The Sandman, Volume 5: A Game of You

The Sandman, Volume 5: A Game of You

by Neil Gaiman


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Volume Five of New York Times best selling author Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed creation THE SANDMAN collects one of the series’ most beloved storylines.

Take an apartment house, add 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 and now finds herself a princess in a vivid dreamworld.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401230432
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication date: 05/03/2011
Series: Sandman Series , #5
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 84,615
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 17 Years

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the Newbery Medal-winning The Graveyard Book and Coraline, the basis for the hit movie. His other books include Anansi Boys, Neverwhere, American Gods, and Stardust, (winner of the American Library Association's Alex Award as one of 2000's top novels for young adults) as well as the short story collections M Is for Magic and Smoke and Mirrors. He is also the author of The Wolves in the Walls and The Day I Traded My Dad for Two Goldfish, both written for children. Among his many awards are the Eisner, the Hugo, the Nebula, the World Fantasy, and the Bram Stoker. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States.


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

November 10, 1960

Place of Birth:

Portchester, England


Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77

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Sandman 5 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this read very much. It took me back to my own childhood in fact, causing me to stay up all night and reflect (not the healthiest thing). But the artwork is lovely and Morpheus has never been more compelling. I would definetly give it a chance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tiamatq on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So this book gets mixed reviews, obviously. I'm a Sandman nut, and I really enjoyed it. Yes, it doesn't jive with most of the traditional volumes - but it's also just as important to the storyline as any of the other books. So if you want to get the full impact of the Sandman storyline, read this book! It's considerably dark, like a fair amount of Sandman, and has some of that fun horror of the earlier volumes mixed in. Also, if you want to enjoy and understand the characters that show up in the Death spin offs, you gotta read A Game of You. I think it's an often misunderstood book - give it a chance.
reconditereader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Neil Gaiman's Sandman series is one of the finest examples of storytelling I've ever seen, graphic or otherwise. The collection A Game of You is about identity and about what happens to the worlds we create as children.
librarianbryan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm revisiting this series after a discussion of
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Out of all the volumes I've read do far, I think this one is my least favorite. The story is interesting, but I found things a little bit too graphic, too violent. My favorite chapter was the last one, It has an interesting twist, and I especially liked the symbology of the story.
cromanelli927 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
SPOILERS AHEAD!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!I wrote myself a note last night to remind myself that the introduction to A Game of You really irritated me. I wish I had not. Though Samuel R. Delany did initially irritate me because he writes in his introduction to move on and finish the story before reading his thoughts (why on earth don't you put it at the end then!), when I did get back to his thoughts this morning, I found them to be really on point and fabulously written. Once again I find a short but extremely poignant bit of fantasy criticism at the beginning of a graphic novel! Delany writes, "the key to this particular fantasy world is precisely that it is a fantasy world where the natural forces, stated and unstated, whether of myth or of chance, enforce the dominant ideology." It seems like he is truly disparaging Gaiman's work until he says, "And it remains just a nasty fantasy unless, in our reading of it, we can find some irony, something that subverts it, something that resists that fantasy," and this is precisely what we find. Irony is definitely the dominant characteristic of A Game of You.I was most struck by the idea that Barbie (yes, Barbie formerly married to Ken--yuck!) is our protagonist. I am one of those short, plump, annoying moms who really doesn't want her daughters to play with Barbie because she represents unnatural and unhealthy standards for beauty. They say that if she were alive, she would be seven feet tall with a whopping thirty-eight inch bust (haha---smaller than mine), but it towers over an eighteen inch waist (definitely smaller than mine). A "perfectly proportioned female" would have ten inches difference between bust, waist, and hips (34, 24, 34) supposedly. Barbie, on the other hand, would not be able to stand or walk; she'd fall over at the waist, weighed down not by her expansive intellect, but her crazy long blond hair. Obviously, she is an ideal role model for young children. But, for Gaiman, Barbie is actually only consistent with her childhood toy theme on the surface. The first panel in which she appears shows her half naked in bed, but we learn that she has an interesting group of friends. She is the sweet Barbie the doll makers want her to be, but she is also best friends with a transsexual, strangely insecure about her face (she's always drawing on it), and she is obviously repressed in many ways.It's hard for me to write a sentence summary of what this story was really about because I'm not sure exactly what happened. Barbie's dreamworld was in trouble from the Cuckoo, but this trouble had something to do with Barbie and Rose Walker (see A Doll's House). I was initially frustrated that Barbie was the princess of her realm (don't we get enough of Barbie's awesomeness in the pink aisle of Toys R Us?) but it wore off as the subtle hints showed how powerless and ridiculous she was in that function. Her realm is icy cold, and she has nothing on but a ball gown. She is also at the mercy of her friends/subjects because she has no idea where she is going. After losing, or being betrayed by, all her friends, she is eventually taken to the Cuckoo who turns out to be.........I don't know. I still don't know and I finished the book. There were some really cool parts of this confrontation though. As Barbie approaches the Cuckoo's Citadel, she realizes that it's her old house in Florida. I have to admit that I was really afraid to find out who the Cuckoo was at this point; I have this idea for a book of my own. But I need not have worried, the Lacanian/Freudian psychoanalysis was really quite straight forward. At least in appearance alone, the Cuckoo was Barbie's younger self. I could go on about her public self versus her private self, but I am more interested in the type of analysis Delany did in his introduction than the individual psychoses of a character based off of a plastic goddess. There was some part of her that she repressed and that part took over her dreamworld. But, that's not all ther
pokylittlepuppy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow. I loved this. Absolutely the best book so far. There isn't really anything I didn't like, and it kept doing more and more things I like on top of the things I already liked. Well except, I think it is responsible for an extremely grisly nightmare I had, but that is what I get for bedtime reading.I love the atmosphere of the parts of the series set in sketchy '80s NYC. I love all the stories with a woman dealing with intrusions of the supernatural in her normal life, and having to go be brave and face it down. Gaiman deserves a lot of thanks for exercising that precedent so well, having laid the influential groundwork for tons of other things I love. Rose's story in book 2 felt that way, and Barbie's story here does too.I love creepy awesome Thessaly and everything she does. I love the creepy nightmare birds. I love everyone in the apartment building and everything about the horrible night they spend together. God I mean it is gruesome, but, really great. Maybe my entirely favorite moment was when Barbie is first dozing off in front of the TV and the fairy pops in to give her a warning, and she snaps herself awake and ruins it.It's possible it isn't a great sign that my favorite book so far is the one where the Dream King is only in it for about 5 pages. But I'm not too concerned.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An explanation of the two stars: this is not to do with the quality of writing or drawing, but for my taste and the content of the book. It was simply a much darker tale than I enjoy delving into, and I never would have bothered to finish it if Gaiman was not an excellent story teller. The stars in my reviews reflect my feelings on finishing a work, not just the quality of the work. I felt pretty bad when this was done.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love the Sandman series so far and this book was no exception. Gaiman has a way of telling dark stories that are very creative and really expand your mind and make you think.Barbie's best friends are a drag queen named Wanda and two lesbians that live in her apartment building. Barbie seems to be dragging a bit because she never dreams. She remembers dreaming as a child; wonderful vivid dreams, but those times are long past. When a creature from her dreams dies in front of her on the street and gives her a treasure, Barbie lapses in to a permanent dream state that leads her back to her childhood dream-land where she is a princess and must save the dream land from the Cuckoo. Barbie's friends walk the path of the moon in a effort to save her. In the end nothing is quite as it seems and Barbie's friends' efforts may have put the real world at risk.The artwork in these books is great. The story is amazing. You really feel for all of the characters and relate with them. The plot pulls you through as you wonder what the next page will bring. Full of creative ideas, intriguing thoughts, creative worlds, and of course the God of Dreams; this was another amazing installment to the Sandman series. I love these stories; they always open your mind to new possibilities and wonders. Not to mention that in general the stories are just well told with a deep mythos behind them.I look forward to reading the next Sandman Volume.
xicanti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Barbie, a fairly minor character from The Doll's House, takes centre stage as her dream world comes back to haunt her.Many people dislike this volume. I can see where they're coming from; Gaiman isn't dealing with the most palatable of themes here, and I'm sure that fantasy/horror readers are particularly likely to find the resolution distasteful. Personally, however, I feel that this is one of the stronger volumes in the series. Characterization isn't always Gaiman's strong point, but he's done some wonderful things here. I found it very easy to feel for these people. Barbie, unable to dream since her encounter with the dream vortex; Hazel, seemingly tough but so unworldly that she knows next to nothing about pregnancy; Foxglove, haunted by an old lover with whom the reader is already acquainted. The story comes alive through them, and for the first time we begin to get a feel for how tightly all the mortals who wander into Dream's world are connected.Most of all, though, I love Wanda. I recall reading that the creative team received hate mail when she debuted in the first issue of this story arc. Readers were deeply offended that Gaiman would include a transsexual character. But by the time A Game of You had wound to a close, those same readers were writing in to say how much they loved her. While Gaiman does deal with some issues surrounding her transsexuality, he treats Wanda as a person above all else. She's just a normal girl who happens to have been born in a man's body.So I love this one. I, like many others, can't say I'm entirely comfortable with the theme, but I love the execution. And I don't think Gaiman treats the resolution as either a negative or a loss. It's simply a shift, a change in Barbie's world.Highly recommended. This one is very stand-alone, too, so you don't have to have read the rest of the series in order to enjoy it. I do recommend, however, that you pair it with Death: The Time of Your Life. It features Hazel and Foxglove, and it deals with many similar ideas.
ragwaine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cool ideas, kinda slow after fourth chapter. Dark, funny.
heidilove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
the sandman series only gets better the more you read.
stipe168 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
one of my favorites among favorites.. i love the idea of your childhood dreams coming to life in the "real" world. read it.
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While this story arc is linked to the rest of the series, it is also one of the most self-contained of the story arcs and stands alone very well. Barbie, who was a marginal character in A Doll's House, has separated from her husband and is living in a small New York apartment building with a cast of rather odd characters. There's Wanda, a transwoman who is Barbie's best friend and protector; Hazel (who might be pregnant) and Foxglove, the punk lesbian couple; Thessaly, a bespectacled witch; and George, the recluse who lives on the top floor. When Barbie is drawn back into the dream world she visited every night as a child, the other women must figure out how to protect her and bring her home. Meanwhile, Barbie is on a quest to save the kingdom from a mysterious adversary known as The Cuckoo.This has always been one of my favorites, because I love the interaction between all the characters. Hazel and Foxglove are particularly great, and I kind of wish Gaiman had seen fit to give them a starring role later on. Ah well...
deslni01 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Game of You, the fifth volume in Neil Gaiman's Sandman universe is an arc about a girl named Barbie - who made a brief cameo with her husband Ken in A Doll's House - and her current state of dreaming.Unlike most of the other volumes, Morpheus does not play much of a role in this work. He shows up at the very beginning and the end, to take care of business in Barbie's dreamworld. The story also touches dramatically on identity, as many of the characters are struggling with it in their lives.A Game of You is a thought provoking addition to the Sandman series and remains dark - and sad - even though it deviates from the horror that is characteristic of some of the earlier volumes.
RogueBelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not one of my favourite volumes, if only because it's a little uneven. I really adore certain aspects, but in places this volume seemed to wander. Still worth the read, though -- it sets up some characters for later importance.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Good volume.
xbinkus More than 1 year ago
Neil Gaiman, need I say more?
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