The Sandman, Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes

The Sandman, Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes


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A wizard attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. Fearful for his safety, the wizard kept him imprisoned in a glass bottle for decades. After his escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On the way, Morpheus encounters Lucifer and demons from Hell, the Justice League, and John Constantine, the Hellblazer. This book also includes the story "The Sound of Her Wings" which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl, Death.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781563890116
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication date: 12/28/1993
Series: Sandman Series , #1
Edition description: REV
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.64(w) x 10.16(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range: 17 - 18 Years

About the Author

Originally from England, Neil Gaiman now calls the United States home. He is the author of numerous New York Times bestselling novels—including Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods and Coraline—as well as the Sandman series of graphic novels. His work has been honored with many awards internationally, including the Newbery and Carnegie Medals as well as the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards.

See our definitive ranking of Neil Gaiman's best fiction books on the B&N Reads blog.


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, Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (New Edition) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 91 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of comic books for years, as well as other areas of literature. However I have never been able to be captivated by fantasy stories...until I read this first volume of Sandman. I still cannot believe just how GREAT THIS BOOK IS! The stories are outstanding, and the ART is beyond Outstanding! I reccomend this book for anyone who was like I was...always being told how good this series was, but for whatever reason kept waiting to read it. Believe me, after reading this first volume YOU WILL want to read more!
NSZ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So you want to get into Sandman do you? Well Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes is definitely the place to start. This volume follows Dream of the Endless as he is mistakenly captured by a group of men trying to capture his sister Death. He escapes and is royally ticked. At this point in Sandman's life Neil Gaiman was still trying to find it's voice. Does he want it to have a big part in DC mythos? (John Constantine and Arkham Asylum play roles here) Does he want it to be a horror series? (A bit of blood in this one). Due to this the first stories are somewhat hit and miss, but they play their role in introducing Dream to the reader. That being said, Sandman finally finds it's voice in the final story of this volume- "The Sound of Her Wings".WOW. "The Sound of Her Wings" is an absolutely beautiful story. Perfect! So basically regardless of how you feel about the others, if you enjoy the final story, Sandman is probably for you.
Katya0133 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This series came highly recommended to me, but I found that this volume was too violent for my tastes. However, I've been assured that the rest of the series tends more towards fantasy than horror, so I may keep going with it.
stipe168 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The one that starts us off.. i remember I had to get used to the storytelling, pacing, artwork.. and i had to get used to being confused about numerous things. Better the second time around, but really it's the one that hooked me. Indescribable really.
luvdancr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a slightly disjointed, interesting compelling beginning to a wonderfully long series.
EmmMIB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a graphic novel for all those who doubt comic books as an art form. Period.
Terpsichoreus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though Gaiman had already made his mark with Black Orchid, Sandman is where he really begins to fall into his style, which sometimes becomes his downfall in its predictability.Here, he plays for perhaps the first time at mixing mythology, spirituality, and strange real events into a story beyond the ken of other fairytale rewrites and new age mysticism. There is a sense here that the characters and story are still undeveloped in his mind, which provides the reader with some welcome ambiguity, as soon he will nail down the characters into something a bit too precise and not quite realistic enough.Of course, this merely becomes his frame around which he tells stories from any place or era which more than make up for the lack of conflict in other parts. The final story in this collection is an exploration of the depths of human desire and control, which recalls to us the depravity of The Lord Of The Flies. It should be unsurprising to us that Sandman became a classic by shocking and questioning its readers, and it must sadden us that no more comics have won the World Fantasy Award since.
jedziedz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Intense plot has a secret society plotting to capture Death, but they capture Dream instead. When Dream escapes, he must find the tools of his trade and restore the world of dreams. Fantastic artwork, great tone and theme, only problem is the sometimes fragmented plot from issue to issue.
witchystine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read Mists o Shadows in the 90's. I'm really looking forward to reading all of the Sandman series, even if I can only afford the trade compilations. Have your religion/mythology/occult knowledge handy, you'll need it. BTW, the Lucifer Vertigo series is very much in the same vein.
riverwillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Neil Gaiman's novels and short stories, but I've resisted reading the graphic novels because, well, I've perceived the graphic novel as a three year old younger brother to the novel. Having finally finished this first instalment of The Sandman I'm pleased to say that I was wrong and I really enjoyed the complexity of this story. I am looking forward to moving onto the second instalment in the series.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not for young readers, to be sure. This was more horrific in places than I could enjoy. I did like the character Morpheus and the imaginative plot. I found it even suspenseful at times. The sibling of The Sandman was pretty great too. Very interesting references and ideas, I'll keep reading the series for awhile yet.
whitewavedarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This first volume is sexy, beautiful, and creepy as well as it sets up a world and gives you the Sandman, who is both familiar and unfamiliar, but entirely too fascinating. Absolutely addictive.
TiffGabler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great take on a old story like the Sandman. Gaiman THINKS about his stories and everything is so well constructed, especially his characters. It seems like a uber-Goth creation but in reality is clever, funny, sexy and tragic in a lot of ways. If you ever pick it up, never fail to read the Artist bios at the back; they are worth the perusal.
sunny_jim9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my first graphic novel. It was neat. I didn't love it (which is usually the case with Neil Gaiman's work as far as I'm concerned). Apparently he conceived Dream's look after a Japanese kimono and his own wardrode... puh-leez!... he just tries too hard to be "poetic" or "profound" or "alternative" or "dark"... I don't know... I'm just always aware that I'm reading Neil Gaiman. And now doubly so because his ultra cool hero dresses just like him. His style or essence sometimes throws me from the story. Anyway, I will continue the series. I didn't hate it. I'm curious to see if i'll start to love it.
LostFrog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's not really the best of the series, but it's the first. I like the plot and all, but this doesn't really stand out to me. It's about Dream's awakening, and his attempt to get his old powers and relics back. His mask was placed in hell, and his ruby was taken by a crazy person (apparently a super-villain, but I just think of him as a crazy person). The issue in which Dream descends to Hell is my favorite, as it's dark, and beautifully written. It gets really disturbing as the crazy person uses the power of the ruby to make others harm and kill each other and themselves, all of it graphically depicted with the creepy artwork of the illustrator. It ends with the issue "The Sound of Her Wings," which introduces Death, Dream's sister, another of the endless. She's depicted as gothic (expected of one who embodies death), yet she's pretty perky and silly. She's a very cool character, and the final issue in this volume is wonderful.
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This graphic novel is a collection of issues #1-8 of the cult classic comic book series The Sandman. Dream (aka Sandman) is captured and imprisoned for decades and once he finally breaks free, he goes out in search of his power totems: a pouch of sand, his helmet and a ruby. Things get seriously twisted when he enters the gates of hell and confronts millions of beasts to recover his helmet. And they get downright gruesome when he comes face to face with the man who has appropriated the ruby and uses it to make people commit horrible acts. All along, the stories have a hallucinogenic quality which is in keeping with the fact that the Sandman is, after all, the god of dreams. In an afterword, Gaiman himself writes that he wasn't entirely satisfied with this first series, as after all, he was then a newcomer to the comic book genre, but I enjoyed it with all it's imperfections and for the sheer creative energy and already look forward to the next instalment Sandman: The Doll's House.
EffingEden on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An urban fantasy series consisting of eleven books, the first of which follows the capture and imprisonment of the King of Dreams, his eventual escape and subsequent quest to reclaim his stolen items of power: a helm; a bag of sand; a ruby. I have been aware of Neil Gaiman for years, mostly due to my younger sister who is an avid fan, though I have personally never read a book of his due to his large fan base, but what I had heard about the Sandman series intrigued me, and my sister gave me the first novel of the series as a gift. I¿m quite leery of graphic novels, the quality of the artwork (or lack thereof) often distracts me from the storyline. The artwork of Sandman stayed true to form, undermining the wonderfully imagined network of worlds and characters, making it a struggle to keep focused. I did enjoy the mixing and melding of folklores and legends, and the original characters were all beautifully constructed. The darkness of the plot rubbed me in all the right ways, and Morpheus/Dream/Sandman made me smile multiple times. I¿m not sure if it intrigued me enough to pick up the next book, but it has finally made me interested in reading Gaiman¿s novels.Characters: 9/10Setting: 7/10Plot: 4/10Dialogue: 6/10Overall: 6.5/10
ltjennysbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Preludes and Nocturnes is not Neil Gaiman¿s best work, but it is still pretty good. I was thinking while I was reading it ¿ damn, Neil Gaiman is good at coming up with incantations. The spell they say to summon Death, while ineffective, is an excellent spell I give you a coin I made from a stone. I give you a song I stole from the dirt. I give you a knife from under the hills, and a stick that I stuck through a dead man¿s eye. I give you a claw I ripped from a rat. I give you a name, and the name is lost. I give you blood from out of my vein, and a feather I pulled from an angel¿s wing. I call you with names of my lord, of my lord. I summon with poison and summon with pain. I open the way and I open the gates.How good¿s that? It¿s evocative, and it scans.At this point in the comic¿s life, it was still mostly horror. Particularly ¿24 Hours¿. Generally when I am reading Preludes and Nocturnes, I start reading ¿24 Hours¿, and I get to the part where the waitress is considering her philosophy of storytelling. She says that every story ends in death if you keep going long enough; and the trick is to know when to stop. I usually consider this to be Neil Gaiman¿s way of telling me that he doesn¿t mind if I skip ¿24 Hours¿, so I do. This time, I was in a completist mood, and I read it. It is well unsettling. Feel free to skip it. I will tell you what happens: Everybody dies in nasty ways, and at the end Dream shows up in a bad mood.However, ¿The Sound of Her Wings¿ ¿ I say unoriginally ¿ makes up for any flaws in the foregoing seven issues. Death is a delightful character, of whom we just never see enough. I like it when she throws bread at him and talks about Mary Poppins. Thanks to my wonderful sister Anna, I have this in a single issue, which I fetched down from my bookshelf and read. I love having single issues of the Sandman. Looking at the ones I have flashes me back to this little used comics & books shop on Portobello Market Road, which I visited almost every day of July 2005. I was living in Notting Hill that month, so it was close by. (On Pembridge Gardens, a street that was very easy to get to from the Notting Hill Tube Station, but it took me an hour and a half with two suitcases, because I made a wrong turn and every street within a ten-mile radius was called Pembridge something, and Londoners are crap at giving directions. All except for this one street-cleaner, and at the time I couldn¿t understand anything he was saying, though in retrospect I realize that he was giving me perfect directions.) I wanted to buy all the issues because of the extreme beauty of Dave McKean¿s covers. I spent so much money at that shop.
HeikeM on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not a review as such. I've read them all and I love them. The Sandman novels have got me hooked on graphic novels in generally and I wish there would be ten more to read. I love all the characters, the stories, the graphics - did I say I love them?
aleahmarie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Before reading Preludes & Nocturnes I'd never read a graphic novel. I'm so glad I gave this one a try. Neil Gaiman is the master and it seems any review I write would be insufficient. I recommend this series to any fans of urban fantasy who don't mind a touch of the macabre. A dark and thrilling ride.
coralsiren on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was one of the first graphic novels I've read. I wasn't sure I would like it at first, but once I got into the story I couldn't put it down.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a series that requires thought- outright, the plot seems simple, The Sandman is trapped, is released, and then goes off and fines his missing tools. But it is so much more. The storyline is strong and gets its point across with a minimum amount of words.
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this is one sitting. The story gripped me from beginning to end. Dream (a.k.a. Morpheus, Death's younger brother) is imprisoned for decades. When he finally escapes he must literally travel to hell and back to get what was stolen from him. I'm a big Neil Gaiman fan and I loved the story. The illustrations are fascinating and detailed, but they are often too gory for my taste. When reading a book, your imagination will only take you as far as you'll let it. With a graphic novel it's all laid out before you. I appreciate the art of the book and the plot, but I probably won't continue with the story. I am curious about what Gaiman had in store for the characters in future volumes, but the illustrations were just too much.
katelisim on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a comic series I've heard all sorts of praise for, but nothing by way of the story. It's very different from what I had even sort of expected. I was right about it being nice and dark with some interesting evil being committed. . . but I thought it would be the Sandman doing those things. On the contrary, he's the victim, trapped for a century by occultists and just trying to get free, get his things back. . . and maybe a little revenge. But he's kind of a good guy. I really liked it, and as a Gaiman fan, thought I would. Definitely plan on reading the rest of the series. 4 Stars
nEtVolution on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unbelievable! Gripped me from beginning to end. Awesome illustrations, but yet another insight into the frailty of the human mind and the tightrope of sanity we all walk. Can't wait to read the next volume