Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman

The Dream Hunters is the first book I have read this year that I would recommend that everyone should own a copy of. What a special book. It’s quite a beautiful tale told through the lustrous words of Neil Gaiman and the amazing oil paintings and charcoal sketches of Yoshitaka Amano. Both are among my favorite artists of today, Neil being one of my favorite authors and Amano my favorite artist.

The Dream Hunters is Neil’s version of a Japanese folk tale called The Fox, The Monk, and the Mikado of All Night’s Dreaming. It is the story of a solitary monk who tends a temple on the side of a mountain in Japan. One day, a fox and a badger decide to fool the monk into leaving the temple so that they may make it their home. Though they fail in doing so, the fox falls in love with the monk in trying and transforms into a woman.

While back in fox form, the fox one day over hears a group of demons speaking of plans for the monk’s death. The monk will have 3 dreams. In the first he will dream of a box, in the second, a key, and in the third, the key will open the box. When the box is opened, the monk will be caught in the world of dreams and will therefore starve and thirst to death leading to his death. The fox goes to the King of All Night’s Dreaming to try to help her monk.

This was one of my favorite Neil Gaiman work’s that I’ve read. The whole book was such a moving experience. The tale was beautiful. Neil was able to keep the feel of a traditional Japanese folk tale. Amano’s artwork never ceases to amaze me. There’s no artist like this man. So much emotion and detail captured in his paintings. Amano and Gaiman work together perfectly. As I mentioned earlier, I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this tale. It’s a fairly quick read at 126 pages and is a pleasure to read. This one pulls at the heart strings and paints a world that the reader can get lost in. Enjoy.

6 Responses

  1. For some reason I cannot quite understand, I have not yet read this one, even though, as you must have noticed by now, I LOVE Neil, and also Yoshitaka Amano. Your review is wonderful and it made me feel like ordering it this very minute.

    PS: I’ll answer the meme later on. You said your line is boring, but I’m afraid mine is much more so!

  2. Mmmmm, it is rather gorgeous. I may have to add this in as a bonus read for the challenge. *grin*

  3. I think this was the first Gaiman I ever bought, and it has remained as one of my favourites of his. I love the story and the artwork is fantastic.

  4. I look forward to picking this up one of these days as it is a must-have that I should have had long ago!

  5. Nymeth, I had this one sitting on my shelf for a long time and for some reason hadn’t read it. I’m so glad that I finally did! It was amazing. Beautiful story, beautiful artwork. A must read! Yeah, I wasn’t too happy with that meme. It’s really hard to land on a good line.

    Quix, Throw it in as a bonus! It’s a quick read, though it can take a long time when you get stuck staring at those images. And talk about your bookporn, this one has a foldout!!

    Fence, Don’t you just love it! It was so great. So glad I read it. I love your picture by the way. I miss Firefly…wish they’d bring it back…like that will ever happen.

    Carl, Yes, this is a must have!! Especially for you. Your a Gaiman lover and an art lover, this book screams “CARL!” hehe…

  6. One of the best stories ever written. Already owner of the book. Worth to have it and make the difference in comics-choice.

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