The Sandman, Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (New Edition)

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Overview

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.

In PRELUDES & NOCTURNES, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger ...

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The Sandman Volume 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition) (NOOK Comics with Zoom View)

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Overview

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.

In PRELUDES & NOCTURNES, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his 70 year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman.

This book also includes the story "The Sound of Her Wings," which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl Death.

Includes issues 1-8 of the original series with completely new coloring, approved by the author.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401225759
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication date: 10/19/2010
  • Series: Sandman Series , #1
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 49
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman
Novelist Neil Gaiman has sent a British businessman tumbling into a fantastic underworld and had a devil and angel comically conspiring to thwart the Apocalypse. He found his biggest success, though, in Death, Dreams and Destruction -- and the four other similarly named siblings who controlled the reins of the human race's emotional impulses in his graphic-novel series The Sandman, a wholesale rejuvenation of graphic fiction that had everyone from Tori Amos to Norman Mailer spinning with, yes, Delirium.

Biography

Neil Gaiman thought he wrote comic books. But a newspaper editor, of course, set him straight.

Back when he was riding the diabolical headwinds of his popular series of graphic novels, The Sandman, the author attended a party where he introduced himself as a comic-book writer to a newspaper's literary editor. But when the editor quickly realized who this actually was -- and the glaze melted from his eyes -- he offered Gaiman a correction tinged with astonishment: "My God, man, you don't write comics, you write graphic novels." Relating the story to theLos Angeles Times in 1995, Gaiman said, "I suddenly felt like someone who had been informed that she wasn't a hooker, that in fact she was a lady of the evening."

Gaiman's done much more, of course, than simply write graphic novels, having coauthored, with Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, a comic novel about the Apocalypse; adapted into hardcover the BBC miniseries Neverwhere about the dark underworld beneath the streets of London; and, inspired by his young daughter, put a horrifying spin on C.S. Lewis' wardrobe doors for Coraline, a children's book about a passageway into a magical, yet malevolent, land.

But it is The Sandman that is Gaiman's magnum opus.

Though he had told a career counselor in high school that he wanted to pen comic books, he had a career as a freelance journalist before his first graphic novel, Violent Cases, was published in England in 1987. DC Comics discovered him and The Sandman was born. Or reborn, actually. The comic debuted back in 1939 with a regular-Joe crime fighter in the lead. But in Gaiman's hands the tale had a more otherworldly spin, slowing introducing readers to the seven siblings Endless: Dream, Death, Desire, Destiny, Destruction, Despair and Delirium (once Delight). They all have their roles in shaping the fates of man. In fact, when Death was imprisoned for decades, the results were devastating. Richard Nixon reached The White House and Michael Jackson the Billboard charts.

Direction from newspaper editors notwithstanding, to Gaiman, these stories are still comic books. The man who shuttled back and forth between comics and classics in his formative years and can pepper his writing with references to Norse mythology as well as the vaudevillian rock group Queen, never cottoned to such highbrow/lowbrow distinctions. Comparing notes on a yachting excursion with members of the Irish rock band U2, the writer who looks like a rock star and Delirium and the rock stars who gave themselves comic-worthy names such as Bono and The Edge came to a realization: Whether the medium is pop music or comic books, not being taken seriously can be a plus. "It's safer to be in the gutter," he told The Washington Post in 1995.

In 1995, Gaiman brought The Sandman to a close and began spending more time on his nongraphic fiction, including a couple of short-story collections. A few years later he released Stardust, an adult fairy tale that has young Tristan Thorn searching for a fallen star to woo the lovely but cold Victoria Forester. In 2001, he placed an ex-con named Shadow in the middle of a war between the ancient and modern dieties in American Gods. Coming in October 2002 is another departure: an audio recording of Two Plays for Voices, which stars Bebe Neuwirth as a wise queen doing battle with a bloodthirsty child and Brian Dennehy as the Angel of Vengeance investigating the first crime in history in heaven's City of Angels.

Gaiman need not worry about defining his artistic relevance, since so many other seem to do it for him. Stephen King, Roger Zelazny and Harlan Ellison are among those who have contributed introductions to his works. William Gibson, the man who coined the term "cyberspace," called him a "a writer of rare perception and endless imagination" as well as "an American treasure." (Even though he's, technically, a British treasure transplanted to the American Midwest.) Even Norman Mailer has weighed in: "Along with all else, Sandman is a comic strip for intellectuals, and I say it's about time."

The gushiest praise, however, may come from Frank McConnell, who barely contained himself in the pages of the political and artistic journal Commonweal. Saying Gaiman "may just be the most gifted and important storyteller in English," McConnell crowned Sandman as the most important act of fiction of the day. "And that, not just because of the brilliance and intricacy of its storytelling -- and I know few stories, outside the best of Joyce, Faulkner, and Pynchon, that are more intricate," he wrote in October 1995, " but also because it tells its wonderful and humanizing tale in a medium, comic books, still largely considered demimonde by the tenured zombies of the academic establishment."

"If Sandman is a 'comic,'" he concluded, "then The Magic Flute is a 'musical' and A Midsummer Night's Dream is a skit. Read the damn thing: it's important."

Good To Know

Some fascinating factoids from our interview with Gaiman:

"One of the most enjoyable bits of writing Sandman was getting authors whose work I love to write the introductions for the collected graphic novels -- people like Steve Erickson, Gene Wolfe, Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, Mikal Gilmore, and Samuel R. Delany."

"I have a big old Addams Family house, with -- in the summertime -- a vegetable garden, and I love growing exotic pumpkins. As a boy in England I used to dream about Ray Bradbury Hallowe'ens, and am thrilled that I get them these days. Unless I'm on the road signing people's books, of course."

"According to my daughters, my most irritating habit is asking for cups of tea."

"I love radio -- and love the availability of things like the Jack Benny radio shows in MP3 format. I'm addicted to BBC radio 7, and keep buying boxed CD sets of old UK radio programs, things like Round the Horne and Hancock's Half Hour. Every now and again I'll write a radio play."

"I love thunderstorms, old houses, and dreams."

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    1. Hometown:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 10, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portchester, England
    1. Education:
      Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 30, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    The first and best comic series I've ever read.

    In the winter of 1993, during my freshman year of college, a friend - a FEMALE friend - recommended I pick up this graphic novel. I was skeptical; I mean, this was back in the days when it was still pretty unusual to see a girl in a comic shop. Up till then, the only comics I'd read were some of my brother's discarded Spidermans and the occasional Archie. But I respected and trusted this friend, and I had some Christmas money, so I figured... what the heck? This was during a boom in comics; most malls had a comic shop. So I wandered in, picked up this book without too many, "Oh, wow, it's a GIRL!" stares, and went home to read it. And then I read it again, immediately. Feverishly. And went back to the store the next day, and bought the second book. And did exactly the same thing, all over again. In 4 days, I'd blown all my gift money on the 4 existing graphic novels, and then... I was stuck! I was going to have to WAIT for issues to be released monthly! Aargh! I can't put into words how much I love these books. They're beautiful, and wondrous, and fantastic. They're also dark, and gritty, and a bit scary. I can say honestly that because of that friend, I found my favorite author, bar none. And I'm far from alone; just check how many followers he has on Twitter. ;-) These books are, primarily, fantasy. They take on theology, as well, so if you're easily offended by the idea of polytheism, or of powerful beings that predate even the gods, these aren't the books for you. Oh, and Lucifer Morningstar is in there, too, along with all the hordes of Hell. There is occasional graphic violence; they really mean the Mature rating. I know I haven't talked much about the contents of this volume; I wouldn't do them justice. The short, short version is, the incarnation of Dream is trapped by humans for a generation. This is the story of the consequences of that capture and subsequent escape. I don't know if the version being sold of this particular book for the Nook is the color-corrected version. The original release of Preludes and Nocturnes had some messed up coloring that I always knew was wrong but accepted anyway; the recent hardbound omnibus editions repaired this issue. My best advice to you is... buy it, of course. It's not exactly a light read, and it's very definitely not your standard comic book (though it's been a long time, and this comic was and is hailed as groundbreaking; "standard" comic books today are a lot more like this than they were back then. Superhero comics weren't exactly literature, back then. I don't think the graphic novel Arkham Asylum could've happened if it weren't for Sandman). This is a real book, and it will challenge you; it just happens to have pictures. I was an English Lit major and book snob back then; this was a hard thing for me to accept. But this is the good stuff. Just don't go into it expecting to only buy this book and walk away. ;-)

    24 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Highly recomended

    Could not put it down!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    I started my incursion into the world of Sandman through a frien

    I started my incursion into the world of Sandman through a friend who is a little bit of a nut. He highly recommended the fourth installment of the series, Season of Mists and I was mesmerized. I decided to get start from story one and got Preludes and Nocturnes... it was a ride. It is a dark story, and a very original one. The literacy level on Gaiman's work is outstanding, and the few references to classic comic book characters brings some fresh air to a dark tale. It is masterfully crafted, and skillfully drawn. The story, the characters and the eeriness of the whole touches on horror sometimes, and will send a chill down your spine in more than one occasion. It will suck you into its world, and you are not going to resist it. Preludes and Nocturnes is in some ways like the Cenobites in Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Nightmare to some, dream to others.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2013

    Honestly, be prepared to be taken places. You can visit upon the

    Honestly, be prepared to be taken places. You can visit upon the fanciful, the tragic, the grotesque, the hopeful and so much more. It's a series that is going to pull you in and sucker punch you and  reward you and untimely make you think. It will make a good gift for anyone looking for a thoughtful read. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    An excellent series for newcomers to the genre.

    An excellent series for newcomers to the genre.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    A masterpiece.

    A masterpiece.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    I was horribly disappointed.

    Please let me qualify. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this series. In my haste to read it I didn't properly read the disclaimer that let me know I couldn't read it on my iPad because Barnes and Noble want to sell more of there awful nooks. I know They are awful because I bought one and am so disappointed in it I just read books on my aforementioned IPad.

    0 out of 46 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Question

    Is this book good? What is it about? Is it like coraline? (Minus all th ebutton eyes and stuff)

    0 out of 52 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 27, 2012

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    Posted April 16, 2013

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    Posted October 14, 2012

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    Posted October 13, 2013

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