Brief Lives (The Sandman, #7)
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Brief Lives (The Sandman #7)

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4.56 of 5 stars 4.56  ·  rating details  ·  26,574 ratings  ·  524 reviews
Older and more powerful than the gods themselves, the Endless are a dysfunctional family of cosmic beings that have ruled over the realms of dream, desire, despair, destiny, destruction, death, and delirium since the beginning of time.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 1st 2011 by Titan Publishing Company (first published 1994)
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Algernon

Fasten you seatbelts, folks! It's going to be a bumpy ride!
Watch out! Delirium is behind the wheel and she's looking for Destruction!

delirium driving

She misses her brother, the one that got away: Donde esta mi hermano? She stares at the world with two mismatched eyes: one emerald green, the other pale blue through which silver flecks flicker and swim like a shoal of tiny fish. . The Endless are a family, but what's a good word for 'disfunctional'? Is Delirium the only one who really cares? Who's going to...more
Brooke
Coming off the least interesting volume in the series (The Sandman Vol. 6 Fables and Reflections), Brief Lives was a welcome high point. Delerium wants to look for Destruction, who left the Endless family and disappeared 300 years prior. Dream is the only sibling who agrees to accompany her; he doesn't want to find Destruction, but he does want to take his mind off a love affair that just ended.

Delerium was what made Brief Lives. She is absolutely charming and hilarious, and the interactions bet...more
Teresa
Though this volume starts and ends with a "modern" take on the Orpheus myth, it mostly deals with the Endless siblings. The rendering of Delirium is sometimes sad but mostly hilarious, and though 'change' has not been kind to her (she was once Delight), she's the impetus for a journey to find Destruction, the most "human" of the siblings.

I think I enjoyed the side-stories (the consequences of their trip) more than the interaction of the siblings themselves, though those latter scenes are the mo...more
Ronyell
After reading the sixth volume of Neil Gaiman’s famous “Sandman” series, I just had to keep reading more and more of this fantastic series! For the past six volumes of the “Sandman” series, we have been reading about mainly Dream’s (Morpheus’) side of the story, but now in the seventh volume, “Brief Lives,” we are finally reading about Dream’s other siblings, mainly the youngest sibling of the Endless, Delirium, and how she tries to convince Dream to help her find their missing brother, Destruct...more
Siria
Oh, this is one to wallow in. I loved the interaction between Delirium and Dream - Dream's terseness and Delerium's ramblings which always seem to have an odd kind of sense to them contrast so nicely. Their two very different personalities also serve to nicely point out the Really Big Dysfunctionality of their family.

And Ishtar! With the temple prostitution! A scene in Dublin that is recognisably taking place on O' Connell Street! Hades and Persephone! And Destruction, who tries so hard to creat...more
Alyssa
I hope I don't come across sounding like a fanboy, but the thesis of my review is this: WHY AREN'T MORE PEOPLE READING THIS SERIES? For that matter, why aren't more people talking about this series? Seriously, why did it take a random conversation with a Facebook friend for me to hear about this series for the first time? Especially considering that one of my most intellectual and well-read friends apparently adores this series? Or the fact that this series has won all sorts of incredibly presti...more
Cleverusername2
Brief Lives is my favorite of the Sandman collections mainly because I started reading individual issues of this arc as my introduction to the series back in 1993, so it holds nostalgic value for me. Perhaps this makes me biased but I think it makes a good introduction to the Sandman series even though it takes place over halfway through the original serial run. Gaiman had really hit his stride. A few points make it a good point of entry, such as its linear plot arc and because of all the storyl...more
Jessica
This book could also be called Del and Dream's Excellent (and sometimes Sad) Adventure. The entire arch is a Delight. I especially loved getting to know Destruction. Much like how Death is not what you expect, Destruction is kind and gregarious and loves his dog. He understands his purpose, but he doesn't want to be responsible for it anymore -- and who can blame him? Probably one of my favorites so far of the series.
Alex Ristea
Sandman has always a been a little weird, and what I mean by that is that it challenges my brain far more than any book should have a right to.

Well, Brief Lives, following Delirium and Dream on their quest, was the weirdest of the lot.

Also, not the biggest fan of the art in this volume. The layout was also too panelly and structured (which is funny considering the story material).
Nick Kives
This is probably one of my favorite books of the series. All of the Endless show up in this book as they search for their brother.
Rowena
This was so good! Delirium was quite the character.
Ekairidium
Brief Lives was personally perfect in every way. It was the volume of The Sandman that solidified my love for the entire series. Not only was it a sublime story about brevity and forgiveness; it was an affirmation of what the Endless was supposed to stand for (and all seven of them too, because we finally get to meet the prodigal sibling who abandoned the responsibilities of his realm). Jill Thompson is the collaborative artist for this volume, and hers are my most favorite depictions of the End...more
Airiz C
The Doll’s House, Seasons of Mists, and Brief Lives are very much like the Fates: the first story arc is where the readers see how Gaiman weaves the first strands of the tapestry of The Sandman’s universe, the second story arc is where the author unspools the magical threads of the story at length, and the third one where he let the readers know that somewhere in the near future, he has to scissor the last thread and tie it all up in a not-so-bright knot. The end is not quite there yet—the serie...more
Tim Miller
Like most of the 'Sandman' graphic novels, 'Brief Lives' is an entertaining read. It's also very deep. Gaiman's writing perpetually pushes the envelope of storytelling and what it means to be "literary." College courses should cover these books. 'Brief Lives' is about Dream and Delirium's search for Destruction personified. Of course, this search entails all kinds of real world implications. The '90s--when 'Sandman' broke out--were a time of reflection and loss, when much of the first world unde...more
John Kirk
This is a good story: it's pretty much a soap opera (exploring the relationships between familiar characters) but there are some deeper points in there too, and several funny scenes.

Near the start of the book, I particularly liked the interaction between Delirium, Desire, and Despair. We've only seen them interact with Dream previously, and it's good to know that they have lives of their own rather than simply being part of his supporting cast. The first time I read this, seeing Despair in her h...more
Agnese
Cinque stelle non sono sufficienti. Questo "Vite brevi" è il volume che mi ha maggiormente affascinato. Forse perchè tratta di vicende legate alla famiglia degli Eterni, forse perchè è tanta la curiosità nei confronti di Distruzione (unico fratello ancora sconosciuto), forse per via dell'accoppiata Delirio-Sogno che è improbabile,tenera e buffa..Insomma,l'atmosfera è azzaccata e il ritmo coinvolgente.

Protagonista principale è Delirio,la più giovane dei fratelli,la quale riesce a convincere Sogno...more
Kristen
I think this was my favourite in the series so far, mostly because Delirium is the most interesting character (and I thought I loved Death more than anything before this volume...) I have been enjoying the novels with one continuous story-line more than those with seperate novellas more, on average, as I read through this series, so it's no surprise that I enjoyed this one. However, there was something about the way everything connected and how Dream is shown as a character in this one that was...more
Drivingsideways
I'm going to review the entire series here because Brief Lives is possibly my favourite volume of the collection (although I'm hard pressed to choose between Brief Lives and World's End). The Sandman was my introduction to graphic novels and wow,was I blown away. I read it over an epic stretch of 3 days barely eating and sleeping, I was so caught up by the stories, the phenomenal art, and how damn *clever * the whole thing was. Truly inventive and possibly the series against which all future end...more
Darren
It goes without saying that I liked it. It's not my favourite arc, but that doesn't mean it's not great. I quite like the prodigal brother. Something bothered me way back in the '90s when I first read this one, and it still does:

If Destruction is Change, then I don't see the difference between Death and Destruction. Death, after Destiny is said to be the oldest of the Endless, but the birth of the universe would be change. Creation is the Destruction of void. The old and the new. The flipside of...more
Shira
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sunil
Thoughts on a Re-read Six Years Later

Whether or not you love this volume may come down to how much you love Delirium, as this is basically her showcase: a road trip with Dream and Delirium is a recipe for hilarity. Delirium is very funny and endearing, but she also has moments of incredible sadness that make you want to give her a hug.

But, actually, this volume features all—and I do mean all—of the Endless, and it touches on their unusual family dynamic, torn apart by the Prodigal's abandoning h...more
Airmid
Brief Lives is the seventh collections. The story arc opens with a short story about life and death. The point of this story is to say that everyone gets a lifetime, no more, no less. This concept informs the rest of the stories, which are ultimately about change and lifetimes. Of all the collections, Brief Lives most explores the concept of the Endless. A story about Delirium - with help from Dream - and her search for the prodigal brother, Destruction. Along the way, several lives are affected...more
Nada Elfeituri
Entertaining, but not overtly so. Dry and slow in places. Delirium is amusing only in small doses. I never get tired of Dream though. Without him I probably would've stopped reading a couple issues back.
But it gets three stars because of the penultimate scene (also the fact the Death appears to have a Pensieve! Which came first, his or Dumbledore's?)
The artwork seems to be downgrading? It was definitely sub-par (except, again, for the penultimate scene; the play of shadows and that emotion-wren...more
Tricia
*slow clap*
BEST VOLUME YET, YES? YES YES. GDI, Gaiman, you nailed it again.
Favorite issue: Illusion of Permanence
Heaviest issue: Farewells

Although I didn't get those shells designs every after issues. What do they signify?
Lauri
"Üürikesed elud" on mulle alati Sandmani kogumikest kõige vähem meeldinud. Iseenesest on siin hulk ülikõvasid stseene - näiteks Dreami, Destructioni ja Corinthiani jalutuskäik katkuaasta Londonis, Morpheuse kohtumine kassijumalanna Bastiga, Ishtari destruktiivne tants ööklubis, Destructioni äraminek sellest Reaalsusest ja kõik stseenid, kus Merv Pumpkinhead tegutseb - kuid kokku annavad need siiski (kui 9. ja 10. köide arvestusest välja jätta) minu arust nõrgima Sandmani köite. Ei istu kuidagi,...more
Kat
Basic Plot: One of the Endless left his post 300 years ago. Delirium wants to see her brother Destruction again and recruits Dream to help her find him.

Another fantastic volume of the Sandman series. I'm not looking forward to finishing the series because then there won't be more to look forward to. Don't get me wrong, i love re-reading the books, I just wish there were more!

Favorite things: Ishtar dancing in a strip club and teaching men what real sexuality and desire are. Delirium's ever-chang...more
William Thomas
The problem I have with most of the sandman books is the wild difference and inconsistency in the writing and the artwork book to book and arc to arc, so that most of these become a hodge podge and amalgam of different things gaiman wanted to explore instead of expanding on the world of the sandman. this one was a better story than fables, thankfully, but was followed up by the series of short stories at world's end that was less than entertaining. so...i am disappointed overall. with the last h...more
Germancho
I'm not trying to be cute here, but for me it's been the same with every Sandman book: I enjoy them so much while reading them that I can't put them down, and when I'm close to the ending I wish there were just a few more pages to go just to keep the book from closing. And when it's done, I can barely remember them: only a few images and feelings are left from the whole experience. And that's that.
Charles
My favourite thing about the Sandman is that reading it reminds me of a lucid dream; when you think of something, even a small detail, it becomes reality in the dream. Similarly, the most minute details in the Sandman come to be foreshadowings of things to come in the later volumes. Now we can see the characters moving slowing towards the end, and Morpheus's fate is starting to become clear.
Gary LaPointe
This is where I started reading Sandman. A guy I know from a place I sort of knew had mentioned it to me a few times and I ran into him at the comic shop as this storyline started and he pulled out the issue and said they were starting a new story and I was hooked! From then on I was buying new issues and older trade paperbacks and loving them.

This was a really great place to start the series actually. In hindsight and rereading multiple times, things really started to come together (and Neil pr...more
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“I like the stars. It's the illusion of permanence, I think. I mean, they're always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from here, I can pretend...I can pretend that things last. I can pretend that lives last longer than moments. Gods come, and gods go. Mortals flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don't last; and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend...” 709 likes
“You know the best thing about aeroplanes? Apart from the peanuts in little silver bags, I mean.

It's looking out of the windows at the clouds and thinking maybe I could go walking in there. Maybe it's a special place where everything's okay.

Sometimes I do go walking in the clouds but it's just cold and wet and empty. But when you look out of a plane it's a special world... and I like it.”
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