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The Sandman, Vol. 7: Brief Lives (The Sandman #7)

4.55  ·  Rating Details ·  37,853 Ratings  ·  856 Reviews
Dream's youngest sister, the loopy Delirium, convinces him to go on a quest for their missing brother, Destruction. But Dream may learn that the cost of finding his prodigal sibling is more than he can bear. collecting The Sandman #41–49
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Vertigo (first published 1994)
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Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanBatman by Frank Miller
Required Reading Graphic Novels
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20th out of 62 books — 388 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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A mad journey about change.

Creative Team:

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Illustrators: Jill Thompson & Vince Locke

Covers: Dave McKean

Letterer: Todd Klein


In the review about the sixth volume, Fables & Reflections, I recommended that it was better to read the introduction after reading the TPB, and surprising enough in this seventh volume, Brief Lives, they just decided to putt he introduction at the end of the TPB. Curiouser and curiouser. Oh, and re
Apr 02, 2016 Brad rated it it was amazing
What is really a road trip is really a helluvalot more than just a roadtrip when Dream and Delirium search for their long lost brother of change, Destruction.

Nothing is quite as funny and quirky in these Graphic Novels like Delirium, and nobody is quite as quietly disturbing, deep down. How does one need to so completely retreat from Delight by willingly throwing oneself into deepest madness? *shiver*

I really loved this volume. Things change.

The other most memorable and thought-provoking storie
Sep 30, 2013 Algernon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, comics

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
Kee Queen
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
Sh3lly ✨ Bring on the Weird ✨
The great thing about this volume is that it is all about The Endless, aka the Sandman's family. Death, Desire, Despair, Destruction, Delirium... they all make appearances. The main story is that Delirium asks Dream to help her find their brother, Destruction, who has disappeared for 300 years.

Delirium is like a younger version of Tori Amos on acid.

There is even a Tori Amos song playing in the background of a club Delirium goes to in the beginning, when she is trying to find family members to h
Jul 17, 2012 Brooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sandman, Vol 7: Brief Lives: Even the Endless must change
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
After the stand-alone story collection Vol 6: Fables and Reflections, Vol 7: Brief Lives brings the focus back on Morpheus’ dysfunctional family, the Endless. For a group of avatars representing some fundamental concepts that underpin human existence (but only those that start with ‘D’), they can’t seem to get along or understand each other much of the time. So it’s no surprise they also have trouble
This entry in the series was different from the others in that the entire volume was the continuation of one story-the search for the missing member of the Endless-Destruction.

We also get to see the final story of Orpheus, Dream's (Morpheus') son. It was a very sad note to end on, or was it? I felt a little bit of hopefulness that perhaps Orpheus was finally reunited with Eurydice after years of suffering.

This volume also had a nice afterword from Peter Straub that I enjoyed.

I thought this was y
Jan 26, 2014 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 21, 2012 Ronyell rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series!!!
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, ...more
Sep 19, 2012 Alyssa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Javier Muñoz
Otro gran tomo de Sandman. En este arco argumental Delirio, una de las hermanas de Sueño, le pide que le ayude a buscar al hermano perdido de ambos, así acompañamos a ambos en un viaje en busca de Destrucción, intentando seguir su rastro a través de antiguos conocidos, seres mitológicos o simplemente ancianos con los que compartió momentos a lo largo de la historia.

Este es un arco más anclado en el mundo real contemporáneo, aunque nos permite saber más acerca de las relaciones de los eternos ent
Apr 26, 2008 Siria rated it really liked it
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
Nov 15, 2014 Ithil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este tomo me ha gustado mucho. A pesar de que tengo la sensación de haber escrito esto mismo ya en otras pequeñas reviews del mismo.

En este caso de lo que llevo es de mis favoritos. Me fascina ir conociendo cada vez un poco más a la familia de los Eternos. Es genial ir conociendo un poco de cada uno de ellos, e ir viendo sus peculiaridades.
En especial, me ha encantado la relación de Sueño y Delirio a lo largo de este tomo y el viaje de ambos. Como empieza y como acaba. En general es que antes
Dec 28, 2014 El rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far my favorite of the issues thus far. I enjoy all of them that involve the Endless mythos, focusing on their stories; this is just the first that really involves all of them individually and interacting with one another, so we get a real grasp on all of their personalities and relationships with one another.

This story primarily revolves around the youngest sister, Delirium (formerly known as Delight), and Dream who, against his better judgment, allows Del to convince him to join her on a qu
David Schaafsma
This is about the Endless family and a quest where Dream and Delirium seek Destruction, their brother, and Dream also seeks the lover who has rejected him. The conclusion of the Orpheus arc happens in this issue and is pretty powerful. I guess the central theme here is the inevitability of change. Death plays a pretty central role in this one, yay. One interlude takes place in a strip club called Suffragette City. Pretty terrific stuff, I thought.
Jun 19, 2016 Cheese rated it liked it
Gaiman has some incredible imagination to
Write this. That's the best thing about Sandman, however, I found this chapter difficult to pick up. It's been a bit of a slog but it seems to get moving towards the end.
Mar 26, 2015 Liz rated it really liked it
Best Volume so far.

Dream/Morpheus/the Sandman/the Dreamking goes on a quest with his younger sister Delirium, together they search for Destruction, their brother who left 300 years ago and whom everyone else refused to search for.
Primarily, Dream hopes to just distract himself on this quest, but as he proceeds, as he dives deeper with Delirium into their past and into their present Dream realises that there are two sides of a coin, and one always has to pay a price...

In contrast to the previou
Emm ☿ Synklaire
I plan to write a wordy, obnoxiously-eloquent review on this one day. But I'm on the run from a parade of ghosts at the moment, so I don't have time right now.

For the time being, I'll say two things : A) That cover is boss. The one with the skeleton, if you're looking at a different edition.
And B) If you've read the series this far and liked it, you will probably love this one. If you've read the series this far and hated it, why are you on the seventh book, anyway?
Jan 08, 2016 Jeff rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
As I stated awhile ago, these graphic novels are all good or great, and continuous reviews would be repetitive, so I am not going to bother putting lengthy reviews up. These just need to be read by all. They are great.
Feb 20, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gr-specfic-brs, 2016
I think this is my favorite volume so far. Spending so much time with Delirium was quite the ride!
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 ...more

That was so good.

My second favorite after Volume 5, A Game of You. Maybe they’re tied, but maybe I’m consumed by the initial high you get after a Goodread. We shall name that bibliotoxication.

Brief Lives centers around Delirium and her quest to find her brother, Destruction. Morpheus accompanies her through the majority of the volume and we really see a lot of both of their personalities. Actually, there’s a fair amount of development of all the Endless.

I love delirium.

I love her for the
Oct 04, 2016 Red rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 27, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2015
In this book, we are fully back with the Endless family. Delirium wishes to see her brother Destruction who walked away from the family 300 years ago. After failing to persuade Desire and Despair to go with her, he manages to convince Dream to come with her. They start with his last named contacts, but as they visit them, these people are either killed or run away and hide. After Dream talks to one of Destruction’s former lovers, Ishtar, she performs her final furious dance at the strip club ...more
May 15, 2015 Christopher rated it it was amazing
2015 reread

Brief Lives (Issues #40-49) is my favorite Sandman arc, keeping in mind that I haven't finished rereading all of them. This volume is all about the family of the Endless, though it primarily focuses on Delirium and Dream as they search for their brother Destruction, who gave up his post 300 years ago. Mostly I love the interactions between the immortal family, but also the reminder that these are beings who have been around for billions of years, and there are cycles that all go throu
May 20, 2015 Mike rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, comics
Why do I keep reading this series? Because I've invested too much time into it I guess and it's like reading a train wreck of pretension and bad writing. Delirium is one of the stupidest, shallowest characters ever created--if sad little tumblr girls were morphed into a character, it would be her. I think a comic book can be classified as actual literature/art, one day, maybe, possibly, but not today, and certainly not Gaiman's bilge.
Nov 03, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing
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).
Vladimir Jankovic
"Mislim, poživeo sam, koliko, petnaest hiljada godina. To je prilično dobro, zar ne? Živeo sam prilično drugo."
"Živeo si koliko i svako drugi, Berni. Svoj životni vek."
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Other Books in the Series

The Sandman (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Sandman: Overture
  • The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
  • 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. 8: Worlds' End
  • The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones
  • The Sandman, Vol. 10: The Wake

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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...” 964 likes
“You know the best thing about aeroplanes? Apart from the peanuts in the 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 that.”
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