Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Game of You (The Sandman, #5)” as Want to Read:
A Game of You (The Sandman, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Game of You

(The Sandman #5)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  54,878 ratings  ·  1,661 reviews
Take an apartment house, mix in a drag queen, a lesbian couple, some talking animals, a talking severed head, a confused heroine, and the deadly Cuckoo. Stir vigorously with a hurricane and Morpheus himself and you get this fifth installment of the Sandman series. This story stars Barbie, who first makes an appearance in The Doll's House, who here finds herself a princess ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 10th 1999 by Vertigo (first published 1992)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Game of You, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Taylor Calder I'd start in order but you won't spoil anything reading this one at all. But you'll get more out of it if you read at least the first one. …moreI'd start in order but you won't spoil anything reading this one at all. But you'll get more out of it if you read at least the first one. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  54,878 ratings  ·  1,661 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Game of You (The Sandman, #5)
Bill Kerwin

I have read the first five volumes of The Sandman, and so far this is only my third favorite (after A Doll's House and Seasons of Mist). Its development is somewhat muddy, its narrative too crowded with characters, and it is somewhat removed from the central myth of Sandman and the theological and cosmic questions which surround him, themes I find the most compelling part of this series.

I admit, though, that this preference may be merely a matter of taste. What A Game of You lacks in abstract m
We’re back in the game!!!

Creative Team:

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Illustrators: Shawn McManus, Colleen Doran, Bryan Talbot, George Pratt & Stan Woch

Covers: Dave McKean

Letterer: Todd Klein


I am truly GLAD that my struggles in Season of Mists (the fourth volume) were left there and Neil Gaiman played with my mind a game, a wonderful game of words and images, a game where ironically you are given the rules of it until the end, but that
Sean Barrs
The spell has been broken, the dream has ended. Well, at least, for now.

I was really surprised at how weak the writing was in this volume; it felt more like a spin-off than part of the actual series. Dream was barely present; he was more of a side character, only appearing briefly in the series that was named after him. Whatever was Neil Gaiman thinking when he decided to centre the story on Barbie?

Yes, Barbie. If felt so off centre and removed from The Sandman myth: the very thing that makes t
Re-Read 5/1/20:

*shiver* Such goodness may deserve a more verbose review, but fortunately, I already wrote one. :) And I don't really have much new to say. :)

Original Review:

I love Barbie. I love Wanda. I love Thessaly.

Truly, this was one hell of a tightly-woven story including inner-worlds, cuckoo birds, ancient witches, pulling down the moon, and death.

There's no way in hell that I could really boil it down to essentials. As a whole, it seriously rocks and hits me in the feels. Sexual identity
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
After reading issues 29-31 and not enjoying them at all, I expected this volume to be not so good. However, I liked reading Barbie’s story even if Dream didn’t appear much in this volume. Yes, it wasn’t nearly as good as Season of Mists but well, I doubt any upcoming volume will be.

A Game of You was fun and intriguing. I found the flawed characters interesting and they quickly grew on me. It was also nice to read about Barbie, a character we’ve met before, and discover more about her.

That being
Johann (jobis89)
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impressed once again! I have so much love for this series. Full review to come...
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I really like how Gaiman explores child imagined fantasy worlds like Narnia or Oz. Yet at the same time this is also very much about identity and how we view ourselves, especially those of queer and trans orientations. I really enjoy how Gaiman weaves in elements of past storylines as this reaches back to minor characters from A Doll's House and the demented issue where Dr. Destiny tortures the patrons of a diner in Preludes & Nocturnes. These little Easter eggs really add to my enjoyment of the ...more
Sean Gibson
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sandman continues to confound and confusticate, though that’s good thing in this instance. This volume took a sharp left turn from the last one, with a minor character taking center stage and Dream playing only a small supporting role. It’s a little bit like watching a Ghostbusters spinoff where Louis Tully gets lead billing and Peter Venkman shows up to crack a few jokes toward the end before high-fiving Slimer in a closing freeze frame (which, incidentally, is a spinoff I’d watch the crap out ...more
Apr 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Game of You reintroduces us to the minor character of Barbie from the 2nd volume, The Doll's House.

I really liked how this story plays out, along with the new characters of Wanda, Hazel, Thessaly and Foxglove.
The story of Barbie goes from fantasy (her dreamworld) to her real life in NYC throughout the whole volume.
It felt like I needed some acid at times to figure out the fantasy elements of her dreamworld and what was really going on?!

But isn't that what's great about dreams?
You'll wake up fr
Jul 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Game of You, the 5th volume in the Sandman series, is my favorite so far. One thing I've noticed Gaiman is very good at is picking up little threads he dropped in previous stories and building on them (this was one of my favorite things about Buffy; there's nothing more rewarding for a viewer/reader than a story that doesn't forget its past). The most notable one that gets picked up in this volume is the main character, Barbie, who was a minor character in The Doll's House. In that volume, we ...more
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this fifth Sandman volume we meet some characters from previous ones. Barbie chief amongst them. She no longer dreams and as it turns out, that really will drive you mad - of sorts. We therefore get a magical dreamland, some colourful house-mates of different sexualities and *clears throat* ages and, of course, the Lord of Dreams.

Not sure if this volume actually does anything for the overall story - I'll only be able to judge that later - but it was quite some fun. From small-minded small-tow
Jun 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
This came into my bookstore and I hadn't read it in a couple years, plus it's the one with the transwoman in it, and I was feeling emotionally vulnerable. So bring it on!

So... yeah. So when I was a little kid I read this and it was like, I was a baby transsexual and all I knew about it was that I'd better not talk about it or admit it to myself or to anybody else. So this book touched me in kind of a weird place and I was SUPER stoked that it treated a transwoman as a human being and, y'know, i
Paul E. Morph
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of the same.

As I wrote that it occurred to me that 'more of the same' is usually used in a negative sense but, in this case, it means 'more of the same absolutely incredible writing'.

I can't give these 5 stars, though, because the artwork continues to be just OK. People have assured me the artwork gets better as the series goes along but I'm not seeing any sign of that yet.
Fadi Antwan
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Why do these have to be so heartbreaking?
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013

The Sandman series goes from strength to strength, capable of reinventing itself with each new collection. Morpheus is mostly absent at the start of A Game of You , but that's all right, as the new characters prove interesting enough without his presence. The story takes place partly in a New York tenement, peopled with oddball characters that for some reason reminded me of Will Eisner, and partly in a fantasy realm that is lost in a far corner of Morpheus' Dreamcountry. Connecting the two is
Z. F.

I'll just launch right into it. A Game of You centers on a quintet of (mostly) mortal women sharing an apartment building in New York, two of whom are lesbians, one of whom is trans, one of whom is cishet, and the last of whom is an ageless witch. The cishet woman, Barbie, is the protagonist, or at least the person most of the action centers on; the trans woman, Wanda, is arguably the emotional core. For those not already in the loop, I'll also remind you that our author is a cishet man, and fur
Jun 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was another fun, creative, weird, deceptively deep installment in the series. I really appreciate the fact that this fifth volume, like its immediate predecessor, feels like a complete thought on its own. There is no cliffhanger here. The story, while introduced earlier in the series, is a complete one. My biggest complaint is that the art style seemed to change from chapter to chapter, and the differences in how particular characters were drawn was a distraction.
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-loved
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dave Schaafsma
This is a great volume focused less on Dream/Morpheus himself than on dream worlds populated by Narnia-like and stuffed animal characters from Barbie's youth, "morphed" into somewhat scarier beings, this being Gaiman, and the dreams of her friends Wanda, a drag Queen, a lesbian couple, a witch named Thessaly, a "street" person who hates dogs, and a scary monster named Cuckoo… and there's a couple gruesome moments in it that just may stay with you… but what also may stay with you is the endorseme ...more
James DeSantis
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sandman gets better and better as we return to Barbie, a character from Book 2.

This time Barbie is trying to live her life the way she wants. With her best friend she travels the streets of New York being free. However, the Cuckoo wants revenge and sends its creatures to try and get Barbie back into dream land. In doing so Barbie and her whole building of neighbors have to step into the dream world again to survive.

This is basically a rescue mission but with a lot of interesting twist and turns.
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Example #832 as to why cis people should never ever attempt to write about trans women. Ever. Every single negative stereotype is included here, from the age-old trope of "the surgery" and depictions of trans women as frivolous and overemotional to the extreme and wrapping up with the "trans woman as tragic warning" trope that means we can only ever be killed and even then denied the very identity we died to achieve. And so much misgendering. So much. From the common "oh, Wanda's really a man" t ...more
Anthony Chavez
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: series
I got it! I think...
In the next ten months of reading all of its volumes or so, I didn't really think it was possible for me to fall in love with The Sandman. I knew I was already a fan since The Doll's House, but my appreciation and affection for Gaiman's work were not as intense or as consuming as I initially thought they would become sooner of later (and that happened later on once I got my hands on Gaiman's collaborative volume with Jill Thompson, but I digress).

I enjoyed what the previous volume Season of Mist
Sandman, Vol 5: A Game of You: Challenges our childhood fantasies

After the excellent Vol 4: Season of Mists, the Sandman once again retreats to the shadows in this unified story arc. Instead it focuses on Barbie, the vapid-seeming blonde who was married to Ken and lived in the same house as Rose Walker in Vol 2: The Doll’s House. She has since split with Ken and moved to NY. She lives in a building with several unusual characters: Wanda, a pre-operative transsexual woman; a mysterious and timid-
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, fantasy
Volume 5 of the Sandman series was called "A Game of You". It tells the story of Barbie, whom we first saw back in vol 2 "The Doll's House", and her dreams. Her dreams have created an entire world, but this world has been taken over by a malevolent creature known as the "Cuckoo".

Interestingly each of the individual issues is named after a song. From "Lullaby of Broadway", "Bad Moon Rising", "Beginning to See the Light", "Over the Sea to Sky" and "I Woke Up and One of Us Was Crying".

The central c
Zoe's Human
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lt
Neil Gaiman is such a gifted storyteller. Again, this collection contains an single and complete story arc, but now the world is large enough to start tying together bits and pieces from other parts of The Sandman storyline.
Himanshu Karmacharya
Incredible. Poignant. Dream-like. Extremely well written and constructed, a game of you leaves the readers with almost nothing to complain about.
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sandman Fans!!
6 stars!

Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” series just keeps getting better and better every time I read them and the fifth volume “A Game of You” definitely does not disappoint me! This time, Dream (Morpheus) is dealing with a world that may look cute on the outside but on the inside, a sinister force is at work here and it is up to Dream to save the day!

In this volume, “A Game of You,” a young woman named Barbie (think of Ken and Barbie, the dolls that every little girl used to play with) who starts
Wing Kee
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A melancholy masterpiece.

World: The art is amazing, much like the series there’s nothing much to say, it’s stylish, it’s tonally amazing, and the world building visually is a delight. The world building here is self contained and dense. It’s a small story about a group of friends and the world that they are in and what we get is just that. There’s a lot of beautiful character building here and the absolutely insane dream world we saw, just perfect.

Story: The pacing and the writing, the dialog
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect page number 3 27 Apr 21, 2019 10:15PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Sandman: The Dream Hunters
  • Lucifer, Book Two (Lucifer, #2)
  • Swamp Thing, Vol. 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing
  • Lucifer, Book One (Lucifer, #1)
  • The Sandman
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1
  • Lucifer, Book Three (Lucifer, #3)
  • From Hell
  • Lucifer, Book Four (Lucifer, #4)
  • Lucifer, Book Five (Lucifer, #5)
  • Watchmen
  • Preacher, Book 5
  • Basketful of Heads #1
  • Swamp Thing, Vol. 5: Earth to Earth
  • Swamp Thing, Vol. 3: The Curse
  • Preacher, Volume 2: Until the End of the World
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega
  • Swamp Thing, Vol. 6: Reunion
See similar books…
See top shelves…

Other books in the series

The Sandman (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman, #1)
  • The Doll's House (The Sandman, #2)
  • Dream Country (The Sandman, #3)
  • Season of Mists (The Sandman, #4)
  • Fables & Reflections (The Sandman, #6)
  • Brief Lives (The Sandman, #7)
  • Worlds' End (The Sandman, #8)
  • The Kindly Ones (The Sandman, #9)
  • The Wake (The Sandman, #10)
  • The Sandman: Endless Nights (The Sandman)

Related Articles

  Here at Goodreads, we've noticed that a funny thing tends to happen when we start talking about audiobooks: The same few titles get...
74 likes · 20 comments
“Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds... Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.” 5902 likes
“And if there's a moral there, I don't know what it is, save maybe that we should take our goodbyes whenever we can.” 140 likes
More quotes…