The Sandman
Please note: This content is not for kids. It is for mature audiences only. Just like the original graphic novels, this audio adaptation contains explicit language and graphic violence, as well as strong sexual content and themes. Discretion is advised. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times Magazine as “the greatest epic in the history of comic books”, The Sandman changed the game with its dark, literary world of fantasy and horror - creating a global, cultural phenomenon in the process. At long last, Audible and DC present the first-ever audio production of the New York Times best-selling series written by acclaimed storyteller Neil Gaiman (who also serves as co-executive producer). Adapted and directed by multi-award-winner (and frequent Gaiman collaborator) Dirk Maggs, and performed by an ensemble cast with James McAvoy (It, Parts One and Two, X-Men: First Class, Split) in the title role, this first installment of a multi-part original audio series will transport you to a world that re-writes the rules of audio entertainment the way that The Sandman originally re-defined the graphic novel. When The Sandman, also known as Lord Morpheus - the immortal king of dreams, stories and the imagination - is pulled from his realm and imprisoned on Earth by a nefarious cult, he languishes for decades before finally escaping. Once free, he must retrieve the three “tools” that will restore his power and help him to rebuild his dominion, which has deteriorated in his absence. As the multi-threaded story unspools, The Sandman descends into Hell to confront Lucifer (Michael Sheen), chases rogue nightmares who have escaped his realm, and crosses paths with an array of characters from DC comic books, ancient myths, and real-world history, including: Inmates of Gotham City's Arkham Asylum, Doctor Destiny, the muse Calliope, the three Fates, William Shakespeare (Arthur Darvill), and many more. A powerhouse supporting cast helps translate this masterwork into a sonic experience worthy of its legacy, including Riz Ahmed, Kat Dennings, Taron Egerton, Samantha Morton, Bebe Neuwirth, Andy Serkis, and more. Setting the stage for their performance is an unprecedented cinematic soundscape featuring an original musical score by British Academy Award winner James Hannigan. Fans will especially revel in a new twist for the audio adaptation: Neil Gaiman himself serves as the narrator. Follow him as he leads listeners along a winding path of myths, imagination and, often, terror. Even in your wildest dreams, you’ve never heard anything like this.

The Sandman Details

TitleThe Sandman
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 15th, 2020
PublisherAudible
Rating
GenreFantasy, Audiobook, Horror

The Sandman Review

  • Dawn C
    January 1, 1970
    Uuuuggg, four or five stars? How to judge! This masterfully rewritten, directed and crafted full cast audio version of the first Sandman comics (I’ve lent my first four to a friend so I can’t actually check if it’s two or three books) is so well done productionwise that it earns it five stars right there.My reason for wanting to rate it four stars is that it doesn’t reach the brilliance of the actual comics. My main and personal complaint is all the dramatic, descriptive music, but such is this Uuuuggg, four or five stars? How to judge! This masterfully rewritten, directed and crafted full cast audio version of the first Sandman comics (I’ve lent my first four to a friend so I can’t actually check if it’s two or three books) is so well done productionwise that it earns it five stars right there.My reason for wanting to rate it four stars is that it doesn’t reach the brilliance of the actual comics. My main and personal complaint is all the dramatic, descriptive music, but such is this media I suppose. Reading the comics was a much calmer, and preferable experience, imo, where I was able to dwell on pages and images and facial expressions and let that move me. I couldn’t really be moved in that way here, with this dramatized reading. I did laugh out loud a few times, though, especially Taron Egerton’s Constantine was all kinds of lovable. The whole cast is brilliant for sure.I’d always recommend the comics first and foremost, they’re a far more emotive, reflecting and wholesome experience, but as a whole the transference from comic to audio could not possibly have been better, so I have to grant it those five stars. Well done to everyone involved, and I look forward to the next part.
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  • Tony
    January 1, 1970
    There are simply not enough adjectives to describe how fantastic this is.I hope more are coming.
  • Soo
    January 1, 1970
    07/17/2020 Mini-Review:5 Stars for Narration by Cast4.5 Stars for Audio Production (One of the best balance of sound effects & narration.)4 Stars for Adaptation4.5 Stars for Concepts & World (Bizarre in the best ways.)3.5 Stars for Plot ProgressContains: Preludes & Nocturnes - The Doll's House - Dream CountryI never made it to the end of reading the Sandman comics. It's not due to the story. It's more about the art. I have to enjoy the art and story in comics. While all of the artists are talent 07/17/2020 Mini-Review:5 Stars for Narration by Cast4.5 Stars for Audio Production (One of the best balance of sound effects & narration.)4 Stars for Adaptation4.5 Stars for Concepts & World (Bizarre in the best ways.)3.5 Stars for Plot ProgressContains: Preludes & Nocturnes - The Doll's House - Dream CountryI never made it to the end of reading the Sandman comics. It's not due to the story. It's more about the art. I have to enjoy the art and story in comics. While all of the artists are talented, the drawing styles didn't always vibe with what I enjoy or my image of the story. I'm very excited about this adaptation and I hope the whole series will be produced!- DC Universe: I had forgotten about this and it was cool to learn about again. - I could get lost in the backstories of all of the characters. - John Constantine's narrator was the oddest one for me to hear. It didn't quite fit the character in my head. - Rose Walker arc was my fav in this selection.Author - Neil GaimanAdaptation Author - Dirk MaggsFeatured Cast: Neil Gaiman - NarratorRiz Ahmed - Corinthian Kat Dennings - DeathTaron Egerton - John Constantine James McAvoy - MorpheusSamantha Morton - Urania BlackwellBebe Neuwirth - Siamese CatAndy Serkis - Matthew the Raven Michael Sheen - LuciferJustin Vivian Bond - DesireArthur Darvill - William ShakespeareWilliam Hope - Doctor DestinyMathew Horne - Hob GadlingReginald D. Hunter - J'onn J'onzzSue Johnston - Unity KinkaidPaterson Joseph - Demon ChoronzonJosie Lawrence - Mad HettieAnton Lesser - Doctor John HathawayJoanna Lumley - Lady Johanna ConstantineMiriam Margolyes - DespairPlus a bunch of other talented narrators. =)
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  • Thomas Johnstone
    January 1, 1970
    This for me is a rebirth of audio dramas! I didn't really like it before (audio dramas that is) bout this one was done perfectly! And the story is amazing:)!
  • Sookie
    January 1, 1970
    Episodes 1&2: McAvoy is just lovely as Morpheus. Adaptation has been captivating so far. Familiarity with comics is just an element of nostalgia adding to the experience. I don't think having previous knowledge is really necessary to enjoy this story. Though I do wonder how a new listener finds this story. This is recorded with a full cast with compelling background score and sound effects to complement the experience.Episodes 3&4: Its never only a dream. As the saga continues, new characters ar Episodes 1&2: McAvoy is just lovely as Morpheus. Adaptation has been captivating so far. Familiarity with comics is just an element of nostalgia adding to the experience. I don't think having previous knowledge is really necessary to enjoy this story. Though I do wonder how a new listener finds this story. This is recorded with a full cast with compelling background score and sound effects to complement the experience.Episodes 3&4: Its never only a dream. As the saga continues, new characters are introduced and I was wondering how Micheal Sheen would play Lucifer. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. From meeting Constantine (its constan-TYNE, not TEEN) to going to hell, our hero finds hope (!). (view spoiler)[Morpheus meeting Nada in hell garners an emotional response in him and McAvoy nails it. It echoes what fates told him earlier when he asked them questions; that his doom is near. Punishing Nada, is the first of the decisions he comes to repent and this guilt is one of the biggest catalysts for what's about to come. (hide spoiler)] And the battle of wits between Morpheus and a demon, in a club named "hell fire club", somewhere deep in hell. Just glorious.Episodes 5&6: its quite chilling to listen to everything that happens in 24 hours. reading was an experience in itself but hearing people in this story was something else. Morpheus retrieves his missing ruby after getting some hints about its presence by members of JLA.Episodes 7&8: sound of her wings, is my most awaited listen. i have read it multiple times and this is the moment when Dream becomes a grounded character (in the comics) and its during this time he spends with his sister. and to hear them talk, the sound of her wings, was utter satisfaction. His hesitation and the eternal broodiness, her joyous attitude came through exactly how I had pictured and it was complete fun listen. Kat Dennings is well cast as Death. (I can't wait for her future appearances, especially during Kindly Ones.)Episodes 9&10: Oh yeah, Dream was a giant dick back in the day. he was a cruel bastard to Nada, never understood why she felt the way she did and said "my way of high way". And, he makes a friend or rather accepts that he has one.Episodes 11&12: We start new volume, and the story actually begins. Dream starts to organize his world and sees what's missing. Storm is brewing, doom impending as foretold long time ago, in the world of mortals and Corinthians - a thing of the nightmare appears. Old characters are reunited with new ones and some old ones are reunited with their...friends? inhabitants?Episodes 13&14:
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I am giving this audiobook production 4.5 and rounding up to five stars. I have been wanting to read The Sandman comics for an age but when I saw they were being adapted into an audio production I decided to wait. I have to admit it paid off because I highly enjoyed the production. The voice acting, the music, the sound effects it was all spot on for the making the comic come to life. I was horrified, I teared up, and I laughed. I couldn’t put it down. I listened to it all in a day. It follows t I am giving this audiobook production 4.5 and rounding up to five stars. I have been wanting to read The Sandman comics for an age but when I saw they were being adapted into an audio production I decided to wait. I have to admit it paid off because I highly enjoyed the production. The voice acting, the music, the sound effects it was all spot on for the making the comic come to life. I was horrified, I teared up, and I laughed. I couldn’t put it down. I listened to it all in a day. It follows the first three volumes of the comic pretty faithfully you could even read along if you wanted a visual to go with the audio. I admit I will probably listen to this again but that is because I could listen to Neil Gaiman read the phone book and James McAvoy is not half bad, ;) , as Lord Morpheus either. I do warn this is fantasy horror and it is graphic.
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  • Michael Cook
    January 1, 1970
    Making an audio adaptation of The Sandman seems like a great idea. There's a lot of ways to convey fantasy settings using just sound and it feels like the perfect medium for The Sandman. I mean, it's a series about the power of stories and what better way to experience the story than to close your eyes and let the sounds wash over you, right? And, in all honesty, that's basically what Audible's adaptation of The Sandman is - though, I'd argue it skews a bit closer to an audiobook than a true aud Making an audio adaptation of The Sandman seems like a great idea. There's a lot of ways to convey fantasy settings using just sound and it feels like the perfect medium for The Sandman. I mean, it's a series about the power of stories and what better way to experience the story than to close your eyes and let the sounds wash over you, right? And, in all honesty, that's basically what Audible's adaptation of The Sandman is - though, I'd argue it skews a bit closer to an audiobook than a true audio drama, but for most people, that'll be just fine. For me, I enjoyed the adaptation but I wish it embraced the power of audio dramas a bit more than it does and relied less on narration to explain the "missing" visuals.I love audio dramas and I loved most of Audible's adaptation of The Sandman. It's a very faithful adaptation of the first twenty issues of the comic, covering the first three arcs of the series. If you’ve read the comics, you already know the plots of them, so I don’t feel the need to recap/critique them here. Especially since this adaptation is an almost word-for-word translation, with the bulk of the dialogue and narration coming directly from the comics and only a few tweaks made here and there (like using they/them/their pronouns for Desire instead of the comic's "it"). Everything that happens in the comics happens in this adaptation, pretty much exactly how you remember it. And it’s impressive how well most of the plot translates to an audio-only medium. The plot has always been complex, and it remains so here - possibly to the detriment of listeners unfamiliar with the comics. But as a fan of the comics, it’s wonderful to have such a well-produced, faithful adaptation of a series I love - especially in light of how unfaithful comic adaptations frequently are.This faithfulness is a double-edged sword, though. It's always a joy to have an adaptation that skews so closely to the source material, but sometimes you just want an adaptation to actually… adapt the story in a way that best serves the new medium. And that's where The Sandman struggles a bit. Comics are tricky to adapt because so much of the experience is tied with the visuals of the comic, so there is always a temptation to try to capture as much of the visuals as possible. But that's not really what audio dramas are good at. They work best when they are given the room to kind of be ambiguous about the visuals of a scene, instead, allowing listeners to create their own visual landscape based on what's being heard. The Sandman rarely allows that to happen. The Sandman relies a lot on narration (performed by Gaiman, himself) that explains much of the visual information. The narration is partially sourced from the narration captions found in the comic and from Gaiman’s original scripts, where he’d describe the visuals to the various artists so they could subsequently illustrate them.Now, to be fair, there’s nothing inherently wrong with having narration in an audio drama, it’s just that almost every time it happened in The Sandman, it felt like it wasn’t wholly necessary. There are times where it works very well, but the vast majority of the time narration was used, I felt as though I’d have rather had that information left up to my imagination. It’s most often used to describe something visually - how a character or location looks. And, honestly, in an audio drama, that stuff just doesn’t matter. I don’t care what Morpheus looks like; I care about what he’s doing. I understand why one might want to include such descriptions - the artwork of The Sandman is as iconic as, if not more iconic than, Gaiman’s script work is. And in adapting the comic, one might want to retain as much of it as humanly possible. But, for me, the narration proved distracting and unneeded more often than it proved necessary. It frequently felt more like an audiobook than an audio drama, which is a pretty pedantic distinction, in all honesty, but one worth mentioning. I found myself wishing The Sandman was allowed to be more of an audio drama, letting the sound effects and dialogue do all of the describing instead of relying on narration to fill in the visual gaps. But your mileage may vary.That being said, Audible's The Sandman is still a very enjoyable experience. It's an utter joy hearing these characters finally come to life, and almost all the cast are perfectly cast (except for Kat Dennings as Death, whose performance never quite clicked for me). James McAvoy is exactly as good as you want him to be, bringing a great balance of mystery and power to his Morpheus. He shows great range throughout the twenty episodes, going from weak to powerful to somewhere in between. You completely buy the idea that he is the lord of the Dreaming. It’s that good of a performance. Equally good are Michael Sheen as Lucifer (doing his best David Bowie impersonation), Taron Edgerton as John Constantine, Shey Greyson as Rose Walker, Riz Ahmed as The Corinthian (being entirely unsettling), Bebe Neuwirth as the Siamese Cat, and Samantha Morton as Urania Blackwell, and Arthur Darvill as Shakespeare. But all of the cast do excellent jobs, especially those who don’t have a lot of material with which to stand out.Equally, if not more impressive, is The Sandman’s sound design and score. Dirk Maggs’ extensive experience creating audio dramas is on full display in his directing and sound design for The Sandman. He creates an entire world with sound effects and excellent mixing and it’s beyond impressive. Everything from the “sound of [Death’s] wings” to the atmosphere of realms like the Dreaming and Hell to a bunch of fairies watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream sound fully realized and instantly immersive. There is so much detail caked into the soundscape of The Sandman that you will pick up on new things each time you listen to an episode. Then there’s the truly cinematic score from James Hannigan that rivals a Hollywood film. Hannigan understands the weight and atmosphere of The Sandman universe and his score highlights the operatic tendencies in Gaiman’s narrative. These two elements combine to create one of the best-sounding audio dramas in years.At the end of the day, I really enjoyed Audible’s adaptation of The Sandman. It skews a bit closer to an audiobook than an audio drama for my tastes, but it’s a great listen. The vast majority of the performances are excellent, with everyone breathing life into their characters and making them feel as dynamic as they look in the comics. Equally great is Dirk Maggs’ atmospheric sound design and James Hannigan's gorgeous score, both of which greatly elevate the entire production into something truly special. I’d love to see future installments in the series rely a bit more on Maggs’ and Hannigan’s talents and less on narration from Gaiman, allowing them the opportunity to tell as much of the story as possible through straight dialogue and sound design, but still. The Sandman is a great listen, though I’m not entirely sure how accessible it will be to those completely unfamiliar with the comics. I’d say it’s well worth a shot, though, especially if you enjoy audio dramas.
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  • Jesse Baggs
    January 1, 1970
    Admittedly, I barely started this audible adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” graphic novels. I’m a huge fan of both the author and the comics, but when bombastic orchestral music played over the introduction, I suspected that this might not be my sort of thing. I kept listening, however, hoping for the best, but when the story began and the music kept hammering home that things were supposed to be *creepy* and *mysterious*, I had to stop.
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  • Jocelyn
    January 1, 1970
    I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time. It was wonderful. I could see every scene clearly in my head. It was like the weirdest dream sequence ever. The cast was fantastic, especially Michael Sheen (who I wish I could have heard more of) and Kat Dennings who is just straight up Death herself which I mean as a compliment. James McAvoy... Words cannot express how great he was. Listen to his book. Just do yourself a favor and listen. You will be delighted- I guarantee it.
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  • Camilla Hjertø
    January 1, 1970
    I know these stories so well, but I still wasn’t prepared for how horrifyingly brutal some of them would seem in this format. That was also part of what made it so good, though. This audiobook grabbed my heart, squeezed it and it was all so, so well written and narrated! I’m so glad I found this.
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  • Jon Curme
    January 1, 1970
    quite good and I look forward to, hopefully, future parts to complete the story. as many have noted it is an extremely faithful adaptation of the original three collections of The Sandman, though I did notice a small handful of clarifications that I did not remember from the last time I read through The Sandman trades I have.
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  • Alexander Keith
    January 1, 1970
    I haven't gotten into the Sandman Comics before because the art was a little off for me. But this is a beautifully macabre story. Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, true love, miracles all the staples of an excellent story in my opinion.
  • Marie Maltby
    January 1, 1970
    Loving it so far.
  • Paul Nasca
    January 1, 1970
    Created the term "graphic novel" instead of comic book so it could receive awards? Yea it's that good.
  • T. L. Jacobson
    January 1, 1970
    McAvoy as Morpheus is brilliant! As always, Gaiman as narrator is svelte and hypnotic. Absolutely superb production!
  • Aurelija Skucaite
    January 1, 1970
    Įrašo kokybė aukščiausios klasės. Tik norėjosi kad būtų įgarsinta daugiau serijos dalių. Iš komikso originalių 75-ių įrašytos tik 20. Vienintelis minusas.
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