The Dream Country contains 4 stand alone stories and Morpheus is mentioned only as a side character in A Midsummer Night's Dream, which won The World Fantasy Award.
Even though that story won a big award, it was not my favorite in the collection- I much preferred both Calliope and Facade. In Calliope, a man discovers and abuses his muse and in Facade we learn a lot about the faces we wear and the sister of Morpheus, Death, plays a role. How can an immortal commit suicide? If Death doesn't know, who does?
The second story, A Dream of a Thousand Cats was unique, but also brought with it the theme that Gaiman brings up in American Gods-how much do our beliefs shape the world around us? How is reality altered by our dreams and beliefs? On top of that, there's lots of cool cats. What's not to like?
The artwork in this volume was evocative-especially in Calliope. At the end of this volume, a script of Calliope was included-which was a cool peek behind how Neil Gaiman and the artists put an issue together. I didn't realize how much control over the panels the author had-for some reason I thought the author focused on the story only and then the artist's created their own versions of the author's vision, but that's not the case here. I learned a lot by perusing the script.
Overall, I didn't like the artwork in this volume as much as I did in The Doll's House, (volume 2.) However, I think the stories in this volume were just as good, if not better than that issue. So I hemmed and hawed and came up with a 4 star rating. I might up it to 4.5 over the next day or so as I reflect on these excellent tales.
Highly recommended for fans of Neil Gaiman, especially fans of American Gods!
*A big thanks goes out to my local library, as I couldn't afford to buy all of these issues right now. They kindly sent copies from around my state to my local branch and I think that's super cool.*