I’ve really been enjoying Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novel series, and this installment was no different. While the narrative did not necessarily build on the previous saga, I did enjoy the episodic tales told throughout this collection. I think that Gaiman is a master storyteller, and his short episodes help build up the nature and character of Morpheus/Dream.
This time, Dream Country sees Dream in a series of seemingly unrelated stories that are each fascinating, frustrating, or horrifying. “Calliope” follows frustrated writer Richard Madoc who strikes up a deal in order to gain story inspiration. He purchases captive muse Calliope, who pleads for mercy and release, to no avail. Her only hope is Dream, who remembers when he too was captive for a long time. And he does not remember his imprisonment fondly. Then there’s “A Dream of a Thousand Cats,” in which we see Dream’s cat-incarnation. But I have to say that “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was my FAVORITE episode of this entire series so far. It’s no secret that I’m an English classics nerd, and I *love* Shakespeare almost as much as Jane Austen. So reading Gaiman’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream filled me with geeky joy in unspeakable ways. Finally, “Façade” shows not Dream but Death in an unrelated episode. It’s an odd interlude, but it shows me the way that Death works in the world. I wonder if this will become more significant in Death-focused serials or spinoffs (there was a spinoff, right?).
Gaiman brings us glimpses of Dream’s personality through each of these stories, and they made me excited for the next serial. That’s a sign that I definitely need to keep reading the series!