The Sandman: Endless Nights

( 19 )

Overview

Featuring the popular characters from the award-winning Sandman series, THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS reveals the legend of the Endless, a family of magical and mythical beings who exist and interact in the real world. Born at the beginning of time, Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair, Delirium and Destruction are seven brothers and sisters who each lord over their respective realms. In this highly imaginative book that boasts diverse styles of breathtaking art, these seven peculiar and powerful siblings each ...
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Overview

Featuring the popular characters from the award-winning Sandman series, THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS reveals the legend of the Endless, a family of magical and mythical beings who exist and interact in the real world. Born at the beginning of time, Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair, Delirium and Destruction are seven brothers and sisters who each lord over their respective realms. In this highly imaginative book that boasts diverse styles of breathtaking art, these seven peculiar and powerful siblings each reveal more about their true-being as they star in their own tales of curiosity and wonder.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
For the first time since 1996, Destiny, Death, Dream, Despair, and all the other denizens of bestselling author Neil Gaiman's Endless world are back! This beautiful, haunting hardcover finds Gaiman's dark visions illuminated by a battalion of graphic art legends: P. Craig Russell, Barron Storey, Milo Manara, Frank Quitely, Miguelanxo Prado, and Bill Sienkiewicz. It's a dream lineup, filled with collaborators who add an extra element of the macabre to Gaiman's uniquely chilling vision.
The Washington Post
What makes Gaiman's "Despair" so haunting is the disturbed quality of the author's vignettes -- oscillating between courthouse cogency and madhouse incoherence -- and Barron Storey's phenomenal artwork. Storey commands multiple styles to render human misery: pencil, charcoal, watercolors, humanistic and geometric, the kind of works Amnesty International exhibits as evidence of mental and physical torture, with the same scary impact. Rest assured, the Sandman is back -- and he will rob you of sleep, not deliver it! — James Rosen
Publishers Weekly
Now that he's a bestselling fantasy novelist, Gaiman returns to the comics series that made his reputation with this new volume of seven gorgeously illustrated stories. Gaiman specializes in inventing fantastic allegories for the quotidian, in a voice that casually shifts between uneasy realism and Borgesian grandeur. In Sandman cosmology, "The Endless" are seven immortal siblings who personify abstract concepts: Dream, Death, Destiny and so on. This work devotes a story to each of them, drawn in distinctly different styles by an all-star lineup of American, British and European cartoonists and fine artists. Gaiman is famous for writing to his artists' strengths, and he does so here. P. Craig Russell draws the surreal fantasia "Death and Venice" with the opulent brio of his opera adaptations. "What I've Tasted of Desire" is a darkly sexual fable, painted by Milo Manara in the style of his more X-rated work. A couple of the stories find Gaiman working in a more experimental mode than usual, notably "Fifteen Portraits of Despair," a set of anecdotes and prose poems accompanied by Barron Storey's tormented, abstract drawings and paintings. Longtime comics fans will notice plenty of inside jokes in "The Heart of a Star," but most of this book is a red carpet-or perhaps a Persian rug-rolled out for Gaiman's prose readers to see his visions turned into lush, dramatic images. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
With a new collection of seven stories, Gaiman returns to the world of Sandman (Dream) and his Endless siblings-Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction, and Destiny . A young army soldier returns to Venice, where, as a boy, he had encountered Death, whom he meets once more as she deals with a Count who had cheated death. Kara bargains with Desire to ensnare the chief's son, using the gifts from Desire for revenge when her love is taken from her. Dream brings his love, Killala, to meet his family at a cosmic conference before Time-and suffers his first betrayal. Chapter 4, subtitled "Fifteen Portraits of Despair," uses art and words to describe despair in various formats ranging from vignettes to descriptive statements such as "It is a writer, with nothing left that he knows how to say." Delirium rounds up a rescue squad of crazy people to help a catatonic girl recover. A young woman who works on an archeological dig off the coast of Sardinia, which has uncovered long-buried artifacts from the future, meets Joe and his kooky sister (Destruction and Delirium), who warn her away. And blind Destiny walks always in his garden, holding a book that is the Universe. Most stories include more overt and graphically portrayed sex than in previous Sandman volumes. The story of Kara and Desire shows people engaged in sexual acts throughout, and because of it, most libraries will most likely want to keep it in their adult collections, where older teen fans will find it. This collection is not one to introduce new fans to the series, but it will appeal to those fans who have read all the volumes and want more. Libraries that already own previous volumes will want this striking book as well. VOYACodes: 4Q 2P S A/YA G (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults; Graphic Novel Format). 2003, Vertigo/DC Comics, 160p., Ages 15 to Adult.
—Kat Kan
Library Journal
After several years away from comics, celebrated writer Gaiman (American Gods; Coraline) returns to the dark fantasy series that made him a sensation: the Eisner, Harvey, and World Fantasy Award-winning Sandman. This oversized volume features seven stories, one devoted to each member of the Endless, the ancient and powerful family to which the Sandman (a.k.a. Dream) belongs. All are masterfully illustrated, each by a different artist, covering a wide variety of styles, from the mainstream DC look of Glenn Fabry's illustration in the chapter "Destruction" to the nightmarish collage of Barron Storey's "15 Portraits of Despair." Bill Sienkiewicz's multistylistic mastery, from jagged black-and-white sketches to lushly colored realistic paintings, is perfectly matched to "Delirium." Italian artist Milo Manara, famed for his erotic work, is also exactly right to draw one woman's encounter in "Desire." The story focusing on Dream himself, marvelously painted by Spanish artist Miguelanxo Prado, touches on-of all things-the backgrounds of two of DC's most famous superheroes. Gaiman's tales are deep, subtle, multilayered, and powerful, and this book is sure to delight his legions of fans. With nudity and sex, this is one for adult collections-for which it is absolutely essential. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401201135
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Series: Sandman Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 528,552
  • Product dimensions: 7.19 (w) x 10.77 (h) x 0.34 (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:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2007

    I do SO love Mr. Manara.

    Two of the greatest, in my opinion, comic book creators to ever come out of Europe are featured in this book. There is, of course, the Sandman's creator, Neil Gaiman, who has been writing comics for over twenty years, and single-handedly changed the perception of literary comics in the States. Then, there's artist (and writer of some of his own works) Milo Manara, one of the most gifted illustrators of European comics, whose playful eroticism makes his works infinitely enjoyable. Both of these men are featured in this fantastic collection of tales, from one of the greatest titles in comic book history. HIGHLY RECCOMENDED

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2005

    A satisfied customer.

    I have been a Neil Gaiman fan for a while now, having read American Gods and Neverwhere. I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday and I saw this book. I noticed the name Neil Gaiman at the top and I had to get it. This is my first Sandman book. I was truly amazed after reading this book. It was great. Chapter 3 is what will make me buy the rest of the series. I'm going to have to cut this review short because I got to go buy some more of these books now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2003

    Amazing!

    I thought that this book was amazing. I was looking for something to read on the plane, when I went to the roleplaying game Isle, and saw this book. This is not a roleplaying game, but a marvelous read none the less. I have to say that I read this book BEFORE the rest of the series, and I liked it as a overbrief of the story arc, but I had to read it again after the rest of the stories. If you do not want to read the rest of the books, then dont pick this up because it will HOOK you. If you are under the age of 14, or over that age and not mature, dont read this, there is alot of nudity(gotta love that Milo Mannara).

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