The Sandman: The Doll’s House

By Neil Gaiman

Illustrators: Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Chris Bachalo, Michael Zulli, & Steve Parkhouse, illustrators; Todd Klein & John Costanza, letterers; Robbie Busch, colorist; Dave McKean, covers  and design

Place: Publisher & Year: New York, NY : DC Comics, 1995

Genres: Fantasy, dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, mythic fiction, adventure, horror

Format: Graphic novel

Series: The Sandman series; 2

ISBN: 9780930289591

Intended audience: adult

Number of pages: 232

Settings: Various dream worlds and locations in the US and England, including a convention for serial killers.

Time period: 1989

Plot Summary: Following a delightful introduction by Clive Barker, the reader is reminded or learns for the first time (through text) what occurred in the previous story.

After regaining his powers and realm after more than seventy years have passed, Morpheus has his servant, Matthew, take a census of the dream realms and discover a handful of missing entities – some of which should not be free to roam.  Morpheus also becomes aware of the first vortex of the era – a young woman named Rose Walker.  Morpheus has Matthew watch Rose, as she poses a great danger to the dreaming realms. As Morpheus seeks his other missing servants, he finds his path intertwined with Rose’s and her family’s.  He also must deal with members of his own immortal family.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Fast moving sets of interconnected stories, which complete this story, but leave one wondering about future interconnected stories.

Characterization: Told in both third and first person viewpoints; Morpheus’ thoughts and speech are outlined in black.  Two of Morpheus’ treacherous family members are introduced in this story: Desire and Despair.  We also learn more of Nada (who is very briefly introduced in Preludes and Nocturnes in the chapter where Morpheus seeks his helmet in Hell) and her relationship with Morpheus.  Rose is linked to one of John Dee’s victims in Preludes and Nocturnes, as well.

Frame: The same darkly colorful dreamscapes and city scenes found in Preludes and Nocturnes are found in The Doll’s House.

Story Line: The story uses dolls and the doll house as a metaphor in questioning the mortal/ immortal relationship.  This is a moving tale in which readers learn more of Morpheus’ family, responsibilities, and heartaches.

Subject Headings:

From PCPL:

Fantasy comic books, strips, etc.
Horror comic books, strips, etc.
Dreams — Comic books, strips, etc.
Graphic novels

Similar authors:

From NoveList:
Robin Mckinley, Terry Pratchet, Christopher Moore,Stephen King,  Kurt Vonnegut, Charles De Lint, Alan Moore

Personal notes: [Annotated 12/1/08]

Other notes: Introduced by Clive Barker

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