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The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House Paperback – October 19, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews
Book 2 of 12 in the Sandman Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, and is the recipient of numerous literary honors. Originally from England, he now lives in America.

The Marvel and Other Short Stories is a collected anthology of six short stories written by the winners of the Austin Macauley World Book Day short story competition.

Malcolm Jones is Associate Professor of Veterinary Biology and Parasitology at the University of Queensland, Australia, and visiting scientist at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. His research interests lie in molecular and cell biological approaches to understanding the biology and control of pathogenic helminth (worm) infections.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; Reprint edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401227996
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401227999
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.6 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
THE DOLL'S HOUSE is the arc that Gaiman himself says is where he realised what he wanted to do with the characters and where he wanted to go with the SANDMAN story. This edition begins with two stories that both stand apart from the rest of the series, but that also both have significant influence on THE DOLL'S HOUSE storyline and beyond. The first, "The Sound of Her Wings" introduces Dream's big sister in a profound and moving tale about the value of spending a day with Death as she goes about her business sending people to their next life. The next tale introduces Nada, Dream's doomed mortal love, who will play a significant part in a later arc, SEASONS OF MISTS. Then, THE DOLL'S HOUSE begins, a tale involving escaped dreams and nightmares, a human vortex and her granmother who had spent the bulk of her life asleep (see the previous PRELUDES AND NOCTURNS), and Dream's quest to prevent the dissolution of his kingdom. What makes Gaiman's writing so unique is that not only does he reject the comic book obligatory of big fist-fights to SAVE THE WORLD (and all that), but that Dream is not even the central character in these stories. Instead, Rose Walker is. It is she, not Dream, who is threatened and who goes on the emotional roller-coaster and it is to find out what happens to her that the reader keeps reading. In fact, Dream - the "hero" of this title - at what point nearly kills her to save his kingdom! Magnificent writing, magical artistry, this story is an absolute must. Buy it. Buy several. It makes a great gift.
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Format: Paperback
Second in the Sandman comic book series, The Doll's House is much better than its predecessor, Preludes and Nocturnes. I find that with most Sandman stories, you read the whole thing just going "wow, this is really cool"...and then just when you thought it couldn't get better, at the end Neil Gaiman suddenly ties it together and leaves you absolutely breathless.

The Doll's House is probably the most disturbing Sandman, along with P&N, but it's also one of the most beautiful, one of the best. It features the first appearance of Dream's sister/brother Desire, and the story of Dream and Nada, and this guy called the Corinthian who's going to a Cereal Convention. There's something kinda weird about his eyes. You'll see... <g>
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved these stories in the trade paperback form, and I really looked forward to them on the Kindle Fire. The new Kindle Fire Comics with the pop-out panels are a surprisingly nice way to read comics; and I thought Watchmen in this format was a masterpiece. But I also knew Watchmen had a significant advantage in this regard: the entire series was drawn with an extremely regular panel grid, with only rare deviations. So pop-up rectangular panels suited it well. I expected the format to be more challenging for something with more panel variety -- especially something as downright experimental as Sandman.

So I expected some of the pop-out choices to be difficult. I was ready to tolerate some unusual choices. And for the most part, they handled it well. They did a nice job with challenging panels like wide or tall panels with dialog balloons in many places. They even did an OK job with some of the rotated panels.

But in a few places, they just plain got it wrong. In some places they got the dialog order wrong, so an response pops out before the statement that prompted it. And in a few cases, they missed a dialog balloon entirely; and the only way I could read it was to switch to page mode.

So I knocked off a star for the imperfections. I hope DC takes the time to fix these after the mad rush of releasing 100 Kindle Fire Comics at once.
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Format: Paperback
In the second Sandman collection, the reader starts to realize that Gaiman has some long range plans for this series. The tale of Rose Walker, the dream vortex who must be killed to save The Dreaming, is a complex one. The Doll House introduces the reader to many of the characters who would have a major effect on Gaiman's plans for the series. Particularly excellent is the tale of Hob Gadling, who becomes Dream's friend when he becomes the man "Death will not touch." Their meetings each century are little history lessons so well executed they make you wish for more. The "Cereal" convention, with special guest lecturer the Corinthian, is a scary look at the fascination with serial killers and the final twist involving Desire gives the reader some insight into the relationship of Dream with his siblings. This book really shows what a truly original creation The Sandman is.
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Format: Paperback
The Sandman of the late eighties was not quite the majestic, surreal series that became the most celebrated comic book of the 1990s. Instead, it was an odd mixture of horror, fantasy and typical DC fare. They were loaded with potential but the early issues of Sandman seem rough and awkward compared to the brilliant material of a few years hence.
The Doll's House, Sandman's second volume, presents Neil Gaiman's first attempt at a large-scale story arc (The series' first eight issues, collected in Preludes and Nocturnes, were interconnected but were, for the most part, individual episodes). Like most Sandman story arcs, The Doll's House is quite multifaceted. Later, Gaiman would master the art of unfolding intricate story arcs with masterful precision, but on The Doll's House, he has yet to reach his peak. Thus, this is not a great story arc but a cumbersome one that has occasional moments of greatness.
It is difficult to recap the plot of The Doll's House, as it is a messy one that slowly unveils itself as the story moves along. The least one must know before delving into any Sandman volume is that the series focuses on the "realm of dreams," and its ruler, Morpheus, a God-like being with the attitude of a morose 20-something. The Doll's House finds the dream king tracking down several inhabitants of his dominion who fled during the decades he was imprisoned by a sorcerer (see Preludes and Nocturnes) and also dealing with a "dream vortex" that has manifested itself in a punk-ish young woman named Rose Walker. Rose is searching for her lost brother, Jed, who is locked in the cellar of his abusive aunt and uncle.
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