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The Absolute Sandman, Volume Four (The Absolute Sandman Four)

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4.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,034 Ratings  ·  94 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 Abso
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Slipcased Hardcover, 608 pages
Published November 11th 2008 by Vertigo
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Neverwhere by Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanAmerican Gods by Neil GaimanStardust by Neil GaimanCoraline by Neil Gaiman
Best of Neil Gaiman
35th out of 64 books — 383 voters
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Best Graphic Novels and Comic Books
93rd out of 536 books — 433 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shuprova
Jul 10, 2016 Shuprova rated it it was amazing
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
Cathy
Mar 11, 2016 Cathy rated it really liked it
The stories were fantastic. This was one of the very best ends to a series ever, as much as I didn't want it to end. Really masterful and surprisingly satisfying. The two story arcs, The Kindly Ones and The Wake, were perfect. It left me feeling OK with the ending instead of depressed that it was over, quite a feat. The extra pieces that were included at the end were OK. I think they included them because if you're collecting the entire Absolute everything of the series they need to actually inc ...more
Joseph
May 09, 2010 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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Phoebe
I now feel empty on the inside.
Alazzar
Aug 14, 2012 Alazzar rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 11, 2010 Miriam rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 03, 2010 Richard Wright rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
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
Mar 29, 2015 Sam rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dalibor Ivanovic
Feb 18, 2016 Dalibor Ivanovic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Eto...zaokruzio sam pricu o Sandmanu. Dakle u ovom odlicnom izdanju od Fibre u kojem se nalaze deveta i deseta knjiga, atvarno je milina citat. Zbog velicine papira i printa. Prica Sudjenice je dobra iako sam malo ocekivao jaci kraj ali ostavlja te na razmisljanje da li je Sandman mogao izvuci drugaciji kraj, ali scena kada sjedi sa sestrom Smrt na planini i prime se za ruke je stvarno predivna da se najezis. U prici se pojavljuje hrpa likova pa malo postane naporno pratit i neki oko kojih se do ...more
Brandt
Oct 15, 2015 Brandt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic-books
I must admit that before reading Absolute Sandman Volume Four I had never read the stories contained therein. The publication of "The Kindly Ones" story arc coincided with a time in my life when I wasn't reading comics, and thus I had stopped reading Sandman at the end of the "World's End" arc. As I have stated in my review of Absolute Sandman Volume Three , it became apparent to me that while Gaiman's run on Sandman contained story arcs and standalone stories, the entirety of the series is in ...more
Greg
Nov 07, 2014 Greg rated it it was amazing
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
Dana
Nov 07, 2015 Dana rated it really liked it
Shelves: gifts, graphicnovels, own
the last few stories i did not like the art mehh mehh :(
Matthew Hedgecock
Apr 20, 2016 Matthew Hedgecock rated it it was amazing
What is there to be said? The epic, conclusive Kindly Ones arc might be one of the best conclusions to a story in the history of fiction. Gaiman NAILS the landing in a way that few have ever succeeded, and the entire volume is a challenging, emotional joy from beginning to end. Special props to Marc Hempel's art, which might be my personal favorite of the entire run - a run which is packed with immensely talented and inventive artists.

One of the best works of fiction I've ever read and strongly
...more
Rhiannon Graye
Jan 11, 2016 Rhiannon Graye rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
The Sandman series is a phenomenal collection of work: visually, literally, and creatively. I really can't say anything that many, many others haven't said before me, and probably more eloquently. It bears repeating that these volumes are an amazing collaboration between all the people involved, and you can really sense the labor of love, time, and energy that it must have been. This series is one of those rare finds, where you will need multiple readings to completely catch and appreciate the f ...more
Jack Gattanella
Jul 25, 2014 Jack Gattanella rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Ma'Belle
Dec 17, 2008 Ma'Belle rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Nick
Dec 27, 2010 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
...more
Rahadyan
Sep 07, 2013 Rahadyan rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 13, 2012 Talia rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 30, 2013 Traummachine rated it it was amazing
"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
Dec 15, 2012 Shannon Appelcline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, comics-indy
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
Oct 08, 2011 Boots rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
...more
Sarah Beaudoin
Nov 28, 2010 Sarah Beaudoin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
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
...more
Ryan
Dec 13, 2010 Ryan rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Bob
Apr 25, 2015 Bob rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 07, 2009 Jodi rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Brodie
Jul 03, 2013 Brodie rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Paul
Nov 24, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Jen Marin
Sep 25, 2014 Jen Marin rated it it was amazing
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.
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Other Books in the Series

The Absolute Sandman (6 books)
  • The Absolute Sandman, Volume One
  • The Absolute Sandman, Volume Two
  • The Absolute Sandman, Volume Three
  • The Absolute Sandman, Volume Five
  • Death: The Deluxe Edition

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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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