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The Absolute Death (The Absolute Sandman)

4.54 of 5 stars 4.54  ·  rating details  ·  797 ratings  ·  38 reviews
From the pages of Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comes the young, pale, perky, fan-favorite character Death in a new Absolute Edition collecting her solo adventures! Featuring the miniseries Death: The High Cost of Living 1-3, in which Death befriends a teenager and helps a 250-year old homeless woman find her missing heart.
The Absolute Death collects th
Slipcased Hardcover, 360 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Vertigo
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,607)
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Richard Wright
You don't need this book. It's absolutely unnecessary. That said, unnecessary things can often be extraordinary. The book collects together the various stories of Death, older sister of Dream, and frequent player in Gaiman's classic Sandman series. The physical book, as with the four volumes of Absolute Sandman, is a glorious thing - hardcovered in a slipcase, oversized, stunningly designed. Unlike the Sandman books though, the contents are on the slender side. The first two stories about Death ...more
Kevin Fanning
"Liked it" but I think I mainly liked it because of the character of Death herself, not any of her stories in particular. Actually I would argue Neil Gaiman has never really told a jaw-dropping 5-star story about Death, i.e. she has not gotten the story she deserves.

"The Sound of Her Wings" is a classic, we all love it, a little shmaltzy but OK.

"The High Cost of Living" is OK. Mainly interesting as a backdrop for the next story. I don't super care for the Mad Hettie framing, especially her rando
Aug 25, 2010 Kris rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: graphic novel fans, neil gaiman fans
Shelves: own-it, favorites
This is a collection of stories about Death, who is a character in Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels. It is a beautiful hardback edition, in a box slipcover. The stories inside are just as wonderful as the outside!

Death is the sister of The Sandman (or Dream), one of the Endless Immortals. And this Death is not the grim reaper of popular lore. She's a twenty-something cute girl, a bit Goth, but not at all scary. She loves her job because she gets to meet everybody! The only thing she misses, being
Death, as portrayed in Gaiman's graphic novels, is endearing and adorable. Not all the Endless are. Death, in these novels, is the "cute gothette", always with a smile, always in love with life. Death will keep doing her job until the universe ends, and then she'll lock the door behind her when she leaves. Like all 1990s goths, I wear ankh jewelry as a reference, not to Egyptian mythology, but to Death of the Endless.

My husband bought me this book for my birthday. My husband knows me well - he
A beautiful oversized slipcase hardcover collecting the miniseries DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING and DEATH: THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE together with "The Sound of Her Wings" and "Façade" from THE SANDMAN #8 and #20, the P. Craig Russell-illustrated "Death and Venice" from THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS, and the never-before reprinted stories "A Winter's Tale" and "The Wheel."

I had already bought both mini-series when they came out as single... then later, when they published the min-series as hardcover
Contains both the main stories which have featured Death of the Endless, namely The Time of Your Life and The High Cost of Living, as well as a number of shorts and one-off. As with all of the Absolute Editions, it is a beautifully produced Hardback in a slipcover which is well worth the expense.
A book that really makes you think about death (as opposed to Death), and in doing so, makes you think about life. Like all of Gaiman's work, highly recommended, but probably not as a standalone work. Yo
Garrett Zecker
The Absolute Death is a complete collection of Neil Gaiman's Sandman spinoff character Death, and the various ways that her story is woven between Sandman and her own story in a gorgeous and well-produced volume. The volume also includes a great introduction by Amanda Palmer, an afterword by Gaiman, and a hundred pages or so of ephemera and other releases by the comics publisher (which I thought was Vertigo but I may have caught that some of it was DC?).

The interesting thing about this character
I had read all of the stories before, but it was nice coming back to revisit the goth girl of death, one of my favorite graphic characters. I like her even more than Dream. The collection of portraits by different artists was nice. I read the AIDS comic with my thirteen-year-old. "Yeah, Dad, I know all this stuff." But he listened anyway. I also read some portions of the stories to him and he seemed interested.
I've always thought Death needed her own set of stories! So I was glad to find this gem at the library. I've read some of the stories already in previous Sandman volumes, but I did love the two stories that took the majority of this volume. And Death in Venice was my first intro to Death and the Sandman world, so that was still good to read a second time.
I'm such a latecomer to all this material, I had to step back from "Is Sandman, is good..." to appreciate just how good Gaiman's work with the Death character truly is and how he uses the short stories focusing on her to explore the depth of the human condition. My personal favorite, THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE, throws Death into a role usually played by her younger brother in a story mirroring THE DOLL'S HOUSE and A GAME OF YOU, two of my favorites in the larger Sandman series. It's also the story wh ...more
Gaiman's idea of Death is great, but I'm not sure that she ever really gels as a character. Or maybe it's just that I don't really care about the characters she winds up surrounded by in her own stories. She's iconic, certainly, but not terribly interesting.

For whatever reason, Absolute Death was a big letdown. I'd read most of these stories before, but reading them all together, sandwich between Sandman and Lucifer, they really stand out as little better than mediocre.

If I had to make a guess,
A wonderful, fun book with great stories, fantastic artwork, and a great character. I really like Gaiman's Death, but I really like Gaiman more. The public service comic in which Death talks about preventing AIDS and other STI's, back in 1992, was just gutsy and badass. It certainly saved lives. All the "Absolute" books by Gaiman have been a pleasure. A very satisfying collection of stories. Death and Dream are some of most fun characters I've ever read.
This book encompasses every story Neil Gaiman has ever written that involved Death. I always loved Death the way Gaiman writes her, as the perky Goth girl that is basically like a mother to everyone, waiting for them at the end of their day. The artwork through out the book and the galleries at the end are especially beautiful and it is interesting to see how different artists view the character. Throughout all of Death's stories I always feel there is a message telling the reader to live life t ...more
I love Death, Dream's older sister, from the Sandman series. She's fun and spunky and lively. She's like the cool kid you always want to be friends with but are never entirely sure how to meet.

This splendidly bound volume collects all of the stories that feature Death, particularly "The High Cost of Living" and "Time of Your Life".

I love "The High Cost of Living" because of the grace and beauty it reveals in a single day of life. This story, even more than the extra sketches and material, is th
It's wonderful to have all of these Death-related graphic novels and comics in one spot. I loved revisiting these stories, though it's a little jarring to read them all in a mish-mash together. This collection just makes me think Death deserves her own series. She's a supporting character that sometimes steals the show in "Sandman." Putting these stories all together in one place show how short-changed she's been.

So the four-star rating is for actual story content, because these stories aren't
Camilo Guerra
No hay nada mas grande que Sandman y Death es uno de los grandes personajes creados por Neil Gaiman así que...¡que le pasa a estas historias?, no me malentiendan, no es que sean malas,son muy buenas pero no estan al nivel de lo que nos tiene acostumbrado y Death es el mejor secundario en todo el universo pero como personaje principal no tiene el arrastre de la serie madre.
Kat Alexander
A brilliant anthology covering all of Death.


~Intro by Amanda Palmer (It's Amanda Palmer, so of course it's hilarious)
~The Sound of Her Wings (Death's first appearance in Sandman #8)
~Façade (A rather curious story involving a woman made of elements from Sandman #20)
~The High Cost of Living (What happens when Death comes to town? Lots, apparently...)
~The Time of Your Life (The High Cost of Living story continues)
~A Winter's Tale (From Vertigo: Winter's Edge #2 comes a short tale with love
An excellent companion volume to "Absolute Sandman" . . . a definite must-read and must-have.
I just love everything by Neil Gaiman that I've gotten my hands on so far, and The Absolute Death is no exception.

Best read AFTER Gaiman's The Sandman, the stories of Death are alternately: scary, sad, funny, and touching. Much like, his Sandman stories, you don't know what you'll get when you start reading and could get all these emotional responses in a single story!

While the standalone Death stories (Death:The High Cost of Living and Death:The Time of Your Life) could be read on their own, th
Amazing. Love Neil Gaiman,.love Death.
Geomar Galangco
The only flaw that I found on this book, is that it ended, but "Thats also what gave it value."
Out of all the Absolute books this was my favorite by far. I love the way Neil created the character Death, not as the Death we have all read or heard about over and over as we have grown up about how Death is a morbid and dreary character/thing but, with this new outlook she is a beautiful and caring Death that will give a brand new view on the whole death situation. I'd so love it if there were more volumes to read on this character or a book of a thousand pages or so...
Amazing collection of Death issues and a miniseries. The introduction is written by Neil's partner, the prolific musician Amanda Palmer. The book itself is beautiful, with an embossed fabric and leather hardcover. A must-read for any Gaiman fan!
H. Anne Stoj
An utterly fantastic collection of Death pulled from the Sandman and stand alone issues. Amanda Palmer was an excellent choice for the intro to the collection which read more like a strange story that some of the other introductions in other volumes. I think what I enjoyed in particular was the collection of artwork by various people showing their renditions of Dream's quirky older sister.
My second graphic novel favorite character in a beautiful collection of stories and images (maybe too much filler, but nice). It is also a gift from my fiancé, who knows me quite well. Three stories were already shown in The Absolute Sandman, but, anyway, Death is such a charmer that I could not resist to read her twice, thrice.
I already know the mini series by heart, cause i'm such a huge fan of this caracter.
I discovered the beautiful art pages all along the book and it's just a marvel (comical considering it's a DC/Vertigo production) anyway... if you like her ;.. it's a must have, but save money first, this one is not a cheap one.
Of course, the presentation is lovely.

But I realized - maybe for the first time - that the character is much better digested in small doses. Death just doesn't seem to maintain the complexity and depth that Dream does throughout SANDMAN. Still good, but a good spinoff that can't quite match the original.
I always loved Death and thought she stole the show in the Sandman series. This graphic novel brings together all of her appearances in the series plus some sketches and a comic book PSA Neil Gaiman did in the early 90's when there wasn't a lot of information available on AIDS.
Not as good or as fully immersive as the Absolute Sandman's. Death is a little bit of a one note character and whilst whats on offer here fleshes out the Sandman universe, it does feel like one of those extra's that bands do to fill out a famous album.
You get many of the stories in the Absolute Sandman Volumes, so there is some overlap, but it's pretty fantastic nonetheless. Death is an intriguing character. More so, I'd say, than the typical representation of Death, or the Grim Reaper.
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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 Four
  • The Absolute Sandman, Volume Five

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