“Dream Country” by Neil Gaiman, et al

I re-read Dream Country, collection of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series along with Glen and Linda at NPR’s Monkey See blog. I’d never thought that this volume, the series’ third, would be a good entry into Sandman for newbies, but many commenters say it is. And after this most recent re-reading, I can see why. This book contains four short stories: Calliope, A Dream of a Thousand Cats, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Facade, illustrated by three different artists. Each brings his/her different look to the quite different stories, which include an artist’s relationship to his muse, a cat seeking justice, a surreal pastiche of fiction and reality around a play performance, and an obscure character exhumed from DC Comics’ archives who briefly gets her own spotlight.

If you haven’t read Sandman, check out Glen’s primer, and try this volume out. This is especially true if you tried volume 1, Preludes and Nocturnes, and gave up. Gaiman and his crew readily admit the series got off to a wobbly start, and they didn’t find their stride till several issues in. Jumping in on Dream Country gives a good idea of the mix of literature, myth and horror that Gaiman and the artists brewed up. It’s heady stuff, and this is a good way to see if it might be for you.

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