The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman

The Doll's House

A being who has existed since the beginning of the universe, Dream of the Endless rules over the realm of dreams. In THE DOLL’S HOUSE, after a decades-long imprisonment, the Sandman has returned to find that a few dreams and nightmares have escaped to reality. Looking to recapture his lost possessions, Morpheus ventures to the human plane only to learn that a woman named R...

Title:The Doll's House
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1563892251
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:232 pages

The Doll's House Reviews

  • Patrick

    Note: This is part two of a rambling multi-volume re-read of the series. It will probably make better sense in context of other reviews...

    In this volume, we get several cool stand-alone stories and our first longer story arc with a non-sandman character. It's good stuff. Clever and fun and smart. Everything you'd expect from Gaiman.

    When I first read it, it wowed me. It was cool and real and mythic all at once.

    Reading it now, I look back on my first-read-through self and smile fondly, thinking

    Note: This is part two of a rambling multi-volume re-read of the series. It will probably make better sense in context of other reviews...

    In this volume, we get several cool stand-alone stories and our first longer story arc with a non-sandman character. It's good stuff. Clever and fun and smart. Everything you'd expect from Gaiman.

    When I first read it, it wowed me. It was cool and real and mythic all at once.

    Reading it now, I look back on my first-read-through self and smile fondly, thinking. "Oh you sweet boy, you have no idea what cool is yet. Just wait... just wait....

  • Bill  Kerwin

    The first volume of the Sandman was a fascinating experiment that enlarged the borders of the comic book world; this second volume is a fulfillment, a wildly imaginative narrative which is also a disciplined example of the story-teller’s art.

    In an excellent introduction by Clive Barker—one of the masters of modern horror—the author distinguishes between two types of fantastic fiction: 1) the most common form, in which “a reality that resembles our own” is invaded by the fantastic, which is event

    The first volume of the Sandman was a fascinating experiment that enlarged the borders of the comic book world; this second volume is a fulfillment, a wildly imaginative narrative which is also a disciplined example of the story-teller’s art.

    In an excellent introduction by Clive Barker—one of the masters of modern horror—the author distinguishes between two types of fantastic fiction: 1) the most common form, in which “a reality that resembles our own” is invaded by the fantastic, which is eventually “accommodated or exiled,” and 2) the less frequent form in which there is “no solid status quo, only a series of relative realities.” Barker suggests that this second variety—of which Poe is an acknowledged master—is the more interesting of the two, and poses a question: “is it perhaps freedom from critical and academic scrutiny that has made the medium of the comic book so rich an earth in which to nurture this second kind of fiction?” I answer “yes,” along with Mr. Barker, and believe Neil Gaiman’s “The Doll’s House” to be one of the finest exotic plants produced by this rich soil.

    The plot is based on the premise that occasionally a “dream vortex” is born who may unite the dreams of others into herself, becoming in the process a danger not only to our shared—and our separate—realities but even to the existence of the great Lord of Dreams. After a prologue, in which an old man of a desert aboriginal cultural tells a young initiate a story about the dire consequences of the love between Dream and the “dream-vortex” Queen Nada, we are introduced to New Jersey girl Rose Walker who is flying to England to meet her grandmother for the first time. During her week in London, and later, when she moves into her new rooming house, peopled with eccentrics, near her Florida campus, we begin to suspect that she may be one of those dream-vortices too, and we fear for her, and for our world also.

    My favorite things about this narrative were the folk-tale purity of the old man’s initiation story (“Tales in the Sand,” Prologue), the interlude which chronicles Dream’s periodic meetings with a man who cannot die (“Men of Good Fortune,” Part 4), and the exciting and surprising conclusion in which an endearing fat Englishman with a sword cane—who is called Gilbert and looks suspiciously like G.K. Chesterton—does his utmost to save Rose Walker from what seems an inevitable fate.

    This is a masterpiece of the genre. It is self-contained, and can be read with pleasure without knowing anything of the first volume. Then again, the first volume is very good too. Perhaps you should do what I am doing: start at the beginning, and read them all.

  • Bookdragon Sean

    Every time I try to write a review for a Sandman comic, it just sounds like an outpouring of positive emotions and generic statements about what makes a good story good. I literally love this series, and to try and review it in a conventional way is rather difficult. So instead I’m going to show you some images and do my best to explain why this comic is so incredible.

    Dream is a character, a concept and a force of nature. He is one of the defining pillars

    Every time I try to write a review for a Sandman comic, it just sounds like an outpouring of positive emotions and generic statements about what makes a good story good. I literally love this series, and to try and review it in a conventional way is rather difficult. So instead I’m going to show you some images and do my best to explain why this comic is so incredible.

    Dream is a character, a concept and a force of nature. He is one of the defining pillars of the human psyche, and this is his story. This is the story of how, after he was restored to his full power in Sandman volume one, he regains the control of the remainder of his weird minions that went rogue. And I say weird because his creations are very strange. He has created them from the dreamscape with the sole purpose of being a means of creating dreams for a human sleeper. They are ideals and entities both. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t read it, but in Gaiman’s world dreaming is a powerful tool. And the creatures involved are dangerous if not controlled properly by their lord and master.

    And this is one of the creatures in question. He was specifically designed to combat nightmares, to use fear against fear itself; however, in Morpheus’ absence he has been doing whatever he pleases. And what pleases him is eyes, eating them and biting them out with his own teeth-socket eyes. So Morpheus actual presence in his own realm is vital in controlling such evil things so he may do some good with them. Indeed, because what the Corinthian does here is inspire an entire generation of serial killers to go and collect the body parts of other humans.

    Now this image isn’t in this volume, I couldn’t find the scene online for this one, but it works nonetheless. Dream meets Shakespeare who is dreaming of becoming a wonderful playwright. He is in awe of Christopher Marlowe’s work, and wants to be able to write with the same degree of artistry. He makes a deal with Morpheus, a dream in exchange for something yet to be revealed. And for me this becomes one of the best things about this comic. It sits oddly at place with the real world. It’s almost like Gaiman has cleverly devised these characters that could actually exist. It may sound slightly irrational, but the point is the real world has been used to demonstrate that there are concepts and powers that will always be beyond human recognition. Despite advances in science, we will never be able to define such vague and ungraspable ideas such as emotions and dreams. Instead we have art, and in this case a comic, to attempt to express such things so eloquently.

    I feel ill-equipped to review this in such a way that demonstrates the sheer intelligence of this story. It’s like I’m trying to talk about a masterful piece of music, but I know nothing about the formalities of music so I can’t put my feelings into precise language. Perhaps that’s a poor allegory because I do know a fair bit about books and stories, though trying to capture how creative and innovative this is still rather difficult. All I can suggest is that you go read this series and see it for yourself.


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