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The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You

(The Sandman #5)

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4.43  ·  Rating details ·  47,597 ratings  ·  1,319 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
Paperback, 185 pages
Published September 3rd 1993 by Vertigo (first published 1993)
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4.43  · 
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 ·  47,597 ratings  ·  1,319 reviews


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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
...more
Alejandro
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


FAIRY TALES, NATURE’S FORCES, BLOOdY WITCHCRAFT & COMPACT’S TERMS

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
...more
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
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
...more
Bradley
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 and childhood and babies is only a part of it. Being wise and forgiving is only a part of it.

Hell, I see that holy-bitch at Wanda's funeral and I see her just acting in her n
...more
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...
Brooke
Jul 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Sean Gibson
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Imogen
Jun 08, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lᴀʏᴀ Rᴀɴɪ #BookDiet2019
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
...more
Anthony Chavez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stuart
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-
...more
Cherie
Oct 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
I got it! I think...
Nicole
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Chloe
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
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.
Amanda
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These just keep getting better and better. I'm really glad I've stuck with these. I was unsure at first but now I'm absolutely loving them. This was one is probably the most straightforward one but man is it dark. It also is one story with the same characters for the whole volume. I really liked that. Bring on the next one!
Linda
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
So excellent! Being one continuous story line, this one was completely engrossing from start to finish. The Sandman series just keeps getting better and better as we see characters we were introduced to in previous stories pop up again later.
David 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
Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com)
"It's like, that people... well, that everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody, all of the people in the whole world -- no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they've all got unimaginable, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds... not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe."

This volume is pretty much a self-contained story, with no flashing to different time periods with different characters or inserting separate stories in-between another
...more
Kyle Berk
I don’t know what it is about Sandman, it’s a title that makes me slow down to really appreciate it because it is some of the finest work in comics. And yes I know this has been said before and will be said after but it’s appropriate.

Vol 5 A Game of you stars Barbie and her friends. An old magic user, a lesbian couple, a murder of crows, and my personal favorite Wanda.

It concerns Barbie’s dream overtaken by the cuckoo and what happens as a result. This is where Morpheus comes in. While this volu
...more
Dorin
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing from start to finish. Perfect pacing, excellent story, interesting topics, and no time wasted. Amazing exposition and all; best story arc so far.
Ronyell
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 su
...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
Barbie, who we met in volume one in the Sandman series, has left Ken. She is in another apartment and a new city, and she has been meeting new people. Some of them she trusts, like transgender Wanda, and lesbians Hazel and Foxglove, and even repressed ordinary Thessaly. But some of them are creepy, like George.

As things turn out, George IS a monster of sorts! But after Thessaly is finished with him, he is only another face on the wall, er, crowd, uh, ahem, uh, well, actually, a Greek theater mas
...more
Abigail
Perhaps I'll come back and craft a more eloquent review at some future point, but for now, I have few words. This was, thus far, my favorite volume of the Sandman collection. It is still haunting me, even after a night's sleep (which it infected with some of the most intense dreaming I've ever had...). It was stunning, and I can't wait to re-read it and discover all that I've surely missed.

Caro the Helmet Lady
Not enough Morpheus in this one, nuh-uh, but the story still quite gripping.
El
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I was nervous at first because this is another volume that does not involve Dream that much and focuses more on another set of characters. They're not completely from out of the blue, but still. I was also nervous about the dedication at the beginning to Jonathan Carroll and Tori Amos - two people I adore! What if this novel sucks? What will that mean?

It didn't suck. Thankfully. I picked it up today just to flip through because I had other things I needed to do and I figured I'd get back to the
...more
Mark Russell
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
It's difficult to review the Sandman books without discussing details that will rob the reader of important surprises, but this is essentially yet another story in which the corporeal world is drawn into a war being waged on the ethereal plain. It centers on a woman (who had a bit role in A Doll's House) who is a princess in the psychic realm, and must return there in order to save a kingdom her earthly self doesn't really know anything about. As always with Gaiman, it's full of great twists and ...more
Primo S.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, comics
97/100

Remember when I said the previous volume was my favorite? Well I was wrong. I love the parts of the series which doesn't show Morpheus/Dream that much, instead showing how Dream affects the lives of some of the most interesting characters I've read about.
Wing Kee
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 an
...more
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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)
  • World's End (The Sandman, #8)
  • The Kindly Ones (The Sandman, #9)
  • The Wake (The Sandman, #10)
  • The Sandman Omnibus, Vol. 3
“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.” 5828 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.” 135 likes
More quotes…