The Sandman, Vol. 3: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a fairly short volume, but each story is tight and delightful. This is where I remember the Sandman comics coming into its own, and Morpheus himself hardly had any role in them. It's all about stories. Stories about stories. Of course, I can make the same argument about the entire run of the series, but like I said, this is where it comes into its own.
A kidnapped muse gets freed by her old lover. A cat's dreaming of a new and free world. What the Fae court really felt about A Midsummer Night's Dream. A world of masks.
None of these short descriptions really do any of it justice. Dream gets revenge on an artist that rapes Calliope for his success, and the revenge is so damn sweet it bears repeating a thousand times. You want ideas? I'll give you ideas... muahahaha... :) The cat's dream was of overturning the rule of man, while remembering that cats once DID rule man, but man dreamt of a new world with more of it's kind and changed the nature of reality. Can't cats bring themselves to reverse reality in the same way? It brings a whole new spin on the adage, "To herd cats."
But it was the story about the Shakespearian production that takes the cake. Dream invites the entire Fae court to watch Will and his entire cast of players in a private production of the famous play, becoming a dream within a dream within a dream in a real sense, and because Puck, well, shenanigans ensue. There was sadness and longing, and it was nearly, but not quite, 4th walled. I think this one was my favourite.
The mythbuilding is truly great stuff. :)
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