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The Sandman; vol. 4: Season of Mists Paperback – January 4, 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In many ways, Season of Mists is the pinnacle of the Sandman experience. After a brief intermission of four short stories (collected as Dream Country) Gaiman continued the story of the Dream King that he began in the first two volumes. Here in volume 4, we find out about the rest of Dream's Endless family (Desire, Despair, Destiny, Delirium, Death, and a seventh missing sibling). We find out the story behind Nada, Dream's first love, whom we met only in passing during Dream's visit to hell in the first book. When Dream goes back to hell to resolve unfinished business with Nada, he finds her missing along with all of the other dead souls. The answer to this mystery lies in Lucifer's most uncharacteristic decision--a delicious surprise.

There is something grandiose about this story, in which each chapter ends with such suspense and drive to read the next. This book is best summed up by a toast taken from the second chapter: "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Jim Pascoe


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; Gph edition (January 4, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563890410
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563890413
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Neil Gaiman's artistic exploration of sin and redemption in Sandman: Season of Mists is a wonderful example of the literary excellence that can be achieved with a graphic novel format. Gaiman blends traditional literary techniques, surreal art, and evocative storytelling in order to create a unique work of literature.
Sandman is a seventy-five issue comic book series which follows Morpheus, a divine being known also as Sandman, as he explores the dreams of humanity and deals with other divine creatures in order to better understand mankind. Season of Mists, the third story arc in the series, begins with the Sandman, Lord of Dreams, journeying into Hell in order to forgive a woman he condemned nearly ten thousand years ago. Things quickly become complicated, however, when Lucifer decides to resign as king of Hell, and leaves the Sandman with the key to his kingdom. As the story progresses, the Sandman finds himself debating what to do with an empty Hell, as well as contemplating what it would mean to forgive the woman he condemned.
Gaiman writes the above story in a poetic narrative that incorporates a variety of literary techniques. The divine beings the Sandman encounters speak in an almost musical pattern that uses a lot of alliteration, and one scene, in which the Sandman speaks to a group of historical writers, is even written completely in iambic pentameter. The style works extremely well, since it also serves as an allusion to the poetic works of Shakespeare (who even makes a brief appearance in the tale), Dante's Divine Comedy, and John Milton's poem Paradise Lost, all of which are classic literary works that explore similar themes of sin and redemption.
The majority of Gaiman's literary techniques, however, are incorporated into the story through the art.
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Format: Paperback
The fourth book in The Sandman Chronicles, Season of Mists picks up where the second volume, The Doll's House left off, continuing the story of Dream and his siblings. Unlike the previous books, Season of Mists focuses mostly on immortals (or those close to it) rather than mortals. Only one of the chapters of the book even took place on earth, and that was dealing with the dead, not the living.

Because of this slightly different format, Season of Mists introduced a lot of rather colorful characters. Some were the relatively familiar faces of Norse, Egyptian, and Eastern gods, angels, and demons, while others were new characters, delightful and colorful in their own way. I particularly liked the contrast of Order and Chaos and, of course, the faeries, but that was a given to anyone who knows me at all.

I promise, though, I won't dwell on them here. I love Nuala, but in Season of Mists she really plays a very small roll.

The central plot of Season of Mists is the abandonment of Hell. Lucifer closes it, turning out all the souls, and then gives the key to Dream to do with as he will. This, naturally proves far more complicated than it originally seems.

Most of the story is concerned with the direct repercussions of this, particularly among the (relatively) immortal creatures of mythology. The result was one of the most fun chapters I've read in a long time-the chapter where they all come and present their cases to Dream, trying to win Hell for themselves. The interactions were entertaining, and the different ways that they tried to persuade Dream to give them the key to Hell, along with their reasons for wanting it and plans for it, were as varied and entertaining as they are.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Upon my first reading of this story of The Sandman series, i was struck by how simply and profoundly Gaiman interwove so many mythologies, all the while writing the most original modern myth of our time -- dare i say _all_ time -- something that a dust cover blurb would say "if William Blake and Mark Twain colaborated on the story of what Lucifer is doing these days..." Everything from the Angels, Duma and Remiel (quite wonderful choices -- check out G. Davidson's "Dictionary of Angels" for how accurate!), to the enraged expelled demons, Azazel and company, and the self-admitted profound absence of the Greek dieties. With each successive reading, i found these threads are strung together into an amazing story of what might happen should the Ruler of Hell abdicate. Told through the perspective (and responsibility) of the Prince of Stories, the Lord Shaper Morpheus himself. i found this to be a as great a starting point as any for the series, if for no other reason, because of the wondrous introduction of Dream and his family, The Endless. The resolution of plot and every subplot, is quite tasty, and having Lucifer acknowledge the beauty of sunsets that The Creator (and his nemesis) provides daily, gives me chills just to think of it. And the bookended cliche phrases of "Once Upon A Time" and "Happily Ever After. In Hell." Give this esoteric mythos tale the finishing air of mundanity (?) that place it within the realm of each and every one of us. Aside from being my own personal favorite longer story within the series, it is in my opinion, the best. ["The Kindly Ones" would be a close second.]
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