The Sandman Vol 3: Dream Country

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The Sandman Vol 3: Dream Country

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2psutto
Editat: feb. 3, 2013, 4:03pm

Diving into this one early in the month, trying to get my monthly reads out of he way so I can concentrate on Fowles in February.

Since this has the award winning Midsummer Night's Dream in it, it also fits my Shakespeare category :-)

I'll add pics to the first message when I'm at a proper computer...

3GingerbreadMan
feb. 3, 2013, 4:38pm

This one is due back to the library this week, so I'll be reading it in the next days as well. This is the first Sandman book I read, and I wasn't overly impressed. Especially the art bugged me. I've only read it once, but it's stayed in my mind as my least favorite of the whole series. It'll be interesting to see if I've wrinkled my nose at it unfairly.

Having just started it, I must say the art in Calliope is bad. Especially the faces, whose expressions are totally unintelligeble.

4psutto
feb. 4, 2013, 4:20am

I agree - I read Calliope last night and thought it was almost as bad as the first story sleep of the just except maybe the colouring was better

5GingerbreadMan
feb. 4, 2013, 6:50pm

Finished it. Not my favorite in the series. "A midsummer night's dream" is a true gem, but the rest isn't up to par with it.

That one is one of my favorite Sandman stories, though. In fact, it holds one of the best definitions of what theatre can be, that I recall coming across, when Puck says: This is magnificent...and it is true! It never happened; yet it is still true. What magic art is this? I must remember this, for future quoting.

And speaking of quotes, Peaseblossom's frank dismissal of the representation of Puck in the play: "I am that merry wanderer of the night?" I am that giggling-dangerous-totally-bloody-psychotic-menace-to-life-and-limb, more like it. is so funny it makes me laugh just thinking about it.

Bit of a shame Gaiman never did more with the idea of Puck loose in the world. I seem to recall him teaming up with norse trixter god Loke (Loki, as I think he's called here) sometime later in the series, but that's it, isn't it?

6-Eva-
feb. 5, 2013, 12:30am

I'm about to start - will be back soon! :)

Those are excellent quotes!! I thought Puck showed up somewhere else besides those two appearances, but I may be misremembering or I'm mixing it up with The Books of Magic.

7AnnieMod
feb. 5, 2013, 12:41am

"A midsummer night's dream" is the best in the whole series (and in most comics really).

8psutto
feb. 5, 2013, 4:33am

>7 AnnieMod: Yes it deserves the award it won.

>5 GingerbreadMan: Gaiman planned on doing further things with Puck and had worked out a story with an elderly Puck according to the companion but now I can't remember why it never happened - I'll check and get back to you

I finished it last night - the stories don't hang together really which is the issue for me but they build the backdrop with little bits and pieces of data such as identifying how many Endless there are, the fact that Death will intercede sometimes, that dreams can change the world and that Dream has a child with Calliope. Individually they are each OK (apart from Midsummers Nights Dream) with some nice ideas although I think Facade doesn't really fit (as per previous superhero stuff)

9clfisha
feb. 5, 2013, 5:27am

Love those quotes. I can't remember if Puck shows up. I think he makes a cameo, not sure if it's too memorable. I am eagerly awaiting my chance to read it now.. glares meaningfully at Pete..

Not sure if anyone with the absolute editions can say if the artwork is ok?

10GingerbreadMan
feb. 5, 2013, 5:47am

>8 psutto: That's actually one of the things I adore about this series: even a short stand-alone story can sometimes provide vital pieces of the overall puzzle, almost in passing.

One thing that interests me in "A midsummer night's dream" is the hint that Shakespeare's play is based on a story originally told by Orpheus. We all know the Bard stole ideas like a magpie, but is there a classic tale like this one? I'm thinking perhaps Ovidius?

11psutto
feb. 5, 2013, 7:54am

>5 GingerbreadMan: Puck's words are echoed later by Dream too

>10 GingerbreadMan: Titania talks about "the old story" with the bit about the Ass but nothing springs to mind about where that would be from...

12psutto
feb. 5, 2013, 8:00am

ah I think perhaps its referencing another part of the play & the story of Orpheus?

Act 5 Scene 1 has:

PHILOSTRATE
(giving THESEUS a piece of paper) Here’s a list of all of the acts that have been prepared. Choose which one you want to see first.
THESEUS
(reading) “The battle between Hercules and the Centaurs, to be sung by an Athenian eunuch, accompanied by a harp.” No, we won’t see that. I’ve already told that story to Hippolyta, while praising my cousin Hercules. What else? “The riot of the drunk Bacchanals who rip the singer Orpheus to shreds.” That’s an old show, and I saw it the last time I came back from conquering

13AHS-Wolfy
Editat: feb. 5, 2013, 9:47am

Not sure if anyone with the absolute editions can say if the artwork is ok?

I had entirely no problems with the artwork in the absolute editions but then again I've not read them in their original incarnations so may not be the best one to judge. I know that all the art was recoloured for the absolute volume 1 which covers the first three trades and you can get some idea of what was done via google. I was going to suggest I take some pics of particular pages at issue but seem to be having camera problems right now so I'm unable to do so.

ETA: Apparently, the new slipcased edition contains the recoloured artwork as well so if you have access to those then you could also compare that way.

14psutto
Editat: feb. 11, 2013, 8:20am

I finished Mantissa last night and think that as well as being inspired by Fowles for The Collectors I reckon he was inspired by Mantissa for Calliope full review to come soon to my thread but in summary an author and a muse (in this case Erato) abuse/love each other to produce variations (of stories, or the same story) it's mostly dialogue and decidedly odd but there's definitely an echo of it in Calliope

15-Eva-
feb. 12, 2013, 4:30pm

My turn to have finished Dream Country - I was going to say this is one of my favorite installments, but I think that's true of all of them, so I'll just be quiet. :) My review is over here.

16psutto
feb. 13, 2013, 5:53am

-15 - I'm having the same problem :-)

17DeltaQueen50
feb. 17, 2013, 9:56pm

Although I preferred, The Doll's House, I liked Dream Country a lot. At first a little surprised at the direction it was going, as it seemed to have no connection to the previous two. A Midsummer's Night Dream wowed me and helped to connect this volume to the others for me. I have posted my review on the books' main page, and I have my fingers crossed that some of the information in this book will turn up in future issues. I love how Gaiman always leave you with more questions and areas you want to explore.

18clfisha
feb. 18, 2013, 4:45am

I haven't started this yet but I was trying to think of another comic series that deviates so much from a central plot thread and whose main character disappears for pages at a time. Don't get me wrong I love this aspect but I come up a blank maybe because I do not read enough comics :)

19luvamystery65
feb. 18, 2013, 8:09pm

Just finished Dream Country today. I loved the Shakespeare story. The last story Facade was so-so for me. I enjoyed A Dream of a Thousand Cats. It makes sense if animals dream that Morpheus would appear to them as well. I liked his cat incarnation.

So far I have enjoyed the 2nd volume the most. We shall see. I will read the 4th volume next and then take a break.

20hailelib
març 3, 2013, 2:05pm

Finished Dream Country this morning.

First of all, I really liked the (green) cover of this one and considered using it for the RandomCAT. My eyes kept being drawn back to it and I also liked several of the interior illustrations a great deal. some of he artwork here was a real plus.

As far as the stories go I liked all of them but my favorite was A Dream of a Thousand Cats about equally for the cats, the ideas and the art. The script at the end was interesting for its glimpse into how a comic is created although Gaiman points out that this is just one way of doing it.

Only complaint - I'm reading copies from the local library and both Calliope and Facade had a sheet torn out of the middle thus losing two pages each. For Facade it was easy enough to figure out what was in the missing panels but in the case of Calliope the script was necessary to fill in the missing piece - and it was a crucial piece.

For others new to Sandman: keep on reading!

21-Eva-
març 3, 2013, 6:39pm

Why do people do that?? What could you possibly gain by ripping pages out of library books - very few libraries around nowadays who wouldn't offer you the ability to make a copy for few cents.

22GingerbreadMan
març 5, 2013, 4:57pm

>21 -Eva-: As someone who has saved a few library books at the last minute in very recent times, I say toddlers are a very real possibility.

23-Eva-
Editat: març 5, 2013, 5:07pm

->22 GingerbreadMan:

I'm not opposed to introducing Sandman to toddlers! :)

But, conscience -question coming up:
You would tell the library if the pages had been ripped out...? So that they wouldn't put the book back on the shelf.

24GingerbreadMan
març 5, 2013, 5:08pm

I probably would. I'm very reverent when it comes to libraries.

25-Eva-
Editat: març 5, 2013, 5:28pm

Happy to hear it. :) I too have encountered missing pages in a library book and have sent curses to the person who didn't let the staff know!

26AnnieMod
març 5, 2013, 6:15pm

>23 -Eva-:

They will make you pay the book most likely...
And then, I know grown-up people that believe that it is ok to remove pages from library books... for all kind of reasons - including "I needed something to write on and this is a public book after all"...

27GingerbreadMan
març 6, 2013, 4:25am

>26 AnnieMod: I think the Swedish standard is "pay or replace".

28clfisha
març 10, 2013, 11:08am

Well I have just finished what is now my least favourite of the series. Personal taste really, Calliope always made me feel deeply uncomfortable and Facade feels like a missed opportunity. However what is interesting is something the companion book mentions in how the stories reflect Dream; fleshing out backstory of a son, a nod to the power of dreams, his disturbing relationships with women and
SPOILER foreshadowing the change or die theme
END SPOILER

Also I now keep womdering why there are no hints that the Endless change gender. Species maybe but never ever gender, its a tad irksome.

29GingerbreadMan
març 11, 2013, 6:08am

>28 clfisha: I'm guessing that is becuase that's Desire's thing. If all of them were of floating gender, the notion of Desire as a sister/brother would be annulled, wouldn't it? (But you have a point, of course.)

30clfisha
Editat: març 11, 2013, 8:41am

yes you have a point but I can't help but feel that would a thing worth sacrificing :)

Do any of the other endless have relationships? (Except desire and I Death I am not sure)

31pammab
març 19, 2013, 8:58pm

A lot of you are saying how much "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Dream Country wowed you -- does anyone want to take a stab as saying why? I assume it is more than the seed idea that A Midsummer Night's Dream is a story within a story within a story?

32lkernagh
març 20, 2013, 1:08am

I completely forgot to post here when I finished Dream Country! I love how everyone continues to find different parts as their favorites. Overall, I found this one a bit of a let down compared to the first two volumes as there were no standout favorites for me here except for the Script for Calliope (I am starting to get picky about the finer details). I see Gaiman has toned down some of the graphical experimentation, which I think is a good thing. Curious to see where Vol. 5 leads us......

> 31 - I did like the detail in the artwork and some of the characterizations were well done, but that is about as far as I was wowed by A Midsummer Night's Dream... because I really couldn't remember the how the original story plays out!

33-Eva-
març 20, 2013, 1:33am

->31 pammab:
It's a mix of things for me, like my love of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the art, the jokes(!), the relationship between Shakespeare and Hamnet (considering what happened historically), and, mainly, I suppose, the idea about art creating reality. And faeries and woodland creatures, of course - I've always been a sucker for fairly tales and mythology! :)

34psutto
març 20, 2013, 7:22am

>31 pammab: what Eva said! in addition I think it's because we see the story through the actors eyes, the audiences eyes (and what an audience!) and the playwright's eyes with gaiman's usual playfulness with language married to the original Shakespeare

35GingerbreadMan
març 21, 2013, 4:39am

>31 pammab: For me, it's because it says something about the nature and potential power of theatre, mixing it with effortless biographical hints, a knowledge of Elizabethan theatre and a good sense of humor. The boggarts and trolls experiencing theatre for the first time are probably my favorite things in this story.

36mathgirl40
març 21, 2013, 9:34pm

When I heard that this volume contained four short-stories that were not connected to one other or the main storylines started in volumes 1 and 2, I did not expect to like it as much as I ultimately did. I enjoyed all the stories except "Facade", and I thought "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was brilliant. The inclusion of the script and the corresponding chapter in Bender’s The Sandman Companion really helped me see aspects of the novel that I didn’t appreciate fully the first time through, such as the subtle changes in lighting as the story progresses from morning to nighttime.

I also loved the line in "Calliope" about how genre fiction will never win the Booker. I wonder if that might reflect Gaiman’s own thoughts?

Partway through reading a library copy of this volume, a friend lent me his Absolute Sandman set. What a difference! I'm so glad I got to read "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in this gorgeous edition.

37lkernagh
març 22, 2013, 10:57pm

> 36 - I complete forgot about that line about the Booker! That just gave me a chuckle!

38psutto
març 23, 2013, 6:45am

hmm absolute editions do sound like a worthwhile investment due to the amount of times I've re-read them, they're a bit expensive though :-(

39clfisha
abr. 12, 2013, 8:36am

@38 Present *cough*