but the story is so good and the main characters so interesting that you won't mind at all.
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on October 27, 1999
Of course it's good. All Sandman is good.
In this one, though, I'd suggest you not read Samuel Delany's foreword until you've read the book. He analyzes things as if you've read them, gives some surprises away, and generally kills the mood. It's a fine commentary; it's just that it should be an afterword.
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on January 11, 2014
A Game of You is one of shakier Sandman collection, but still earns itself a perfect rating as far as I'm concerned. AGOY follows the story of five young women who are drawn into the realm of Morpheus. Strangely, Morpheus is barely in this book, but I feel that it works for the story.

One criticism this book often receives is the treatment of the character Wanda, who is a pre-op trans-sexual. Some people think this book comes off as sexist, but I don't see it. Wanda is easily the strongest and most developed character in the book, and most of the sexism is just a representation of the bias society already has for transsexuals.

If you like this series so far, you'll love this book.
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on March 7, 2003
I really enjoyed this TPB. I've read the first four volumes, and this is right up there with Vol. 1 Preludes and Nocturnes, and Vol. 4 Season of the Mist. The defining strength of A Game Of You lies within the distinctive, well developed cast of characters. Because I cared about each of these characters in turn, the mildly epic storyline captivated me as it effortlessly moved along. The whole nature of the journey reminded me in some ways of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, albeit on a smaller scale.
The art always varies throughout the Sandman series because of the use of different artists, and A Game of You continues that practice, with some consistency, thanks to Shawn McManus. McManus contributes the majority of the art here, and his style is perfectly suited to this tale. The guest artists are competent, but not quite as masterful as McManus.
A Game of You is a fine tale, and a great addition to the Sandman series. It certainly makes me look forward to reading the next volume.
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on April 25, 2014
First up, all of the 10 volumes of The Sandman novels deserve 5 stars. They are a phenomenal acheivement in not only graphic novels but in storytelling itself. The story is complex and cerebral and the characters so well developed that Sandman is one of my favorite stories period. The novels are intensely violent and often disturbing but everything that happens serves a purpose, and nothing happens by chance or just for the sake of things happening. Something that happens in one volume may become vitally important 3 or 4 volumes later. By the end of the 10th volume everything has come full circle with an appropriate and satisfying end.

With regards to Volume 5, it is one of the least popular of the series but Gaiman's personal favorite. I tend to side with Gaiman on this on. Perhaps it's that he assigns gender's to his story and considers "A Game of You" to be female. As a woman, I personally liked the story. It cernters around Barbie, who was introduced in " A Dolls House" - now disillusioned and alone, she is now confronted by the fantasy realm she used to visit in her dreams, now affecting those around her.

As far as the volume's content on the Kindle Fire - I was hesitant to abandon the volumes in print worried that the Kindle Fire might provide a more difficult viewing experience. That hasn't turned out the be the case. The novel is easy to read, you can scan in to specific boxes, and the colors are vibrant.
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on May 24, 2011
Personally this was one of my favorite books in the series. I loved the characters (well, Wanda and Barbie, anyway) and the storyline, which reminded me a great deal of books I enjoyed as a child. I can't really discuss it without spoiling anything, but trust me, it's a good one.


I am absolutely sick-and-tired of seeing reviews for this book calling Wanda, a transgendered WOMAN, a:
Crossdresser (a person who does not identify as trans but still wears the opposite gender's clothing)
Transvestite (a person who wears the opposite gender's clothing to become aroused--90% of guys who do this are straight, by the way)
Drag Queen (a performer who acts like a woman, usually a stereotyped one at that)
and other things that she is not.

In Neil's own words, this is one of his "female" stories--he classifies his Sandman stories depending on the viewpoints shown. Wanda, is, a, woman. She contributes to the female angle of this story.
To say otherwise is to insult a minority group.

I urge Amazon to edit that part of the review on this site, as it is offensive to people on the LBGT spectrum.

Also I personally think that Hazel & Foxglove are awful people but considering the time period it is indeed conceivable that Hazel wouldn't know a lot about sex. If she didn't learn it at home, she wasn't going to have learned at school.

ANYWAY, look at me prattle on. Go buy the book, you won't be sorry. And don't read it in the car, it's a little nauseating at parts, rather gory, and might make you carsick!
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on March 18, 2015
Excellent Story. Highly recommended for a reason.

As a comic book fan I know most people probably imagine the world of comics as being about super heroes or Sunday Funnies. But, the comic medium is worthy of so much more.

Sandman is that "much more". The story is excellent, and is wonderfully executed. You're going to want to get all of these at once, because they can't be put down.

If you're already a comic book fan, you've likely heard of Sandman. So what are you waiting for? Read this already!

If you aren't already a comic book fan, maybe it's time to give it a chance. If any story is going to change your mind about the possibilities of this art form, this is the one.
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on July 6, 1999
...and I was listening to 'Horses'. Sure, I'd listened to the song a billion+ times before, but I paid particular attention to the line 'Will you find me if Neil makes me a tree?' I, like any good Toriphile, knew that she was talking about Neil Gaiman. I'd never read any of his books up to that time, and for some reason the song, with all it's subliminal messaging, had peaked my interest. (Why hadn't it done that before, you ask? I dunno, now sit your heiney down and let me tell you my story!) I, being completely Gaiman-illiterate, decided that A Game of You would be as good as place as any to start. Not only had it come highly recommended, but it had the prettiest cover! So, I took $20 out of me pocket and with blind faith bought my first Neil Gaiman/Sandman story. I had never loved a story so much in my entire life... I was totally captivated by the involved storyline, the beautiful artwork, and the incredible way that Neil could weave so many different lives into the story without over-doing it. The ending was so beautiful, and very fulfilling. That was a month ago. Now, 5 Gaiman novels richer, (and $100 poorer) I've decided that these are the most incredible graphic novels ever created. I highly suggest them. And, if you too are Gaiman illiterate, go for this one first. It's one of the best (after the Kindly Ones, but I wouldn't recommend that for your first.) ~N
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on January 26, 2016
Rating is for this listing, not the book itself. Its fine and all, but the edition pictured is not the one you receive, it's the newer version with a different cover. Totally annoying, as I otherwise would've just gotten the paperback, but too lazy to return it, so I guess it's a wash. :/
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