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The Sandman #8

The Sandman Vol. 8: Worlds' End

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A "reality storm" draws an unusual cast of characters together. They take shelter in a tavern, where they amuse each other with their life stories. Although Morpheus is never a focus in these stories, each has something to say about the nature of stories and dreams. With an introduction by Stephen King. SUGGESTED FOR MATURE READERS. Collecting The Sandman #51–56

160 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1993

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Neil Gaiman

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,544 reviews
Profile Image for Anne.
3,864 reviews69.2k followers
August 26, 2022
Normally I don't care much for the one-shot stories that pop up in seemingly every other volume of Sandman. But these were really entertaining for me.


Thre's some sort of Inn called World's End and travelers from all times and places end up there because of reasons.
And (of course) everyone tells their stories. Not necessarily stories about themselves, just the most interesting story they have. There's usually some vague connection to Dream in the stories but they aren't about Dream.


This was (for me) pretty decent. And unlike some of the other collections, this one held my interest from start to finish.
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,115 reviews3,549 followers
June 15, 2015
A reality storm is coming! Look for some safe place!

Creative Team:

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Illustrators: Mike Allred, Gary Amano, John Watkiss, Mark Buckingham, Shea Anton Pensa, Tony Harris, Vince Locke, Steve Leialoha, Dick Giordano, Michael Zulli, Alec Stevens & Bryan Talbot

Covers: Dave McKean

Letterer: Todd Klein


Pictures and word-balloons don’t mean dumb.

That first quote isn’t from the pages of the volume World’s End but from the introduction written by none other than Stephen King (that I guess you may have heard that he has written some books here and there). Indeed it’s impressive the list of personalities that they have figured so far in the introductions to each The Sandman TPBs, and having Stephen King here is even more impressive.

I mean... WOW!!!

Maybe my only humble critique is that when the Master King did a comment about how The Sandman is a comic book series suggested to mature readers and that if the readers wouldn’t understand the stories, they should get back to Spider-Man, X-Men or Fantastic Four. Honestly I didn’t like (one little bit) that comment, for two reasons: One, clearly he only mentioned Marvel titles, what? All DC material is so adult oriented?! Sure, I was amazed how “mature” was the brawl showing none strategy against Darkseid in the first storyach of New 52’s Justice League. Geez! And Two, I wonder if he ever heard of materials such as Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt, X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills or even a single issue like #267 “A Small Loss” from Fantastic Four?

I love DC AND Marvel, AND Indy comic book houses too, so I don’t like when it’s made a direct comment attacking the competition without need. I don’t need to choose. I don’t need to limit myself only choosing certain publishing house, franchise or literary genre.

It’s nobody’s secret that many comic books aren’t those great literary masterpieces, but hardly all prose novels have always a depth content. It’s not something about the writing format but about the writers. And in any case, sometimes we aren’t looking for a mature material to make us to mediate and to expand our intellect, sometimes we are in the mood of just want to read about a brainless brawl against a intergalactic tyrant, without looking to expand our understanding of the universo but just to relax a while.

That’s the magic and beauty of books, any kind of books, there are enough for any kind of reading that we wish to do, depending of our mood, our situation, our available time, etc...

Does everyone have a drink? Good. So... let my auditors feel themselves transported far, far from here to lands far distant...

Like some other previous volumes in this run of The Sandman, this TPB is a collection of short stories, even the collection is so shaken (but not stirred) that you will have short stories inside of the short stories, I mean, you are reading a short story and before you know, you’re reading another short story but inside of the current short story.

There are some similitudes (about elements, but definitely new stories) from the developed in the sixth volume Fables and Reflections since cities and “emperors” will be pivotal in this totally new selection of tales.

You will visit cities even more ambitious about its surreal ambiances, abandoning for good the realms of Earth (or maybe not?) but definitely out of the ordinary.

The reality storm is coming...

But no, you won’t be involved in the taking of any throne, no, but you will visit a very special inn (even amazing enough not the only one of its kind) where you can be safe from “reality storms” and the price for your beverage and food is as cheap as a story.

But that doesn’t mean that they are cheap stories, oh no, imagination have no boundaries and when the tales are “constructed” with “bricks” of dreams, you can be sure that “reality” while may be storming out there, but you will be warm enough inside having the comfortable blankets of fantasy around you.

Sir? Who are you?

Just one with an… interest... in tales. ... ...I am Prince of Stories.

The name of the inn is “The World’s End”. I guess that Simon Pegg (the actor) read this TPB, since there is a movie with the same title and it’s referring too about an inn, maybe not as astonishing as the one in this TPB but definitely not normal either. (By the way, I didn’t like much that movie since I found it too similar the angle to the done in the wonderful Shaun of the Dead also made by Pegg.)

An odd detail about the illustration work was there is a character named Cluracan who is a male fairy, and he wears pointed ears on the scenes inside the inn, but when he appears in some stories, while he is a fairy and everybody knows that he is a fairy so there isn’t any point to hide it, the artists assigned to those other section didn’t draw him pointed ears.

You can be sure that Morpheus, our dear Death, and other regular characters from the series, they appear here, and while some apparitions are clear in the opoen, even you will have to be quite observant to realize at some moments that you are meeting them.

Obviously, since this is The Sandman, dreams are a pivotal element once again, here, in these short stories, where you will meet all kind of dreams, from the general American Dream to others kinda more individual.

And maybe, just maybe, a grim glimpse of things to come in the series...

Whose tale is next?

Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,109 reviews44.2k followers
May 9, 2020
Storytelling is such a fundamental aspect of human nature; it is how we connect with each other and how we make sense of the world and the people in it. Stories can tell us so much and the right one, the right one can totally change your life.

Gaiman touches on that here; he touches on the transformative power of stories: he celebrates them in there many varieties. Some stories are similar, told differently by different people across different times and cultures. And, for me, this is the most important aspect of this volume: the realisation that stories, for all their power, are destined to repeat themselves in some way or some form.

Kurt Vonnegut once said that there are only eight types of stories, and each tale we might try to tell will always fit into one of these story shapes somehow. It is unavoidable. The narrative arc will always adhere to this basic idea. And I saw that here. The same stories told in a different way in alien cultures. Even our dreams follow a pattern. And I love the way Gaiman interacts with classic literature, engaging with old ideas to tell his own stories. I feel like he is one of the few writers to truly acknowledge this sense of literary debt.

So this was another interesting volume, one that showed the scope of Dream's power across many different worlds. The fundamental idea behind the Endless will be the same wherever it is felt or believed in.


You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree.
Profile Image for Bill Kerwin.
Author 1 book81.2k followers
August 8, 2019

This eighth entry in the series is, like Dream Country, a collection of individual tales only tangentially connected to the characters and concerns of the series. Gaiman, in a brief afterward, tells us that he crafted these stories to take advantage of the talents of some of his favorite artists, and in this he has succeeded admirably. The visual styles are pleasantly varied, and many of the individual images are haunting and memorable.

The tales are presented to us through a Decameron style frame: a diverse group of people gather at an inn for shelter and safety, and tell stories to pass the time. They seek shelter, not from a plague, but from a “reality storm,” an event that disrupts the lives of people living in many historical periods and different dimensions, and consequently the tellers of these tales are an extraordinarily diverse group.

I particularly enjoyed “A Tale of Two Cities” (a “Mr. Gaheris,” traveling through his own city, finds himself in a dreaming city similar yet different from his own) for artist Alec Stevens’ modernistic, one-dimensional images which give to Gaheris’ cities a contemporary yet dreamlike reality. I also enjoyed very much “The Golden Boy” (an alternate United States in which an eighteen-year-old named “Prez” follows Dick Nixon as president and does very well) and “Cerements” (a series of tales told by the masters and apprentices of the necropolis Litharge, who discuss their work among the dead), but the other two tales were also entertaining, as was the resolution of the frame story itself.

All in all, a worthy contribution to the series.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,910 followers
August 8, 2020
Re-read 8/8/20:

*shiver* That end. Oh, that end.

Original Review:

And so we get our first taste of the infamous House of Mystery, the harbor at World's End, where safety and drink in the limbo between dimensions can be bought with the price of a tale.

I'm pretty fond of these short stories, but perhaps not as fond as I was the first time I read them. They're solid and thought-provoking, but not overly so.

I suppose what really got to me was the end of the volume. The wake. *shiver* Okay, that was some seriously deep shit. When death looked at us like that? Oh lordy that was great. Sometimes the art gets it right, and this one? Yeah. It gets it right.


I LOVE great foreshadowing. :)
Profile Image for Ginger.
738 reviews339 followers
April 30, 2021
Worlds' End is the 8th volume in The Sandman series.

It's about stories that people tell inside of a story. Ha!
If that seems confusing to you, then just read the volume.

Neil Gaiman brings all the weird in this volume of The Sandman and I was all about it.
After a car crash, our traveling pair (Brent & Charlene) find themselves at an inn called The Inn of the Worlds' End. No joke.

When you end up at this inn, all types of magical, regular, and strange folk will be there.
They're all staying safe from a reality storm that's brewing outside. They sit around, drink a lot of ale, stay safe from the storm, and tell stories.
Yeah, I want to find myself at an inn like this at one point in my life. What a cool concept!

That's it for the plot but it was enough. The stories that are told at the inn are worth reading this volume.

And that ending. I can't wait to find out more about that!

There's not a lot of The Endless in this volume, but I didn’t mind. I liked being in Neil Gaiman's brain for a bit and just enjoying the strange people and creatures that he's created while they tell their stories.
Profile Image for Sean Gibson.
Author 6 books5,675 followers
October 15, 2018
What do you get when you wrap stories inside of stories featuring people in the stories telling stories about the people telling stories in the other stories? Neil Gaiman at his Neil Gaimaniest. This series continues to delight (and occasionally confuse), even when, or perhaps especially when, it veers away from what is loosely the main narrative. This volume is no exception, and we can go ahead and add World’s End to the list of fantastical and imaginary places I desperately want to visit, which is extensive and shows no signs of shrinking, unlike me in anything that even approaches what might be described as cool weather (Rivendell, incidentally, tops the list, I think, followed by Hogwarts).

(Bonus points for some early Mark Buckingham art, though it's ink, not pencils.)
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
November 24, 2020
Reread 11/20

Original 11/14 review, edited after rereading:

Stephen King's introduction is really useful for understanding what is going on in this volume, where the brothers and sisters of the Endless Family play a minimal or background role. As King says, the stories in this volume are like nesting dolls, Russian Matryoshka dolls, stories within stories within stories. The model for the setting is a kind of fantasy Chaucer's Tales, a bunch of people and creatures thrown together at an inn that is not in space or time, called World's End, where they gather during a Reality Storm to tell stories. The stories are largely "boy's" kinds of stories (as a woman who seems to speak for or to Gaiman notes), stories of sailors, of battles, but they are entertaining for all their focus on men. They tell us things about the world and ourselves as stories sometimes can do.

Our main character is a guy who seems to have gotten into a car wreck with someone else's car. He tells a story at the inn, and then later, at the very end, tells this whole tale of all the tales of his World's End experience to a bartender after he is safely back home. Did anything "really" happen to the guy? Yes, he decides, but also no in the conventional sense, though what is most real for him are the stories he has heard and tells. Do the stories make sense of the world? Sometimes, and sometimes they explain very little and are "just" entertaining, but that's important, too. This is a great Sandman volume, in my opinion. Are they all great, though? Seems like it! The greatest fantasy epic in comics history, very likely.
Profile Image for Jack Tripper.
392 reviews216 followers
October 16, 2019

A group of strangers all end up in an old, hidden inn/tavern to seek shelter during a storm. The storm appeared differently for each: for one it was a snowstorm in the middle of June while driving somewhere in the U.S. Midwest; for another it was a violent thunderstorm while at sea.....in 1914. The tavern is packed with people from different realities and timelines (including non-human creatures from Faerie and myth), and the only thing to do while they wait for the "reality storm" to end is swap spooky stories by the fire -- personal stories, mostly, or ones they'd heard first-hand. And they're all strange and/or creepy in some way, from straight monster tales to just-plain-weird. A couple are overtly fantastical, while others are more reality-based, with eventual intrusions of the otherworldly.


I really dug the cozy nature of the framing story portions inside the inn. It was cool to meet all the different beings -- humans, a centaur, ghoul, fairy, etc., -- some of whom are from previous Sandman volumes, but this can be read on its own with no foreknowledge of the world. Each short story is drawn by a different artist, including Mark Buckingham (Fables) and the great Mike Allred (Madman) who, with his Jack Kirby-esque "pop art" style, is the one comic artist where I'll instantly buy anything he's involved in.

This is definitely one of my favorite Sandman volumes, and one of my favorite Gaiman works in general. Gaiman is, of course, one of the biggest writers in the world, but I feel he's still somewhat underrated as a master of short, weird fiction, both in prose and comic form, and this would be a nice intro for those who haven't delved into his comics or short fiction. His tales almost always charm me, but here they gave a little of that eerie "frisson" that I'm always seeking out, as a nice little bonus.

5 Stars.
Profile Image for Algernon (Darth Anyan).
1,478 reviews938 followers
November 14, 2013


Brief Lives proved to be a hard act to follow. I found myself re-reading some of the single issues in this following album in order to fully enjoy them, after an initial lukewarm reception. I was sucked back in after a while, as connections with the overall plot become evident, and as the framing story linking together the individual tales ended with a promise of troubled times ahead for the Endless.

This framing story is a familiar device, of strangers seeking shelter from a storm and passing the time until the weather clears by telling stories. A couple is driving at night from L.A. to Chicago, when they are caught by a Blizzard in July, crash the car and end up at the Inn of the End of the World.It's a popular technique since the Decameron and the Canterbury Tales, up to the more recent Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy or the lyrics to Hotel California:

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
'Relax' said the night man,
'We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!'

The Inn is full of exotic travellers, marooned here by a 'reality storm' : a mysterious cataclysmic event that has reverberations through all the realms of the Sandman Universe. Over an ale or two, these journeymen share something of their past experiences:

When a world ends, there's always something left over. A story, perhaps, or a vision, or a hope. This inn is a refuge, after the lights go out. For a while.

Here they are:

A Tale of Two Cities : Is there any person in the world who does not dream? who does not contain within them worlds unimagined?
Told by Robert, a clerk in a big building, in a big city. He is comfortable in his routine job, and his greatest passion is to explore his surroundings :

During his lunch hour he would wander the streets of the city, at night again he roams the streets: lights, sounds, reflections in the water.

This is the story that gave the most trouble, as I was put off by the minimalist graphic art, despite it's art-nouveau, German Impressionist inspiration. After a couple of re-reads, I came to appreciate more what Gaiman is driving at: one of his favorite urban contemporary themes of people falling through the cracks of reality and ending up in an alternate universe ruled by magic and peopled by bizarro, grotesque misfits. I was reminded strongly of my earlier read this year of Neverwhere . Dreamers are particularly prone to this type of slippage ( In the subway train, in the morning, he would read a newspaper and wonder what would happen were the subway carriage suddently to be transported to a distant planet: how long it would take before the passengers began to speak, one to another; who would make love to whom; who would be eaten should they ran out of food. ), and Robert ends up one day on the other side of the mirror, where his adventures take a turn towards horror. Gaiman declares in an interview that he tried here to pay homage to the classic H. P. Lovecraft stories of sleeping Gods, and his writing, as usual, rises to the occasion, carrying the story forward regardless of the artwork.

Perhaps a city is a living thing. Each city has its own personality, after all. Los Angeles is not Vienna. London is not Moscow. Chicago is not Paris. Each city is a collection of lives and buildings and it has its own personality. So, if a city has a personality, maybe it also has a soul, Maybe it dreams.


Cluracan's Tale : Cluracan appeared before in the series, as one the Faerie nobles delegated to negociate with Morpheus the ownership of Hell. His choice of story is a sword & sorcery high fantasy adventure, along the lines of Robert E Howard. Once again, Cluracan is an ambassador from the Queen of Faerieland to an ancient city where he falls afoul of its current dictator. Morpheus has a cameo, as in the first story, but the main actor remains the bragging, flamboyant and vengeful Cluracan:

I resolved to do the best I could. With all the resources and craft and glamour I possessed, not to mention a certain amount of malice.

An entertaining issue, but not one of my top picks.


Hob's Leviathan : by contrast, the third time lucky pick, may end up as one of my top five favorites of the whole Sandman collection. After Lovecraft and R E Howard, it is the turn of Joseph Conrad to serve as inspiration to a sailing adventure. Jim, a runaway youth with salt water in his veins, describes his voyage from Singapore to London on a barquettine named Sea Witch. He meets at the beginning another returning character, Hob Gadling - the man who tricked Death ans keeps coming back through the centuries to have a drink with Dream. A stowaway on the ship has his own story to tell, an Arabian Nights fable of fakirs, jealous rajahs, unfaithful wives and the curse of mortality. Great stuff! Among other things, it made me want to read a book mentioned by Hob: Saltwater Ballads by John Masefield.
Another reason for loving this issue in particular is the artwork by Michael Zulli, clear and detailed, reminding me of the French and Belgian schools.

The Golden Boy Is a modern fable about an alternate America were young people start to vote at 18 and elect one of their own for President. This golden Boy refuses to enter into dealings with the corrupt Old Guard of politicians, and brings about world peace and prosperity. Gaiman mentions some relation to The Watchmen comics, but I failed to notice them. More clear are some biblical references, with a Smiley man as the Devil tempting the Golden Boy.

Another so / so issue.


Cerements is my second favorite choice of the album, 'une danse macabre' of black humour and dark omens for future developments in the series. The narrator is Petrefax, an apprentice mortician. He tells the story of Lithargis, a city dedicated to the art of disposing of dead bodies, of the strict rules and traditions to be observed and of the surpsising link between the necropolis and the Endless.


World's End

Closes the cover story of the Inn at he End of the World, and of the nature of the reality storm. The less I talk about it, the better chance I have of not spoiling things for new readers. I'll just mention that it made me want to start on book 9 immediately.
Profile Image for Trish.
1,874 reviews3,382 followers
August 8, 2020
This 8th volume in the series was full of stories. Stories told by different people from different worlds and realms being stranded in the Inn at the End of the Worlds.

A storm has swept through the realities, thus also landing co-workers-on-a-roadtrip Charlene and Brent at the inn (with the help of a hedgehog), where many creatures managed to find refuge in the inn and now they all need to kill time until the storm is over.

The stories told to do just that tell of sea serpents, girls trying to pass as boys on ships, the trade of burying bodies, politics involving faeries, a perfect president for (one version of) the USA and much more. All the stories are linked by the people who experienced the events and some eternals having been involved, too. And then there is the whole reason for the storm taking place that made me shudder ( - I was wondering if this would happen and I guess I have my answer now so all there is to find out is how and if it's gonna be permanent)!

The art in this volume often matched the kind of surroundings the reader was in - so it was gritty and "edgy" for the story about the Nekropolis while it was much prettier for the story about Titania's mission for Cluracan.

The art style I liked best came in the end for the grand finale:

There were a few moments while reading this volume when I wondered if Gaiman w as referencing other well-known authors and their works. Such as Douglas Adams regarding the inn itself and Watchmen with Boss-Smiley.

Once again, a deeply immersive tale with lots of layers. One has to pay close attention to pick up the clues (important for issues and volumes to come) and it's that crisp and intelligent writing I love so much about this series.
Profile Image for Chad.
7,472 reviews857 followers
January 2, 2021
Gaiman pays homage to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, being from across reality find themselves stranded at an inn during a reality storm. There they all tell stories to pass the time. Gaiman resurrects the obscure character of Prez in one, from a short lived DC comic from the Seventies. He's went on to get a few more comics since.

The gut punch though is the final story where we see why the reality storm is happening. When I was reading the original comics back in the Nineties, we'd heard word at this point that Sandman would end with issue #75. Seeing that final issue gave such a sense of foreboding, that what we were afraid would happen at the end of Sandman, might actually happen.
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
628 reviews4,258 followers
January 25, 2020
Not my favourite, but still plenty to enjoy! Some stories were better than others in this anthology.
Profile Image for Kellan Gibby.
25 reviews2 followers
January 20, 2018
As much as I love this series when the plot really gets going, I'm going to go out on a limb and say the pacing in Sandman is awful. There's all this stuff going on in the main story and it takes this full volume to interrupt itself and tell me a bunch of random short stories I don't really care about. I know they tie into the main story in many ways but I can't help but feel like these sort of volumes completely destroy any forward momentum the main plot about Dream has going. World's End isn't a bad book in and of itself, but the way it's placed in The Sandman made it a chore to read for me.
Profile Image for Kerri.
970 reviews344 followers
April 7, 2021
“Sometimes big things happen, and they echo. Those echoes crash across worlds. They are the ripples in the fabric of things. Often they manifest as storms. Reality is a fragile thing, after all.”

This was a fascinating volume where I quickly got drawn into the various stories being told, getting to the point where I was so focused on those that I mostly forgot to wonder about what was happening, why everyone was there, what was this big thing that had happened? Perhaps I also didn't want to think about it too much. Because when that funeral procession appears, it's beautiful and terrible. Even though I have the next volume marked as currently reading, I haven't actually started it yet. It's the penultimate volume and I don't quite feel ready for it! Perhaps my suspicions are wrong, and Neil Gaiman ends things with all of the Endless living happily ever after for all of time, everything wonderful and gentle, something that would suit an animated Disney film. This seems very unlikely though. I probably will continue reading soon, because I do want to know, even though I don't. It's been about a week and I keep circling back to those few pages, especially the one with Death looking straight at you, that moon in the background.

“I think I fell in love with her, a little bit. Isn't that dumb? But it was like I knew her. Like she was my oldest, dearest friend. The kind of person you can tell anything to, no matter how bad, and they'll still love you, because they know you. I wanted to go with her. I wanted her to notice me. And then she stopped walking. Under the moon, she stopped. And looked at us. She looked at me. Maybe she was trying to tell me something; I don't know. She probably didn't even know I was there. But I'll always love her. All my life.”
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tony Z .
102 reviews
September 4, 2021

Historias dentro de historias, dentro de historias, dentro de historias… Perdidos por una tormenta un par de amigos llegan a La Posada del Fin del Mundo, donde descubren que no son los únicos que se han perdido, ya que existen personas y seres de distintos mundos, épocas y dimensiones, todos sentados esperando que pase la tormenta para regresar, ¿y qué mejor forma hay para pasar el rato que contando historias?

Así tenemos historias de elfos y hadas, de marineros y monstruos, de presidentes, de la muerte y los actos fúnebres, y más; Cada historia me ha gustado, y aunque a Sandman no se le ve mucho la cara, puedo decir que este es uno de mis tomos favoritos.
Además el arte es asombroso...

Y tiene un final algo misterioso que me hacer querer leer pronto el siguiente tomo, ¡ya casi en el final!
Profile Image for Paul.
2,306 reviews20 followers
October 23, 2020
There is a place, a realm, that exists between the waking world and sleep. Dreams dance through it, although they don’t really live there. You can never entirely remember it and the harder you try the more nebulous it becomes. You can never entirely remember it but you can never quite let it go, either. Come and spend a couple of hours there with Neil and the Dream King. They’ll tell you I hung there for a while. They’ll tell you I laughed, they’ll tell you I cried, they’ll tell you I drank more than I should have. They might even tell you I told a story of my own, but that Neil guy will tell you anything so take that with a grain of salt. Tell them I said ‘hi’.
Profile Image for Ana | The Phoenix Flight.
231 reviews153 followers
September 1, 2019
Histórias, dentro de histórias, dentro de histórias. Um verdadeiro inception!

Os livros do Neil Gaiman, em geral, fazem-me sentir que a minha atenção se perdeu algures na história e que perdi alguma informação importante pelo caminho. Às vezes é mesmo distracção minha, ou a memória a fazer das dela, outras vezes é mesmo a narrativa do autor que faz com que deixe uma semente de dúvida para a explicar mais tarde.

Chego ao fim deste a querer ir já começar o próximo para ver se tenho as minhas dúvidas respondidas!

Sem dúvida um livro de histórias interessantes dentro de histórias fantásticas.
Profile Image for Martin Iguaran.
Author 2 books288 followers
July 16, 2022
Hacía tiempo que no leía un volumen de esta serie. En este caso, nuevamente es un volumen de historias cortas, casi una antología de cuentos. Me producen sentimientos encontrados: por un lado, creo que los volúmenes de historias cortas atrapan mejor que cualquier otro la inspiración fantástica, onírica, y desmesurada de "The Sandman". Por el otro, nuestro protagonista y su familia casi no aparecen, o como mucho tienen un rol anecdótico. En este volumen, personajes de todas las épocas, razas y hasta realidades se refugian de una tremenda tormenta en una posada y comparten sus historias, como si fueran personas sentadas alrededor de un fuego, relatando cuentos a la antigua. No sabemos, hacia el final del volumen, en qué consiste la "tormenta" que obligó a refugiarse a los protagonistas, pero podemos asumir que es un evento de proporciones cósmicas. En cierto modo, este volumen es la calma antes de la tormenta.
Profile Image for Tanabrus.
1,829 reviews156 followers
June 2, 2021
Ancora un volume di racconti, ma in questo caso letteralmente.
La Locanda alla fine dei mondi, esterna a ogni mondo, nella quale i viaggiatori possono incappare e trovare riparo in caso di necessità, al prezzo di condividere delle storie con gli altri avventori.

E ora c'è grande necessità di trovare un riparo, visto che una tempesta di realtà sta imperversando sui mondi.
Una tempesta che si verifica quando succede qualcosa di talmente grande da sconvolgere tutte le realtà... cosa sarà successo di così tremendo?
Sicuramente sarà collegato alla processione da brividi vista nel finale (e riconoscere alcuni personaggi nel novero non lascia presagire niente di buono).

Ma la tempesta è solo la causa scatenante di questo volume, che vive dei racconti degli avventori.
Città che sognano e che fanno paura, racconti di avventure per mare e storie di mondi lontani.
Nei racconti a volte fa capolino qualche volto noto, e sempre compare qualche Eterno, quale comune denominatore inconsapevole.

Affascinante la storia dei necrofori, dove in pieno Inception abbiamo il necroforo che racconta di quando in passato aveva assistito a un rito di condivisione delle storie, in cui un Maestro aveva raccontato del suo passato, compreso quando la sua Maestra gli aveva raccontato alcune storie.
Storie dentro storie dentro storie, in un volume Canterburiano.
Profile Image for Timothy Urgest.
487 reviews256 followers
November 15, 2022
When a world ends, there’s always something left over. A story, perhaps, or a vision, or a hope.

Tales within tales within tales.
Profile Image for Stuart.
708 reviews262 followers
July 11, 2016
Sandman: Vol 8: Worlds' End: "The Golden Boy" is a bittersweet fable of leadership
After Vol 7: Brief Lives, which focused on Morpheus’ dysfunctional family and a road trip in search of Destruction, Vol 8: Worlds’ End is another stand-alone story collection similar to Vol 4: Dream Country and Vol 6: Fables and Reflections. Once again the Endless retreat to the corners of the stage, making way for a cast of characters gathered at the Inn at Worlds’ End to tell tales to while away the time during a fierce storm. The initial characters we meet are two young co-workers from our world who are driving to Chicago to save money. Suddenly it begins to snow in June (!) and the man swerves to avoid a strange beast in the road, and after crashing the car makes his way to the Worlds’ Inn.

The Inn is filled with a motley assortment of guests, including mythical creatures like centaurs and some desiccated-looking types who aren’t very human in appearance. But they are all amiable travelers, and decide to trade stories to pass the time. This provides the Chaucer-like framing narrative for Gaiman’s stories, and he delivers some very memorable ones.

As has been the case before, in additions to sprinkling allusions to various fantastic stories from literature and history, his favorite game is to embed stories within stories, tell stories about story-tellers telling stories, with those stories often featuring or critiquing the art of story-telling itself. This self-referential moebius strip-approach seems designed to make us more conscious of the story-telling process, and to highlight people’s desire (compulsion?) to tell stories that point to greater, more profound truths and ideas than we encounter in our daily lives.

The first story, “A Tale of Two Cities”, is an allegorical story of a man in a nameless city, working a dreary office job, living a solitary life, commuting from the suburbs each morning, then heading home in the evening in order to do it again the next day. The only distinguishing behavior for him is that during his lunch break he explores the city alone, observing other people in the city, and this makes him happy. Gaiman captures his feeling elegantly in the following passage:

“All these sights, and many others, he treasured and collected. Robert saw the city as a huge jewel, and the tiny moments of reality he found in his lunch-hours as facets, cut and glittering, of the whole.”

One day Robert takes a different train and finds he has been decoupled from his drab reality and placed in an empty, unfamiliar city. This existential moment becomes his new reality, as he is trapped in the new place and explores it as much as possible. Eventually he does encounters some other people, which reveals more about his reality, but I’ll leave that for you to discover.

The next story is a fable about the lost city of Aurelia, one of the greatest cities of the plains in ancient times. The story is told by Cluracan, the faerie man who gave his sister Nuala to Morpheus in a previous volume. He is a bit of a knave, and has been sent to the city by Queen Titania on a mission to interfere with a corrupt ruler who has seized control of both government and church. This story is a lot of fun, as Cluracan initially underestimates his opponent, but eventually with some help finds ways to undermine the Psychopomp (what a great title!), who is quite odious in his power-mad quest. This harks back to other stories about various rulers in Fables and Reflections, especially “Thermidor”, “August”, and “Ramadan”.

Following more discussion amongst the travelers in the Worlds’ End, we begin the next story “Hob’s Leviathan”. Its a very beautifully-illustrated tale of adventure on the high seas, with many sailing ships and even a sea serpent, but the story is more about the secrets that people conceal from each other. We even have a cameo from a man granted a powerful gift by Morpheus in a previous volume. I liked this one quite a lot.

The next tale is my favorite one, a bittersweet story, called “The Golden Boy”. It’s about an alternate America where an ambitious but idealistic young man named Prez Rickard is determined to make the world a better place via the presidency. Thanks to his efforts, he is elected president at the incredibly-young age of 19. Before that, he encounters two sinister figures who take an interest in his meteoric rise, Boss Smiley (whose face is a smiley face like the iconic symbol, but who reminded me more of Yellow Bastard from SIN CITY) and Tricky Dick himself, Richard Nixon. They want some influence on Prez, but the young phenom is confident of his own abilities to make a real difference and rebuffs their approaches. There is a classic exchange with Nixon in which the latter extols the virtues of pure power, at which point Prez simply says, “Sir, what about making the world a better place?”, to which Nixon replies, “I, uh…I’m not following you.”

Prez does miraculously transform America into a utopian place, negotiating a Middle East peace treaty, avoiding the Oil Shocks, and ushering in prosperity and equality for all. It’s all very moving, as I was thinking how wonderful a world that would be, and how incredibly far away we seem to be in this world, our own reality, especially in light of the endless series of tragic, senseless terrorist attacks and racial conflict in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Bangladesh, and Africa. Sometimes it takes a seemingly-simple fable to make us question why we can’t have this glorious dream of peace and equality.

The story itself has a very ambiguous and tragic final act, as Prez retires after 8 incredibly successful years. Gaiman is interested in what happens to leaders when the reach the end of their tenure, especially successful ones. However, I couldn’t help thinking, when is the last time the world has truly seen a successful leader who has made the world a better place for everyone?

Thinking back to the enormous enthusiasm and swell of popular support for Barack Obama, and seeing all the tribulations and opposition he has faced during his presidency, along with the worsening geopolitical climate of the world, it makes me wonder, if he can’t achieve his aims and policies, who can? And have people truly become so ignorant or mean-spirited that they would choose to support a monstrous personality like Donald Trump? It just makes me despair for humankind.

The last story is “Cerements”, a very complex tale with stories within stories, ostensibly about a Necropolis called Letharge and some of the dutiful servants who tend to all the ‘clients’ who need to be properly disposed by one of the five proscribed methods: earth burial, burning, mummification, water burial, or air burial (that was a new one for me). There is much discussion of death and giving proper tribute to those who have died. We even have a very unexpected appearance from one of the Endless, who provides some insight into the history of Letharge before leaving.

At the end of the embedded stories, we are brought back to the Worlds’ End, where the travelers are treated to a sublime spectacle in the sky, which illuminates the previous discussion of death and commemoration in unexpected ways and really highlights the skills which Gaiman applies to this complex story. After this cathartic event, the travelers discover that the storm is past and they are free to return to their respective worlds, but not all of them choose to do so.

Once again Gaiman brings us closer to the final stages of his meta-story, with subtle foreshadowing and hints (some very tantalizing talk of watchmakers in “The Golden Boy”, for instance), whetting our appetite to know more about the Endless. When I initially heard all the hype surrounding the SANDMAN series and how amazing it was, I was skeptical at first, but I’ve come to understand the level of craftsmanship and love of storytelling that Gaiman has brought to bear, and it is worthy of the praise. Now on to the final two volumes.
Profile Image for Nicolo.
2,040 reviews121 followers
April 17, 2012
The first time I read this trade paperback, I went straight to the story pages, completely ignoring the wonderful Stephen King introduction. It was his thoughts and praise on Neil Gaiman and his work on Sandman that would make it worthwhile to pick this trade, even if you already have the issues that comprised this arc. King wrote in his introduction that Gaiman’s work was a filling meal even if it was served in bite sized chunks in a short story collection like this trade or as longer arc that could be read as a single graphic novel.

I agree, any work by Gaiman, be it a novel, a short story collection or a monthly comic is a satisfying read. If I could expand on the food analogy, this collection, to use an apt metaphor, is a six course meal with a uniting theme, a common ingredient used in different ways like they do in Iron Chef. Some of the trade volumes in the Sandman series, like for example the ninth book, The Kindly Ones, is like a whole roast turkey or a roast suckling pig or lechon. It is one dish that in itself is a feast, where all the issues appear homogenous because it utilized one artist to tell a single story within its covers. Worlds' End is a variety of dishes prepared by different chefs using techniques suited to their talents.
Profile Image for Kyriaki.
428 reviews183 followers
April 11, 2019
Για τη reality storm, για την κηδεία και για το βλέμμα της Death στο τέλος. Φοβάμαι λίγο για το τι θα ακολουθήσει.

-What's a reality storm? I mean, it does sound like something from Star Trek or something.
-Well, sometimes big things happen, and they echo. Those echoes crash across worlds. They are the ripples in the fabric of things. Often they manifest as storms. Reality is a fragile thing, after all.

I think I fell in love with her, a little bit.
Isn't that dumb?
But it was like I knew her.
Like she was my oldest, dearest friend.
The kind of person you can tell anything to, no matter how bad, and they'll still love you, because they know you.
I wanted to go with her. I wanted her to notice me.
And then she stopped walking.
Under the moon, she stopped. And looked at us.
She looked at me.
Maybe she was trying to tell me something; I don't know.
She probably didn't even know I was there.
But I'll always love her. All my life.

η άποψη μου για όλη τη σειρά εδώ:
Profile Image for James DeSantis.
Author 18 books1,121 followers
November 7, 2020
Breaks my heart to give a Sandman volume a low score but I did NOT like this volume.

With the exception of the Prez storyline I found a lot of these "Stories" kind of boring. Sure, they all have to do with Dream or one of his family members in the end but a lot of them are just kind of dull. Maybe I just didn't care for the actual stories the characters were telling. The art itself was great, and you got to see different styles and lifetimes so that was cool but I couldn't get into any of the stories with the exception of Prez storyline. The rest bored me to tears and took me a long time to finish.

Sadly, the first bad Sandman book for me. 2 out of 5.
Profile Image for Floyd Pepper.
27 reviews6 followers
December 6, 2018
...sam početak me strašno podsjetio na jednu epizodu Dylan Doga,"Krčma na kraju svijeta".Nakon malo njuškanja,prema vremenu nastanka ispada da je scenarist Michele Masiero "posudio" Gaimanovu ideju.Meni ne smeta,ta epizoda Dylan Doga bila je jedna od boljih.

Ukratko,za vrijeme oluje dvije osobe koje su doživile automobilsku nesreću,nađu se u svratištu prepunom čudnovatih stvorenja i čekajući da oluja prestane,neki od njih pričaju svoje priče da ubiju vrijeme.

Ono što Gaiman radi sa mitovima,legendama,referencama na poznate stvari iz pop-kulture dostojno je najvještijeg cirkuskog žonglera,ponekad očito,ponekad suptilno navodi te da se zamisliš:"Ma gdje sam ovo već čuo?" i "Odakle mi je ovo poznato?".Priče upakovane u radove čak 12 crtača djeluju kompaktno iako ponekad i malo neobično ("Tale of two cities").Meni osobno do sada najbolja priča,kako vizualno tako i literarno.

Cijelo vrijeme čitanja po glavi su mi se motale neke pjesme koje sam slagao uz svaku priču,pa sam napravio i mali soundtrack koji mi je nakon svega baš legao

1.A Tale of Two Cities
Bob Dylan-One More Cup of Coffee
Gogol Bordello-Through the Roof 'n' Underground

2.Cluracan´s Tale
Susan McKeown-Dark Horse on the Wind

3.Hob´s Leviathan
Susan McKeown-In London so Fair

4.The Golden Boy
Simon & Garfunkel-America

Nick Cave-Weeping song

I na kraju..ako je vjerovati Wikipediji..pjesma koja je utjecala na nastanak ovog dijela Sandmana

A Child of the Snows

by G.K. Chesterton

There is heard a hymn when the panes are dim,
And never before or again,
When the nights are strong with a darkness long,
And the dark is alive with rain.

Never we know but in sleet and in snow,
The place where the great fires are,
That the midst of the earth is a raging mirth
And the heart of the earth a star.

And at night we win to the ancient inn
Where the child in the frost is furled,
We follow the feet where all souls meet
At the inn at the end of the world.

The gods lie dead where the leaves lie red,
For the flame of the sun is flown,
The gods lie cold where the leaves lie gold,
And a Child comes forth alone.

Profile Image for Tiff.
240 reviews28 followers
September 3, 2022
This was definitely an interesting concept, so many stories at World's End though it was a bummer you barely get to see Morpheus.
Profile Image for Teresa.
Author 8 books768 followers
February 21, 2014
3 and 1/2 stars

The blurb on the back states that this volume is in the tradition of The Canterbury Tales, but The Decameron is a more apt allusion. The storytellers aren't in a villa waiting out the Black Death; but they are in an inn, seeking refuge from a mysterious storm (or storms) that has deposited each one of them there: perhaps they too are facing Death.

I wasn't engrossed in any of the stories until I arrived at the tale of a necropolitan (yep, he lives and works in a necropolis). And what a tale it is, or rather tales, as it spins out into a nested Chinese-box of stories within stories within stories, appropriate for the volume's overall theme of 'worlds' existing within other worlds.

Cities are prominent in the stories, not only the necropolis, but also a decaying Roman-empire-like capital and a modern NYC-like city that's dreaming.

The ending is a good one, subtly advancing the overarching story of the collection. I'm withholding that 1/2 star only because I wasn't truly engaged until more than halfway through.
Profile Image for Lancelot Schaubert.
Author 29 books266 followers
December 3, 2020
Man. This is where Gaiman shines.

An in where the end of every world meets. And people from multiple worlds telling short stories and spinning short yarns about people telling stories about people telling stories. It's haunting and curious and wild and mythic and everything that makes Gaiman great.

The best of Sandman is this sort of story. The worst is how threadbare the metanarrative is. He's meta without metanarrative. I see that as a problem, actually.

But it's not in this volume. This volume I loved.
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