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The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 4 (The Absolute Sandman #4)

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4.74 of 5 stars 4.74  ·  rating details  ·  4,354 ratings  ·  82 reviews
One of the most popular and critically acclaimed 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 last of four definitive Absolute Editions collecting this groundbreaking series in its entirety.

The Absolut
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Slipcased Hardcover, 608 pages
Published November 11th 2008 by Vertigo
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shuprova
Genuinely depressed that this is over. Sandman was just one of those reading experiences, where you can't wait to find out what happens next but you're worried that you'll finish it too soon. It's been a while that I read a book where I was completely immersed in a new world, so much so that I wish I didn't have to go back to mine! I'm not much of a graphic novel reader so I didn't expect to have this reaction with Sandman but I was totally wrong. Gaiman really shows the depth of his imagination ...more
Joseph
As positive as I've been about the rest of the series, I must confess that "The Kindly Ones" is one of those stories where stopping just isn't an option. I made the mistake of starting it late at night, and, as a result, I couldn't stop myself from staying awake until I reached the beginning of "The Wake."

To say that Gaiman is masterful at pulling together all the disparate, loose threads found in the previous fifty-odd issues is an understatement, and the story he creates is both cosmically epi
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Alazzar
I gave all previous volumes of The Absolute Sandman four stars, because that’s what I felt they deserved. Volume Four is a little different, in that it deserves somewhere between 65 and 80 stars, not to mention three medals, two trophies and a monument.

Holy crap, this book was amazing.

We start off with “The Castle,” which is a shorter story from Vertigo Jam #1 that basically takes the reader on a tour of the dreaming. It’s not really necessary to anyone who’s been keeping up with the series, but
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Miriam
I read books backwards when I am upset. I have never actually admitted that before because I always feel guilty when I do it. With good books, it turns out that it doesn't matter much if a book is read forward or backward. I mean, of course if alters the flow of the story, but there are still plot development, character development, and suspense. Sometimes books are less predictable when read backwards because instead of things leading up to an outcome, one wonders what would cause a character t ...more
Richard Wright
For all the world-building and storyweaving, the resonance and layers, for a myth to become epic, it has to end. Gaiman is clearly a student of myth and legend, and knows this well. So it was that Sandman had to resolve. It's an incredible conclusion, pulling strands from across the five year run of the comic together, some obvious, some obscure, and building an inevitable end for Morpheus, the lord of dreams. Like the grand, enduring sagas it has joined, Sandman's ending is tragic, painful, and ...more
Sam
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Greg
I was a bit nervous beginning The Kindly Ones because it seemed like we were all over the place reintroducing characters just for the sake of cramming them all in. In the end, I see that was precisely what was happening and it was so appropriate and necessary. As this arc came to a close I dreaded having to put the book down. It was pushing you forward to the ending and then, when you got there, you were just stunned and left wanting more. And then, there was. Wake was really amazing. It feels l ...more
Phoebe
I now feel empty on the inside.
Jack Gattanella
At the end, Shakespeare wrote the Tempest...

"... and then, fighting to stay asleep, wishing it would go on for ever, sure that once the dream was over, it would never come back... you woke up." - The Wake

The ninth volume is an EPIC 13 issues, and how! This is the "best" if one can really qualify it as such of the series. Why? Everything comes together, and it's never inorganic. Even the strand that feels like it has least to do with the main thread - where the baby, Daniel, is taken away and his
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Ma'Belle
So I've finally been able to read the entire Sandman canon.

I rejoiced when the copy arrived on my reservation shelf at the public library only a month after being published. It was a year and a half ago that I realised what a beautiful and creative source of wisdom and inspiration a comic book could be. Wisdom that surpassed the majority of the texts and dialogues I witnessed in every ethics class of my philosophy curriculum. Stories and characters that inspire much more potential Halloween cost
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Nick
Absolute Sandman Vol. 4 collects The Kindly Ones and The Wake. These last two collections are what did it for me and made me decide that I really like this series. They finally tie up some loose ends, some that had been in the air since Preludes and Nocturnes.

I did not dig the art in the Kindly Ones at first, but it grew on me. Although the artists switched throughout the series, the horror/gothic feel was kept pretty consistent. The sense of impending doom in the Kindly Ones is amazing. I had
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Rahadyan
I think I'm one of the many Sandman/Neil Gaiman fen (Gaimaniacs?) who found "The Kindly Ones" arc to be difficult to read in monthly installments. I decided to take this out of my local public library because it was comprised of the two Sandman collections I don't have (yet).

Looking back at what was going on in my life when both "The Kindly Ones" and "The Wake" were being initially published, there was a lot going on, between tempestuous relationships and the deaths of loved ones.

There's a lot
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Talia
In this collection, we meet the Sandman’s family. The remaining Endless - Destiny, Desire, Death, Destruction, Despair and Delirium. Called by Destiny for a family gathering, Morpheus (aka the Sandman) realizes he must enter Hell to rectify a mistake made 10,000 years ago. But when he gets there, he finds that Lucifer Morningstar has abdicated his power in the Triumvirate and has forced everyone out of Hell. Upon locking up the final gate, he gives Morpheus the key to Hell and tells him that it ...more
Traummachine
"Oh, I get it now!"

This is the final volume of the Absolute Sandman series. Volume 5 is due out this autumn, but this book is the finale for the over-arching story. Because of that, many of the odd little one-off stories from Volumes 2 and 3 makes sense now. Some set the stage for the final volume, others added context and background, and others were just texture.

Throughout the series, Gaiman has tailored the artists to the story. A story with echoes of Arabian Nights were drawn in a drastically
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Shannon Appelcline
I thought that “The Kindly Ones” was too long when I originally read it, but that was over two years or so in floppies. It holds together really well as a complete work, though the first half does still drag a bit. I think that offering closure to both Rose’s story and Morpheus’ is well done … though I’m less convinced of the importance of Delirium in all of this. Overall the story is really well structured and does a great job of bringing home to roost everything that Morpheus has done since he ...more
Boots
so the series ended on a high note. thank God for zulli's art in the final story. it was hard to get emotionally involved with hempel's cartoonish style in the whole Kindly Ones arc. fortunately the plot held me, but i admit there were moments i was skimming to get off pages where the art just did nothing for me.

and gaimen gambled on an ending that could have blown huge greasy chunks, but managed to pull it off. i was satisfied and it wasn't cheap. i think it was actually stronger for having re
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Nicole
Wow. Morpheus sure does become the poster boy for emo. Or maybe he was all along and I didn't notice because I was distracted by other things (because there are plenty of wonderful things to get distracted by here). Regardless, it suits him, but it is also one of the things about him that he can't change enough to avoid the story ending the way it does. Which is sad, and a little epic, and not at all how I imagined it would be but now that I've read it I can't picture it ending another way.

Ther
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Sarah Beaudoin
This will serve as a review of The Sandman in its entirety. I'm not sure how to review it otherwise; dividing it up into the individuals stories covered in each of the Absolute volumes seems insufficient.

I loved absolutely everything about The Sandman. The depth of characters amazed me. I could debate the merits of the individual Endless for ages. I don't remember the last thing I've read with such intriguing characters. Every story arc could stand alone and not lose anything without the other S
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Ryan
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
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Bob
Unlike some series, which become less inspired as they go on, Sandman does quite the opposite. This volume was by far the best of the series. The characters are fully fleshed out and personable. The stories are rich with raw emotion and intrigue. More and more mythologies are woven finely together to form a well-integrated whole. While it's refreshing to see a story end on such a high note, it's also a bit sad, because it makes you wonder where else it could have gone.
Jodi
I used to see Sandman comics around and I'd immediately become fixated on the covers. They were always so beautiful. Then I'd flip open the comic and discover that the inside looked nothing like the outside and I would put it right back down, never going any further. I can't even tell you how many times that happened.

Later, as I became a little more aware of how comics worked (insides never look like outsides) and as I read other stuff by Neil Gaiman, I'd think about reading the Sandman comics b
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Brodie
The SANDMAN series is one of the most amazing stories I've ever had the pleasure of following. It's difficult to say goodbye to this series. I know I have a lot to look forward to. There's another volume after this and it's filled with a few more issues. There are many other SANDMAN stories to explore.

This volume blew my mind. Since the original introduction of The Kindly Ones, I've been craving more. Well, I got what I asked for. The Wake just blew me away. I don't think I can fully explain how
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Paul
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
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Jen Marin
What a wonderful collection, larger than life, and as delightful as it was when I first read the originals in the last century. Gaiman weaves the great stories together in an epic mythos that resonates deeply with my soul. I am so glad to have read this again after so many years. I look forward to sharing it with my teen.
Travis
I am amazed and humbled. I thought reading "The Sandman" would be fun. It was fun, but it also taught me that this format can be used to tell great and meaningful stories. I didn't expect that. It is a rare gift when an author gives you a great story and a new way to think of a genre, and I am grateful. It has been a earnest pleasure.
Otherwyrld
And so it ends...

The Wake is possibly one of the single most moving pieces I have ever read in any format. I would defy anyone to read this without having a tear or two in their eyes.

Whilst there are more Sandman stories (as collected in the Absolute Sandman volume 5), this is the end of the main storyline, with the death of Morpheus and the arrival of his replacement, Dream of the Endless (formerly Daniel Hall).

It is hard to accurately judge the impact that these stories have had on the reading
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Zach
Nov 16, 2011 Zach added it
The best criticism I've heard of the Sandman series is that it is missing that immediate, visceral excitement that so often defines comics. This is a valid objection - the excitement in this series comes from a different place. By the end of the first book, the reader is already lost in Gaiman's universe, one which is so complex and expertly crafted that it seems to pulsate with life. The rules here are exciting; physical laws, though different than the laws of our own world, nonetheless seem gr ...more
Qiling Liang
SPOILER!!!!

I'm feeling sad and sorry for Dream a year ago and I'm still now. I feel Matthew's pain but not Lyta's. If only she stops blaming everyone she knows especially her best friend. Not only she lost her best friend because of her's action, now she lost her son too. (view spoiler)
Blanca

The art in this number is outstanding. I love how the contrast between the styles of Marc Hempel, Charles Vess and Michael Zulli was used.

I love "The Castle". It's short, simple and not exactly subtle, but it works brilliantly. "The Kindly Ones" ties everything together in such a clean way, which is very much Gaiman's trademark and completely brilliant, specially taking into account that the storyline (which is as multi-layered as they come) spans through fifty-something numbers and six years. "
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Susan Haines
Feeling melancholy to have finally finished this series. I loved the creative stories and Dave McKean's artwork.
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Other Books in the Series

The Absolute Sandman (5 books)
  • The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1
  • The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 2
  • The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 3
  • The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 5
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“I am following my fishie. La la laaaa. Because my fish knows where to go. My fish is the Borghal Rantipole who I made look like a fishie because I am so clever and I can do things like that if I want... La la la... It knows many thingummies. The Borghal Rantipole that is. And now it is inconspicuous too as well.” 2 likes
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