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Sandman, The: Endless Nights (Sandman (Graphic Novels)) Hardcover – October 1, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
Book 12 of 12 in the Sandman Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Now that he's a bestselling fantasy novelist, Gaiman returns to the comics series that made his reputation with this new volume of seven gorgeously illustrated stories. Gaiman specializes in inventing fantastic allegories for the quotidian, in a voice that casually shifts between uneasy realism and Borgesian grandeur. In Sandman cosmology, "The Endless" are seven immortal siblings who personify abstract concepts: Dream, Death, Destiny and so on. This work devotes a story to each of them, drawn in distinctly different styles by an all-star lineup of American, British and European cartoonists and fine artists. Gaiman is famous for writing to his artists' strengths, and he does so here. P. Craig Russell draws the surreal fantasia "Death and Venice" with the opulent brio of his opera adaptations. "What I've Tasted of Desire" is a darkly sexual fable, painted by Milo Manara in the style of his more X-rated work. A couple of the stories find Gaiman working in a more experimental mode than usual, notably "Fifteen Portraits of Despair," a set of anecdotes and prose poems accompanied by Barron Storey's tormented, abstract drawings and paintings. Longtime comics fans will notice plenty of inside jokes in "The Heart of a Star," but most of this book is a red carpet-or perhaps a Persian rug-rolled out for Gaiman's prose readers to see his visions turned into lush, dramatic images.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

When Gaiman ended his phenomenally popular comic-book series The Sandman in 1996, he promised to eventually revisit the characters. Now he keeps that promise, with results that are everything his fans could have hoped for. The series centered on the brooding title character, also known as Dream, who rules over the realm humans visit when they sleep, and also dealt with his godlike siblings Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction, and Destiny, collectively known as the Endless. In this book, each of them is the focus of a separate story, illustrated by one of an array of world-class comics artists whose approaches range from the relative straightforwardness of P. Craig Russell (see Isolation and Illusion [BKL Ap 15 03]) to the wildly disturbing work of Barron Storey. The stories themselves vary, too, from accounts of mortals' encounters with the Endless to depictions of those demigods' lofty existence. Gaiman's eagerly awaited return to his most successful creation shows his mastery of the characters and their world to be intact, and if these shorter stories don't allow for the complexity of the original series, they still demonstrate the brilliance of his concept and the elegance of his storytelling. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Sandman (Graphic Novels)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; First Edition edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401200893
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401200893
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For anyone who has followed the sandman series already, don't expect to find part of the wonderous trail of events here. But there are mentions of events that tie into the original 10 books.

Of the things that make this book worth reading are...

A) the chapters are divided into detailed descriptions of the 7 endless. It lets you really get inside each aspect.

B) in this book you get the oppurtunity to see many things not found in the original 10 books. 2 of my favorites include what started the feud between dream and desire and you are graced with the presence of delight before she became delerium.

C) the artwork in this book is truly amazing. The same could be said for any book in this series (save some of "Kindly Ones, Volume 9 which features a much more cartoon style) yet in my opinion the art in this particular book goes above and beyond the rest.

D) There are beutiful poetic symbols laced throughout this book about the endless. From Delerium's fish to portraits of despair, it is a truly beautiful image.

Therefore, although it truly cannot be compared to the original 10 works, it is a worthy epilogue; a study in the characters the reader by this point must have learned to love.
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Format: Hardcover
When I heard that Neil Gaiman was working on a new Sandman graphic novel, I was skeptical. The seventy-five issue comic book series began, proceeded and ended just fine. With dozens of spin-off mini-series, an illustrated Sandman prose novel, a "companion" book, a collection of quotes and a book of covers, the amount of peripheral volumes has become excessive. Then there are the posters, statues, and action figures. Even an artist as genuine as Gaiman can be tempted by the right amount of money and publicity and I feared Sandman: Endless Nights was just another part of the small marketing blitz that has accompanied Sandman's lasting popularity.
Now that I have read Endless Nights I am not sure. There are fantastic stories in here that are superb additions to the Sandman saga and there are also stories that seem like they did not need to be told.
Perhaps the reason Endless Nights is hit-or-miss is its format. In Sandman, seven all-powerful siblings, called The Endless, each have a different role in regulating conscious experience. The main character was the morose Dream, but the saga also featured the omniscient Destiny, the upbeat yet intelligent Death, the easy-going Destruction, the stoic Despair, the condescending Desire and the loopy Delirium. Endless Nights consists of seven chapters, each drawn by a different illustrator and each devoted to a different sibling. The problem is that these characters are defined by their mysteriousness and strangeness and do not easily lend themselves to central roles (Even Dream, the member of The Endless who readers knew best, played a role other than protagonist more often than not during the run of the comic series).
In three cases, Endless Nights adapts with structures as abstract as its characters.
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Format: Hardcover
For those of you ready to take the plunge in making purchase of this excellent graphic novel, do yourself a favor and spend the few extra bucks on the hardcover version. For starters the hardback is slightly oversized and the thick, glossy paperstock wonderfully frames every panel of this diverse and beautifully illutrated book.
Fans of Neil Gaiman will find much to be delighted about in this return to his beloved, 'Sandman,' series. Made up of 7 chapters, each chronicles one of the Endless (Death, Desire, Dream, Despair, Delirium, Destruction and Destiny) in a self-contained story superbly illustrated by a different artist. Particular standouts are Milo Manara's contributions in 'Desire,' the subdued tones of Miguelanxo Prado in 'Dream,' and Barron Storey and Dave McKean's gritty work in 'Despair.' As a volume of bonus material post-Sandman, this book is a wonderful treat for fans and certainly lives up to the quality we've come to expect from Gaiman and company.
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Format: Paperback
While I was pleased by this particular collection, I wasn't exacltly knocked out by it. There are three really great stories about Gaiman's Endless family. The Death, Delirium, and Dream stories were very much the type of story that Gaiman told in his "Sandman" series, using the respective characters as supporting players more than anything. Of the lot, the Dream story was the one I enjoyed the most, as it provided some interesting back-story (why Dream was morose in the "Sandman"; why he and Desire were always at each other's throats), while reminding the reader that despite the Vertigo trappings of the series, it was still conceived in the DC Universe proper. The Death story was also a treat, as Death waits for an island trapped in eternity. And the Desire story was really more of an adventure story, harkening to Tolkien or Howard (with excellent art by Milo Manera, reknowned for his ADULT work).

The Despair and the Delirium stories were experimental, tailored to more abstract artists. Good, if confusing. The Despair story was really a series of anecdotes about miserable persons. The Delirium story actually had a beginning, middle, and end, but it was a difficult read.

The Destruction story was interesting, set in a period after the "Sandman" series ended, but I wasn't sure where Gaiman was going with it. In the end, I suspect Gaiman didn't know either.

The Destiny story, while beautifully illustrated by Frank Quitely, was really a "biography" of Destiny.

It's worth reading, no doubt, but don't even bother unless you are versed in Gaiman's Endless.

Here's hoping Gaiman fills in some of the other gaps in Dream's story.
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