Sandman : Brief Lives Volume 7 Paperback
by Neil Gaiman
Written by NEIL GAIMAN Art by JILL THOMPSON and VINCE LOCKE Cover by DAVE MCKEAN Dream's loopy sister, Delirium, convinces him to go on a quest for their missing brother, Destruction, in this new edition of the classic title collecting THE SANDMAN # 41-49.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 168 pages, colour illustrations
- Publisher: DC Comics
- Publication Date: 07/12/2011
- Category: Fantasy
- ISBN: 9781401232634
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.
Review by GingerbreadMan
Some three hundred years ago, Destruction of the Endless decided to leave his realm. Since then, humanity has unknowingly been in charge of their own destruction/construction (and doing just fine with it), and the rest of the family has respected his wishes of privacy. Now however, the loony kid sister Delirium has got it in her head that finding him might make everything better. After asking several of her siblings she comes to Dream, even though he scares her a bit. And Dream, presently spending his time getting over another ended love story by standing in the rain a lot, accepts to join her on her quest to find Destruction as a way of getting his mind off things. He has no intention of actually finding their lost brother. But in the end, not only does he do so, but has to make some rather crucial choices in the process.This is my favorite of the whole series, I think. The pieces regarding the Endless as a dysfunctional metafamily really start to fall into place and I revel in getting to know more of the other siblings’ realms and personalities. Despair, so tender in her quietly brutal way, is a big favorite of mine. But what really makes this book special is the dynamic between pompous, stern Dream and his sister Delirium. She’s floopy and corny and funny, but underneath it all so broken and dark, it just breaks your heart. And while the artwork is fine throughout this book, it’s really in the rendition of Delirium that Jill Thompson excels, giving her a body language and an everchanging look that really helps define this character. The quest is also full of Gaiman’s special brand of urban fantasy: Ishtar in a strip joint, a weird glimpse of Sami mythology, the ongoing fate of Orpheus and the late days of Egyptian Cat goddess Bast. My favorite part of this whole book is probably the beginning of chapter three, where Gaiman tilts the world and gives us a backdoor perspective on a miracle by saying that there are ”no more than about seventy people left on earth who still remember the dinosaurs”. He also intoduces a few more lovely characters to the large cast of this series – Barnabas the dog and Merv the bigmouthed pumpkin most notably. This is a perfect blend of adventure, violence (quite a bit of it in this one, mostly in text though), humor, myth and philosophy. And without stressing it at all, this volume is central to the overall arc of the series in a way that won’t be apparent until volume ten is finished. (How sneaky is that one panel flash forward!?) I haven’t used the word masterpiece yet in my reread of these books. I will now.
Review by DeltaQueen50
I know I am sounding like a broken record as I read through this series, raving as I do after each one, but truly, The Sandman Vol 7: Brief Lives is something special. The book tells one story, and what a story. This is a comprehensive look at the dysfunctional family of the Endless as youngest sister, Delirium, approaches her siblings to find someone to accompany her in a search for their missing brother, Destruction. This brother opted to drop out of the family and his responsibilities over 300 years ago. Dream is the only sibling to agree to accompany her. He goes not because he wants to find Destruction, but simply to take his mind off a failed love affair. My chief delight in this book was the character of Delirium. She brought to mind a hyper-active three year old with every thought that goes through her head popping out of her mouth. She is charming, humorous and I imagine rather tiring to be around after a while. And although her thoughts are scattered and seemingly random, every now and again she utters a simple truth with clarity and depth. She was the perfect foil to Dream with her spontaneity and child like wonder against his controlled quietness.From rundown strip clubs to ancient Greek temples, this story carries you along and all the while you are absorbing Gaiman’s philosophy on life, change and the gods that we hold above all. I have noticed in his work a recurring theme on these patterns of life and what happens to gods when they are no longer needed. Is immortality actually for forever or does it fade in the wake of non-belief.The Sandman Vol. 7: Brief Lives is quite simply a masterpiece and I can’t even begin to imagine what will follow. But I definitely have my fingers crossed for more Delirium and more Barnabas, another favorite character from this volume.
Review by AaronPt
'Brief Lives' has the most straightforward plot of any volume in the Sandman series so far. It is essentially a road trip story with Dream and Delirium travelling together in search of their estranged brother. Its simplicity makes it engaging and very readable. We spend less time exploring the myths and dreams of others and more exploring the mythos of the Sandman universe. Yet for all that, Gaiman still revels in the tangents and twists in the story. There are still the usual fascinating incidental characters who turn out in the end to be not as throwaway as they first seem. The focus is largely on what I imagine the majority of the Sandman's readers had been crying out for, more of The Endless. I was certainly delighted to spend more time with Dream's family, and was surprisingly attached to Delirium by the end of the volume.In keeping with the more straightforward story, we return to a single team of artists in this volume. The artwork in this volume is stunning and there are pages that are absolutely breathtaking. The book as a whole is beautiful and life-affirming, and is one of the best additions to the series.
Review by Xirxe
It is the first Sandman series in which the Endless play the main role. Delirium, Dreams sister, longs for her brother Destruction, who has left the family of the Endless 300 years ago - no one knows where he is. After Desire and Despair refused helping delirium in her search, she turns to Dream, who will surprisingly stand by her. However due to selfish reasons: Just left from his beloved, he is hoping to think of other things and maybe, in secrete, to meet her once again ...<br/>I have to admit, that this Sandman series left me behind with mixed feelings. On the one hand it is a story that is unique to sense and serious thoughts about the uniqueness and finality of life in this form, on the other hand there are so many references to previous volumes, that I am constantly asked myself, what was happening before, who are these persons, don’t I know them, etc. Unfortunately, between my readings of each book there are longer periods and not all is still present, so I think my reading experience was significantly diminished. Otherwise, the drawings are awesome as always, with some of them are almost be described as paintings.<br/>All in all, great reading material, but if possible, just read it in conjunction with the preceding books. And I, I have to read it again ;-)
Review by BooksForDinner
I don't ever want to see Delirium go off on a non-sensical tangent while Dream calmly looks on again. That's enough of that.Fun though, Morpheus matures a bit, we find out about Destruction finally. Keeps me interested enough to continue with the series, but these last couple seem not as stellar as the earlier ones. Still good.