The Sandmanby Neil Gaiman
Well, as far as I can follow, Doll's House has two stories that stand alone, and others that tie into previous Sandman volumes and follow a common theme. These are about a girl Rose Walker whose mother was born to a woman unaware of her existence because she was a victim of the "sleepy sickness" (told of in Preludes and Nocturnes) and Rose herself, though she doesn't know it- is a dream vortex. Some parts are a muddle to me, but what's clear is that Rose ends up living in a tenement house with some very strange fellow tenants in the other rooms. In one storyline she's trying to find her brother who's disappeared, and in another the hotel she's in (while searching for her brother) gets turned over to a convention for serial killers (very bizarre, but also humorous in a dark way). Rose isn't aware of her powers, but she starts warping the dreams of those around her, dissolving the borders between dreams and reality and of course Sandman himself has to step in and set things right.
The other two stories I liked better. "Tales in the Sand" is of a woman named Nada, a queen of ancient times who was wooed by the Dream King. After discovering his true identity and that to be with him she'd have to enter his realm, she spurns him and in a rage he condemns her to Hell. The other story "Men of Good Fortune" was my favorite. Morpheus (the Dream Lord) visits a tavern in medieval times and hears a man Hobb proclaiming that he never intends to die. Amused, Dream grants the man his wish, and arranges to meet him once every century from that time forward. The story shows their meetings throughout several ages. It was interesting to see how Morpheus' attire and hairstyle changed to fit the different times, but he was still recognizably himself. Overall I found the stories in this volume a bit more intriguing, if sometimes also disturbing.
rating: 3/5 ........ 232 pages, 1989 ........ find it at Powell's Books or on Amazon
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