The Sandman: Act II Audible Audiobook – Original recording
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.
Enter the Dreaming again as the blockbuster audio adaptation of “the greatest epic in the history of comic books” continues in The Sandman: Act II. James McAvoy returns to voice Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, in this sequel to the number-one New York Times audio best seller. Journey into a world of myths, imagination, and terror based on the best-selling DC comic books and graphic novels written by Neil Gaiman (returning as the Narrator), and lose yourself in another groundbreaking, immersive drama adapted and directed by the award-winning audio master Dirk Maggs.
In the absolutely packed Act II, the dark fantasy resumes and the Sandman expands into the French Revolution, ancient Rome, 19th-century San Francisco, eighth-century Baghdad, and beyond. New and familiar characters abound, voiced by a bright mix of performers, including Kat Dennings, Regé-Jean Page, Emma Corrin, Michael Sheen, Kristen Schaal, Brian Cox, John Lithgow, Jeffrey Wright, and so many more, including fan-favorite narrators Simon Vance and Ray Porter.
Just close your eyes and listen again as the greatest epic continues.
Act II of the audio series The Sandman adapts collected volumes four (Season of Mists) and five (A Game of You) of the comics in their entirety, and most of volume six (Fables & Reflections).
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|Listening Length||13 hours and 47 minutes|
|Author||Neil Gaiman, Dirk Maggs|
|Narrator||Neil Gaiman, James McAvoy, Emma Corrin, Brian Cox, Kat Dennings, John Lithgow, Bill Nighy|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||22 September 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 177 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
1 in Science Fiction Graphic Novels (Books)
6 in Dark Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
9 in Dark Fantasy (Books)
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I feel there was a definite step-up in quality with the second act of The Sandman Audio drama. The music is excellent and atmospheric. The tone and mood are perfect.
The plot mostly deals with Morpheus finally realizing he was wrong to leave his former lover in Hell. (Who would have thought?) and him going to Hell to rescue her only to find out Lucifer has quit and is shutting the place down. Lucifer leaves Morpheus the key to Hell and Morpheus is forced to deal with entities of myth and folklore all vying for the “Prime psychic real estate” that is Hell. After that there are several semi-stand alone short stories (most of which become important later or already are important and you just don’t realize it yet) and a story about roommates saving their friend from the perils of the very fantasy world she used to escape to as a child.
Some of the best moments include line deliveries such as Morpheus’s reaction to Lucifer saying he has quit. He sounds so delightfully baffled. You can really sense what he’s feeling and thinking through his line delivery. It’s kind of ironic that we were given an excuse against letting Morpheus have his black-void and star-flare eyes in The Sandman Netflix series that suggested it hindered his acting. It is ironic when the version of Morpheus we don’t even see on camera (the one played by the great James McAvoy) is able to act so well, perhaps better than characters he has actually played on camera, that there isn’t the slightest bit of difficulty to figure out what he’s thinking and feeling from line delivery alone. I don’t have enough words to praise how good James McAvoy’s portrayal of Morpheus truly is.
Morpheus scolding Shivering Jenny when she tried to intimidate him actually made me laugh out loud. It’s the delivery that made it.
The voices of Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland are heartbreaking because it makes you realize just how truly young and tragic they were. I actually get angry at Death in that story because I can’t fathom any justification for leaving poor Edwin in Hell even if he thought he would go there because he wasn’t a perfect kid or because of how he was killed. I just can’t accept it. But this is true to the original source material and no fault of the audio drama.
The Thermidor chapter is absolutely wonderful. Hearing Regé-Jean Page singing as Orpheus, in phoenetic Greek, is haunting and beautiful. It gave me chills. In the Parliament of Rooks chapter, The ‘Lil Endless are adorable and also hilarious. Though I was told in advance about it, hearing ‘lil Morpheus’s voice took me by surprise.
I love the voice of Eve. It’s strangely soothing. The casting here was, yet again, perfect.
What changes were made to A Game of You, I feel were positive and reasonable alterations. Wanda is still tragic and she still has to deal with a painful amount of transphobia from horrible people, including her own family. It’s too real and I know it hits close to home for a lot of people. A trans masculine friend of mine cried when he learned the Wanda story, not because he was offended, but because he was so moved and even comforted that Neil seemed to “get it” and he suddenly didn’t feel so alone with how his own family was treating him. He realized others went through it too and it made him feel a little better to know that.
I love the scoring in this audio drama, the music is very atmospheric. The whole thing is very immersive.
This audio book / audio drama is so wonderful that I want to listen to it again in the very near future but pace myself more slowly so that I may savor it now. I feel like I had rushed through it the first time.
All the flaws and faults I have with The Sandman: Act 2 are mostly nitpicks, some of which exist in the original comics such as loathing the logic in how Hell works or the idea that Hell is even necessary for Heaven- it’s really not. Duality isn’t always needed, nor necessary, though sometimes I wish The Sandman did have more of a duality theme such as allowing Daniel as Dream and Morpheus to co-exist but I digress.
Another nitpick is Wanda sounds quite a lot like she has a Long Island accent, which is strange since she’s supposed to be from Kansas, however, Wanda seemed to take pride in living in New York so she may have picked up the accent or fakes the accent so that is plausible.
My biggest nitpick is really quite petty. In a narration about Hell we’re told it was once called Tartarus. This is odd since in another story (Song of Orpheus) we know the God Hades is real and Tararus is a separate place entirely with a whole other mythology attached to it. Orpheus, for example, ends up in Elysium (Greek Heaven) and we see him there in The Sandman: The Wake but that’s not in Act 2 of the Audio drama.
I am still not that big of a fan of Kat Denning’s Death, probably because I already really liked the voice in the fan made motion comic of Sound of her wings up on youtube and Jamie Chung in the DC Showcase Death animated short (bonus feature on the Wonder Woman bloodlines Blu-Ray disc). But Kat Dennings plays the part well and likely is delivering the lines the way we are meant to hear them. Over-all I love The Sandman audio drama and its second act.
I hope more books are adapted as full-cast audio dramas with this much consideration and care with the casting, acting, sound effects, music, and atmosphere. This could be the next step in the evolution of storytelling.
Minor quibbles - the enclosed sticker art is exactly the same as what came with the first act, and the "beautifully crafted booklet" DOES NOT outline any of the episodes, as did the booklet with the first act. It's as if a number of pages are missing.
Luckily, I'm retired and looking for a new hobby - I'll just write my own episode guide. A great excuse to give it repeat listenings (as if I needed an excuse).