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The Sandman Library, Vol. 8: Worlds' End Hardcover – July 16, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews
Book 8 of 12 in the Sandman Series

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Hardcover, July 16, 1999
$15.39 $3.68
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When Brant and Charlene wreck their car in a horrible snowstorm in the middle of nowhere, the only place they can find shelter is a mysterious little inn called World's End. Here they wait out the storm and listen to stories from the many travelers also stuck at this tavern. These tales exemplify Neil Gaiman's gift for storytelling--and his love for the very telling of them. This volume has almost nothing to do with the larger story of the Sandman, except for a brief foreshadowing nod. It's a nice companion to the best Sandman short story collection, Dream Country, (and it's much better than the hodgepodge Fables and Reflections). World's End works best as a collection--it's a story about a story about stories--all wrapped up in a structure that's clever without being cute, and which features an ending nothing short of spectacular. --Jim Pascoe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The greatest epic in the history of comic books." — The Los Angeles Times Magazine

"Neil Gaiman is, simply put, a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him in any medium." — Stephen King --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; Gph edition (July 16, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563891700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563891700
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,282,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Brant Tucker and Charlene Mooney are two travellers making their way cross-country, when a snowstorm (in June, no less!) and an otherworldly animal-beast in the middle of a highway interrupts their travel, and the car crashes. Lost in the blizzard, Brant stumbles upon The World's End Inn, a free house. A tavern populated by people and creatures from different worlds and times, displaced from their homes by a `reality storm', an event so cosmically huge, it resonates across time and space.
So, to kill time until the storm passes, they tell stories. The art in theWorld's End framing sequences is top-notch stuff by Bryan Talbot and Mark Buckingham. Very tight, its realism contrasting nicely against the art in some of the other stories.
The first story, "A Tale of Two Cities", the story of a man (literally) lost in the dreams of his city. While a favorite of Sandman editor Karen Berger, I must confess I found it a little puzzling and indecipherable. And this is no fault of the artist, because the separation of text and art works very well. The format almost makes up for the lame story. My least favorite in the book.
Cluracan's Tale was much more enjoyable, starring and narrated by the lovable, oft-inebriated, arrogant emmisary of Queen Titania of Faerie. Cluracan is sent to a city-state run by a corrupt, piggish king, who is, by a quirk of politics and bloodlines, is also the city's spiritual leader. What follows is an adventurous story of murder, family helping family, and political sabotage. The art's very nice here, conveying a very interesting fairy-tale look, although Cluracan, Titania, and Nuala look nothing at all like they do in this or any of the other books.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
PREFACE:
WORLD'S END is a great collection of short stories, but it works best as part of the Sandman series. If you have not caught up by reading volumes 1-7, I'd suggest finishing those volumes before moving to this one. It's not absolutely necessary (this volume takes place largely outside the continuity of the universe), it helps if you are familiar with Gaiman's style and characters. If you have not read any Sandman yet, you're in for a treat: The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition).

REVIEW:
WORLD'S END is a 6-issue arc that is composed of 6 short stories. Picking up off of the hefty The Sandman Vol. 7: Brief Lives, Gaiman takes the listeners outside the Sandman narrative for a handful of musings. WORLD'S END follows two travelers who mysteriously find themselves lost in a storm. Seeking shelter and safety, the two travelers find their way to World's End, an inn that exists somewhere between space and time. The inn is populated with other wayward travelers, from different times, dimensions, and universes. With everyone stuck at the inn, the patrons pass the time by sharing stories.

These standalone stories range greatly in content, delivery, tone, and characterization. What I admired most about this collection was the range that Gaiman has control over. Each issue's narrative feels almost as if it were written by a different author -- this creates an impressive perceived verisimilitude to the characters' stories. These shifts in tone, however, are nearly seamless. The stories work with the reader and not against them.
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Format: Paperback
When I first started reading it, this collection of short stories seemed to be a somewhat random installment in the Sandman series. The stories were excellent, though. Stranded at the World's End Inn - a tavern for travelers caught in various "reality" storm - each stranded wayfarer shares a story of their choosing. One of the faery folk from past stories is stranded there, and he tells his tale, which allows us to see Dream. Although each tale is separate, they all incorporate characters from previous collections. It's nice to see such continuity in a series.

So, all of these stories occur during a storm that has stranded travelers from various worlds and ages. But, the cause of the storm is never mentioned ... until the end when it's revealed. And my oh my, what a revelation. The two-page spread of a figure walking through the sky was powerful. But when I turned the page, saw the illustration and realized what had caused the storm, I literally had to catch my breath. If you read Volume 8 before Volume 9, it is a foreshadowing. But because I had read Volume 9 before Volume 8, I knew exactly who had died.
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Format: Paperback
Travelers all converge at a Tavern at the end of the world to sit out a snowstorm. They pass the time by telling stories. The stories make up each issue and quite often the stories are inseparable from their narrators. Many familiar Sandman characters pop up such as Hob Gadlin and Cluaracan of faerie in the most entertaining of the stories. Even though the Sandman barely figures into the stories, his presence is felt; but what makes everything work is that different artists do the different stories in their own styles. In the case of Mike Allred (the creator of Madman one of the funnest super hero books in recent years) his style works perfectly with the tale of Prez. The last issue is a foreshadowing of things to come... Brace yourself for "The Kindly Ones."
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