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Preludes & Nocturnes

(The Sandman #1)

by
4.24  ·  Rating details ·  201,487 ratings  ·  5,984 reviews
New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.

In PRELUDES
...more
Hardcover, 233 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Vertigo (first published 1989)
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Hellen Some of the images can be disturbing, yes. There's a man exploding (imploding?), a woman's head popping off, at some point there's gooey flesh coverin…moreSome of the images can be disturbing, yes. There's a man exploding (imploding?), a woman's head popping off, at some point there's gooey flesh covering the walls of a room... It gets less creepy later in the series, though, so don't let it stop you! Sandman is dreamy, fantastical and definitely weird at times, but (for me at least) it's not scary.(less)

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Patrick
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
So here's the thing...

I wrote the introduction to the 30th anniversary edition of The Sandman.

How absolutely *stupid* is that?

It's been half a year since I got the invitation, and months since I actually finished writing the introduction, but I still can't believe it.

To celebrate, I thought I'd write a review here. But rather than just my usual messy gush about how I love some story, I got permission from the publisher to re-print part of my introduction I wrote.

Share and enjoy...

**(What follows
...more
Patrick
First off, let's be clear, I'm a big soppy fan of Gaiman's Work.

Secondly, I've read the Sandman series several times before. So this is more a record of my fond re-reading and musing about this story rather than some sort of objective review.

But if you've read any of my other reviews, that won't come as a surprise.

I think it's been a full ten years since the last time I've read this series. And, given that my memory is, well... to put it plainly quite shit, I get to experience the series with
...more
Bill Kerwin
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it

I thought it was time I added The Sandman. It fits precisely into my systematic program of reading. “Hold on!” I can hear all you folks out there saying. “ Your 'systematic program of reading'? Why you're one of the most eclectic readers I know!”

I can understand why you might feel that way, but there is a little method to my madness. Although it is true that some of the books I read (progressive political analyzes, slim 20th century verse collections, cat books, classic spiritual treatises, or t
...more
Sean Barrs
Mr Gaiman, thank you for the dream.

See what I did there? But in all fairness this is a dream. This comic is just everything I want a comic to be. It’s dark and brutal; it’s profound and sophisticated: it’s imaginative and creative. I just love everything about it. It’s superb. Let’s begin with the characters:

Dream

description

So the protagonist is a god, a very old god. And he represents one of the key elements of life itself: hope. He is everything the mind longs for. He is the reason to carry on livi
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Alejandro
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FanTABulous preluDe!


Creative Team:

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Illustrators: Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg & Malcolm Jones III

Covers: Dave McKean

Letterer: Todd Klein


A PRELUdE TO dREAM

It is NEVER “only a dream”, John Constantine.

Definitely there is stuff that if you read again, you’ll get it differently, but even so, you’ll get it differently if you re-read it again in a different order.

I am re-reading again the first four TPBs of The Sandman since I was able to buy the rest of TPBs of the series
...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*


I need to admit something. I've never "gotten" Neil Gaiman's books. They confuse the hell out of me. I really never know where he is going with a story. *gasp*


This one was some freaky ass shit. Some old guy wants to perform a ceremony to capture "Death". Yeah..okay.
Anyways, he ends up capturing our guy Dream.
Dream bides his time. Then he wants his domain back. Then some more freaky ass shit goes down.



I see a whole lot of fangirls and boys on these books. Don't kill me yet. I hav
...more
Bradley
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Re-Read 1/3/20:

Just as good as the previous reads. :)


Original Review:

I have to say I enjoyed this much better the second time around.

Both times I really got a kick out of the Crowley sidestory, and I still have no idea who or what the original sandman comic was all about, nor do I particularly care, but this reimagining is a real work of art.

It's not even the art, per-se, although I did enjoy seeing Bowie as Satan. It fits him so well. It was the story. It seemed to stumble about for a short wh
...more
Brad
Since joining goodreads, I’ve been baffled by the Neil Gaiman love fest. American Gods, Neverwhere, Stardust, The Graveyard Book, they appear to be universally loved, and I’ve been skeptical of this emotion that borders on worship. These books are good and all, and I recognize their general accessibility, but I don’t personally find any of them mind blowing literature. Gaiman’s prose is no match for China Mieville’s or Iain M. Banks’ or Ursula LeGuin’s (and countless others who write speculative ...more
Kirstine
"I am anti-life, the beast of judgement. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, Gods, worlds... of everything. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?"

"I am hope."

This is my favourite quote from this book, and one of my favourite quotes in general. It's beautiful. And true, thank god, so true.

I really liked this book. I've wanted to read The Sandman for a long time, and after this I'm beginning to grasp why it's become so popular.

You can tell that this is a prelude to the
...more
Will M.
May 11, 2014 rated it liked it
One of those graphic novels that are so famous and hyped up that it makes you want to read them. The consequence though would be that expectations tend to rocket up. I am more disappointed than entertained.

I've read 2 novels of Neil Gaiman. I hated Stardust, while Ocean was a mediocre read for me. I DNF(did-not-finish) American Gods and Graveyard Book because I got bored. The Sandman was not that great for me. I think I have to conclude soon enough that I honestly don't see what's so good about
...more
Johann (jobis89)
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I am hope.”

A man named Roderick Burgress wants to prevent death in the world by summoning and capturing Death – but what he ends up with is Dream instead. Dream is imprisoned for 70 years and loses his tools that give him his power. Upon Dream’s release he must embark on a journey to retrieve his tools before the world falls into turmoil.

I’ve been so psyched to read the Sandman series since I first heard about it on bookstagram. It’s considered by many to be the pinnacle of graphic novels - an
...more
Ms. Smartarse
Dream (a.k.a. the Sandman) is mistakenly captured by a creepy cult, that had been hoping to bind Death. Attempting to make the most of their failure, the cultists try to persuade Dream to do their bidding, but he refuses to even acknowledge them. Instead, he bides his time until his captors make a mistake... 72 years later.

failed capture

I loved the story, especially the first chapter where the effects of Dream's imprisonment on humanity are depicted. For all that I'm not big on horror and gore, I was positive
...more
Lyn
Apr 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Preludes and Nocturnes is the first entry of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series and in it he introduces the main protagonist, Dream, also known as Morpheus, and also unveils an imaginative storyline.

Written in collaboration with graphic novel artists Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III, the medium illuminates his creativity and expands the reader’s perceptions of his vision.

The Sandman concept promises an occult, fantastic journey into dreams, Hell, and an intimate association wit
...more
Trish
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Why, hello. Sandman, Morpheus, Lord of Dreams. This is the first we see of Gaiman's Eternal (one of seven god-like beings).

In this first volume we see how Alastair Crowley High Mage Burgess accidentally captures Dream instead of his sister Death and imprisons him for the next 70 years or so. However, you can't just remove an Eternal as they have responsibilities. Thus, the world and everyone in it suffers severely. Since Dream refuses to give Burgess what he craves, he remains a prisoner until l
...more
Celeste
Jul 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I first read this a couple of years ago, and it was one of the first graphic novels I read. Even though I love me some Gaiman, I have to admit that I didn’t love this. It seemed so incredibly dark when I first read it. Since that time, I’ve read many more graphic novels, most of which have been dark. I decided to revisit this series to see if I still found as dark as I did originally.

Yes. Yes, I do.

The plot of the first few issues didn’t bother me. Dream’s story and search were compelling. Wher
...more
Anne
May 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
I liked the beginning, when Dream was captured. The mystical elements held my attention. However, the middle of it kind of grossed me out. Especially the part in with Dee in the diner. EWWWW. The end of Preludes and Nocturnes totally made up for it, though. I loved Death! How cool is she?! Whoever came up with the idea to make Death a peppy little goth girl was a genius!
Brooke
In the foreword and the afterword, both the editor and Gaiman indicated that this isn't the strongest volume in the Sandman series; Gaiman was still finding his vision for the series, it's essentially a fetch quest, etc. I'm inclined to agree with them, although it was still enjoyable (as any video game fan will tell you, a fetch quest can still be fun, but it's not the strongest narrative device). I'm halfway through Volume 2: The Doll's House and I'm already finding the story much more interes ...more
Hershey
Once I was all done with this book, my very first thought was "This book is really weird."

Neil Gaiman, as all of you know, is a God at creating the most intricate and best of all story worlds. Honestly, every time I pick up his books, I never have a single clue with where he's going to take the readers with his story lines. Reading the blurb seriously does not help. Gaiman's works always have depth and much more stuff going on than what the blurb normally says.

So, I finally have gotten around to
...more
Sh3lly
Decided to re-read this since my library had it. I haven't read this since the 90s. I don't remember anything about it so far. It's kind of like all brand new and sparkly. And creepy. Yes, definitely creepy, in a good way.

And now here's a random Bowie gif that reminded me of this for some reason:



I'm keeping my original rating. This was fantastic. I like how he worked a few superheroes into it and (view spoiler) This is adult comics at its bes
...more
Anuradha
POPSugar Reading Challenge: #39. The first book in a series I haven't read before

The air is musty, tired, old, it smells of lost dreams and rotten fabric.

I would have to sell my kidney and part of my liver to acquire this. Fortunately, I have a friend who has a copy, so my organs are safe. Now, whether or not he sold his organs to buy this is unknown to me, but I am glad he has the book.

Now, I am no longer a Gaiman virgin; I've read a fair few of his riveting stories. And yet, his knowledg
...more
Carol
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, this is cool. (do people still say cool?) Preludes & Nocturnes is the first of twelve in THE SANDMAN series that I have put off reading far too long.....

It begins June 6, 1916 in Wych Cross, England.....

In an attempt to capture and bind DEATH to achieve immortality, the creepy looking and evil Daemon King, Roderick Burgess mistakenly apprehends her brother DREAM instead.....

DREAM (Morpheus) is robbed of his powers, but will not talk....."Confined in a glass box for three score years and ten.

...more
Terry
Oct 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, comics, horror
3 – 3.5 stars

Ok, so, The Sandman. Ground breaking comic series from the early days of DC’s innovative Vertigo line. One of the many comics of the era that was trying to do new (or at least different) things with the medium and even went so far as to not only NOT be primarily a superhero book, but one that had elements that hearkened back to the old days of anthology comics in addition to telling the serialized life story of the ‘hero’. I know I’m in the minority here, and I will admit that my op
...more
Rowena
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I really enjoyed this one, although some parts were pretty grotesque and hard to take. The story was very interesting, philosophical at times, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I found it quite funny that the Dream Lord resembles Neil Gaiman so much!
K. Elizabeth
Very interesting. I loved the artwork and colors used. The story, too, was quite original!
Sam Quixote
I read this one some 10 years or so ago when I was slowly returning to comics and, having re-read it now, I still maintain that Preludes and Nocturnes is a poor place to start with this series - though it’s a decent book.

My first time around, I read Sandman totally out of sequence starting with Vol 3, then Vol 5, then a couple more volumes (I was just grabbing whatever was on the shelves that week!) and I read Vol 1 towards the end thinking what an unimpressive first volume it was.

I’d recommen
...more
Ayman Gomaa
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
English & Arabic Review :

I heard Neil Gaiman is one of the strangest authors with crazy imagination mind.
Now after i read to him he is stranger than i even thought :)

The Sandman Comic is so madness and captivating

At first i was like oooohhh this is weird
Then i was like WTF is going up here !
Now i am so dazzled and puzzled

Neil Gaiman created a freak dark brutal world
this comic was so dark so bloody and what the drawings was so fabulous and very good .

it starts with occultist who tries to
...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, comics
Sandman has been on my radar for years. In a way I'm glad I've waited, because now that I've read 4 or 5 of the author's other books, I have a better idea of his style and thematic preferences and I can appreciate better how innovative and original his approach to the sequential art medium is. Urban fantasy that doesn't limits itself to crime investigations and vampires versus werewolves, superheroes that are fallible and make mistakes, adult content that doesn't drown you in bad language, nudi ...more
James DeSantis
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
At first I wasn't sure if this was going to be for me. It starts off slow, weird, lots of words but very little meaning connecting for me. Then...after issue 2, we get into the goods.

So what's Sandman? Well besides being one of the most talked about and beloved series it's about the king of dreams. You know death right? You know Lucifer right? Well let me tell you, there's also DREAM and he's pretty much just as scary.

So after years of being imprisoned Dream escapes his shackles. Once doing so
...more
Zitong Ren
I honestly don't really know as to how to review this book.

I actually had no idea that this was essentially a superhero comic set in the DC universe. All I knew before going into it was that it is immensely popular and that Gaiman wrote it, who I know as a fantasy author. So in a sense, imagine my surprise when they mentioned Batman and the Justice League. I've actually never read any superhero comics before.

So yeah, there's that.

The artwork was actually so gruesome dark for essentially the en
...more
Obsidian
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-2017, favorites
There really is not much to say besides how much I loved this graphic novel from beginning to end. I am glad that I just went and bought the first three novels. My library didn't have this copy, but also the one I read (volume 2) was much older and with these new editions I bought, I can see a lot easier while reading.

In "Preludes and Nocturnes" I get to see how Dream got locked away and how that impacted the world. I wish now that I had read this volume before volume 2 since now certain things
...more
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Other books in the series

The Sandman (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Doll's House (The Sandman, #2)
  • Dream Country (The Sandman, #3)
  • Season of Mists (The Sandman, #4)
  • A Game of You (The Sandman, #5)
  • Fables & Reflections (The Sandman, #6)
  • Brief Lives (The Sandman, #7)
  • World's End (The Sandman, #8)
  • The Kindly Ones (The Sandman, #9)
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Articles featuring this book

Dragons, demons, kings, queens, and the occasional farm boy (with a special destiny, of course): Fantasy literature has it all! To celebrate ou...
179 likes · 69 comments
“You get what anybody gets - you get a lifetime.” 2452 likes
“CHORONZON: I am a dire wolf, prey-stalking, lethal prowler.

MORPHEUS: I am a hunter, horse-mounted, wolf-stabbing.

CHORONZON: I am a horsefly, horse-stinging, hunter-throwing.

MORPHEUS: I am a spider, fly-consuming, eight legged.

CHORONZON: I am a snake, spider-devouring, posion-toothed.

MORPHEUS: I am an ox, snake-crushing, heavy-footed.

CHORONZON: I am an anthrax, butcher bacterium, warm-life destroying.

MORPHEUS: I am a world, space-floating, life-nurturing.

CHORONZON: I am a nova, all-exploding... planet-cremating.

MORPHEUS: I am the Universe -- all things encompassing, all life embracing.

CHORONZON: I am Anti-Life, the Beast of Judgment. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds... of everything. Sss. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?

MORPHEUS: I am hope.”
710 likes
More quotes…