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The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (The Sandman #1)

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  117,498 Ratings  ·  3,902 Reviews
In 1916, Dream is captured and encased in a glass globe in a failed attempt by a fictional Edwardian magician (very much in the vein of Aleister Crowley) named Roderick Burgess to bind Death and attain immortality. Dream bides his time for decades until Burgess dies. Afterwards, his son Alexander becomes Dream's new captor. Finally, in 1988, Alex's guards grow careless and ...more
235 pages
Published 1999 by MagicPress (first published 1988)
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Popular Answered Questions

C. Online book sellers have it always, Barns & Noble might have it in their physical stores in the Manga/Comics section, but I can't be sure.

If they…more
Online book sellers have it always, Barns & Noble might have it in their physical stores in the Manga/Comics section, but I can't be sure.

If they don't keep it in-stock, you can always have your physical retailer order a copy for you if you're not into online book sellers.(less)
C. It is a true graphic novel. There's nothing book-like about this series. Whether it "works" depends on the type of e-reader.

From the sample I got for…more
It is a true graphic novel. There's nothing book-like about this series. Whether it "works" depends on the type of e-reader.

From the sample I got for my Kindle from the Amazon website, it seems like it will work with a regular kindle... but it's going to be a bit tricky to navigate unless you have a Kindle Touch.

If you have a Kindle Fire, Nook Color, or iPad (or kindle app for iPad) that would be the better choice, since the entire thing is in full color, not black and white. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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First off, let's be clear, I'm a big soppy fan of Gaiman's Work.

Secondly, I've read the Sandman series several times before. So this is more a record of my fond re-reading and musing about this story rather than some sort of objective review.

But if you've read any of my other reviews, that won't come as a surprise.

I think it's been a full ten years since the last time I've read this series. And, given that my memory is, well... to put it plainly quite shit, I get to experience the series with
Kat Stark
Mar 31, 2016 Kat Stark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

To Sandman fans: Oh my God, I love your comic! Where did you get it? To Everyone else: That is the ugliest f-ing art I've ever seen.

Gaiman fans STAY AWAY, I am not gonna sugar-coat this one.

For those of you that just started following me, I happen to love dark, disturbing, and weird things. I’m a big fan of gore, violence, and things of gruesome or macabre nature. This comic has me written all over it when I read some of the reviews. Which I also noticed, there are very few negative ones--in fac
May 19, 2015 Alejandro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FanTABulous preluDe!

Creative Team:

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Illustrators: Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg & Malcolm Jones III

Covers: Dave McKean

Letterer: Todd Klein


It is NEVER “only a dream”, John Constantine.

Definitely there is stuff that if you read again, you’ll get it differently, but even so, you’ll get it differently if you re-read it again in a different order.

I am re-reading again the first four TPBs of The Sandman since I was able to buy the rest of TPBs of the series,
Bill  Kerwin

I thought it was time I added The Sandman. It fits precisely into my systematic program of reading. “Hold on!” I can hear all you folks out there saying. “ Your 'systematic program of reading'? Why you're one of the most eclectic readers I know!”

I can understand why you might feel that way, but there is a little method to my madness. Although it is true that some of the books I read (progressive political analyzes, slim 20th century verse collections, cat books, classic spiritual treatises, or t
Bookworm Sean
Mr Gaiman, thank you for the dream.

See what I did there? But in all fairness this is a dream. This comic is just everything I want a comic to be. It’s dark and brutal; it’s profound and sophisticated: it’s imaginative and creative. I just love everything about it. It’s superb. Let’s begin with the characters:



So the protagonist is a god, a very old god. And he represents one of the key elements of life itself: hope. He is everything the mind longs for. He is the reason to carry on living
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

I need to admit something. I've never "gotten" Neil Gaiman's books. They confuse the hell out of me. I really never know where he is going with a story. *gasp*

This one was some freaky ass shit. Some old guy wants to perform a ceremony to capture "Death". Yeah..okay.
Anyways, he ends up capturing our guy Dream.
Dream bides his time. Then he wants his domain back. Then some more freaky ass shit goes down.

I see a whole lot of fangirls and boys on these books. Don't kill me yet. I have another on
Neil Gaiman is a bit of an black sheep to me.

What I mean by that is that I absolutely adore his ass off. He is one of those authors that writes so beautifully, vividly, creatively that it is almost impossible not to be sucked inside the fantasy worlds he somehow manages to share to us mere mortals. All this despite of the fact that his most popular works are in general the kinds I have no interest, no passion, no need to have on my reading list.

But he is Neil Gaiman. He is my black sheep. He is
Will M.
One of those graphic novels that are so famous and hyped up that it makes you want to read them. The consequence though would be that expectations tend to rocket up. I am more disappointed than entertained.

I've read 2 novels of Neil Gaiman. I hated Stardust, while Ocean was a mediocre read for me. I DNF(did-not-finish) American Gods and Graveyard Book because I got bored. The Sandman was not that great for me. I think I have to conclude soon enough that I honestly don't see what's so good about
Since joining goodreads, I’ve been baffled by the Neil Gaiman love fest. American Gods, Neverwhere, Stardust, The Graveyard Book, they appear to be universally loved, and I’ve been skeptical of this emotion that borders on worship. These books are good and all, and I recognize their general accessibility, but I don’t personally find any of them mind blowing literature. Gaiman’s prose is no match for China Mieville’s or Iain M. Banks’ or Ursula LeGuin’s (and countless others who write speculative ...more
"I am anti-life, the beast of judgement. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, Gods, worlds... of everything. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?"

"I am hope."

This is my favourite quote from this book, and one of my favourite quotes in general. It's beautiful. And true, thank god, so true.

I really liked this book. I've wanted to read The Sandman for a long time, and after this I'm beginning to grasp why it's become so popular. I really, really hope I can find the rest o
Brilliant! Beautiful! Fun! That is all.
Once I was all done with this book, my very first thought was "This book is really weird."

Neil Gaiman, as all of you know, is a God at creating the most intricate and best of all story worlds. Honestly, every time I pick up his books, I never have a single clue with where he's going to take the readers with his story lines. Reading the blurb seriously does not help. Gaiman's works always have depth and much more stuff going on than what the blurb normally says.

So, I finally have gotten around to
Sh3lly ✨ Bring on the Weird ✨
Decided to re-read this since my library had it. I haven't read this since the 90s. I don't remember anything about it so far. It's kind of like all brand new and sparkly. And creepy. Yes, definitely creepy, in a good way.

And now here's a random Bowie gif that reminded me of this for some reason:

I'm keeping my original rating. This was fantastic. I like how he worked a few superheroes into it and (view spoiler) This is adult comics at its bes
In the foreword and the afterword, both the editor and Gaiman indicated that this isn't the strongest volume in the Sandman series; Gaiman was still finding his vision for the series, it's essentially a fetch quest, etc. I'm inclined to agree with them, although it was still enjoyable (as any video game fan will tell you, a fetch quest can still be fun, but it's not the strongest narrative device). I'm halfway through Volume 2: The Doll's House and I'm already finding the story much more interes ...more
Dec 17, 2015 Antonio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers, Comic Lovers
Recommended to Antonio by: Federico Berbotto

Esta es la primera novela gráfica de estilo occidental que leo y también es el primer comic que leo dejando de lado a Condorito así que mi opinión no es tal vez la más calificada en el tema, pero si te interesa mi opinión aquí va….

Antes de empezar a leerlo

Comencé este comic después de la recomendación insistente de un par de amigos de Facebook, la historia está dividida en 7…. ¿Capítulos? ¿Arcos? ¿Números? Bueno dejémoslo en 7 -give me a break soy nuevo en esto- xD

1. El sueño de los justos Al
Nov 02, 2013 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, fantasy, horror
3 – 3.5 stars

Ok, so, The Sandman. Ground breaking comic series from the early days of DC’s innovative Vertigo line. One of the many comics of the era that was trying to do new (or at least different) things with the medium and even went so far as to not only NOT be primarily a superhero book, but one that had elements that hearkened back to the old days of anthology comics in addition to telling the serialized life story of the ‘hero’. I know I’m in the minority here, and I will admit that my op
Nov 03, 2015 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I have to say I enjoyed this much better the second time around.

Both times I really got a kick out of the Crowley sidestory, and I still have no idea who or what the original sandman comic was all about, nor do I particularly care, but this reimagining is a real work of art.

It's not even the art, per-se, although I did enjoy seeing Bowie as Satan. It fits him so well. It was the story. It seemed to stumble about for a short while as 70 years of imprisonment turned a very old god into a shadow,
I liked the beginning, when Dream was captured. The mystical elements held my attention. However, the middle of it kind of grossed me out. Especially the part in with Dee in the diner. EWWWW. The end of Preludes and Nocturnes totally made up for it, though. I loved Death! How cool is she?! Whoever came up with the idea to make Death a peppy little goth girl was a genius!
Sam Quixote
I read this one some 10 years or so ago when I was slowly returning to comics and, having re-read it now, I still maintain that Preludes and Nocturnes is a poor place to start with this series - though it’s a decent book.

My first time around, I read Sandman totally out of sequence starting with Vol 3, then Vol 5, then a couple more volumes (I was just grabbing whatever was on the shelves that week!) and I read Vol 1 towards the end thinking what an unimpressive first volume it was.

I’d recommen
May 12, 2013 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, comics
Sandman has been on my radar for years. In a way I'm glad I've waited, because now that I've read 4 or 5 of the author's other books, I have a better idea of his style and thematic preferences and I can appreciate better how innovative and original his approach to the sequential art medium is. Urban fantasy that doesn't limits itself to crime investigations and vampires versus werewolves, superheroes that are fallible and make mistakes, adult content that doesn't drown you in bad language, nudi ...more
6 stars!

“In a fairy tale story, once all the children are asleep, the Sandman will come in and sprinkle magic dust in children’s eyes and give them sweet dreams.”

At least, that is the interpretation we get about the Sandman. However, in this graphic novel, we are about to enter a world where the Sandman is a magical being of the Dream world, but the world of the Sandman is much darker and more disturbing than you can ever imagine! “The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes” is a comic series writt
Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is such a legendary comic series that it needs no introduction at this point. It ran from 1989 to 1996 as the flagship series for DC imprint Vertigo Comics, indicating a shift to more mature content. This came shortly after the arrival of Alan Moore’s Watchmen (1986) and Frank Miller’s Batman: Dark Knight Returns (1986), heralding a renaissance in the comic book industry. No longer were writers satisfied with superheroes knocking out super villains with visual sound-eff ...more
Caro M.
I think I'm in love...

P.S. (added on 2015/06/23) So I wasn't just trippin'! Lucifer in fact WAS modelled on David Bowie! Artist Kelley Jones revealed in Hanging Out with the Dream King that "Neil was adamant that the Devil was David Bowie. He just said, ‘He is. You must draw David Bowie. Find David Bowie, or I’ll send you David Bowie. Because if it isn’t David Bowie, you’re going to have to redo it until it is David Bowie.’ So I said, ‘Okay, it’s David Bowie..." Yay! (source: http://www.gamesrad
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Neil Gaiman is a master storyteller. I like to think of him as the modern fairytale creator. He is adept at creating unique stories that just blow the mind.

This graphic novel is no different, though as early Gaiman works go, it could be seen as "rougher". Make no mistake, it is for MATURE audiences. Rape, brutal murders, drugs - these are just a taste. It can be a bit much, particularly if you aren't expecting it. The art is raw and gritty, perfect for this type of comic, though no
J.G. Keely
Though Gaiman had already made his mark with Black Orchid, Sandman is where he really begins to fall into his style, which sometimes becomes his downfall in its predictability.

Here, he plays for perhaps the first time at mixing mythology, spirituality, and strange real events into a story beyond the ken of other fairytale rewrites and new age mysticism. There is a sense here that the characters and story are still undeveloped in his mind, which provides the reader with some welcome ambiguity, as
Feb 15, 2012 seak rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I can see why this is looked on so positively, it's creative, it's different, it's got a David Bowie from the Labyrinth character. But it's also extremely dark and depressing, especially the part about John Dee, which was also pretty gruesome. This series is a little much for me so I don't think I'll be going any further.

I thought it was interesting that parts take place in Gotham and Arkham and include some DC superheroes. I honestly didn't think they would be interrelated like that, but I gues
Paul Nelson
New to the Sandman series, initial thoughts a little weird, dark, horror or mythology - definitely both and certainly thought provoking, I feel its still with me now even after finishing it last night and first opportunity will start the next volume The Dolls House.

Dream or Morpheus or the sandman is enslaved for 70 years by some cultist or wizard, in this time people all over the world suffer, some don't wake, others can't sleep or dream at all. When finally he escapes he goes all out for reven
Sep 20, 2015 Amar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Ah Gaimanu , nikad me ne razočaraš . Kako je ovo dobro bilo .

Ipak se duže čitala no što sam očekivao . Priča od mene dobija ocjenu 10 /5 - SAVRŠENO! , crteži jesu malo zamorni ,ali sam se ubrzo navikao , a sveščica "24 sata" je nešto najuvrnutije što sam ikad pročitao ( u pozitivnom smislu ) :)

Nov 27, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the height of this publication's popularity (early 90's), I picked up a couple of issues to see what all the fuss was about. At that time I was totally blown away by the artwork but found the storyline completely incomprehensibile as I had missed the first fifty issues. Things are going much better now since this title rediscovered me and I had the good sense to start from the beginning.

I still love the artwork, especially the original covers. I'm glad that they are included in these volumes.
Jul 23, 2016 Yamini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-print, sff, comic-books
Full of dark twists and turns, a mix of mythology and fairytale, The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes is a stunning work of art and poetry. I had to stop multiple times to search for pop culture references, origins of various mythos, and other storytelling elements spread throughout the volume. It’s not exactly horror or fantasy, but a fantastic mix of both in what I’d define as pure magic.

While this volume has a very satisfactory ending, it also clearly hints at what promises to be an ep
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Sandman vs The Sandman? 3 35 Jul 12, 2016 03:19PM  
She-Geeks: April 2016 Read: The Sandman, Vol. 1 4 15 Apr 09, 2016 12:44PM  
2016 Reading Chal...: The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes, Vol. 1, by Neil Gaiman 1 15 May 15, 2015 05:21PM  
  • Lucifer, Vol. 2: Children and Monsters
  • Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall
  • Preacher, Volume 2: Until the End of the World
  • The Books of Magic, Volume 1: Bindings
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 7: Spider's Thrash (Transmetropolitan, #7)

Other Books in the Series

The Sandman (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Sandman: Overture
  • The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House
  • The Sandman, Vol. 3: Dream Country
  • The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists
  • The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You
  • The Sandman, Vol. 6: Fables and Reflections
  • The Sandman, Vol. 7: Brief Lives
  • The Sandman, Vol. 8: Worlds' End
  • The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones
  • The Sandman, Vol. 10: The Wake

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“You get what anybody gets - you get a lifetime.” 2100 likes
“CHORONZON: I am a dire wolf, prey-stalking, lethal prowler.

MORPHEUS: I am a hunter, horse-mounted, wolf-stabbing.

CHORONZON: I am a horsefly, horse-stinging, hunter-throwing.

MORPHEUS: I am a spider, fly-consuming, eight legged.

CHORONZON: I am a snake, spider-devouring, posion-toothed.

MORPHEUS: I am an ox, snake-crushing, heavy-footed.

CHORONZON: I am an anthrax, butcher bacterium, warm-life destroying.

MORPHEUS: I am a world, space-floating, life-nurturing.

CHORONZON: I am a nova, all-exploding... planet-cremating.

MORPHEUS: I am the Universe -- all things encompassing, all life embracing.

CHORONZON: I am Anti-Life, the Beast of Judgment. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds... of everything. Sss. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?

MORPHEUS: I am hope.”
More quotes…