The seventh book in the Sandman library. It was, as the others, written by Neil Gaiman. It was illustrated by Jill Thompson and Vince Locke.

This graphic novel* tells of how the anthropomorphic personifications of Dream and Delerium quest after their prodigal brother, Destruction, who left his office a few hundred years ago. They venture into the waking world in order to locate him, taking the sensible path of asking his former associates about his whereabouts. They discover, however, that Destruction doesn't particularly want to be found, and that there are some nasty traps and machinations that would prevent them from completing their quest.

Brief Lives is one of the more amusing and perhaps self contained Sandman series (although there are many plot threads in it that tie most directly, and, sometimes, subtly into the big picture, as with most of Neil Gaiman's work on Sandman).

*This is not a graphic novel in the collection-of-several-X-Men-comics sense, but rather in a very literal way. As with all of Sandman, it is extremely literary; in many regards, it truly has the depth of a real, and, more importantly, good and deep novel.