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The Wake

(The Sandman #10)

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  46,521 ratings  ·  1,506 reviews
When a Dream ends, there is only one thing left to do...


In which the repercussions of the Death of Lord Morpheus are felt, and, in an epilogue, William Shakespeare learns the price of getting what you want.

This is the tenth and final volume of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, described by author Mikal Gilmore in his introduction as "nothing less than a popular culture master
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published September 3rd 1999 by Vertigo (first published 1996)
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Average rating 4.52  · 
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 ·  46,521 ratings  ·  1,506 reviews

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Sean Barrs
“That which is dreamed can never be lost, can never be undreamed.”

I have been reading this for five years, reading one volume every six months or so. I have paced my reading out, staggered it, delayed it and put it off completely at times. Why? Because I never wanted the story to finish, so I tried to hold back the inevitable. For me this says a great deal: The Sandman was so good that I did not want to read it because I would never be able to read it for the first time again.

I can think of
Aug 16, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A very nice send-off for The Sandman.
The Wake gives all the characters (and fans) a chance to process and come to terms with the end of an Endless. It was sweet. Or bittersweet.
However you choose to look at it.


My favorite story was definitely the one with Hob Gadling.
It surprised me. In a good way! And that doesn't happen very often anymore.


And of course, the story I liked the least was the boring/confusing story with William Shakespeare that closed the volume. I guess Gaiman loves Shakespeare.
A weak ending for such impressive series

Creative Team:

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Illustrators: Michael Zulli, Charles Vess, & Joe J Muth

Covers: Dave McKean

Letterer: Todd Klein


Nobody died. How can you kill an idea? How can you kill the personification of an action?

This final volume (from the regular series while there are still some other TPBs yet to read about) is dedicated by Gaiman to Dave McKean for his amazing work doing the covers of all single comic book issues
Brilliant. So my review that took me really long to write somehow got deleted... :( Hate that. (Actually, it almost got lost for the second time, thankfully I was smarter this time and copied it.)

So, this is it? The end? It seems almost...sad. But definitely strange. Like I should hold a wake. Or maybe I already did.

"Everybody’s here. You’re here."

"You were there."

I finally got to the point that I could finish this series. And this remains my favourite comics series and the best thing Neil
Bill Kerwin

This is the final volume–if you exclude the prequel—of the Sandman series, but it is really more coda than conclusion. Half of it consists of the “wake” itself (Morpheus’ wak, funeral services, and related events) and the other half of three stand-alone tales that provide a philosophical commentary on the life and death of Dream.

The wake itself will be a moving and interesting for most faithful reader of the series, as we reacquaint ourselves with most of the characters we remember—and a few we
Sean Gibson
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An appropriately contemplative denouement for a series that, when considered as a whole, suggests that Neil Gaiman is either:

1) A certified genius whose ability to blend myth, folklore, imagination, social issues, and pop culture puts him at the absolute apex of storytelling masters working today, regardless of medium; or

2) An authentic whacko whose ingestion of psychotropic fungus is of such heroically epic proportions that it would slay an entire army of genetically engineered giant yaks with
Apr 06, 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.
Re-read 9/27/20:

And again, I'm overcome by emotions.

What is an End, anyway?

Abel said it best. It's the end of a point of view.

Original Review:

It was a sad and deeply nostalgic first few volumes, even when there weren't any actual recapitulations going on. It's the nature of a wake, or a waking from a dream. It was the letdown, the reminiscence, the transition that made these so powerful.

Death is not the end, and indeed, it is not the end at all, but the waking from the dream.

Pure poetry.

Of cour
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
And thus ends Sandman. The four issues of The Wake may be my favorite issues of the entire run. For all the crap the series takes for "bad art", Michael Zulli's art is stunningly beautiful and detailed. I love how everyone dreaming attends the Wake, including some DC characters you wouldn't expect.

These issues were just so meticulously put together. Everything about them is perfect. Now issues #74 and #75 are a different story. Gaiman probably would have been better off having just stopped after
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
a word of warning : might be a major spoiler to read on if you don't know what went on in the previous volume ( The Kindly Ones ). (view spoiler)

The Wake is a farewell, a last gathering of all the oddball characters that accompanied us into the realm of the Lord of Dreaming, but also a celebration of the power of imagination. Sadness prevails, inevitably, at saying goodbye to the Endless family, to the denize
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the last volume in the Sandman series. Well, except for volume 0 that was published last but tells of the very beginning (with spoilers though so I really recommend reading it last). And it is a farewell.

Dream of the Endless is dead and we are all attending his wake and funeral. All creatures are in attendance, in fact, and we all speak. Thus, characters from throughout the series recount their relationship with Morpheus and - often without them realizing it - discover their interconnect
Dave Schaafsma
Reread completed 1/10/21

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded by a sleep”--Prospero, The Tempest

This is a terrific finish to an impressive epic series that has its place as among the great works without question of comics history, one of comics's contribution to literature and the literature of fantasy, story, and horror.

Gaiman says simply, "The ten volumes of The Sandman, of which this is the last, comprise a story of stories."

So if what happens in the ninth
Johann (jobis89)
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again.... parts are probably lost on me. Would really benefit from a reread someday!!
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I thoroughly enjoyed this series and I'm quite sad that it's over.I've been reading the books since September and I've never read such creative, interesting, philosophical graphic novels with such great characters. It was interesting to see all the stories come together in the end. ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, after a quarter of a century of meaning to get around to it, I’ve finally read The Sandman all the way through. Yes, I know there are lots of spin-offs and I will get to them but I’ve finished the main book and... well, I love it.

Part of me wishes I’d read it when it first came out but, honestly, I was not in a good place at the time and probably wouldn’t have appreciated it as much as I do now, twenty five years later.

This final volume has the most beautiful artwork of all the Sandman boo
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
Probably 4.5 stars. I really loved this until the final piece The Tempest. I wasn't a big fan of that section. I think I might like it more on a re-read for meaning, but it was a bit lackluster on first impression compared to the emotion of the other sections. However I'm rounding up to 5 stars because Gaiman.

“Just remember, what the French say. No, probably not the French, they've got a president or something. The Brits, maybe, or the Swedes. You know what I mean?"

"No, Matthew. What do they say
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final volume in the Sandman series is a bit odd, and I'm wavering between giving it 3 and 4 stars. The first half of the book deals with the wake held for Morpheus, and is rather touching and satisfactory wrap-up to the series. The final half, however, seem anticlimatic and out of place. The issues about Hob and Shakespeare do have an "end" feeling to them and appropriately concludes their stories that were started in earlier volumes, but I'm not sure what the issue about the exiled advisor ...more
James DeSantis
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The end is here. Sandman had a few bumps along the way (Volume 8...) BUT holy hell, what a grand experience it was to get here.

While the last volume covered moving towards death and accepting it, this deals with the fallout. What about the people who you've known in your life. How will they feel, or be effected, in the long run. When Dreams family gathers to say goodbye, strangers from all points of time/life come to the dream land to also say goodbye. Some remembering Dream vividly, some just
Feb 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Well that was well done. We also got some nice closure on some things and of course a tale or two to round things out. 

"The Wake" follows Dream's family as they prepare to say goodbye along with others.

I thought this was great. Gaiman does a great job and has shown us before that the Endless can often "die" and another form of them comes about. We know that the Despair we have known in this series, was not the first, and even know that Delirium has changed over time. Even so, the Endless family
Dawn F
Apr 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved
This was the ending The Sandman deserved.

I didn't start reading Sandman until some two years ago. Not for lack of knowledge of its existence; a friend had tried to push it to me for over 10 years. I guess it took some maturity and expanding of my reading habits to finally be ready for it (comics was never my strongest side, luckily Sandman is so textbased it didn't bother me). It's been a powerful experience in every way. A complete, immersive universe spanning every myth and folktale and religi
So this is where we wake up. After being lulled by the nocturnes, after trekking the steep places that only exists when we slumber, after journeying with the good and the bad and the in-betweens, after hurrying to and from the heart of the Dreaming, there will come a time when we need to open our eyes. Nightmares or good dreams—they have to end sometime..

Those were the words that came in my head some time ago, when I was about to read the last volume of this beloved series for the first time. I
Sandman, Vol 10: The Wake: Incredible artwork and a moving coda

Don't read this unless you've already read the previous volumes. It's the last volume of the epic SANDMAN saga, and one of my favorites. You’d think that it being a wake, a celebration and remembrance of the passing of someone, I found it filled with not only with melancholy, but an equal amount of empathy and gentle humor at the lives of all beings both mortal and immortal, god or faithful companion. It also has, by far, the most ra
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is the end.Well volume 10 is more of an epilogue.
This was intriguing series, sure it had low points but when it was good it was among best graphic novels and among best Gaimans work overall.Only thing that was bad throughout the series where illustrations, there where several different illustrators but I don't think any of them did a good job.

Overall rating for the whole series:4.5 stars
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Around 12 months ago, I started to read Neil Gaiman's 'The Sandman' series.

I borrowed the first collection, Preludes & Nocturnes, from the library and that's where my obsession started. It had me hooked from the start, and I haven't stopped since. Neil Gaiman has since become my favourite writer.

I have started to read some of his short stories, and some of his novels. The obsession just keeps growing!

I'm SO sad to see The Sandman come to an end, but it's been an emotional, and amazing journey.

Wing Kee
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful melancholy finish

World: The art has been amazing since the start of the series and it is the same here. The frames the beautiful creative world and the tone that it sets for this world is exquisite. The world building is so utterly beautiful in this final arc. All the little pieces that Gaiman has created come into play, everyone gets their moment.

Story: The story us melancholy and a beautiful thing. It's slow and meticulous in its emotions and execution and readers really feel the
May 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great ending to a fantastic graphic novel series!

Without getting into too many plot spoilers, I liked the way The Wake ended. Or is it really an ending and just a crossroad for a long journey and life?

The artwork in this volume was great!
It was realistic and had tons of depth to the characters faces and emotions. Maybe they saved the best artwork for the end because of the circumstances?

I’m really glad I took the time to read this whole collection of The Sandman.
Neil Gaiman has such a fantastic
Caro the Helmet Lady
So it's over. I feel a bit sad that it is. And especially because The Tempest arc was so beautiful. Neil Gaiman knows how to break your heart. And melt it. And do many other things to it. Bloody bastard. Sigh. I need a rehab, I think. ...more
Himanshu Karmacharya
The dream is over, and what a memorable journey through the dreamworld it has been. Blending mythology and dark fantasy, and integrating it into the DC universe is no easy work, but Neil Gaiman and everyone else who worked in the series, have accomplished it.

The Wake serves as the aftermath of the unfortunate events that occured in the previous volume. As the title suggests, there is a Wake held, and we see tons of characters, some expected and some really unexpected ones. There are two other st
Who would have ever thought that one volume from a fantastic graphic novel series would be one of the most memorable and tear jerking stories ever written? That is what the tenth volume in Neil Gaiman’s brilliant “Sandman” series “The Wake” is all about! Long time fans of the fantastic “Sandman” series will mourn along with the main characters over the death of Dream while experiencing the different emotions running through the characters along the way.

After Morpheus (Dream) ended up sacrificing
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, favorites, fantasy
Between the Pedestals of Night and Morning
Between red death and radiant desire
With not one sound of triumph or of warning
Stands the great sentry on the Bridge of Fire.

O transient soul, thy thought with dreams adorning,
Cast down the laurel, and unstring the lyre:
the wheels of Time are turning, turning, turning,
The slow stream channels deep and doth not tire.

Gods on their bridge above
Whispering lies and love
Shall mock your passage down the sunless river
Which, rolling all it streams,
shall take you,
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Other books in the series

The Sandman (10 books)
  • Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman, #1)
  • 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)
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