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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where, oh where, has that little girl gone?
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...
Published on July 14, 2000 by J. Angus Macdonald

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing Panels: poor edition
Between pages 29 to 31 -- there's an arrival, a recognition, and a gift of the porpentine. None of those panels make it into this edition, and they are important to the story.

I ordered this to replace my prior copy, which got soaked. I'm disappointed. I love the story, but not the changes.
Published on November 8, 2009 by Arnold F. Williams


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where, oh where, has that little girl gone?, July 14, 2000
By 
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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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story of identity and finding your inner child, August 13, 1999
By 
M. Salvati (Neshanic, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One caution..., October 27, 1999
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites of the series, March 7, 2003
By 
D. Sippel "Rocker" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was your typical Tori Amos fan..., 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I think I saw Martin Tenbones on the streets yesterday..., November 11, 2006
By 
Like a huge boulder that cannot be stopped, Gaiman continues to plow through the journeys of the characters we first were introduced to in the spellbinding introduction entitled "Preludes and Nocturnes" with his fifth collection aptly titled "A Game of You". Like no other artist that I have seen in the past, Gaiman impresses yet again by taking a smaller character from his "Doll House" collection and expanding darkly into her dreams and past. That small character is Barbie - of Ken & Barbie - and the elaboration of her fantasy dream world that includes large hairy beasts, an inspector rat, a bird, as well as a monkey with a circus suit. It sounds nearly dream-like, but what Gaiman does (like no other) is give these characters moments of emotion, human traits, and a drive to see what they believe in succeed. Gaiman takes us from our physical Earth to this dream-created world with comfort and ease, nearly making us more excited to be in this fictional world than in our own. He does this through sympathetic creatures/characters, through the unknown, and through the unhinging power of Dream.

Our story follows Barbie as she attempts to reconnect with her world after her relationship with Ken soured. She has made a few friends in her apartment - one a transvestite named Wanda, a gay couple named Hazel and Foxglove that harbor a surprising secret, then there is Thessaly, an unknown neighbor that seems to know more of what is happening then the rest of our players. None the less, as it seems to be in this series, a character from Barbie's dreams escapes onto the streets of New York. Barbie sees it, realizes it, and retrieves a pendant from it before it is gunned down by the NYPD. She is struck by the idea that her dreams could become a reality. She takes the pendant home with her and deeply falls asleep only to awaken back in her dream world where she is asked to save it from the evil grip of the Cuckoo.

(Now, for the quick - quick - quick version...)

As she makes this journey with her supposed friends, Thessaly sets into motion a way to retrieve her from the lost dream world. She kills a neighbor George (who was oddly giving everyone nightmares in the apartment) and hangs the skin of his face on the wall so that he can talk to the saviors about what is happening to Barbie. Thessaly calls down the Moon God so that she, Hazel, and Fox can travel to Barbie's dream world to save her. Barbie finds the Cuckoo, but it is not who she expects it to be. Due to traveling, Thessaly has disrupted the physical Earth causing peril to Wanda - and just when we think that all is going to be lost, our heroine Dream takes his powerful step forward, wrapping up a phenomenal story that continues to build upon the world we still know little about.

This is another great collection by Gaiman in the expansion of his Dream world. I enjoyed the inception of a character that we already knew about, that we already knew her dreams, and Gaiman just wanted to grow upon it to demonstrate the overall power and depth of Dream. In a prior review, I was upset that we didn't have the opportunity to see much of Dream in a certain collection which ultimately created animosity with this avid reader, but in "A Game of You", I didn't mind. I liked not having Dream arrive until it was absolutely necessary because (unlike the past collection) there was this sense of fantasy that kept your attention throughout the book. The actions of Thessaly, the arrival of Martin Tenbones on the streets of NY, and the entirely creepy, yet bizarre world that Barbie enters that reminded me of a slanted Narnia. Gaiman gave us enough to wrap our minds around that Dream just seemed to be a mediator instead of a main character, and in this collection that worked. The eclectic collection of "real" people kept a strong balance between the realities that Barbie lived in and the dream world she created, it is only when the two combine together that we are provided with a climax like no other. While the other collections followed a similar path, I felt this one was Gaiman's strongest developed story yet. I say this mainly because he takes a similar structure as he did in "Seasons of Mists" - the onslaught of several different characters from several different walks of life - but expands it in a way that only he can develop. Gaiman is at the top of his game with this volume, and I cannot wait to see where he will take us next.

Overall, I was extremely happy with this collection. Yet again, I have no complaints as Gaiman does not seem to be slowing down at all. He brings imagination, creativity, and this layer of unrepentant darkness to the table with each page that I turn. I especially loved the insertion of Rose Walker into the finale of the story as well as seeing Dream's sister make a cameo appearance. This collection blended well, giving us yet another scope of just how big Dream's world is and how easily he has control over it. This is one of those collections that you finish, take a deep breath, and then quickly jump into the next realizing that you do not want to skip a beat at all. I strongly suggest this book to anyone that can get their hands on it. I still say you need to begin with "Preludes and Nocturnes" and follow the course, but one could read this chapter and still become an instant fan of the series. Gaiman proves yet again that this is the pinnacle of his graphic novel career.

Grade: ***** out of *****
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another installment of a highly enjoyable series, June 23, 2005
By 
Vanessa E. Lee (Cincinnati, OH, USA) - See all my reviews
A Game of You returns us to one of the characters we were introduced to in The Doll's House, Barbie, part of the seemingly normal couple that lived in the same house as Rose. This is an expansion of her dream in that book, a further look into the world that she dreamed, and the end of that world.

The thing that I liked best about this book was how the characters were all somehow related to characters in earlier books. Barbie was Rose Walker's housemate. Foxglove is the ex-girlfriend of Judy, the girl who killed herself in the diner in Preludes and Nocturnes. The way everyone is connected to someone else in The Sandman, even if they appear in different volumes, helps to draw the whole story together.

The characters in A Game of You were, in my opinion, the best thing about the book. I wasn't surprised, as this seems to be the norm for The Sandman books, but I was impressed. The characters are all so diverse, each with their own (mostly) realistic quirks. Hazel and Foxtrot were my favorites, but I enjoyed all of them, even the woman from the subway who is terrified of dogs.

(I'm sure, however, that I'm missing something somewhere, as I know there's more to Thessaly than meets the eye. I'm just not sure what it is. Maybe I'll catch it when I re-read the series.)

A Game of You is really about the ending of a dream, which is in a way what all The Sandman books I've read are about, but this one is a little more obvious. The actual dream in the Dreamscape is ending. The skerry on which it exists is being destroyed by the dream itself, or at least from within the dream, by something left by Barbie when she roamed it as Princess Barbara.

It made for an interesting plot, in the dream and out of it, the two worlds mirroring each other. Most of the significant action took place in the dream, but the disastrous results were felt in the waking world much more keenly than in the dreamscape. The ones who suffered were not the ones who were causing the problem, which, of course, is what actually caused the problem to begin with, as Barbie left her younger self trapped in the dream, unable to get out.

Full of insights and unexpected twists, A Game of You is engaging and entertaining and more. There are things, ideas, lurking beneath the surface, waiting to be let out, but it also makes a good read just for enjoyment. Like the others in the series, I will be returning to this book sometime in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful story of everyone's past..., August 12, 1997
By A Customer
Though this isn't my favorite Sandman book, it is one of my favorite stories. The philosophy that your "inner child" has a grudge against you for the dreams that you have not fulfilled is frightening and thought provoking as most all Gaiman's stories are... This, also, was my first introduction to the Dreaming as a real and tangible land and quite an introduction it was. Barbie's progression from a frightened girl to a strong and valiant princess is one that I certainly learned from. I think that there are many of us who go through life looked at as a piece of meat, and in our dreams are princesses. Barbie had the courage to take what she had learned in her dream and transfer it Real Side, as displayed through what she wrote on Wanda's grave. Also, Thessaly is a fascinating character, who seems quite innocent and naive... up until the point that she nails a man's face to the wall, whom she has murdered in order to know the secrets that he keeps. Hazel and Foxglove, the young and somewhat confused lesbian couple make for comic relief, but Hazel's struggle with the possibility of her pregnancy and how she feels it will affect her relationship with Fox is touching. Foxglove sparks interest with her nightmare regarding a former and now deceased lover who physically abused her. But the most intriguing character of all is, of course, Morpheus himself. As always he speaks cryptic truths and caustic sentences, acting in a manner that only an Endless would. He grants Barbie's vindictive child self (the Cuckoo) its one wish, though she tried to kill Barbie, Thessaly, and succeded at killing all of Barbie's allies. The book never preaches, but it makes you consider things in a light that few would otherwise have shed on their thoughts.

The Sandman: A Game of You makes you ask yourself; is the Dreaming all that far from our fragile and transient reality?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most emotional one yet, February 26, 1999
By A Customer
Why does Neil KEEP having to write masterpieces? I can't afford all this but can't stop buying! Well, anyway, it seems that each Sandman graphic novel is the best I've seen at what it does: Preludes and Nocturnes was the most disturbing, the kind of thing you'd read after watching Silence of the Lambs and while listening to Radiohead or maybe Joy Division(NIN works too), and it also introduced his best character: Death. Doll's House was his first great narrative and really got the ball rolling. Besides, it was BURSTING with ideas, from the Corinthian to the "Cereal" to that raven pal of Morpheus'. Dream Country slowed things down and did 4 excellent stories and showed that Neil could spread himself out and experiment(and experiment he did! Just bask in the glory of Midsummer Night's Dream). Season of Mists set up the human side of the overall narrative and was a great sweeping epic in the old, grand mythic style.
THIS one, on the other hand, takes the humanity card and trumps it up for all it's worth. Every page is filled with pain and joy and peace and sorrow and hope and despair and...do you get the idea? Both the "real world" and the Narnia-like landscape of Barbie's dreams draw you in. The metaphors are piercing and the characters make you care more about them here than in almost any work of literature. Read the introduction and keep those ideas in mind while reading the story: it all weaves together and the parable is inseparable from the story. Both are very worthwhile. Oh @#$@#%, just READ the darn thing, if you own the first 4 Sandman Graphic Novels. If not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It would make a great companion to THE MAXX, January 27, 2010
By 
I can't help but think of The Maxx Volume 1 (Wildstorm/DC Comics)) as I read A Game of You - after all, both entail the stories of young women pulled into their fantasy world and the play between the two, complete with heroes, princess fantasies, and a desire to be something else, something more. Of course, whereas The Maxx's fantasy world was a more direct window into Julie's psyche, Gaiman's dream world is infinitely more flexible and less predictable, leading to a far stranger and more threatening fantasy - to say nothing of the way that reality itself is far less stable than we might expect (and our first glimpse of that is an absolutely stellar reveal). And while The Maxx focused on feminism and its corresponding view of the world, A Game of You becomes concerned more fundamentally with identity - gender identity, yes, but also the nature of who we really are and who we allow ourselves to be. Of all the Sandman volumes I've read so far, A Game of You is probably the most complex and the one most open to interpretation, and like the best literature, the questions it inspires are as fascinating, if not more so, than definite answers. Gaiman spins a two-teired tale, but eschews the standard interplay between a princess's quest to save her land and her real-life world in favor of something far more complex - a universe more interested in chromosomes than names, dead faces that tell jokes, and more. Despite Morpheus's relatively small part in the story, don't neglect this one; it's one of the richest and most satisfying chapters yet.
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