NPR Pop Culture Blog Picks Sandman Graphic Novel for Group Reading

The Sandman: Dream Country cover
The Sandman: Dream Country
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The NPR Monkey See popular culture blog has selected The Sandman: Dream Country as their next “I Will If You Will Book Club” reading selection. The online club encourages reading books one wouldn’t otherwise choose; the two previous selections were Twilight and Moby Dick, demonstrating quite a level of diversity.

I think this book is an excellent choice. It’s the third volume of one of the best-known modern graphic novel series, and this particular volume contains four short stories (without continuity issues, as confused the first book, or too much gore, which drenched the second).

  • “Calliope” is a horrific piece about a blocked writer who keeps his muse hostage, and what happens when she gains her freedom.
  • “A Dream of a Thousand Cats” is one of the best-known Sandman stories, surpassed only by …
  • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, in which Morpheus works with Shakespeare. This was the story that won the World Fantasy Award, a first for a comic.
  • “Façade” is the heart-breaking story of Element Girl, a forgotten superhero, and her desire for peace. (It doesn’t feature Dream, but instead his sister, Death.)

I do find it odd that the book is referred to several times as “Neil Gaiman’s”. He wrote it, yes, and it’s based on his reputation that the series continues to be a modern classic, but shouldn’t the artists — Kelley Jones, Charles Vess, Colleen Doran, and Malcolm Jones, III — rate a mention? Perhaps that’s a valuable direction for future discussion to take. Many book clubs that take up comics approach them from a story/text direction, and educating readers on the value and use of art within a graphic novel can be eye-opening.

2 Responses to “NPR Pop Culture Blog Picks Sandman Graphic Novel for Group Reading”

  1. Basque Says:

    Let’s hope people are more receptive to it than the Canada Reads panelists were to Jeff Lemire’s brilliant book, Essex County. :/

  2. Johanna Says:

    This is a self-selecting group, so it hopefully won’t have that issue. Some seem to be expressing some concern about trying comics, but it sounds to me like tentative open-mindedness.




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