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The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You Paperback – May 3, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

You may have heard somewhere that Neil Gaiman's Sandman series consisted of cool, hip, edgy, smart comic books. And you may have thought, "What the hell does that mean?" Enter A Game of You to confound the issue even more, while at the same time standing as a fine example of such a description. This is not an easy book. The characters are dense and unique, while their observations are, as always with Gaiman, refreshingly familiar. Then there's the plot, which grinds along like a coffee mill, in the process breaking down the two worlds of this series, that of the dream and that of the dreamer. Gaiman pushes these worlds to their very extremes--one is a fantasy world with talking animals, a missing princess, and a mysterious villain called the Cuckoo; the other is an urban microcosm inhabited by a drag queen, a punk lesbian couple, and a New York doll named Barbie. In almost every way this book sits at 180 degrees from the earlier four volumes of the Sandman series--although the less it seems to belong to the series, the more it shows its heart. --Jim Pascoe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; New edition edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401230431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401230432
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. Angus Macdonald on July 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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 By M. Salvati on August 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 By D. Sippel on March 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
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 By A. N. Bryant on July 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
...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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