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Preludes & Nocturnes

(The Sandman #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  246,908 ratings  ·  8,327 reviews
New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.

Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Titan Books (UK) (first published 1988)
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Hellen Some of the images can be disturbing, yes. There's a man exploding (imploding?), a woman's head popping off, at some point there's gooey flesh coverin…moreSome of the images can be disturbing, yes. There's a man exploding (imploding?), a woman's head popping off, at some point there's gooey flesh covering the walls of a room... It gets less creepy later in the series, though, so don't let it stop you! Sandman is dreamy, fantastical and definitely weird at times, but (for me at least) it's not scary.(less)
Leslie Davison "The House of Mystery" and "The House of Secrets" are mentioned in "The Sandman" as the homes of Cain and Abel. I don't think there are many "accident…more"The House of Mystery" and "The House of Secrets" are mentioned in "The Sandman" as the homes of Cain and Abel. I don't think there are many "accidents" in these books.
I hope that you are enjoying the books as much as I am, I'm new to them too.(less)

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

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

How absolutely *stupid* is that?

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

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

Share and enjoy...

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

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

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

I think it's been a full ten years since the last time I've read this series. And, given that my memory is, well... to put it plainly quite shit, I get to experience the series with
Re-read 2022


When I first read this back in 2009, I really hadn't been reading comics for very long.
Because of that, a lot of cameos and whatnot went completely over my head.
And yet, I still thought this was a really cool story. So it does stand on its own for those of you who aren't really that familiar with some of the faces you might see.
Now that I get the references to this character or that character, it adds an extra layer of ah-ha! to the story that wasn't there before. Not a necessary re
Bill Kerwin
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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

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

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



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

Creative Team:

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Illustrators: Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg & Malcolm Jones III

Covers: Dave McKean

Letterer: Todd Klein


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

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

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

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

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

I see a whole lot of fangirls and boys on these books. Don't kill me yet. I hav
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I'm stuck at home during a pandemic so why not revisit an old friend. Sandman was the first comic I remember reading in high school where I first thought, "Hey, maybe comics aren't just for kids!".

Even though Vertigo later distanced itself from the rest of the DC universe. I love how Gaiman grounds this right in the DC universe while still making it its own thing. John Constantine who quickly become one of my favorite DC characters. Even the Justice League shows up with the main villain, Dr. De
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Re-Read 1/3/20:

Just as good as the previous reads. :)

Original Review:

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

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

It's not even the art, per-se, although I did enjoy seeing Bowie as Satan. It fits him so well. It was the story. It seemed to stumble about for a short wh
Em Lost In Books
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, 1990-99, 4-star
It was fantastic, specially the audiobook made it a lively and enchanting experience.
“What power would hell have if those imprisoned here would not be able to dream of heaven?”

Fadi's pick for my 10 reader, 10 recommendations challenge!

For personal reasons I will only do a short review of this book. I thought the book was confusing and hard to get into at first but the more I read, the easier it got to follow and understand and I enjoyed it more and more.

There is always a magic to books released decades ago (1998!!) because you get a snapshot of that time period wh
Since joining goodreads, I’ve been baffled by the Neil Gaiman love fest. American Gods, Neverwhere, Stardust, The Graveyard Book, they appear to be universally loved, and I’ve been skeptical of this emotion that borders on worship. These books are good and all, and I recognize their general accessibility, but I don’t personally find any of them mind blowing literature. Gaiman’s prose is no match for China Mieville’s or Iain M. Banks’ or Ursula LeGuin’s (and countless others who write speculative ...more
Will M.
One of those graphic novels that are so famous and hyped up that it makes you want to read them. The consequence though would be that expectations tend to rocket up. I am more disappointed than entertained.

I've read 2 novels of Neil Gaiman. I hated Stardust, while Ocean was a mediocre read for me. I DNF(did-not-finish) American Gods and Graveyard Book because I got bored. The Sandman was not that great for me. I think I have to conclude soon enough that I honestly don't see what's so good about
"I am anti-life, the beast of judgement. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, Gods, worlds... of everything. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?"

"I am hope."

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

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

You can tell that this is a prelude to the
Aug 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So. Much has changed, much is strange on Earth since I was ripped from my dream home. What first? I doubt I am strong enough to go up against the hordes of Hell. Not yet. To Earth then. The ruby first? Or the pouch? There are things I do not know about this "Justice League". More than mere humans, eh...?

The Englishman, then, John Constantine. He has the pouch--or he knows where it is. And he is just a man. I will visit Constantine. Regain my pouch, and with the pouch I will have the power to da
Apr 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Preludes and Nocturnes is the first entry of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series and in it he introduces the main protagonist, Dream, also known as Morpheus, and also unveils an imaginative storyline.

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

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

In this first volume we see how Alastair Crowley High Mage Burgess accidentally captures Dream instead of his sister Death and imprisons him for the next 70 years or so. However, you can't just remove an Eternal as they have responsibilities. Thus, the world and everyone in it suffers severely. Since Dream refuses to give Burgess what he craves, he remains a prisoner until l
Johann (jobis89)
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I am hope.”

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

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

failed capture

I loved the story, especially the first chapter where the effects of Dream's imprisonment on humanity are depicted. For all that I'm not big on horror and gore, I was positive
Jul 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I first read this a couple of years ago, and it was one of the first graphic novels I read. Even though I love me some Gaiman, I have to admit that I didn’t love this. It seemed so incredibly dark when I first read it. Since that time, I’ve read many more graphic novels, most of which have been dark. I decided to revisit this series to see if I still found as dark as I did originally.

Yes. Yes, I do.

The plot of the first few issues didn’t bother me. Dream’s story and search were compelling. Wher
Ayman Gomaa
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
English & Arabic Review :

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

The Sandman Comic is so madness and captivating

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

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

it starts with occultist who tries to
Michael || TheNeverendingTBR
This is a good story with excellent artwork, but moves along a bit slowly. The narrative jumps from character to character at times and tends to feel disjointed; sometimes making it difficult to follow.

However ultimately it is a pretty good read, with interesting concepts.

I wouldn't say it's perfect but it's a good start to a series and it's left me interested to where this is going to go.
Sam Quixote
I read this one some 10 years or so ago when I was slowly returning to comics and, having re-read it now, I still maintain that Preludes and Nocturnes is a poor place to start with this series - though it’s a decent book.

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

I’d recommen
Jan 16, 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.
Jul 10, 2009 rated it liked it
In the foreword and the afterword, both the editor and Gaiman indicated that this isn't the strongest volume in the Sandman series; Gaiman was still finding his vision for the series, it's essentially a fetch quest, etc. I'm inclined to agree with them, although it was still enjoyable (as any video game fan will tell you, a fetch quest can still be fun, but it's not the strongest narrative device). I'm halfway through Volume 2: The Doll's House and I'm already finding the story much more interes ...more
Dave Schaafsma
7/5/2020 Third reading of this volume, whiich used to be the opening volume of the classic series until Overture was published decades later as a kind of prequel to the series. Yet this volume and some of the next contain prefatory material, or what Gaiman calls "a little night music." As with many series, it is a part of the process of finding its way, getting the elements or the chemistry right. And I think both the storytelling and the artistic choices were less than ideal for this beginning ...more
Emily B
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics-read
I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from
this series... ultimately I found it hard to follow. The wasn’t a clear flow and at times I kept thinking I had missed something or didn’t understand something.

The artwork also wasn’t my style, very dark, but I can see why some people would like it.
I don’t particularly plan to continue with this series but might at some point as I have all the issues.
Once I was all done with this book, my very first thought was "This book is really weird."

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

So, I finally have gotten around to
POPSugar Reading Challenge: #39. The first book in a series I haven't read before

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Other books in the series

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

Dragons, demons, kings, queens, and the occasional farm boy (with a special destiny, of course): Fantasy literature has it all! To celebrate...
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“You get what anybody gets - you get a lifetime.” 2519 likes
“CHORONZON: I am a dire wolf, prey-stalking, lethal prowler.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MORPHEUS: I am hope.”
More quotes…