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The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 3 (The Sandman #7-8)

4.72 of 5 stars 4.72  ·  rating details  ·  3,984 ratings  ·  78 reviews
One of the most popular and critically acclaimed comic book titles of all time, New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's masterpiece THE SANDMAN set new standards for mature, lyrical fantasy and graphic narrative. Now, Vertigo and DC Comics are proud to present the third of four definitive Absolute Editions collecting this groundbreaking series in its entirety.

Slipcased Hardcover, 616 pages
Published June 17th 2008 by Vertigo (first published June 2008)
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This sat on my shelves for about 6 months before I read it. I was saving it for when I could really enjoy it, and I'm glad I did. The "Brief Lives" storyline is significantly longer and more personal than some of the more adventure-centric fun of earlier stories. "Brief Lives" is bookended by one-shot views of how dreams effect history, mythology and the way our stories are told and remembered. There are stories-within-stories, and the context only gets thicker after that. Interestingly, the tit ...more
I didn't really care for the first arc in this book. It was nice too see a bit more of the endless, but the quest is so so. I like the Orpheus bit, but in Desire is starting to give me the creeps...
Then came the tavern at the end of the worlds arc. This is another multiple PoV arc, most of the stories only connect marginally with the endless, but I need an annotated sandman to get all the references in the stories, because I spotted enough of them to know there are many more I didn't get.
This ar
I picked this up and started reading it the moment I finished volume 2. I hardly remember what was what anymore, and since it's all really one big story it hardly matters. I have read Sandman through at least four times (I've read individual storylines or even individual issues even more than that) and I will read it at least that many times again. It seems like I give the whole thing a re-read every three years or so. What can I say, it's pure magic.
The best so far. That is to say, the ratio of amazing stories to merely good stories was the highest out of the three Absolute Sandman volumes that have been released. Can't wait for Volume 4!
This struck me as Sandman at its best - the way it was meant to be. I really feel like with this collection it hit its stride and wonder if it can sustain or will start to drop off from here. I thought Song of Orpheus was great and both major arcs, Brief Lives and the World's End stories were phenomenal. The Ramadan issue was also really excellent. Again, there is a backdrop of characters and situations now that are being used to their fullest potential. The family dynamics of the Endless are de ...more
The more Gaiman I read, the more I love Gaiman.
Perhaps the best of the collected stories thus far. The beauty of Sandman is that it is such a flexible form to tell stories, and here we get that, to an interesting degree, in Brief Lives, as we follow the main plot of the endless, but so much more in the World's End, which uses the space to tell stories within stories within stories, all of them interesting, all saying something about humanity. It's smart writing and some of the most luscious art of the series. Ugh. So good. This is simply a d ...more
Jack Gattanella
This gets an overall five stars mostly due to the creeping brilliance that was Brief Lives and the Orpheus story and a few of the Worlds End stories, which are the best of the best this series had to offer. not to say the rest is at all inferior, still good, just not as great in my mind. Still, Gaiman is a born storyteller and this collection highlights not just his love for it but for its importance in the consciousness of the characters who inhabit his work.

Breaking it down just a bit:

the Stor
This version of Absolute Sandman collects a few issues from Fables and Reflections, Brief Lives, and World's End. I guess Neil Gaiman heard my complaint about the plot not thickening in Absolute Sandman Vol. 2. Brief Lives and the last few pages of World's End had my eyes glued to the page.

Brief Lives gave me some much wanted insight on Delirium, which I appreciated and enjoyed. It was interesting to watch her appearance change with her mood. Delirium and Dream finally seek out the seventh Endl
Oh don't worry, Sandman's still good. The series simply couldn't sustain the level that of the first 20 issues or the superb "Season of Mists" and "A Game of You" arcs found in Absolute Sandman, Vol. 2.

Collecting issues #40-56, plus the usual bonus features, the two arcs here are "Brief Lives" and "World's End", the first beginning with a separate story detailing Dream's son Orpheus' beginnings and continuing through a bizarre road trip Dream takes with Delirium, ostensibly in search of their mi
Synesthesia (SPIDERS!)
Brief Lives has to be my favourite Sandman story. First of all, you have the interesting team of serious to the point of being funny Dream and random and crazy Delirium. So that is already magical enough. Lines from Delirium are enough to crack me up, but Dream's serious statements or reactions are just fantastic too.
Then you have them searching for the handsome Destruction. (let me say that Dream is hot, don't get me wrong. I like skinny goth guys, but he sent his lover to HELL. You do not want
After finishing volume 2 of The Absolute Sandman, I was ready to move onto something else. It’s not that Sandman was bad, it’s just that I hardly ever read a series all in one go, because I like having some variety. But I stuck the plan anyway and pushed right into Volume 3, and lemme tell ya, I’m glad I did.

Volume 3 is the best I’ve read of Sandman so far. My chief complaint in the previous volumes was that there’s just so little time devoted to Dream and the rest of the Endless (they often hav
3.5 stars:

Kind of like Volume 2, the tales in this were a bit of a mixed bag. There were a few stand-alone stories (and a couple of those were awesome!). There was a storyline about Dream and Delirium searching for their lost brother, Destruction. This was interesting, provided some good insight into the family dynamics of The Endless, and I enjoyed it. Lastly, there was a storyline about a "Reality Storm", and several travelers that this caused to become temporarily stranded together at a stran
Shannon Appelcline
I didn’t expect a lot from the little ten-page “Fear of Falling”, but I forget how good Gaiman is with shorts. This has great characters and a terrific punchline [9/10]. “The Parliament of Rooks” offers a nice look at the background of Eve, Cain, and Abel. When I first read it, it might have seemed more important than it does now [7/10]. “Orpheus” is a bit more straightforward than many of the other Sandman stories, probably because it was created as the foundation of the entire back-half of the ...more
This collection is stunning. The extended Brief Lives storyline introduces the notably absent seventh sibling, Destruction, and the road that leads to his reunion with Dream and Delirium is full of every juicy thing imaginable--violence, love, discovery, lust, adventure, dethroned gods, talking animals, and a touching loss that results in some gorgeously haunting panels. This whole storyline is intricately woven and kept me unwilling to come up for air between issues until I'd read it through.
Apr 14, 2010 Dan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010, comics
I enjoyed the first half of this collection, which finally introduced Destruction and explained where he's been. The road trip that Dream and Delirium took to find him was fun, as well as the story about Orpheus. I found also that I was not disappointed by the famous Ramadan story from Sandman #50, which was beautiful. Unfortunately, the second half, "World's End" really had a tendency to drag on. Perhaps it will make more sense once I finish the series (as I can see what it ultimately hinted at ...more
What? A comic book? Does that even count as a "real book?" I would submit, based upon reviews and awards given through two decades, that it does. Could be even more than a real book. Many superlatives are thrown the The Sandman's way, and I see why. I was very, very impressed with the story, the writing, the art, the complexity of the plot - but at its core, it's about stories. This is Gaiman's wheelhouse - he likes a good yarn.

The Sandman is one of the Endless - seven eternal anthropomorphized
This was pretty much perfect. Brief Lives is a prime example of excellent storytelling. I simply love the Endless, whether they are together or apart. Plus, there were the Little Endless and they were just adorable. Dream and Delirium were really cute together and I was amused by Destruction's lifestyle change due to his unbridled enthusiasm and also because of Barnabas' sarcastic remarks at Destruction's endeavors at artistic creation.

Distant Mirrors: Ramadan had beautiful artwork. If there is
Ah, Sandman, how do I love thee, let me count the ways...

1. I bought the original graphic novels as they came out, such brilliant artwork, The Dreaming such a nice setting for a set of stories.
2. I bought the hardcovers, what lovely books to add to my shelves, worthy of a display in my living room... but the nephews and nieces better not touch! ;-)
3. I bought the Absolute version... OK, now I'm just going overboard!

This is not the first book I've ever bought multiple versions of, I can think of
here's another one i have to give two stars to, but seriously: outside of the Orpheus story, this was mostly barf. the World's End arc was particularly bad and pointless, and big issue #50 felt dated (and despite what other people say, i thought the artwork was beh). this has been my least favorite volume and but for the Orpheus story, there's nothing here to recommend. very disappointing all around. thank my lucky stars i didn't pay $60-$100 for this ~ i would have been irked. i seriously hope ...more
All stories are superb, the writing in all is outstanding. My taste aside I recognize inspiration in all the artwork. This was my first time reading Sandman and even though the hype set the bar high, this collection vaulted it with confidence.
Peter Hutkins
Gaiman is all about storytelling of the fantastic worlds hovering just beyond our vision. Sometimes this works for me ("Neverwhere"), sometimes it doesn't ("American Gods"). The rules of these worlds are fluid, unpredictable, and ever-changing. The premise of the Sandman, the stories of the personification of Dreams and lord of the dream realm, unleashes Gaiman to write stories about the stories themselves. He is free to explore themes such as the formation of legends, of memories verses stories ...more
In comparison to the previous two Absolute Sandman volumes, the focus of this one is the regular story tather than the miscellany at the finale. But, really, what do you expect when the graphic novels/comics contained here are the final ones of the series. The Sandman's story has finally come to a conclusion, and it's ne'er impossible to look away from the stunning crash.

The miscellany section included this time did have some high points, despite the focus on the comics; I rather enjoyed the sm
Richard Wright
Gaiman's epic continues, and for me it's in the 'Brief Lives' section of the cycle, in which Dream and his sister Delirium set out to find their long lost brother Destruction, that the author achieves his aim of creating a modern mythology as relevant to the time of writing as the old pantheons of gods where to the people of their day. That he does this while not only acknowledging those old gods, but inviting them into his story, is remarkable. Following the shattering events of this sequence, ...more
AWESOME. The larger format and better paper quality takes an already fantastic series of comics and makes it even better. The colors practically glow on the page, and there are several two-page spreads that are nothing short of breathtaking. One of the real treats is the famous "Ramadan" story, featuring P. Craig Russel's amazing artwork. When I got this collection, I wasn't sure if it was "necessary" since the color and overall print quality of the original comics was already much better than t ...more
Again, there's little I can say about the greatness of Sandman. The contrast between the whimsy of Dream and Delirium's search for Destruction and its deadly consequences is great. I will confess that knowing the outcome of the entire Sandman story makes the stories told in the World's End feel a little bit like filler material, which is a shame, since, despite serving primarily as a setup to the story of Dream's death, those tales are some of the highlights of the series. "A Tale of Two Cities" ...more
Cory Rayborn
i loved this series back when it was all fresh and brand new. i've been assembling these absolute collections over birthdays and stuff the past few years with the plans of cranking through them all upon the release of the fourth volume. i sat down the other day with volume 1 and i've been in love all over again, if not even moreso than when i was reading them all fresh. blowing through the entire series straight through allows for all of the threads to come totally clear and, really, quite brill ...more
Andrew Wright
So I read Sandman in one marathon blur of graphic novelness. What I chiefly remember is that it was hard to get involved with at first, then it seemed amusing but disjointed and then I found that I was pleasantly surprised when it was all wrapped together into a cohesive(albeit sad) plot in the end.

The different artists are great. I think my favorite volume was The Kindly Ones. I don't know, I can only remember but so much. In general, comic books aren't great, but this one was pretty good, if
Jul 06, 2008 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of dreaming, fans of the author, fans of graphic novels, people who like beautiful books
i don't know what i can't say about this that i haven't said about the first and second volume. it's still incredible. the stories, the characters, the art. . .

i still can't get over the weights of it. 7 lbs! i was showing off some of the art in this and i thought i was going to break my wrist holding it up for them to see. [to be fair, i have stupid, skinny wrists. *shrug*]

i'll be buying the next volume when it comes out and i know the only thing i'll be dissapointed in, is that it'll be over
I really should be rating these by their original volumes instead of by these four monster compilations. Oh well . . .

LOVED "Brief Lives" and "World's End." I want to spend my days looking up all of the myths and fairy tales this series covers, but I suppose that would take a lifetime. It's refreshing to feel so inspired, though. P. Craig Russell's artwork for "Ramadan" is by far some of the best in the series so far. I'll be kind of sad to finish this collection. It's been a wonderful ride.
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