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1. The Graveyard Book
2. InterWorld
3. Neverwhere: A Novel
4. Instructions
5. Anansi Boys
6. Fragile Things: Short Fictions
7. American Gods: A Novel
8. Stardust
9. Violent Cases
10. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate
11. The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes &
12. M Is for Magic
13. Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions
14. The Facts In The Case Of The Departure
15. The Dangerous Alphabet
16. Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds
17. Odd and the Frost Giants
18. Stories: All-New Tales
19. Selections from Fragile Things,
20. The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's

1. The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
Paperback: 336 Pages (2010-08-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060530944
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

It takes a graveyard to raise a child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family.

Amazon.com Review
In The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman has created a charming allegory of childhood. Although the book opens with a scary scene--a family is stabbed to death by "a man named Jack” --the story quickly moves into more child-friendly storytelling.The sole survivor of the attack--an 18-month-old baby--escapes his crib and his house, and toddles to a nearby graveyard. Quickly recognizing that the baby is orphaned, the graveyard's ghostly residents adopthim, name him Nobody ("Bod"), and allow him to live in their tomb. Taking inspiration from Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Gaiman describes how the toddler navigates among the headstones, asking a lot of questions and picking up the tricks of the living and the dead. In serial-like episodes, the story follows Bod's progress as he grows from baby to teen, learning life’s lessons amid a cadre of the long-dead, ghouls, witches, intermittent human interlopers.A pallid, nocturnal guardian named Silas ensures that Bod receives food, books, and anything else he might need from the human world. Whenever the boy strays from his usual play among the headstones, he finds new dangers, learns his limitations and strengths, and acquires the skills he needs to survive within the confines of the graveyard and in wider world beyond. (ages 10 and up) -–Heidi Broadhead ... Read more

Customer Reviews (413)

4-0 out of 5 stars Another great book from an amazing storyteller
Neil Gaiman is one of the best storytellers I've ever encountered.

From the very beginning, The Graveyard Book is an irresistible story. Gaiman carefully balances the intrigue of a triple murder with the fresh innocence of a child like any other, learning about the world with wide eyes and a million questions.

Gaiman's prose is lyrical without being flowery. Any book about life, death, and life after death is bound to bump into deep questions. But Gaiman handles these issues gracefully. To see such serious talent beside a thoroughly engaging storyline is rare and refreshing for any book, much less a children's book.

The Graveyard Book was truly a delight to read, and I appreciated Gaiman's intelligent handling of complex issues without losing sight of his inventive narrative. I would recommend this book to almost anyone for its fully formed characters, excellent prose, and engaging plot.

For a full review, check out [...]

5-0 out of 5 stars Graveyard Book Rocks!
My class loved this book! At first we thought it would be too creepy, but once we got into it we couldn't put it down! It's about a kid, Bod, who is a baby when he comes to the graveyard to live after his family has been killed. The graveyard folk take him in and give him "Freedom of the Graveyard." After many adventures growing up in the graveyard, he decided to find out about who killed his family. It turns into a great mystery!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Children's Book!
I absolutely adored this book! It created just the right balance between suspense, fantasy, with quite a bit of supernatural flair.Obviously not a book made for a young child, it's a great book for a middle school aged child. I, having read it as an adult, felt that it was a great book for adults to read as well considering it was so adventurous and intriguing.Neil Gaiman certainly takes you for a ride into the deepest parts of your imagination.I recommend this book for anyone looking to be thrilled and transported from the everyday world.

5-0 out of 5 stars For the Young of All Ages
I've just finished the audiobook version of The Graveyard Book that is both written and read by Neil Gaiman.Very surprised on two levels!First, I didn't realize this was intended to be written mostly for a young (under 15 audience) and second I had no idea until the end of the book that Mr. Gaiman was also the reader.Both discoveries were of a very positive nature.As someone with kids older than 15, I still enjoyed and appreciated the writing throughout the novel.It wasn't in my opinion written down to a more youthful reader but I can certainly see how a young person would enjoy it.Neil Gaiman was so good in reading his own work, I can't imagine anyone doing better.On reflection, I think this would be an excellent source of material for a Tim Burton directed movie.It could really shine on the big screen.It also calls out for a sequel as the characters are all engaging and spirits that would be welcomed again.Good show!

4-0 out of 5 stars A nice young-adult novel
Very creative novel. Nice characters and the plot moves briskly.

Some cliches towards the end but I was emotionally moved at the conclusion, which is a feat for any book. 3.5/5 stars ... Read more

2. InterWorld
by Neil Gaiman
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2007-07-01)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$4.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0018T0XZY
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Joey Harker isn't a hero.

In fact, he's the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house.

But then one day, Joey gets really lost. He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension.

Joey's walk between the worlds makes him prey to two terrible forces—armies of magic and science who will do anything to harness his power to travel between dimensions.

When he sees the evil those forces are capable of, Joey makes the only possible choice: to join an army of his own, an army of versions of himself from different dimensions who all share his amazing power and who are all determined to fight to save the worlds.

Master storyteller Neil Gaiman and Emmy Award-winning science-fiction writer Michael Reaves team up to create a dazzling tale of magic, science, honor, and the destiny of one very special boy—and all the others like him.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ by sunny green
INTERWORLD by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves, shows both authors amazing writing skills. Neil Gaiman has written short stories for kid's comic books, film and young adult novels (coralline, The Graveyard book). Michael Reaves writes comics (Superman, Batman) and novels. He wrote for star trek and star wars. In this book both authors combine their incredible skills to create this masterpiece.

This book includes magic science fiction and fantasy. No matter what genre you like you will love this book. This book is about a boy Joey harker who suddenly gets sucked in to another world were he gets taken by an older Joey harker from another universe. The older Joey harker takes him back to a base that has Joey harkers from all different worlds and dimensions. There he is trained. This organization keeps the balance between magic and science and after failing a test that was a trap by the enemies he is brain washed and sent back to his world were weird stuff keeps accruing that makes it seem like part of his memory is still there then something accurse that brings back all of his memory and he is left with the choice of his family or the people he left behind in the enemies planet.
No matter what genre is your favorite genre you will like this book it is a real mix between science fiction and fantasy. I loved everything about this book from the writing to the plot to the characters this is a great entertaining thought provoking book that I would say is a must read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Gaiman at work.
Interworld seems to be Gaiman branching out into another realm of writing though we see him quite familiar with the magical and mystical his application of science and scientific theory left this story lacking. Excellent work yet left me wondering where the magic had gone, which is a primary reason that I enjoy Neil Gaiman's work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Waiting for the movie
I was introduced to Gaiman with the Sandman series, have read others of his books, follow his tweets on Twitter, and found Caroline to be one of the creepiest movies I've seen in a loonnnggg time.Ok, so I am a fan. Of Interworld, I'll say that while it didn't blow me away, I found it so likable that at its end I came here to add my voices to any saying that it should be made into a movie.It's got an unlikely hero, big good versus big evil, classic defeats, and an outrageous win.In this respect it is, perhaps, a bit formulaic.Don't read this if you're looking for a groundbreaking work or high literary merit.However, that's nothing to keep it from being a pleasurable read and (I hope) a deeply satisfying I'm-glad-I-paid-for-that-ticket summer movie.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
This book is pure science fiction in the academic sense. Surprisingly (given Gaiman's reputation) it is not a very well written story. If you like random ideas about infinite possible worlds and altruistic, friendly fairy balloon guides, then go for it. The story is actually quite sophomoric and the characters are neither believable, nor well developed. But the concepts are interesting enough to get you through...if barely.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Gaiman book I couldn't put down!
Wow, I was searching for some books for my new Kindle and found InterWorld by Neil Gaiman. I've read several of his other books and figured I couldn't lose.I was right! I was transported to another world where there were interesting characters and an amazing story. Mr. Gaiman is so talented a writer, I couldn't put my Kindle down. I wish there was a part 2. ... Read more

3. Neverwhere: A Novel
by Neil Gaiman
Paperback: 400 Pages (2003-09-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060557818
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinarylife, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

Amazon.com Review
Neverwhere's protagonist, Richard Mayhew, learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished. He ceases to exist in the ordinary world ofLondon Above, and joins a quest through the dark and dangerous LondonBelow, a shadow city of lost and forgotten people, places, and times.His companions are Door, who is trying to find out who hired the assassinswho murdered her family and why; the Marquis of Carabas, a trickster whotrades services for very big favors; and Hunter, a mysterious lady whoguards bodies and hunts only the biggest game. London Below is awonderfully realized shadow world, and the story plunges through it like anexpress passing local stations, with plenty of action and a satisfyingconclusion. The story is reminiscent of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to theGalaxy, but Neil Gaiman's humor is much darker and his images sometimestruly horrific. Puns and allusions to everything from Paradise Lost to The Wonderful Wizard of Ozabound, but you can enjoy the book without getting all of them. Gaiman isdefinitely not just for graphic-novel fans anymore. --Nona Vero ... Read more

Customer Reviews (672)

4-0 out of 5 stars it was good
I read this a few years ago. I don't remember the details but I liked that it was different how he was a regular guy, an unlikely hero.

5-0 out of 5 stars New Twists on Old Archtypes
On the face of it, Neverwhere is merely the millionth re-telling of the unwitting hero cum fish-out-of-water story, complete with all the necessary plot points and character types to make any lover of a good fantasy tale feel right at home.

And then Gaiman spins the world 17 degrees right and 149 degrees over and tells the same old story with a different name in a brand new, compelling, and super-entertaining way. Sure, we get Richard from "normal world" who unwittingly enters "abnormal world" where he will take much of the story coming to grips with the unknown-only-to-him fact that he is the "hero" of the story. And there's Door, the girl on a quest who needs his help, and the marquis (the wizard), and Hunter (the bodyguard) and a variety of bad guys, kinda bad guys, probably bad guys and just general unknown quantities.

But the simple and hugely pleasant fact that the story is not set in some medieval fantasy world nor involves the normal medieval fantasy world button pushing to move the story forward makes this story an incredible delight to read. Okay: page-turner. Gaiman re-invents London by burying it in its living history and then making the history live rather than fade away. Not gone are the times of London past, as time/space has a way of folding in on itself in this world just below the surface of our world. You still can't go home, again, but you can get a look at some of the stuff you missed out on the first time around. Sort of.

The story is a race to the finish. Gaiman doesn't - indeed, with this story, he probably can't - let you ponder on some of the weirdness of his landscape. You get fleeting glimpses of the weirdest things, and then overhear snippets of conversations about things you'll never encounter, all of which builds in a more complex world than the simple cat-and-mouse, race-for-your-life story at the center of the novel.

The story is also beautifully and elegantly written. Gaiman ignores the fiction writer's guild-required "fantasy prose construct" and writes easy, flowing sentences. His writing matches the descriptions the words convey, always smoothing the story along or butting you into a brand-new totally-unexpected scene in just the right way: you'll understand when you follow the main character and the marquis on their first up-and-over and down-and-through journey of London, which takes you from the muck of the sewers to the roofs of skyscrapers, all without blinking an eye.

Stand back from the fantasy shelf of wizards, thieves, warriors and clerics and pick up this intelligent, quirky and unique take on the genre.

5-0 out of 5 stars favorite gaiman book
i read american gods first then neverwhere.ag was very entertaining, however, neverwhere had better characters that were far more interesting to follow.mr croup and vandamere evil mannerisms has been some of the best i have read lately.highly recommend this one

5-0 out of 5 stars The Journey, Not the Destination
Richard wrote a diary entry in his head.

Dear Diary, he began. On Friday I had a job, a fiancée, a home, and a life that made sense. (Well, as much as any life makes sense.) Then I found an injured girl bleeding on the pavement, and I tried to be a Good Samaritan. Now I've got no fiancée, no home, no job, and I'm walking around a couple of hundred feet under the streets of London with the projected life expectancy of a suicidal fruitfly.

Neverwhere is about the idea that people can slip through the gaps in our modern society and discover a world - still existing in the shadows beneath modern London - that evokes the (literally) magical days of yore. It can easily be read as a condemnation of the modern world. Richard's fiancée, Jessica, is a vapid woman whose interests include going to art museums (with no hint that she cares at all about the art) and going to fancy dinners (calibrated to charm her boss as much as humanly possible). How Richard escapes dreary reality is by an act of compassion, something that few (if any) of the "real world" characters show in Neverwhere.

London Below is not, however, paradise. After a period of terrifying acclimatization, Richard begins to view it as the vibrant opposite of everything the dreary, callous real world is, but can we really just give into our wishes and vacate reality quite so easily? Gary, Richard's "real" friend, certainly doesn't think so:

"I've passed the people who fall through the cracks, Richard: they sleep in shop doorways, all down the strand. They don't go to a special London. They freeze to death in winter."

Of course, the question of London Below's reality is not central in the narrative. What is important to note, however, is that London Below is not a simple solution to all of Richard's problems. The world of the underground is filled with just as much darkness and evil as London Above, and it's not just of the black and white variety. It's hard to say that the Lord Rat-speaker's disregard for his follower's well being is any better than the emptiness displayed by Richard's coworkers in the book's closing scenes.

London Below is the main "character" of Neverwhere. It remains throughout the book more of a style than a known quantity, but that fits with the wondrous, magical feelings that Gaiman is trying to evoke. The reader knows that the market meets every night in a different place, and the reader gets to experience the strangeness of the occasion, but (despite Richard's questions) we never find out who sets it up.

The characterization of the other characters in Neverwhere is focused first on theme and setting, second on establishing realistic personalities...which is not to say that it doesn't do both, on occasion. The most interesting character by far is Richard Mayhew, protagonist. He stands in for all of us in the modern age, to a degree, but there is always a slight disconnect between him and the real world scenes, even before his encounter with London Below. His relationship with Jessica consists of absent mindedly doing whatever she says, and his professional life is made remarkable only by the toy trolls that wage war across his desk. When he goes underground, he begins to develop a personality of his own, reacting to both the bizarre stimulus around him and his memories of his life above.

Other characters follow the same general principles, frequently archetypes that are given enough of a twist to appear fresh. Hunter, for instance, is practically obsession personified. She's settled on a goal, and she'd determined to fulfill it at the expense of all else.

In addition to the forces of good, or close enough to it, Neverwhere also boasts two of the best villains ever conceived. Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar are blacker-than-black, wolflike in their tenacity, and absolutely hilarious:

"'Are you bribing me?' [Varney] asked.

Mr. Vandemar had picked up the morning star. He was pulling the chain apart, with his free hand, link by link, and dropping the bits of twisted metal onto the floor. Chink. `No,' said Mr. Vandemar. Chink `We're intimidating you.' Chink. `And if you don't do what Mister Croup says, we're...' chink. `hurting you...' chink `...very badly, before we're...' chink `killing you.'

`Ah,' said Varney. `Then I'm working for you, aren't I?'

`Yes, you are,' said Mr. Croup. `I'm afraid we don't have any redeeming features.'

'That doesn't bother me,' said Varney.

'Good,' said Mr. Croup. 'Welcome aboard.'"

The entire journey is held together by Gaiman's brilliant prose. Gaiman alternates between description and comedic wording, but both are in evidence here. If the above quotes still haven't convinced you of the greatness of Neverwhere's prose, allow me and Gaiman to try and sway you once more:

"They walked through an impressive lobby. Then they waited while the footman lit each of the candles on the candelabra. They went down some impressive richly carpeted stairs. They went down a flight of less impressive, less richly carpeted stairs. They went down a flight of entirely unimpressive stairs carpeted in a threadbare brown sacking, and, finally, they went down a flight of drab wooden stairs with no carpet on them at all."

Neverwhere is not a particularly original book, but Neverwhere is - cliché notwithstanding - about the journey rather than the destination, the dank feel of the air rather than the exact width of the tunnel. It's true that you've probably read a few books like Neverwhere, but how many of them made you look at the real world when you were done reading and recoil at how empty it all seemed? Neverwhere does just that.

1-0 out of 5 stars I don't normally draft negative reviews, but...
After two weeks I cannot stop thinking about how disappointed I was with "Neverwhere".
I am honestly mystified by how this book is so highly reviewed and popular.
I can understand two audiences enjoying this book:people who live in or around London, or children of the age 12 and under.If you live in London, of course it would probably be neat to read about a sort of Twilight Zone version of the various places in the city you've seen or traveled through.Charming, I suppose.If you're a child, then just about any fiction could be a magical journey, no matter how badly the plot is developed or how flimsy the characters are.
However, if you are an adult who has read any mainstream fantasy fiction authors, I strongly recommend you avoid this book.The characters have no depth, the parallel London universe has no real consistency or apparent framework or bounds to its magic.Characters will suddenly posses the power or ability to accomplish something, and then after that plot device is used, the power or ability is never explained or addressed again.Personally, and I think many other avid sci-fi & fantasy fans will agree, a fictional universe is much more satisfying when there seems to be some logic or rules that define how the magic works, and what is possible and what is not.This author does nothing to define the scope of his universe.
I never saw the original TV series so perhaps I don't have a bias that some of the more generous reviewers here have.I cannot recommend this book to anyone.I regret buying it.
I don't know exactly how I would classify this Gaiman book: fantasy adventure or parallel worlds or dark fantasy.I am not sure because the novel is just so marginal in each resepect. However, if you enjoy fantasy adventure, I recommend: Sara Douglass, R A Salvatore, Raymond E Feist, Patrick Rothfuss, Elizabeth Haydon.
If you like dark fantasy, or more gritty, grown up fantasy, I recommend:George R R Martin, Jacqueline Carey, Joe Abercrombie.
If you like any of the above authors' work, you probably will be disappointed with Gaiman's Neverwhere. ... Read more

4. Instructions
by Neil Gaiman
Hardcover: 40 Pages (2010-05-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061960306
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Trust Dreams.
Trust your heart,
and trust your story.

A renowned storyteller whose words have transported readers to magical realms and an acclaimed illustrator of lushly imagined fairy-tale landscapes guide a traveler safely through lands unknown and yet strangely familiar . . .

. . . and home again.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Love Neil Gaiman!
I have yet to be disappointed by Neil Gaiman!His word usage and style are so amazing; just look at how many awards he has won.This is another wonderfully unique book to be loved by people of all ages.Also the illustrations by Charles Vess are beautiful!

5-0 out of 5 stars "Touch the Wooden Gate in the Wall You Never Saw Before..."
As one might expect from Neil Gaiman, "Instructions" is an unusual little book, and despite technically being a picture book, isn't necessarily something you would give to a child. Not that the content isn't objectionable - just a tad incomprehensible to anyone who isn't well versed in the rules and patterns of fairytales. With that in mind, a child *is* an appropriate audience; I think what I'm trying to say is that "Instructions" is a story for those who love stories, and the more familiar you are with the tales upon which is this is based, the better you will enjoy it.

First published in A Wolf at the Door, an anthology of retold fairytales, "Instructions" centers on a Puss-in-Boots figure who traverses a fairytale world, replete with familiar character and species, guided by the words of the narrator whose wisdom comes from almost every fairytale ever told. Puss opens the wooden gate in the wall and passes through woods and castles, visiting foxes, wolves, giants, devils and witches, joined by a young cat that he helps along the way, whilst the accompanying text gives us such anecdotes as "do not be jealous of your sister," "remember your name" and "do not look back." It all rings a distant bell in the mind of the reader as they recall those ancient tenants of folklore and fairytale that have been around for time immemorial.

Charles Vess provides the illustrations (you may recall his style from Susana Clarke's The Ladies of Grace Adieu), creating a visually simplistic but vivid world of the fairytale, in which imps crawl in the branches of treetops, princesses call from tower windows and glass slippers lie abandoned by the roadside. I think my favorite picture is the one where Puss passes over a log-bridge that spans a crevasse, his arms stretched out for balance, completely unaware that a troll lurks beneath his feet. The illustrations are detailed yet uncluttered; it is almost as if a talented child has painted them.

Altogether "Instructions" is a difficult book to pin down. It's simple yet thought-provoking, short yet engrossing. Reading much like a poem, with its own tempo and rhythm, this is a picture book that demands more than one read. The only problem, I felt, was the title. It should have been called "Advice".

5-0 out of 5 stars A Children's Book That Parents Can Enjoy
This is a fairy tale that references traditional aspects of other fairy tales. You will recognize elements from classic fairy tales as you read this. The artwork really adds to the story. It's fun to look for all the little creatures that are hidden in and around the pictures.

4-0 out of 5 stars a fun trip through fairy land
Neil Gaiman and Chrales Vess really are a great team, and I'm glad the two of them got together on this project.In the story, we watch as a creature that's kind of like a cat and kind of like a human goes on a journey through a fantasy-type house, garden, forest, past a castle, and other magical places.It was a fun little story with inspiring words and beautiful pictures that made for a great read.Fans of the children's books of Neil Gaiman or the artwork of Charles Vess would do well to read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Summing up - and Beyond
In one way this book is "merely" a summation of all the tropes of fairy tales. Yet by the end of the book I was genuinely moved in a way that a fairy tale doesn't anymore. Part of this is Gaiman's sense of pace, and the masterly way he crafts his sentences - short doesn't have to mean choppy or abrupt. And part of it is the sense that it's not the odd fox-cat creature in the illustrations who's being given these instructions, it us. It's me. It's the child who believes that someday there will be a door in the wall never noticed before. This book isn't easy to summarize, but the review is simple: Buy it. Read it. It's magic. ... Read more

5. Anansi Boys
by Neil Gaiman
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (2006-10-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060515198
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Fat Charlie Nancy's normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn't know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.

Now brother Spider's on his doorstep&#8212about to make Fat Charlie's life more interesting . . . and a lot more dangerous.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (227)

5-0 out of 5 stars Neil! Stop writing amazing books so I can start being productive!
Well I thought this book was just great - but I personally feel that goes without saying. I am an avid Neil Gaiman fan and he has yet to disappoint me. All of his writing is just so unique it's difficult to give him anything under a rating of 5 stars for any of his books. I was a little nervous to purchase this book as I bought it blindly without reading the sample, but I knew Neil Gaiman wouldn't let me down. I had heard from other Neil Gaiman fans that this book was their least favorite out of his books, but I strongly disagree, it may even be one of my favorites. I especially loved the little interruptions of Anansi's stories throughout the book - they brought be back to the days where my mother would read me Uncle Remus stories...but as you'll learn if you read the book, those are nothing but Anansi stories too.

Also, what fantastic character and plot development. I am so dumbfounded with the ideas that pop into Neil Gaiman's head. It's almost as if he's living in a completely other world and he makes me believe that I'm in it. Something about his writing transports you to a different place where you get to know these unique people. I think I might have even developed a little literary crush on Spider. Is it possible that his wiles grasp young ladies hearts through the pages of a book as well? I wouldn't doubt it...

I'm not sure if I would start with this book on my Neil Gaiman journey. I think reading American Gods before Anansi Boys was appropriate but not necessary. To those who have not yet read Neil Gaiman I typically recommend Neverwhere, but others swear by Stardust (I just haven't gotten around to it...I'm "saving" it).

It was also cool that there were some "deleted scenes" at the end of the book (at least in the kindle edition). I'm always down for little tidbits from Neil.

The only serious negative remark I have to say about the book is that it was difficult to put down! I'm supposed to be studying for the GRE's and reading the book took a significant amount of time away from my studies! It was certainly one of those books that when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about when I could start reading it next. I certainly caught myself reading my kindle while walking home, which is not safe or recommended living in a busy city like Boston.

3-0 out of 5 stars One of Gaiman's little jokes.
Not unlike everything in life having it's ups and downs, Neil Gaiman, is right up there with the rest of us. He's capable of writing fun and interesting stories that are addictive in the sense that you want to keep the high and so you return time and again. But then something happens; It may be that the author is testing the water for new direction or may want to see just how far he can go or what he can get away with. "Anansi Boys", is one of those times for Mr. Gaiman. He began the story in typical fashion and about where I suspected he'd shift into what I call "wow" gear he did, but, instead of settling into it for a bit he shifted almost immediately into what I call "holy ----" gear. And he just kept going. I suspect the difficulty was that right moment that signifies the time to tie everything together and slow into an ending mode never made an appearance. Mr. Gaiman knows how to write and this story has direction, the characters develop nicely too. For a good part of the book I found myself involuntarily laughing and getting fun with it but then it became a bit audacious for my liking. If you enjoy really pushing the envelope sort of fantasy and magic then you'll love the "Anansi Boys".

5-0 out of 5 stars Neil Gaiman's guide to self-actualization
Anansi Boys is a humanistic novel interwoven with deities and fantasy, which challenges the reader's belief in the archetypes of good and evil.Hysterically funny and suspenseful, Anansi Boys is a roller coaster jaunt into sibling rivalry andfamily dysfunction.Fat Charlie's life is turned topsy turvy, forcing him to work toward congruence and potential self-actualization.

5-0 out of 5 stars Understated Excellence
"It began, as most things begin, with a song." [p. 1]

Most Neil Gaiman novels are bizarre explosions of creativity and off the wall plots. While I would have to be insane to say that Anansi Boys is anything but bizarre, it's bizarre in a calculated way that sets it apart from many of Gaiman's other works. Anansi Boys is, above all, a story of deceiving simplicity, from characters, to plots, to themes.

Characterization is, at first, broad. Our first glimpses of Spider, Fat Charlie's divine brother, for instance, show him as glamorous and heartless, the kind of man that'll drag his brother to a bar and then promptly forget his charge to begin a night of wild partying. Over the course of he narrative, however, Spider grows into a fully developed character with such subtlety that the reader misses all the usual road signs of I'm a well rounded person, now. Gaiman's characterizes by showing, not telling, and moments of epiphany aren't the beginning of sudden change, but rather the recognition of a gradual transformation that's well under way by the time it's remarked upon. Gaiman's characterization shows a deep understanding of how people think of themselves and the world around them:

"Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn't a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their own song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their songs instead." [p. 189]

And yet, as anyone who's read anything that the man's written can tell you, Gaiman is anything but pretentious. His writing is, at all times, light hearted, and he imparts truths and tragedies with an understanding wink and a friendly tip of his hat:

"Take daisy, for example. Her song, which has been somewhere in the back of her head for most of her life, had a reassuring, marching sort of beat, and words that were about protecting the weak, and it had a chorus that began 'Evildoers beware!' and was thus much too silly ever to be sung out loud. She would hum it to herself sometimes though, in the shower, during the soapy bits." [p. 189]

Gaiman's game is not one of sudden reversals. At the beginning of the book, we learn Fat Charlie's situation and watch as events in it play out as expected - or, at least, close to it. Soon after, Fat Charlie leans of his father's death, and we see the consequences of that. When Spider comes into the picture, it still isn't a dramatic call to adventure, followed by the two gallivanting around the globe. Instead, the relationship between the two develops naturally as their various personalities affect the course of the other's life. This is a story that is, above all, organic in its growth, introducing a new element and exploring all of its possibilities before moving on.

That is not, however, to suggest that Anansi Boys's plot is predictable or uneventful. Over the book's course, Gaiman explores the full range of emotions and events, from the comic, to the heart warming, to the terrifying, each reached with a naturalness that keeps the tale from ever growing outlandish or unbelievable. As each new piece is added to the puzzle, the amount of delightful bizarreness skyrockets, but there are no extraneous elements here; every element proves vital to the tale's survival and continuation:

"Stories are webs, interconnected strand to strand, and you follow each story to the center, because the center is the end. Each person is a strand of the story." [p. 302]

Every one of the aforementioned pitches is well done, but the books true highs occur when Gaiman balances them at once. Towards the end of the book, scenes of outright terror and suspense are wedded to moments of outlandish comedy, each set up so well that the combination doesn't feel contrived, but rather inevitable.

Thematically, Anansi Boys treads little new ground. This is a story of familes and relationships, of people, and of decisions, and of the consequence of those decisions. You've probably read a story with similar themes before. In fact, I'm sure of it. Odds are, you've read a whole boat load of them. This one's different, though. How so, you ask? Well, it's because nothing that Gaiman does is quite like anything you've ever read before. Oh, I'm sure that you've heard that statement about a whole encyclopedia's worth of authors, but all I can say is that, this time, it's true. Gaiman illustrates rash actions with flocks of homicidal birds and depicts a father son dynamic with a heartfelt talk, both scenes feeling as fresh and poignant as anything I've read.

Anansi Boys's isn't perfect. The lackadaisical pace of the first few chapters meant that the book didn't suck me in until page eighty or so (and then what a blissful, airborne ride the rest of the book was), and I initially thought that Grahame Coats's law firm might actually manufacture coats or something similar...but, judging by how absurdly stupid that last one was, I think it's pretty clear that Anansi Boys's is pretty damn close to perfect, and I think it's worth you getting up out of your seat, driving to the nearest booksellers, and forking over your hard earned cash.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tell us another Anansi, Gaiman!
This book is great; with Lenny Henry's audio, it's magnificent. I picked up Anansi Boys knowing nothing about the premise (from American Gods: A Novel or even the jacket flap). This might be the best way to read Gaiman: jump right in without preconception.Trust him.He crafts a comfy little everyday world of people who spark, here and there, with eccentricity: The kindly old neighbor lady, the clumsy hero, his dutiful fiancée, her acidic mother, his grinning and predatory boss and his carefree father.Think you know them? Watch out: some of those sparks catch fire in very surprising ways.Like the best writers of fantasy, Gaiman begins with the mundane and then, with surprising feints, introduces the bizarre.His supernatural world is revealed in fits and starts, keeping us perpetually off-balance as to its rules.Start to guess where the magic lies, and Gaiman will twist reality into another unexpected contortion before you can catch him.Like Fat Charlie, we fumble through the story feeling confused and then smart, tricked then triumphant -- and Gaiman stays a step ahead of us, weaving it all together as deftly as Anansi himself.

Anansi Boys is an epic story of family, identity and courage -- both the unworldly courage of gods and the more impressive, everyday courage of women and men.This translation of the Anansi story -- bringing Caribbean and West African animal gods to life in London and Florida -- breaks free from cliché into utter originality.And Lenny Henry's voice work (especialy his laugh-out-loud timing)elevates the entire book.This might be one of the most diverse casts of characters in literary memory, and this incredible talent with accents and dialect brings each one of them to life.

Could anyone else transform fear into birds (and back again) one moment, and bring down the house with a karaoke rendition of "Under the Boardwalk" the next? If there is magic - if there are gods among us - they might just tell stories like this.
... Read more

6. Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
by Neil Gaiman
Mass Market Paperback: 400 Pages (2010-02-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060515236
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

A mysterious circus terrifies an audience for one extraordinary performance before disappearing into the night . . .

Two teenage boys crash a party and meet the girls of their dreams—and nightmares . . .

In a Hugo Award–winning story, a great detective must solve a most unsettling royal murder in a strangely altered Victorian England . . .

These marvelous creations and more showcase the unparalleled invention and storytelling brilliance—and the terrifyingly dark and entertaining wit—of the incomparable Neil Gaiman. By turns delightful, disturbing, and diverting, Fragile Things is a gift of literary enchantment from one of the most original writers of our time.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (71)

4-0 out of 5 stars A New World on Every Page
"One describes a tale best by telling the tale. You see? The way one describes a story, to oneself or to the world, is by telling the story. It is a balancing act and it is a dream. The more accurate the map, the more it resembles the territory. The most accurate map possible would be the territory, and thus would be perfectly accurate and perfectly useless.

The tale is the map which is the territory.

You must remember this." (p. XIX, the Mapmaker)

Fragile Things is Neil Gaiman's second collection and my first experience with his short fiction. These stories are wildly disparate, ranging from the bleak to the jubilant, and the majority of these stories function by throwing the narrator into contact with some other world, be it a literal one or the simple breath of wonder into an otherwise ordinary life. This is surely not the first time that Gaiman's tackled the theme - in fact, it's no secret that almost all of his works boil down to "normal bloke discovers magical world" - but the number of different ways that the same general idea can be reached from is simply staggering.

One of Gaiman's techniques here comes not from showing us the point of the story via the world building, but rather via said world building's deconstruction, putting the story's soul in the violation of the initially established principles, the process of exposing a loophole or intricacy that we didn't first grasp. This warping of the rules - a game that doesn't so much violate the initial promise to the reader but rather twists it until the result is utterly unrecognizable but thoroughly satisfying - can be found in a good number of the collection's stories. Harlequin Valentine begin with our viewpoint harlequin affixing his heart to his Columbine's door, and when she opens the door, we get underway. The story is a quick and witty affair, consisting of the Harlequin's toying with his one-day valentine and messing with the lives of everyone that he encounters as he follows her. At this point, the reader thinks that they understand the rules, but they've got no idea. It's at the end of the story, where the harlequin's love has a consequence unexpected enough to shatter everything we know about how the story's cosmos function, that the tale goes from whimsical to powerful.

Not every story in the collection ends in a twist, but almost every one does mess with the reader's perceptions and expectations. At the end of Harlequin Valentine, the former Columbine says: "'That's the joy of a harlequinade, after all, isn't it? We change our costumes. We change our roles.'" (p. 174, Harlequin Valentine) Almost every story in the collection, and almost every character in those stories, is a slippery being, refusing to settle into clichés or expectations. Bitter Grounds is a story of shifting identity, and as the narrator drifts further and further away from whom he was, the tone morphs to accompany his shift. Keepsakes and Treasures, a dark and dreary tale, takes a second out of its forward progress to point out that, if not for the oppressive prose and characterization, we'd be reading a fairy tale: "I told him I thought it sounded like something from a story book. 'I mean, think about it. A race of people whose only asset is the beauty of their men. So every century they sell one of their men for enough money to keep the tribe going for another hundred years.'" (p. 128, Keepsakes and Treasures)

One of the most interesting stories from the collection, and 2004's Hugo winner, A Study in Emerald, is impossible to predict from start to finish. It is, as Gaiman explains in the introduction, an attempt to wed the rationality of Sherlock Holmes with the otherworldly unknowability of Lovecraft's horrors. Stephen R. Donaldson (and Writing Excuses) has talked often about how fiction is a combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar, and the reason that A Study of Emerald is so weird in Gaiman's catalog is that the magic is actually the familiar, here. Though the two ingredients seem as likely to combine well as peanut butter and cheese, the mixture actually works, and neither element of the story feels forced...and yet I did not love A Study in Emerald, and the reason why is the problem I have with some of the stories in this collection.

Neil Gaiman is a writer of ideas, and they are fabulous ideas, big and witty and wondrous. The problem is, when ideas of that caliber get down in the trenches, they occasionally push other parts of the story aside. This works at times, like in the aforementioned Harlequin Valentine, when the torrent of bizarre ideas and imagery leads to a great emotional moment, but it can also lead to stories where you can admire what Gaiman's done, but can't really enjoy the result all that much.

The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch suffers quite badly from this. The story is a about a small group of friends and acquaintances who are taken on a tour of ten increasingly bizarre rooms. As they go, one of their party, Ms. Finch, is transformed and is lost from their lives. The descriptions of what the party sees is interesting, but the tale fails to achieve its impact because those sights leave no room to really care for those watching them, leaving of the party member's disappearance an unmoving event.

The truly obvious results of idea-driven writing are the curious that become increasingly common as the collection goes on. These are, for the most part, successful. Most, like Strange Little Girls or 15 Cards from the Vampire Tarot, illustrate a single mood or idea, then fade away before losing their welcome. The only one of these that felt unnecessary was Diseasemaker's Croup, which, while clever, is just too insubstantial to be really interesting.

Of course, Gaiman's output here is far too diverse to be so simply summed up, so How to Talk to Girls at Parties and How Do You Think This Feels? pop up to lay to waste the concepts-in-center-stage theory. The former is a very funny story about a teenage boy going to a party and being too oblivious to catch the girls' hints that they aren't from earth at all. The narrator's, and the story's, cheeky refusal to every get the point is surprisingly endearing. The second of those, however, is probably the weakest story in the collection. In it, the narrator is left by his mistress and creates a gargoyle to guard his heart in an attempt to never again feel hurt. The problem with the story is that the supernatural element is so slight, and the mundane too generic, for there to be anything to ever catch fire.

Despite how much time I've spent talking about potential drawbacks, Gaiman's flights of fancy are the core of his work, and his refusal to reign them in is pretty much the soul of the man's writing. His ability to let his ideas stand on their own, presenting the character's and the situation without the need to constantly shape the reader's opinion, allows some of the collection's pieces, such as Keepsakes and Treasures, which only works due to Gaiman allowing the reader, not the author, to be the judge of the character, or in October's Chair, which is either an unsettling story of losing touch with reality and a painful and needless death, or a heartwarming story of escape and embracing the fullness of life.

The poetry's inclusion here was evidently quite controversial, and I'm glad that it made its way inside in the end. Gaiman's prose is almost always deliberate and light, obscuring great depth with an airy surface and true wit, and his rhythmic tendencies come to the fore for the poetic part of this collection, the cadence of the words creating an irresistible and enchanting feel:

"If I were young as once I was, and dreams
and death more distant then,
I wouldn't split my soul in two, and keep
half in the world of men,
So half of me would stay at home, and
strive for Faerie in vain" (p. 27, The Fairly Reel)

So far this review has never tackled the entirety of Fragile Things, or even made much of an attempt to do so. Some stories are like this, some are like that, some aren't like that...but wait, surely it must have more cohesion than that? Surely the collection (unlike this review) was not a mere scattershot assembly of random pieces, worthy and unworthy? Well, rest assured, because Gaiman is one of the best collection editors I've ever read. What I mean is that, even if a particular story didn't work for me, every tale still bolstered the whole. This is a compendium of odds and bits, yes, and there are new characters in (almost) every story, yeah, and new worlds, etc, but there is not a single point in the entire collection when Gaiman says: "Alright, hold on for a second, I'm going to go change gears." Every word of Fragile Things flows into the next, across line breaks and story breaks and genre lines, and the balance with which the man paces insures that you'll never want to put the book down, no matter how many pages you've just turned and how many tales you've just completed.

This is, like any short story collection, a tad uneven. Still, there are three mind blowing Bitter Grounds pieces for every one How Do You Think This Feels?, and Gaiman shows no fear when he takes us into a new place with each page, each destination both bizarre and familiar. This collection has quite a bit of essential material for any Gaiman fan.

Standouts: Harlequin Valentine, Bitter Grounds, October in the Chair, the Fairy Reel

5-0 out of 5 stars Contains One of my All Time Favorite Stories
Fragile Things is a very worthwhile short story collection from an exceptional author.It also contains one of my favorite stories of all time: October in the Chair, and I would recommend this collection on the back of that story alone.It's about a gathering of months, in which a personification of each month gathers in order to exchange stories.October tells a sad, poignant, and emotional story about a young and lonely boy who befriends a ghost hanging around an abandoned farm.The ending is happy and sad, and just perfect.Neil Gaiman dedicates this story to Ray Bradbury, and does the man proud!I've read this story at least ten times, and enjoy it every go.

The rest of the collection is solid, although the first half of the book is much stronger than the second half... but as I said before I recommend this book on the strength of October in the Chair alone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Uneven selection of stories
This is the first book by Neil Gaiman which I have read. It is a collection of stories and mediocre poetry. The stories mostly sparkle, they somehow reflect a delight of writing them, one can feel that the writer enjoyed, revelled in their writing, revelled in his own ease of writing. Some stories reflect the tone of famous authors of the criminal or macabre, E.A. Poe, Doyle......, yet it does not parody. Gaiman uses the style of Poe but changes it, subtly, by overdoing it, yet in a non-ironic way. You see phrases you believe you have read before in E.A. Poes works or phrases which should have been in his works. A delight to read, though some stories are also let-downs and this is why this book does not receivefive stars.
Gaiman manages to tread on a very thin line between high literary and cheap horror, yet he does not cross that line.

1-0 out of 5 stars Type too small for over-40s to read comfortably
This review applies to this edition only.I received this book as a gift, and was shocked at the typography when I opened it.The entire book, while it has generous leading (15-pt line spacing) is set in footnote size - 9 pt type.Stupid, why not at least 10 on 15?The small font size makes it very uncomfortable to read.My own technical books, read by 20-somethings, are set in 11-pt type!If you want this book, I would suggest the mass-market paperback edition, which appears to be set in 10 pt type, and is cheaper too.See the content preview on the Amazon pages to compare the two editions.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Mix
I am a long-time fan of Mr. Gaiman's writing but this is a compilation of stories where the best ones are already in another anthology and so many of the others are just not worthy of his abilities.Unfortunately, as many writers reach great popularity, there seems to be a rush to print anything because it will sell. I just hope many of his newly-reached young readers don't pick up this one. ... Read more

7. American Gods: A Novel
by Neil Gaiman
Paperback: 624 Pages (2003-09-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060558121
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Released from prison, Shadow finds his world turned upside down. His wife has been killed; a mysterious stranger offers him a job. But Mr. Wednesday, who knows more about Shadow than is possible, warns that a storm is coming -- a battle for the very soul of America . . . and they are in its direct path.

One of the most talked-about books of the new millennium, American Gods is a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an American landscape at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. It is, quite simply, a contemporary masterpiece.

Amazon.com Review
American Gods is Neil Gaiman's best and most ambitious novel yet, a scary, strange, and hallucinogenic road-trip story wrapped around a deepexamination of the American spirit. Gaiman tackles everything from theonslaught of the information age to the meaning of death, but he doesn't sacrifice the razor-sharp plotting and narrative style he's been delivering since his Sandman days.

Shadow gets out of prison early when his wife is killed in a car crash. At a loss, he takes up with a mysterious character called Wednesday, who is much more than he appears. In fact, Wednesday is an old god, once known as Odin the All-father, who is roaming America rounding up his forgotten fellows in preparation for an epic battle against the upstart deities ofthe Internet, credit cards, television, and all that is wired. Shadow agrees to help Wednesday, and they whirl through a psycho-spiritual stormthat becomes all too real in its manifestations. For instance, Shadow's dead wife Laura keeps showing up, and not just as a ghost--the difficulty of their continuing relationship is by turns grim and darkly funny, just like the rest of the book.

Armed only with some coin tricks and a sense of purpose, Shadow travels through, around, and underneath the visible surface of things, digging up all the powerful myths Americans brought with them in their journeys to this land as well as the ones that were already here. Shadow's road story is the heart of the novel, and it's here that Gaiman offers up the detailsthat make this such a cinematic book--the distinctly American foods anddiversions, the bizarre roadside attractions, the decrepit gods reduced toshell games and prostitution. "This is a bad land for Gods," saysShadow.

More than a tourist in America, but not a native, Neil Gaiman offers anoutside-in and inside-out perspective on the soul and spirituality of thecountry--our obsessions with money and power, our jumbled religiousheritage and its societal outcomes, and the millennial decisions we faceabout what's real and what's not. --Therese Littleton ... Read more

Customer Reviews (812)

1-0 out of 5 stars took over 4 months to read
My other half an I read this book as a night time read. We do this a lot and a book this size usually takes us a couple weeks. This one took us forever because we were so painfully bored with the story and had ABSOLUTELY no love or interest in any single character or story line.

This book sounds great on paper: Ancient and modern gods clash in the modern America with a mortal man caught in the middle! Well that plot actually barely stays around. There are so many other stories that come in and out, and innumerable that never finish and just leave you hanging. Or like the handful of short stories called "coming to America." Those were so masturbatory! He liked his short stories so much he needed to include them. Because they served NO purpose for the story. Telling us how this person brought their god to America. We understand how they got here, we don't need more of your crappy one dimensional characters.

Which cleanly brings up the biggest problem we had with this book. Shadows, the main character constantly had us yelling at him or smacking our foreheads at his reactions and questions when he asked them. He almost never asks any questions when and during the duration of being thrown in with the transplanted gods of the country, and when he does ask questions they're things like, "Wednesday was your father?" When one of the characters notes "The All Father is dead." Using another of Wednesday's names.

Just an incredibly painful read and I will never pick up another Gaiman book again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Reading with Tequila
I have an unending fascination with mythology of all origins, so American Gods was a delightfully fun treat for me. The mix of present day America and mostly forgotten deities struggling to keep their tether to this world kept the story fresh and as relateable as fantasy can be.

The focus on both new and old, past and present made American Gods a highly creative novel on a grand scale. Far from fluffy and not quite trying to be as humorous as other novels by Gaiman such as Good Omens, this book is thought-provoking and apt to leave readers not well versed in gods struggling to remember which is which. The highly intelligent writing is well balanced with some of the grittier scenes.

American Gods may be a bit of work to get through for those who only know the "big" gods, but the story is well worth the effort. My only complaint is that the build up overshadows the climax a bit. The end didn't live up to the journey it took to get there. It's very good, just not as epically marvelous as Gaiman fans have come to expect.

5-0 out of 5 stars all time favorite
This is one of my all time favorite books. It's full of mythology brought into a modern setting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gripping
I thought it was gripping and I enjoyed the down to earth nature of Shadow and his other worldly collaborators, which nicely offset the mythical overtures of the book. I highly recommend this read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Piercing the Veil of American Mythos
This is the third book I've read by Neil Gaiman and it is the most epic of his works so far and the novel left a profound effect on me. This is an original, intelligent, thought-provoking, and well-structured novel as well as serving as a mythology guide.

American Gods is a reinterpretation of mix of myths and mythologies from Greek, Norse, African, and Asian pantheons. There are pagan gods, Native American folklore, Celtic Faery lore. This novel explores the many gods of both Heaven and Hell by juxtaposing the past and the present of immigrants who migrated to America, bringing their various myths and legends to the New World. These old gods were eventually forgotten as they were replaced with new gods of science and technology.

The story centers around a man called Shadow who has just been paroled from a three year stint in prison for assaulting two men. He is released two days early because his wife has died in a car crash and he needs to make funeral arrangements.On the plane to his wife's funeral, Shadow meets a strange man on the airplane, Mr. Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job which he reluctantly accepts. As these two embark on a road trip across the America, Shadow is introduced to a plethora of interesting, mysterious, and fascinating characters who turn out to be forsaken old Gods, trapped here in America, forgotten by the immigrants who brought them, in their minds, to this country long ago.

This book is truly an epic urban fantasy and Neil Gaiman has done a incredible job of juxtaposing the past and the present, mixing and matching past legends and loredoms, which are the foundation of beliefs in this country. American Gods is a vivid and surreal journey into magic, mythos, and mystery. It's absolutely brilliant.
... Read more

8. Stardust
by Neil Gaiman
Paperback: 288 Pages (2009-01-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061689246
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Catch a fallen star . . .

Tristran thorn promised to bring back a fallen star. So he sets out on a journey to fulfill the request of his beloved, the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester—and stumbles into the enchanted realm that lies beyond the wall of his English country town. Rich with adventure and magic, Stardust is one of master storyteller Neil Gaiman's most beloved tales, and the inspiration for the hit movie.

Amazon.com Review
Stardust is an utterly charming fairy tale in the tradition of The Princess Bride andThe NeverendingStory. Neil Gaiman, creator of the darkly elegant Sandman comicsand author of The Day ISwapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, tells the story of young TristranThorn and his adventures in the land of Faerie. One fateful night, Tristranpromises his beloved that he will retrieve a fallen star for her frombeyond the Wall that stands between their rural English town (called,appropriately, Wall) and the Faerie realm. No one ever ventures beyond theWall except to attend an enchanted flea market that is held every nineyears (and during which, unbeknownst to him, Tristran was conceived). ButTristran bravely sets out to fetch the fallen star and thus win the hand ofhis love. His adventures in the magical land will keep you turning pages asfast as you can--he and the star escape evil old witches, deadly clutchingtrees, goblin press-gangs, and the scheming sons of the dead Lord ofStormhold. The story is by turns thrillingly scary and very funny. You'lllove goofy, earnest Tristran and the talking animals, gnomes, magic trees,and other irresistible denizens of Faerie that he encounters in histravels. Stardust is a perfect read-aloud book, a brand-new fairytale you'll want to share with a kid, or maybe hoard for yourself. (Ifyou read it to kids, watch out for a couple of spicy sex bits andone epithet.) --Therese Littleton ... Read more

Customer Reviews (419)

4-0 out of 5 stars Mystical Fantasy World of Magic and Adventure
Neil Gaiman is a truly gifted writer who has created some of the most thought-provoking and entertaining worlds where readers can wander through in awe and fascination.

Stardust takes the reader on a haunting journey from the borders of human reality into the magical land of Faeries. This tale follows the hero, Tristran Thorn, as he ventures out across the wall seeking a fallen star that he hopes will win him the hand of his one true love.

This is a witty, intelligent, beautifully written fantasy story full of imaginative and memorable characters. Gaiman is a master of mixing mythologies and originality into a complex and realistic fantasy world. Stardust is a enchanting and wonderful book that readers of all ages will enjoy.

3-0 out of 5 stars On rare occasion....
On rare occasion the makers of movies surprise the heck out of me and produce a better movie than the book it is based on. Stardust is one such occasion in my opinion...and it is just that; an opinion.

Neil Gaiman created the characters but the movie brought them to life in a way that Mr. Gaiman couldn't and usually it's the other way around.

The main problem I had with the story was the vast cast of characters who were introduced and never fully developed. I think that when I am distracted enough to have these kinds of thoughts while in the middle of reading, the author has not done his job in suspending my disbelief and losing me in his universe.My other criticism is that the ending was disappointing and anticlimactic. I don't know...perhaps Stardust needed to be a few hundred pages longer.

All that said, Neil Gaiman has a creative genius that is unparalleled in the fantasy world. I just think he should have sat on Stardust for a few years to let it ripen.

4-0 out of 5 stars Kindle Version: Formatting Errors, Low-resolutions Images -- UNACCEPATBLE
The book is a lot of fun and worth reading.

With that out of the way, the Kindle version is rushed. With typos, formatting errors, and extremely low-resolution images. Now that eBooks have been out for a while these sort of issues should have been sorted out. They haven't been. Complain with your reviews and make these problems known so we can stop this problem as soon as possible.

5-0 out of 5 stars Once Upon a Time...
Described as "an utterly charming fairy tale in the tradition of The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story," Neil Gaiman's Stardust is an extremely bewitching and absolutely addictive story that will have you turning pages well into the night to discover what will become of Tristan and the star. The magic contained within the pages of Stardust makes for a fantastic fairy tale for adults.

Neil Gaiman has created a motley cast of characters in Stardust - witches, fairies, gypsies, ghosts, sprites, unicorns and of course, the star. Our hero Tristran Thorne sets out on his quest and is quickly swept up in the adventure of his young life. Tristran is honorable and kind - a charming and extremely likable character. Surrounded by a cast of intriguing eccentrics, Tristran must retrieve the star in order to win the hand of the fair maiden Victoria.

Gaiman has conceived an entire world of wild enchantment and intrigue. With a swift moving plot, fully developed, realistic characters, and a captivating setting, Stardust is a beautiful and timeless story, sure to charm even the surliest of readers. Stardust is a creative and witty read, full of surprises around each and every corner.

3-0 out of 5 stars A decent story of fantasy and love
I saw the movie Stardust and was interested in reading the book to hope for a better story because everyone always says books are better than movies.And the book had some variations from the movie, but overall it was pretty similar.Some parts were a tad slow though and honestly I didn't think the book was really better than the movie.They were just different.I still think the book was worth reading, and definitely so if you haven't seen the movie. ... Read more

9. Violent Cases
by Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean
Paperback: 48 Pages (2004-01-05)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1569716064
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
An exploration of the trappings of violence and the failings of memory, Violent Cases marks the beginning of the astonishing and award-winning collaboration between author Neil Gaiman and the artist Dave McKean, offered in its first Dark Horse edition, in softcover format with cover flaps.Set only in the memory of its author, this brillant short story meanders through levels of recollection surrounding a childhood injury.After dislocating his arm, a young boy is taken to see a doctor - an aged osteopath who was once the doctor of legendary gangster Al Capone.Through studied observations and painstaking attempts at truthful recall, the author reconstructs his tattered memories of the events surrounding his meeting with the doctor, and delves into the psychological complexities that emerged from the doctor's bizarre tales of Capone's life of crime.Gorgeously illustrated in mixed media by Dave McKean, Violent Cases is a sensuous and thought-provoking meditation on our memories. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterstroke!
Given it's all hits and no misses, considering it's Gaiman/McKean team's first work, it's a masterstroke. I can't believe it's their first collaboration!

Fractured arm, fractured memory. Innocent games, violent cases...

5-0 out of 5 stars Shows the roots of Gaiman & McKean
For any Neil Gaiman/Dave Mckean fan, this book is a great addition. It's their first collaboration (I think Dave was 24 when he made the art for this) and really shows where they came from. They talk about that in the introduction. It goes without saying, if you know these creators, that it stands on its own far better then most graphic novels, and pigeon holing it to just Gaiman/McKean fans is an insult. Every time I show a new person this book, they're blown away by seeing a comic with art this engaging. There's so much love the two of them poured into it and this was what put them both on the map. While they're skills have come a long way in the 20+ years since this came out, this book has more of a raw feel and stands as an inspiration for any fledgling artist or writer. While many creators have that 'Well, you need to start somewhere' movie or book Gaiman and McKean instead have this brilliant work that shows just how good they were from the very start.

5-0 out of 5 stars good job
good job on the sending of the book.it was good. sorry for the late review

5-0 out of 5 stars Inimitable experience
This is the second book that I've read by Neil Gaiman. The artwork blows you away. This is what graphic novels should look and feel like. Violent Cases just captures the awe and fear of the unknown from a child's perspective. It seemed like I could smell the narrator's cigarette smoke and was transported back to the 80s (when this was written) to listen to his story. What is even better about the artwork is that it varies from page to page. Not that every spread is different but to capture the story best, each scene is different. From line drawings to paintings, this book is remarkable. Definite must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Haunting Memories
"I like to remember things my own way . . . as i remember them. not necessarily the way they happened." These lines from _Forgotten Highway_ evoke the feel of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's compelling and evocative _Violent Cases_.

Enter the dimly lit, vague world of a man (who looks amazingly like Gaiman himself) remembering incidents from his childhood: a world of odd dentists, stupid birthday parties, evil magicians, and violent cases (violin cases). Our hero (for all of Gaiman's children are heroes) goes through his coming of age, in a frightening yet curious way, by peeking behind the curtain, while Gaiman's words and McKean's art take us along for the ride, peeking behind the curtain of memory.

Gaiman readers will definitely see similarities in style between this story and _Mr. Punch_, which, in my mind, stands as a companion piece to this book. Memory and its tricks, traps, twists and turns serve as the vehicle for both, and it's the uncertain but unquestioning way that we go through the memories that make these books so brilliant.

We all have memories. And if we look at them very closely, we begin to realize how scary some of those memories can be. As Gaiman shows us time and time again, the world is a threatening one to children: too big, too confusing, where children are constantly lied to and hushed even in moments of brilliance. Yet somehow we made it. Let Gaiman and McKean remind you how. ... Read more

10. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
Paperback: 400 Pages (2007-08-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$4.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060853972
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

Put New York Times bestselling authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett together . . . and all Hell breaks loose.

Amazon.com Review
Pratchett (of Discworld fame) and Gaiman (of Sandman fame)may seem an unlikely combination, but the topic (Armageddon)of this fast-paced novel is old hat to both.Pratchett's wackiness collaborates with Gaiman's morbid humor;the result is a humanist delight to be savored and rereadagain and again.You see, there was a bit of a mixup whenthe Antichrist was born, due in part to the machinationsof Crowley, who did not so much fall as saunter downwards, and in part to the mysterious ways as manifestedin the form of a part-time rare book dealer, an angel namedAziraphale.Like top agents everywhere, they've long had morein common with each other than the sides they represent, or theconflict they are nominally engaged in.The only person who knows how it will all end is Agnes Nutter, a witch whose prophecies all come true, if one can only manage to decipher them.The minor characters along the way (Famine makes an appearanceas diet crazes, no-calorie food and anorexia epidemics) areas much fun as the story as a whole, which adds up toone of those rare books which is enormous fun to read the first time, and the second time, and the third time... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (582)

5-0 out of 5 stars The alternative Apolcalypse ...
Really this book is way beyond five stars. It sends up the Apocalypse, The Omen and even provides an alternative explanation of the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. With a demon named A J Crowley and an Angel who keeps an Antique and Rare Book Shop all you need is an 11 year old Anti-Christ who, due to a bungle by the Chattering Order of Sisters at his birth is raised in an ordinary family without the Satanic influence Hell kept sending the wrong child, a Hellhound that looks like your average "Pavement Special" and develops a taste for mortality, chasing frisbees and rabbits and ... Let's just say several 'ineffable' plans get derailed as a result.

Let's not forget an updated set of Horsemen from the Apolcalypse and their alter-egos the "Other" Four Bikers ... Or the meeting in the Motorway Cafe "Which Chapter are you?" Answer: "Revelations 6..."

As someone else has said, don't read this in bed - unless you live alone. Don't even consider reading it on a train during your commute...

Pratchett and Gaiman have pulled off one of the master strokes in this genre and created something that crosses genres and creates one all its own. When I have recovered from the aching ribs I will read it again, and probably again and again when I need the laugh. I heartily commend it for its irreverence to all manner of beliefs and even the sciences. Imagine a nuclear power station pouring out electricity - without anything at all inside its reactors ...

Er, yes. No more spoilers...

4-0 out of 5 stars Ironic and funny, but a bit scattered and campy at parts
I am a huge Gaiman fan and somehow I had never read this book.I was eager to read it since I used to read Pratchett's Discworld series and enjoyed the humor in that too.Overall this was a good book and fairly humorous.I thought the humor went a bit over the top at points; but overall still liked it.Think of this book as kind of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Apocalypse; it is written in that type of style with lots of footnotes.

When Crowley, original Crawley the serpent from Eden, gets the Antichrist he makes a mistake.The babies are switched out and Crowley and his arch-enemy Azrael spent a good portion of their lives trying to influence the wrong child.All you have to do then is get the Four Horsemen involved, a young woman who is a descendent of Agnes Nutter (the most accurate phophetess history has ever known, and a young man who is a witch hunter in the story and things begin to get out of hand.The real Antichrist, aptly named Adam, is making a bullocks of things using his unholy power to save whales and make nuclear power safer.General chaos ensues, legions of angels and demons prepare for war, and the world as we know it may or may not end.

This was a pretty good book.Given it's cult status I was expected it to be hilarious and to be blown out of the water by it.I really wasn't.The book switches viewpoint a lot, making it a bit hard to keep everything straight in the beginning.There are a ton of footnotes throughout (which I am not a huge fan off because they interrupt the story), and while some of them were funny, some of them were just plain silly and rambled on a bit too much.

The story takes a while to get going and I struggled to stay interested initially; but as events build to the final Apocalyse the pace picks up and the book is much more engaging. The characters are interesting but never really personable because you don't get to spend much time with them.I am thinking this book may be a bit dated and was more unique and original when it was written.To be honest this book reminds me a lot of the movie Dogma and in writing style, of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, books.

In general I have mixed feelings about this book.There are some funny parts and some excellent irony, some very creative ideas and characters.The story takes a bit to get going through and constantly switches viewpoint so it was hard to really engage with any of the characters.The humor got a bit campy at parts and some of the footnotes rambled on way too much.I thought it was missing the wonderful classic story structure and tone that most of Gaiman's books have.

Overall I am glad that I read it but it was not my favorite Gaiman or Pratchett book.It was a bit too campy for me and a bit too scattered.There are some funny parts though and the story itself is very ironic.If you like Christopher Moore or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxay, or religion spoofs (like the movie Dogma) you will probably enjoy this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars very funny
This is some really funny stuff. LOL as the saying goes.
4 stars because:
1 - It is dated. A recurring plot is the transformation of tapes left in a certain car. Young readers will be puzzled- what exactly is a tape deck and why would it be in a car?
2 - It is VERY obviously a takeoff on Douglas Adams. Nothing wrong with that per se, but anyone who has read Hitchhiker' Guide will realize this was two authors having fun with this writing style.

5-0 out of 5 stars great tongue in cheek fun
This book is great tongue in cheek fun.I like wit, especially scathing wit.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wickedly Fun
This is the first Neil Gaiman book I've ever read and I can safely say it is not the last.This man is deliciously witty and this story is pure fun from start to finish.The overall premise is that Armageddon has finally descended on the planet and is scheduled to erupt from a little village in rural England.From the birth of the antichrist, however, things go terribly awry and what is intended to be a modern day administration of the book of Revelation instead turns into a gong show.Angels, demons, witches, witch hunters, and riders of the apocalypse collide in a delirious tornado of social satire and I was absolutely laughing out loud at many a point throughout the story.Highly recommended! ... Read more

11. The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition)
by Neil Gaiman
Paperback: 240 Pages (2010-10-19)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$11.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401225756
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's transcendent series SANDMAN is oftenhailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphicstorytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyondlife and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his owndistinct narrative vision.


In PRELUDES & NOCTURNES, an occultist attempting to captureDeath to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. Afterhis 70 year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goeson a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encountersLucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman.


This book also includesthe story "The Sound of Her Wings," which introduces us to the pragmatic and perkygoth girl Death.

Includes issues 1-8 of the original series with completely new coloring, approved by the author.Amazon.com Review

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes: Before and After
Click on the images below to see full pages with all-new and original coloring.

Page 14: New coloring (left) vs. old (right)Page 42: New coloring (left) vs. old (right)Page 128: New coloring (left) vs. old (right)

... Read more

Customer Reviews (147)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great stories, some clumsy art.
I haven't really seen this addressed (although I haven't waded through all the other reviews).Gaiman's storytelling is fantastic but some of the early art is very clumsy. I have to assume it was Sam Kieth since it improved as soon as he left.It's primarily in the character design and execution, the overall layout is beautiful.The art is often cartoony, characters' features seem unstable, looking different from panel to panel, their heads are often ridiculously large (I'm talking about human and human-shaped characters) and proportions, in general, are out of whack and not in an intentionally artful way..There are some panels of Lucifer, in particular, that just look ridiculous and amateurish. Among other things he has a normally shaped head in closeup and a bobble-head in the full-body shots plus he appears to be wearing sweatpants!The cartooniness often undercuts the moodiness.
Fortunately this settles down after the first 5 issues/chapters and by the time we get to "24 Hours" the art is appropriate to the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dreams of Greatness
"The Sandman" was perhaps the single most-acclaimed series of the 90s. Originally conceived as a vehicle for reviving an old superhero, it became a deciding factor in the creation of DC's "Vertigo" imprint, ran for seven years and 75 issues, made the New York Times Bestseller list, had numerous spin-offs, including "Lucifer," which ran for 75 issues, and became a grand epic story and a tribute to human creativity. It even inspired the revival of said old superhero, in the form of "Sandman Mystery Theatre."

"Preludes and Nocturnes" is not this book. It is a very, very good book, but it is not what solidified The Sandman as one of the greatest comics ever written. The early comics in Neil Gaiman's magnum opus do not have the same extended narrative focus as the later issues, and it is more of a horror comic than it is a poetic tribute to the human imagination. Nevertheless, "Preludes and Nocturnes" is highly imaginative, scary, and at times poignant.

"Sleep of the Just," issue 1, is a bit confusing, giving us a somewhat bizarre story that, in a roundabout way, introduces us to Dream of the Endless and the main conflict of the story - he is imprisoned by a group of occult magicians who seek to capture death, and they steal his tools. It also serves to set up events in future books.

Issue 2, "Imperfect Hosts," has Dream returning to his realm, which has fallen into a state of disrepair. The last page, I feel, is one of the books highlights.

"Dream a Little Dream of Me" brings us a crossover with John Constantine, of "Swamp Thing" and "Hellblazer" fame (two other famous Vertigo series). Having never read a John Constantine story, I feel his character was somewhat underutilized here.

"A Hope in Hell" is far more interesting than the previous issue, and introduces us to Lucifer, setting up the aforementioned spin-off comic. It contains one of the books other highlights, being a battle of wits between Dream and the demon who has his helmet. This book also introduces us to another plot element that is further explored in "The Doll's House" and "Season of Mists."

"Passengers" is a more bizarre case. It sets up the primary antagonist of the next few issues, Dr. Destiny, an old and somewhat silly supervillain of the DCU. He is no longer silly. This issue is odd because of how much it stakes in the DC Universe. It features appearances from not only Dr. Destiny, but also Jonathan Crane (the "Scarecrow" of Batman fame), Scott Free ("Mister Miracle"), and the Martian Manhunter. Fans of DC will no doubt appreciate the references.

It's the last three issues where I feel this book really hits its stride - "24 Hours," which is a work of pure horror, is one of the most disturbing things in this book's entire run, and one of the few works that Neil Gaiman said genuinely horrified him.

The next, "Sound and Fury," gives us the climactic final showdown between Dr. Destiny and Dream. It wraps up the story arc and gives a satisfying conclusion. In earlier editions of the volume, this ended the book, but there has since been a change for the better.

The final issue included in this collection is quite a change of pace - "The Sound of Her Wings" introduces us to Death of the Endless, who is perhaps the most popular character in the entire series (she has three spin-offs books, one of which is oddly in the style of a Manga). Probably ties with Discworld for having the most popular version of the grim reaper to appear in fiction, likely due to the fact that Sandman's Death is not particularly grim. This story initially appeared in volume 2, "The Doll's House," but it serves better here, as "The Doll's House" is already a better book than "Preludes and Nocturnes," it has more relevance to the first book, and its omission from "The Doll's House" keeps the book from opening with two comics that have nothing to do with its main arc. Despite the subject, this is no doubt the lightest story in the book, which starts to set up the series as more of a dark fantasy than a horror, as earlier issues indicate. It's certainly a good note to end the collection on.

While "Preludes and Nocturnes" is not what The Sandman would eventually become, it has it's moments of inspiration, even in the earlier issues that don't quite mesh with each other, sometimes working better as individual issues than as a collected storyline (understandable, as these were the first issues).

I might not recommend this if you are only going to put a small number of comics in your library. If you want what solidified this series as a masterpiece, I'd recommend checking one of the later volumes. However, if you want to read the entire series, the very beginning is a very good place to start, and faulting the first volume for not living up to the others is a very small criticism.

5-0 out of 5 stars The nights of no dreams
The world of comic books was a very different place before the Sandman came into being. Neil Gaiman revolutionized the graphic novel with "The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes," an exquisite story filled with shadowy realistic art and strange magical beings. This is one of those rare stories that tantalizes you with beauty and chills you to your core, all at the same time.

A group of occultists are attempting to summon and trap Death... but instead, they capture Dream and lock him in a glass orb. Decades pass, and countless people are locked in slumber -- unable to dream, unable to wake for long. One day, Dream escapes his prison and reenters the world, but loses the last of his power with his final act of revenge.

His Dreamworld palace has fallen into ruin, and his magical items have been scattered. To regain his power, he must get back his helm, his pouch of sand, and his dreamstone. His journey to regain them will take him across worlds -- to John Constantine and a woman destroyed by dreams, to the depths of Hell at a demonic club, and a ghastly madman who drives various people to depravity and death.

The world of "The Sandman" is a strange one -- it lightly interlocks with other graphic novel series, effortlessly slips from one world to another, and exposes both the beauty and ugliness of our own world. "Preludes and Nocturnes" is an excellent introduction to Neil Gaiman's strange, expansive world -- as well as his hollow-eyed anti-hero.

At its core, the story is rather simple, since it's basically a quest for Dream's three magical "tools." But Gaiman paints it with foreshadowing, nightmarish grotesqueries (flesh melting off bones, John Dee's drooling lipless face), and some zanily macabre humor (the Hellfire Club... in hell!). And as the dust settles, Gaiman caps his story off with a quieter interlude in which Dream encounters his sister Death.

And the artwork is sublime -- realistic in style, but often bizarre and a little frightening in theme. And despite the core colors being shadowy greys, whites and blacks, there are splashes of bright colors everywhere. Green fields, blue hallways, psychedelic skies, hallucinations filled with sickly pallid hues.

And Gaiman created one of his most iconic, complex characters in Dream -- his inhumanness is underlined by acts of great cruelty and kindness, and his sad, grim demeanor is more than a little touching. The author also spun up a very nonstereotypical version of Death. No robes, scythes or skeletal faces here. In fact, forget about anything sinister -- this version of Death is a delightfully quirky, perky goth chick.

"Preludes and Nocturnes" is a harrowing and hypnotic look into the world of dreams -- what happens when the Sandman is imprisoned, and what must be done after. Sublime.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Graphic Novel Series Starts Here!!!
The Sandman was a series I stumbled upon due to my liking of Neil Gaiman's other worksuch as American Gods and Coraline. The fact that it was a Comic Book series made it all the more appealing. Let me say that if you're at all in love with the DC universe, Neil Gaiman, or even just the idea of dreams, and other realities, THIS IS THE SERIES FOR YOU.

Volume One introduces the main character who goes by many names, one of which is the series title. You are introduced to the idea of beings known as the Endless, siblings of sorts, 2 of which being our main character and his sister Death. Also, that they exist in between the different religious mythologies, dimensions, universes, etc. From visiting the justice league, to the depths of Hell, to the office of John Constantine, this first volume familiarizes you with the bizarre, yet intriguing worlds, plots, characters, and so much more.

If you find yourself interested in the first title, PRELUDES & NOCTURNES is just the beginning. The is a great start to an amazing series that all must enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars great series
all of my comic book loving friends have told me to read the Sandman series. I've finally started it and I love it. The art is pleasantly old-school. The story is deep and interesting. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys good comics or graphic novels. ... Read more

12. M Is for Magic
by Neil Gaiman
Paperback: 272 Pages (2008-05-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061186473
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a breathtaking collection of tales for younger readers that may chill or amuse, but that always embrace the unexpected:

  • Humpty Dumpty's sister hires a private detective to investigate her brother's death.
  • A teenage boy who has trouble talking to girls finds himself at a rather unusual party.
  • A boy raised in a graveyard makes a discovery, and confronts the much more troubling world of the living.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars magic is entertaining
I listened to these stories and enjoyed them so much I bought the paperback.

Great stories!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not a full realization of Gaiman's mastery
I like Neil Gaiman's work.I have read most of what is available.I have sought out his work, I have seen him read live.I like this particular book, but it is all familiar.Not familiar in the way that when you read a lot of an author's work you know their patterns and intonations and common themes.This book is familiar in the way that pretty much everything in it is available in some other publication.

I don't know if this collection is better audience-directed than his more complete story collections, but I think Gaiman's audience is anyone that has ever been young at heart, searching for a sense of wonder in their encounters with the world.Gaiman bring this wonder; he is a master story-teller.However, you should perhaps seek out Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions (P.S.), Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, or The Graveyard Book.All these represent a fuller realization of Gaiman's mastery than this title.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not really fond of books of shorts, but...
I love Gaiman's work, but I've never before picked up a book of his short stories (I'm not really partial to short stories as a whole). I did enjoy M Is for Magic, though. The stories were entertaining. They aren't for small children, since there's a little colorful language in there and some other things that are inappropriate for a very young age group. If you're reading Gaiman to your kids, though, you should be used to reading through his work beforehand, as his writing runs from children's stories up to very adult pieces.

I'm very rarely creeped out by a story, but the short 'The Price' definitely had me thinking second thoughts about walking through dark rooms at night; it was one of those stories that makes you wonder about your pets. 'How to Talk to Girls at Parties' was very cute, up until the ending. I loved the science fiction-y, otherworldly tang to the people at the party. 'Chivalry' was a very sweet fairy tale which, if I'm remembering correctly, is suitable for any age. 'The Troll Bridge' stood out, to me, as the saddest short in the book - a cautionary tale of letting your life go unlived. And 'Instructions' was the perfect way to end the book, with a thoughtful, fantastic little poem.

4-0 out of 5 stars A couple of gems in here...
This is a nice book of short stories for younger readers.The book is supposed to be for ages 10 and up, but some of the stories seemed more suitable for teen readers.

In any case, there was a mixture here of good and not-so-good tales."Chivalry" and "The Witch's Headstone" were probably my favourites.The nice thing about short stories is that, if you end up not liking one of them, you haven't invested too much of your time.I'd recommend this book simply because it has some well-written, entertaining tales that can be read in one sitting.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mixed stories but some real standouts!
Summary: A collection of short stories that are alternately fantastic, scary, and funny, written during various periods of Mr Gaiman's career.

As this is a collection, I would only like to talk about my favorite stories although as I really enjoyed this I definitely recommend all.

[In the order that I read them]

1. "The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds"-This is sort of a children's noir story with a hardboiled detective Jack Horner searching out the answer to "Who killed Humpty Dumpty?" It starts the book out on a high note.

2. "How to Sell the Ponti Bridge"-funny story about swindling people set in another world

3. "October in the Chair"-I liked the framing story which is of the twelve months gathering to tell stories as each month ends, but I didn't really like the story told by October which was unresolved to my mind.

4. "The Witch's Headstone"-this is the story that became The Graveyard Book, which I really liked. I read it a while ago but I'm pretty sure this extract can be found in its entirety in the book. Unfortunately without the context of the book, I'm pretty sure this story would have left me baffled as it sets up many subplots but doesn't quite connect them.

Overall: 4.5/5 so good! ... Read more

13. Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions (P.S.)
by Neil Gaiman
Paperback: 368 Pages (2008-02-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$5.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061450162
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

In the deft hands of Neil Gaiman, magic is no mere illusion . . . and anything is possible. In Smoke and Mirrors, Gaiman's imagination and supreme artistry transform a mundane world into a place of terrible wonders—where an old woman can purchase the Holy Grail at a thrift store, where assassins advertise their services in the Yellow Pages under "Pest Control," and where a frightened young boy must barter for his life with a mean-spirited troll living beneath a bridge by the railroad tracks. Explore a new reality, obscured by smoke and darkness yet brilliantly tangible, in this extraordinary collection of short works by a master prestidigitator. It will dazzle your senses, touch your heart, and haunt your dreams.

Amazon.com Review
This anthology of short stories, and the occasionalstory poem, is vintageNeil Gaiman: quirky, sometimes very funny, often dark anddisturbing. Most have been published before, but are hard to find elsewhere and coverall of Gaiman's writing life. As Gaiman says in his introduction, "most ofthe stories in this book are about love in some form or another," but notrequited love. The stories in Smoke and Mirrors touch on all ofGaiman's themes: sex, death, dreams, and the end of the world. From"Chivalry," about the Holy Grail and where it finally ended up, to"Troll Bridge," a very adult version of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff"; from"Bay Wolf," a story poem that melds Beowulf andBaywatch, with interesting results, to "Murder Mysteries," which isabout a murder, but also about angels, God's will, and Evil, these storiesleave lasting impressions. Fans of RayBradbury's short stories and of Gaiman's other works will enjoy thiscollection. --Nona Vero ... Read more

Customer Reviews (94)

5-0 out of 5 stars Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors
Excellent book, brilliantly written. Masterfull tales full of a peculiar poignancy delivered with a dark, deft and original prose. Pulses with verve and vivacity.

2-0 out of 5 stars A bit of a flop
Smoke and Mirrors was not to my taste.I found a few gems in the book, for for the most part I found the collection to be a bit much to swallow.Many of the stories simply fell flat, and the, er, poetry, was simply painful.As a whole, the collection made me feel like I was back in Freshman Creative Writing (which, coincidentally, is where I first heard of Neil Gaiman, as so many of my classmates cooed over the brilliance of American Gods).

Gaiman is typically hit-or-miss for me, and this volume just happens to be a strong "miss."

4-0 out of 5 stars The Magic of Gaiman
Great book: a diverse group of stories and poems written with emotional depth and sense of wonderment only Gaiman can conjure. I'm not going to offer mini-reviews of each story or spoilers... that's just not me, but to make it easier (if you trust my judgement), the stand-out stories are (by the way: all stories are good but these are my favorites): "The Wedding Present" (read the introduction), "The Price", "The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories", "The White Road", "Queen of Knives", "Changes", "Looking for the Girl", "Only the End of the World Again", "Bay Wolf", "We Can Get Them for you Wholesale", "One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock", "Foreign Parts", "Mouse", "Murder Mysteries", and "Snow, Glass, Apples".

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful collection
Neil Gaiman's talent really shines in these stories, though some are better than others (at least, in my opinion, but then I think everyone here has their favorite stories, right?) and it's a great, solid collection of stories to enjoy. My personal favorites were the one about the pill that erases genetic imperfections, but also resets gender in opposite - it was a interesting and thought-provoking story - and the hundred-word story about Santa Claus. A great book to add to any Neil Gaiman collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction To Neil Gaiman
If you have never read anything by Neil Gaiman, this is a great place to start.This is a mix of tales; some are humorous and others are frightening. My personal favorite is "Chivalry" in which an old woman buys the Holy Grail at a thrift shop, and Sir Galahad shows up trying to obtain the thing.It's like something out of a Monty Python sketch.This collection is hit and miss with more winners than losers.If you like Lovecraft, King, or Poe then give this a try. ... Read more

14. The Facts In The Case Of The Departure Of Miss Finch
by Neil Gaiman, Michael Zulli
Hardcover: 56 Pages (2007-10-10)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$3.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593076673
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Come, come and hear of the strange and terrible tale of Miss Finch, an exacting woman befallen by mystery and abduction deep under the streets of London! New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman delivers another stunning hardcover graphic novel with longtime collaborator Michael Zulli (Creatures of the Night, The Sandman). This is the first comics adaptation of his popular story "The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch," which saw print only in the U.K. edition of Gaiman's award-winning work Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions and was recently interpreted for his Speaking in Tongues CD. The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch is a "mostly true story" that combines the author's trademark magic realism with Zulli's sumptuous paintings, and has been newly rewritten for this hardcover. Join a group of friends, with the stern Miss Finch in tow, as they enter musty caverns for a subterranean circus spectacle called "The Theatre of Night's Dreaming." Come inside, get out of the pounding rain, and witness this strange world of vampires, ringmasters, illusions and the Cabinet of Wishes Fulfill'd. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Just the facts
This is the story, as the title suggests, about the disappearance of a woman. It's not a mystery; the characters aren't trying to find her. It's simply the facts. The journey towards that end has a lot of interesting scenery, and the end is interesting. Nothing is explained, of course, and the reader and the characters both are left confused. But it's a good kind of confused.

Interesting story--but since it's adapted from a short story by Neil Gaiman, that's to be expected. Also since it's Neil Gaiman, I wonder if reading the short story isn't better than seeing it. I think I'll prefer the prose form.

I didn't like the art, aesthetically. That was my first thought when I opened the book--I felt that the beautiful cover was a cruel tease. After reading the book, however, I admit that the art sort of suited the setting of the circus--although it was strange that where the narration said that the costumes were bad, the art depicted them as looking pretty amazing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gaiman telling a story of the weirder side of English life
Nicely done, as usual, but in a theme well noted by Neil Gaiman in the past. An interesting color palette is used by Michael Zulli that feels like water color but yet doesn't really look like water color. The quality of paper is worthy of a hardback.

Miss Finch makes for a good read, an odd duck woman set up for a blind date with the "author" of the story and the weird undergound London antics that follow, which Neil has identified as "Mostly True". It has a dark appeal, but unlike many of Gaiman's other works it is very much a one-shot no need to revisit kind of tale that you recognize instantly and predict with ease. For Miss Finch its more about the getting there than the there itself. Gaiman tells great stories, and this is told well, based off a short story he wrote in Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions.But the familiarity of the story keeps it from rising to Neil's best.Worthy read if you can get it for under $10. Otherwise, there are better Gaiman works to spend your money on.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Well, I don't know why, but Neil Gaiman always surprises me. I know he is a genius, and I love his work, and everytime I read something of his I am surprised by his witicism and inteligence. All I can say is that this book was no exception! I really loved it, an amazingly well told story of a woman who gets her wishes fulfilled in a most peculiar way. Really escellent and I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Neil Gaiman Classic
I have been a fan of Mr. Gaiman's work for years and I love that he continues to provide me entertainment across the media spectrum in Prose Books, Film, TV shows, Illustrated Stories and of course, comics. While he has certainly branched out quite a bit since Sandman, he still shows us the love in the occasional comic gem. I first read The Facts In The Case Of The Departure Of Miss Finch in his Fragile Things collection of short stories. It was a great little story that was very fun to read. I really felt that it was a story told by a close friend over for dinner, who always spins a great yarn. (I have no pretenses that Mr. Gaiman knows me, or I him, from a hole in the wall (are there wolves in there??), but the writing really draws me in) When I saw that he and Michael Zulli were adapting this for Dark Horse, I was thrilled. His other adaptations with Craig P. Russell (Murder Mysteries and Coraline) are also not to be missed. The story really suits the small hardcover format Dark Horse has been beginning to use. Miss Finch was beautifully scripted and rendered by this duo and really is a delight to read. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! A+

4-0 out of 5 stars The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch
THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF THE DEPARTURE OF MISS FINCH BY NEIL GAIMAN AND MICHAEL ZULLI: In this original story from Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli, who have collaborated before on graphic novels, with see the story of Miss Finch and her enigmatic disappearance as recounted through the eyes and memories of those who witnessed it.

The tale begins with the narrator and his two friends, a couple, who wish him to join them and Miss Finch on a fun night out. The man grudging agrees and is surprised when he meets Miss Finch, who is a strange and unique looking woman, giving nothing of herself away except for her mysterious attire. They decide to go to this circus they've heard about, which is unlike anything ever done before. With a total of fifty people, they enter into the main room after finding the front door to the basement of a run down building. They are soon greeted to an introductory show of many strange creatures in many colors and looks. Everyone assumes them to be people in costumes, but they do look uncannily realistic.

They are then greeted by the man in charge who bears more than a striking resemblance to Alice Cooper, who guides them to the first of many rooms where bizarre events are taking place. There is the breathtaking knife throwing act; the Frankenstein-like creature with incredible strength; the room of black light creatures that again seem too real; and the room with the strange guillotine act. After taking a break at what seems like the end, the four members find themselves alone and enter into another room where they are greeted by darkness and then wild animals and a wild woman who looks familiar. Thinking they are about to die, the room turns to black and they leave the room only to find Miss Finch is no longer with them.

The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch is a strange story that makes one question what one is actually seeing, what is supposed reality and what is not. Through the skilful writing of Gaiman and the haunting artistic style of Zulli, it is a book that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

[...] ... Read more

15. The Dangerous Alphabet
by Neil Gaiman
Paperback: 32 Pages (2010-08-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060783354
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

A is for Always, that's where we embark . . .

Two children, treasure map in hand, and their pet gazelle sneak past their father, out of their house, and into a world beneath the city, where monsters and pirates roam.

Will they find the treasure? Will they make it out alive?

... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Niece loved it!
I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman, and when I saw that he'd written another kid's book, I picked it up for my niece.I gave it to her, went to work, and the next day, I asked my mom, who'd been watching her, about my niece's reaction.My mom laughed!She said that my niece had read it to her three times!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fun And Creepy Book
This is a strange little alphabet book. The words and art are done in a creepy cartoon style. I would recommend it to people who like the movies Coraline or Nightmare Before Christmas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alphabet Book in the Neil Gaiman Style
This is a very nice alphabet book.I note that people have complained that the book would be scary for young children but I have ESOL students who may be learning the English alphabet at an older age.This book is a perfect for my students who need to learn the alphabet and develop comprehension in English, they love a good scare.As for the book, I find it clever and as enjoyable as other Gaiman books.I'm a real fan.

3-0 out of 5 stars Another A,B,C book
Well,there's not much to say about this book.It's another A,B,C book,and it isn't really much better or worse than any other.Honestly,it's not one of Neil Gaimen's best stories.To me,it reads allot like a rough draft and it soley got published just because of the author being "Neil Gaimen".It was just fast bucks/easy money for Mr. Gaimen.Then again,that's just me...I could be wrong?What saves this book for completely tanking?That honor goes to the very talented Gris Grimly.If it weren't for his illustrations,this book would be a real dog I.M.O.I've seen/read better A,B,C books with my nieces&nephews than this one,so I'd pass this one up if I was you...it's not a keeper.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book, but NOT for small fry (Truly a Dangerous Alphabet)
My children (boy and girl; 7 and 9) happen to like poetry, so it surprised me that they weren't more enthusiastic about this book.The rhyme is good after all, and I thought that the artwork was interesting, but it didn't grab their attention even after I read it to them.

The subject might have something to do with that dismissal.The book has a rather dark theme, you see, wherein a little boy and his sister go off on a subterranean adventure with their gazelle, only to have some monsters kidnap the girl.It all comes out in the end, but my kids aren't into that sort of adventure at this point.(All throughout the pages there are images of children chained to this, that and the next thing; captured in cages, dragged here and there.)

Here's a sample of the prose:

E's for the Evil
that lures and entices;

F is for Fear
and its
many devices;

G is for Good
as in hero,
and morning;

H is for
"Help me!"
-- a cry,
and a warning;

Good enough rhyme, as you can hear if you read it aloud.And the lyrics are accompanied by appropriate artwork by Gris Grimly.In fact, I'd go farther than that and state that really the artwork makes this book.Particularly as there are places where Gaiman's lyrics mean nothing, and the story is moved along solely by Grimly's images.

The artwork, by the way, is done in a sepia tone, in very detailed manner, in sort of an neo-archaic style.And if you look closely enough, you can even find elements on the page that relate to the target letter:a raven for "R", for example.

Talking Points
Just so you know, THE DANGEROUS ALPHABET isn't really a book for small children.The 'alphabet' in the title misleads some folks, but let me assure you that most 3 year old's don't want to see a picture of a child manacled to a wall with something that's either rust or blood dripping down from their wrists.

The target audience is therefore one that already knows their alphabet, and who will enjoy the grisly aspect of the story and artwork.

The book has been given a generic Accelerated Reading number of "5".Which means that it is on the 5th grade level with no specific month determined

Take a look at the art before you purchase this book to make sure that it's appropriate for your target audience.

Fans of Gris Grimly's artwork will be pleased.

Pam T~
mom and reviewer on my blog
(1052) ... Read more

16. Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman
by Hank Wagner, Christopher Golden, Stephen R. Bissette
Hardcover: 432 Pages (2008-10-28)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$9.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002VPE7D8
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Over the past twenty years, Neil Gaiman has developed into the premier fantasist of his generation, achieving that rarest of combinations—unrivaled critical respect and extraordinary commercial success.  From the landmark comic book series The Sandman to novels such as the New York Times bestselling American Gods and Anansi Boys, from children’s literature like Coraline to screenplays for such films as Beowulf, Gaiman work has garnered him an enthusiastic and fiercely loyal, global following.  To comic book fans, he is Zeus in the pantheon of creative gods, having changed that industry forever.  For discerning readers, he bridges the vast gap that traditionally divides lovers of “literary” and “genre” fiction.  Gaiman is truly a pop culture phenomenon, an artist with a magic touch whose work has won almost universal acclaim.
Now, for the first time ever, Prince of Stories chronicles the history and impact of the complete works of Neil Gaiman in film, fiction, music, comic books, and beyond. Containing hours of exclusive interviews with Gaiman and conversations with his collaborators, as well as wonderful nuggets of his work such as the beginning of an unpublished novel, a rare comic and never-before-seen essay, this is a treasure trove of all things Gaiman. In addition to providing in depth information and commentary on Gaiman’s myriad works, the book also includes rare photographs, book covers, artwork, and related trivia and minutiae, making it both an insightful introduction to his work, and a true “must-have” for his ever growing legion of fans.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Flamingnet.com Top Choice Book-highly recommend this book
Prince of Stories is an analysis, a record, and a
celebration of the numerous works by acclaimed author Neil
Gaiman.The book accounts Gaiman's works, from his comics
to his novels and movie scripts, and it provides an analysis
and comparison to other notable pieces of his and of other
authors in the same genre.The analysis also pulls common
themes and elements from Gaiman's stories and discusses the
importance of these themes in Gaiman's world.Prince of
Stories includes hours of interviews with Gaiman as well as
other authors and illustrators who have collaborated with
him.Another bonus for readers is the inclusion of the
beginnings of an unpublished novel and a rare comic strip by
Gaiman.Prince of Stories is a thorough, detailed account
of the genius of Neil Gaiman full of nuggets for fantasy

I am fairly familiar with Neil Gaiman's work
being a comic book and fantasy admirer.I have read The
Sandman, what many consider his magnum opus, along with a
handful of other titles (Murder Mysteries, The Last
Temptation, Neverwhere, and others not mentioned in the
book).This background knowledge helped me to thoroughly
enjoy the book.It also made me reserve more Gaiman titles
at the library.However, those not familiar with Gaiman's
work should not immediately turn away from this book.The
collaborators on Prince of Stories attempted to satisfy both
the strong followers of Gaiman as well as the casual fantasy
reader, and they did an adequate job of both tasks.Casual
fantasy readers can gain a lot of insight from and
exposure to Gaiman's world as this book sternly argues
that one's fantasy readership background is not complete
without Neil Gaiman (beware there are plot spoilers in the
book).I was very pleased with the amount of the book
devoted to The Sandman, including synopses and detailed
literary analysis.However, it seemed that the level of
detail dropped off after that.Nevertheless, there is a
great deal of insight dedicated to the titles discussed in
Prince of Stories.I highly recommend this book to all
Gaiman fans as well as the casual fantasy reader.Readers
will walk away with a greater understanding of the great
author and the genre.

Reviewed by a young adult student reviewer
Flamingnet Book Reviews
Teen books reviewed by teen reviewers

5-0 out of 5 stars Pick Up This Prince
Prince of Stories is the essential, definitive Neil Gaiman bibliography and biography. This book is truly a must-have for all Neil Gaiman fans. It has information on every single project Gaiman has ever touched: every novel, every short story, every comic, every film, every song, every everything is detailed. And by detailed, I mean detailed. Instead of being mere one- or two-paragraph summaries, the entries are packed with character profiles, plot, and publishing info as well as trivia, quotes, and more.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Gaiman's life and writing is contained in this book. The men who collaborated on Prince of Stories - Hank Wagner, Christopher Golden, and Stephen R. Bisette - are published authors as well, and I recommend their novels and comics, too. Their respect and admiration for Gaiman is apparent throughout Prince of Stories, especially in the section which is an in-depth exclusive interview with Gaiman himself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
PRINCE OF STORIES: THE MANY WORLDS OF NEIL GAIMAN is a wonderful book for any fan of Neil Gaiman.It is an overview of his work as well as his life.It is clearly a book written by friends of the man himself and has a jovial feel to it, almost like friends telling stories about one of their own to one of their own.As a reader, one feels almost included in the circle of friendship that clearly helped to generate this book.

Virtually everything a Gaiman fan could want is included in this book, from a list of websites to discussions on characters, from family photos to cover art, and from interviews to journal entries.Gaiman's amazing accomplishments in the Science Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, and Film worlds come to life through the anecdotes and commentary in this book.

A reader comes away feeling like they have known the man for years.It is not simply a cut-and-dried look at Gaiman's amazing accomplishments or life.It carries in it the liveliness all of Gaiman's own works include.

While there is nothing that a parent of a younger child would particularly object to, this is a book written for older readers, for people who have already read Gaiman's work.If one has not read his books yet, it would be giving away some of the most wonderful joys and secret pleasures of reading books written by a master.

Gaiman is THE fantasist of our time, and his ability to shift between mediums is amazing.Considering that this book covers all of his work, some even that have not yet been published, it would be a shame to read this book before you have read or watched what Gaiman himself has created.

Reviewed by:Christina Tsichlis

5-0 out of 5 stars Gaiman Guide
Over the past few decades, Neil Gaiman has become more than an author of graphic novels and fantasy. He has become one of THE authors.

And "Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman" is more than just a homage to Gaiman's many otherworldly works -- it's also a detailed guide to his assorted comics, graphic novels and books, as well as offering insight into Gaiman and his many collaborators, and a wealth of assorted trivia and information.

First, there's a nice little foreword from Gaiman's "Good Omens" collaborator Terry Pratchett ("There was no natural unity between hat and man") and a steady introduction to who and what Neil Gaiman is.

Then there are the in-depth studies and analyses of his works -- Hank Wagner, Stephen Bissette and Christopher Golden go into the depths of his bestselling, groundbreaking graphic novel series "Sandman." Issue by issue, chapter by chapter they summarize and dissect the entire comic book series, whether it's standalone stories of the Endless, tales of Dream's sister Death, or the long shadowy journey of the titular Morpheus.

And they do plenty of dissection of Gaiman's other stories -- the "Spawn" spinoff about a warrior angel, the Eternals, "The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch," the legendary "1602," the little-known "Black Orchid," the pre-Potterian budding wizard known as Tim Hunter, "Miracleman," and countless other contributions.There's even the tale of graphic novels that never really made it out into the world, or were cut short prematurely.

Gaiman's novels get the same treatment -- Wagner, Golden and Bissette don't go into quite as much detail, but they do address the important stuff, including listing and describing the poems and short stories Gaiman has written. And there's the children's books such as "Interworld," "Coraline," "Odd and the Frost Giants," "The Wolves in the Walls." At the time it was written, "The Graveyard Book"

There's even a section devoted to Gaiman's forays into television (a "Babylon 5" episode) and film (the translation of "Princess Mononoke," "Beowulf," and the stunning "Mirrormask"). Not to mention his work with Alice Cooper.

It's pretty obvious from the start that this is a labor of love for Wagner, Bissette and Golden -- it's a colourful, slightly mad patchwork of various quotes, trivia, summaries and interviews having to do with Gaiman. This isn't just a homage, but a sort of composite portrait of the artist and his work -- and it succeeds brilliantly.

Part of this is because they are so thorough -- they include detailed character summaries after every book/graphic novel, bits of trivia ("Anansi Boys" actually predated "American Gods"), influences (G.K. Chesterton and Shakespeare, among others), and quotes from Gaiman on his works at the end of each chapter ("I owe an enormous debt to Hope Mirrlees, Lord Dunsany, James Branch Cabell and C.S. Lewis...").

It also has a number of interviews with people who collaborated with Gaiman -- Charles Vess, Terry Pratchett, Mark Buckingham, Rogues, his personal assistant Lorraine Garland, and of course longtime collaborator Dave McKean.

But the best part is where Gaiman himself is. Not only is there a highly detailed, extensive interview at the end (and some sprinkled through the text), but also clever, lesser-known writings: essays on making 24 pages in 24 hours, an intricate study of the "vegetable theology," a recounting of his first-ever fantasy convention, and a hilarious study of who Jack the Ripper truly was ("'Lord Alfred, would you care to slice the tarts?' Tennyson misunderstood his monarch's request").

"Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman" is the sort of detailed, intelligent tome that actually does justice to Gaiman's peculiar, haunting genius. Definitely a must-read.

5-0 out of 5 stars "A book you can get lost in," per VOYA
A note from Hank Wagner, co-author (with Christopher Golden and Stephen R. Bissette) of Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman:

Sometimes, someone blesses you with a review that says everything you could possibly want about your work.That's certainly the case with Rachelle Bilz, who penned the review below for VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates), a bimonthly library journal devoted to teenagers' information needs.As Neil Gaiman himself might say, it makes me very happy.To be mentioned in the same breath as Hy Bender's fine Sandman Companion is high praise indeed:

"This tribute is a tremendous gift to Neil Gaiman fans. Whether the reader wants to know the inspiration and background information for Gaiman's many works or factual tidbits about the man himself, this volume delivers. The authors, all impressive writers themselves, have conducted extensive research and interviews in their effort to create a compendium of data about one of fantasy's finest writers. Without a doubt, it is the most comprehensive resource about Neil Gaiman to date. Encyclopedic in scope, this book offers reprints of articles by Gaiman, back stories, interviews with illustrators and others who work with Gaiman, photos, illustrations, and sneak peeks at future works. Although broad in scope, this work also contains fascinating minutiae about all things Gaiman as well as entertaining quotes from him. The extensive interview with Gaiman is especially enjoyable, as are his anecdotes about celebrity and fans and his responses to movies such as Stardust. The appendixes offer a chronology, further reading, Web sites, and other helpful information. Well written, well organized, and fun to peruse, this book can be enjoyed as a cover-to-cover read or a random browse. Readers will learn a lot about Gaiman, storytelling and the writing process. A book you can get lost in, it will appeal to Gaiman fans of all ages. This impressive resource should find a place on the shelves alongside Hy Bender's The Sandman Companion (DC Comics, 1999). Reviewer: Rachelle Bilz."
... Read more

17. Odd and the Frost Giants
by Neil Gaiman
Hardcover: 128 Pages (2009-11-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$7.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061671738
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

In this inventive, short, yet perfectly formed novel inspired by traditional Norse mythology, Neil Gaiman takes readers on a wild and magical trip to the land of giants and gods and back.

In a village in ancient Norway lives a boy named Odd, and he's had some very bad luck: His father perished in a Viking expedition; a tree fell on and shattered his leg; the endless freezing winter is making villagers dangerously grumpy.

Out in the forest Odd encounters a bear, a fox, and an eagle—three creatures with a strange story to tell.

Now Odd is forced on a stranger journey than he had imagined—a journey to save Asgard, city of the gods, from the Frost Giants who have invaded it.

It's going to take a very special kind of twelve-year-old boy to outwit the Frost Giants, restore peace to the city of gods, and end the long winter.

Someone cheerful and infuriating and clever . . .

Someone just like Odd .

... Read more

Customer Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars Odd and the Frost Giant Review by: Peter Griffin (d5)
Odd and the Frost Giants by: Neil Gaiman is a great book. It's a bit short but the details are really amazing. The book is about a regular boy named Odd. He finds these 3 animals, a fox, a bear, and an eagle. Odd thinks that he's doomed and will be eaten. The animals talk and say they are gods. Their names are Loki, Odin, and Thor.The story is very well plotted. The problem is that the frost giant took over the god's home and changed their forms to animals. Odd and the gods venture out and then Odd confronted the Frost Giant. Odd convinced the frost giant to leave and then Lady Flaya came out. She shaped the gods back to human form. They had a feast and Odd went home. Before He did Odin came up to Odd and presented him with a staff to take with him. He ended up walking with it for a long time.

I think that the purpose and theme of this book is to entertain readers with a short story. I think that the theme is to teach people that even a simple village boy can have a great adventure. I think this because Odd is a ordinary boy. Then he goes on a adventure and that is why I think this. The Arthur might have had this in mind too when he was writing the book.

In my opinion, the book is great. The book is good because the descriptions about different things are very detailed. It really paints a picture in your mind. I think that part of the reason I like it is because I know a lot about myths. This can help because you could understand the book better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Odd and the Frost Giant Review by: Peter Griffin (d5)
Odd and the Frost Giants by: Neil Gaiman is a great book. It's a bit short but the details are really amazing. The book is about a regular boy named Odd. He finds these 3 animals, a fox, a bear, and an eagle. Odd thinks that he's doomed and will be eaten. The animals talk and say they are gods. Their names are Loki, Odin, and Thor.The story is very well plotted. The problem is that the frost giant took over the god's home and changed their forms to animals. Odd and the gods venture out and then Odd confronted the Frost Giant. Odd convinced the frost giant to leave and then Lady Flaya came out. She shaped the gods back to human form. They had a feast and Odd went home. Before He did Odin came up to Odd and presented him with a staff to take with him. He ended up walking with it for a long time.
I think that the purpose and theme of this book is to entertain readers with a short story. I think that the theme is to teach people that even a simple village boy can have a great adventure. I think this because Odd is a ordinary boy. Then he goes on a adventure and that is why I think this. The Arthur might have had this in mind too when he was writing the book.
In my opinion, the book is great. The book is good because the descriptions about different things are very detailed. It really paints a picture in your mind. I think that part of the reason I like it is because I know a lot about myths. This can help because you could understand the book better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Odd and the Frost Giant Review by: Peter Griffin (d5)
Odd and the Frost Giants by: Neil Gaiman is a great book. It's a bit short but the details are really amazing. The book is about a regular boy named Odd. He finds these 3 animals, a fox, a bear, and an eagle. Odd thinks that he's doomed and will be eaten. The animals talk and say they are gods. Their names are Loki, Odin, and Thor.The story is very well plotted. The problem is that the frost giant took over the god's home and changed their forms to animals. Odd and the gods venture out and then Odd confronted the Frost Giant. Odd convinced the frost giant to leave and then Lady Flaya came out. She shaped the gods back to human form. They had a feast and Odd went home. Before He did Odin came up to Odd and presented him with a staff to take with him. He ended up walking with it for a long time.
I think that the purpose and theme of this book is to entertain readers with a short story. I think that the theme is to teach people that even a simple village boy can have a great adventure. I think this because Odd is a ordinary boy. Then he goes on a adventure and that is why I think this. The Arthur might have had this in mind too when he was writing the book.
In my opinion, the book is great. The book is good because the descriptions about different things are very detailed. It really paints a picture in your mind. I think that part of the reason I like it is because I know a lot about myths. This can help because you could understand the book better.

4-0 out of 5 stars Defeating the world with a smile
The little Norse boy named Odd does everything with a smile on his face.Odd smiles when he's scolded, and doesn't lose the smile when he hears of his father's death.Odd smiles when he cripples his right leg and foot, and he smiles when he meets a trio of talking animals claiming to be gods.Odd even smiles when he comes face to face with a Frost Giant, and the giant threatens to crush him.

Odd and the Frost Giants is a delightful mock-epic in which Gaiman writes a crippled young boy into the world of the Norse gods.With little more than his (not so) simple understanding of human/god nature Odd conquers feats that leave the more-powerful themselves crippled, and with quiet perseverance he pursues a life more welcoming than the one in which he lives.

Despite Gaiman's never-ending love affair with comma splices, his young adult novel is quite charming.I would recommend it to young readers and parents alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent fast read for older elementary.
Aside from two sentences about lust (it's a story about gods after all) this book is very kid friendly.It has about seven chapters and it reads very easily.None of the characters are terribly mean and there are no scary or violent parts.

Like many of Gaiman's books the main character, Odd, is unique and likable, and a little bit damaged.He deals with loss and a disability with a matter of fact, positive attitude.In the end his kindness and his cleverness are rewarded, but not to the point that all of his troubles are removed.

Gaiman has said he wants to write more stories about Odd.I really hope he does. ... Read more

18. Stories: All-New Tales
Hardcover: 448 Pages (2010-06-01)
list price: US$27.99 -- used & new: US$14.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061230928
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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"The joy of fiction is the joy of the imagination. . . ."

The best stories pull readers in and keep them turning the pages, eager to discover more—to find the answer to the question: "And then what happened?" The true hallmark of great literature is great imagination, and as Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio prove with this outstanding collection, when it comes to great fiction, all genres are equal.

Stories is a groundbreaking anthology that reinvigorates, expands, and redefines the limits of imaginative fiction and affords some of the best writers in the world—from Peter Straub and Chuck Palahniuk to Roddy Doyle and Diana Wynne Jones, Stewart O'Nan and Joyce Carol Oates to Walter Mosley and Jodi Picoult—the opportunity to work together, defend their craft, and realign misconceptions. Gaiman, a literary magician whose acclaimed work defies easy categorization and transcends all boundaries, and "master anthologist" (Booklist) Sarrantonio personally invited, read, and selected all the stories in this collection, and their standard for this "new literature of the imagination" is high. "We wanted to read stories that used a lightning-flash of magic as a way of showing us something we have already seen a thousand times as if we have never seen it at all."

Joe Hill boldly aligns theme and form in his disturbing tale of a man's descent into evil in "Devil on the Staircase." In "Catch and Release," Lawrence Block tells of a seasoned fisherman with a talent for catching a bite of another sort. Carolyn Parkhurst adds a dark twist to sibling rivalry in "Unwell." Joanne Harris weaves a tale of ancient gods in modern New York in "Wildfire in Manhattan." Vengeance is the heart of Richard Adams's "The Knife." Jeffery Deaver introduces a dedicated psychologist whose mission in life is to save people in "The Therapist." A chilling punishment befitting an unspeakable crime is at the dark heart of Neil Gaiman's novelette "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains."

As it transforms your view of the world, this brilliant and visionary volume—sure to become a classic—will ignite a new appreciation for the limitless realm of exceptional fiction.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (37)

3-0 out of 5 stars A passable anthology
I admire Neil Gaiman's attempt to create an anthology of short fiction that would ordinarily be pigeonholed by genre. That said, I wish the stories in the anthology had been more compelling. They're passable and generally readable but few are anything I'd want to invest time rereading. I wish the pieces chosen had done a better job of arguing against the restriction of genre labels. These are generally pieces that I, as an editor, would slap the genre tag on without hesitation. What I expected were pieces that would rise above genre appeal and, for the most part, they didn't. There are a few gems and the anthology benefits from having Gaiman's work but at the same time, his story provides a standard that the rest of the anthology generally fails to reach.

Worth a borrow, not particularly worth a buy.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fine collection
As an avid reader of Neil Gaiman for years, I always jump on anything he releases.This collection was even better because it also included some other favourite authors.I enjoyed just about all the stories, though there are some weak points.

4-0 out of 5 stars And then what happened...
Above are the four words that Neil Gaiman writes about in his introduction to the collection edited by himself and Al Sarrantonio."And then what happened."--the four words that every storyteller longs to hear.That child-like impulse is the essence of what he and Sarrantonio wanted to evoke with this collection.On that basis, they were largely successful.These diverse stories, written by an impressive array of writers, kept me turning the pages and, yes, wondering what would happen next.

In some cases, I didn't have to wonder long.The stories range in length from a mere three pages to an impressive 48.Despite his name appearing in 72-point font on the book's cover, Mr. Gaiman contributes only one story in addition to his introduction.So, die-hard Gaiman fans, don't be disappointed.Instead, revel in the embarrassment of riches that have been brought together.This story collection features contributors who are among the best in genre fiction (Gene Wolfe, Joe R. Lansdale, Michael Swanwick, Peter Straub), literary fiction (Stuart O'Nan, Joyce Carol Oates, Walter Mosley, Roddy Doyle), and popular fiction (Jeffrey Deaver, Jodi Picoult, Joe Hill, Chuck Palahniuk).Honestly, I barely brushed the surface of all the big-name contributors, so very many of whom are long-time favorites of mine.

I'll be honest, not every single story is a slam dunk, but not one was a stinker.The one I liked best (possibly Carolyn Parkhurst's featuring an unreliable narrator) might be the one you liked least.These things are so subjective.The overall quality of contributions is high.Whether you're looking for quick palate cleansers between longer works, or you're looking forward to reading this collection cover to cover, I feel confident in asserting that there's something for everyone to be found within these pages.

4-0 out of 5 stars The highest rating possible, a good thing
It has been a long time since I tried to read a collection of short stories from a variety of writers. This one succeeds far higher than my admittedly cynical expectations. What makes it successful for me is likely the fact that there's no focus on any genre. There's no reason to list the authors as that's in the original solicitation and the fact is many are very established authors (Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Straub, Michael Moorcock, etc....), but the surprising number of authors whose work I've never read is opening me to a lot of talented work and more writers to follow if I want to expand on my current favorites.
There were some doubts. The first story didn't do much for me (tired of this particular subject). But other than one other I've read them all which is unprecedented. Though the stories vary in quality and content the fact that I read so many -as well as the addictive quality of moving from one tale to the next without pause- is refreshing.
This is the first time I haven't had a middling experience reading so many different types of stories between a single cover.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lots of lovely distractions from the real world
In the foreword to this excellent collection of short stories (of many varying genres, not just fantasy and sci-fi as it's being shelved, BTW), Neil Gaiman says, in so many words, that the best books and stories make him ask the question, "What's next?" Well, not every story here inspired me to ask this but Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio had tried, for sure. I tried to say a few words about each one since not all of them are 5 stars. Some are, like 2. But altogether, this book has a lot to offer. Plus a new fairy tale from Neil Gaiman who's one of the few writers who'd ever made me cry. That list is short.

Assume all stories are 5 stars except where noted.
1. Blood by Roddy Doyle - a dizzying ditty about a man who discovers an unusual new appetite
2. Fossil-Figures by Joyce Carol Oats - an incredibly affecting story about two very different brothers, and their not-too-different lives.
3. Wildfire in Manhattan by Joanne Harris - I really didn't like the writing in this one. Part of the reason why the whole books isn't 5 stars. It's about gods surviving in New York.
4. The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman. That should be enough said. But in case it isn't for you - it's a tale about a small man with a very large grudge and the story of how he takes vengeance for his daughter.
5. Unbelief by Michael Marshall Smith - good idea, about a killer for hire taking on a special job on a special wintry night. But poor execution. 2 1/2 stars.
6. The Stars are Falling by Joe R. Lansdale - a beautiful story about a man who had come home from the war. Except he had never really come home.
7. Juvenal Nyx by Walter Mosley - a new spin on the vampire (or something like it) theme. I give this one 4 stars, because I had to read this twice, but something is lacking.
8. The Knife by Richard Adams - tiny but extremely affecting. I can't say anymore than that.
9. Weights and Measures by Jodi Picoult - it takes a very talented writer to concoct a story about a death of a child and its effect on her parents that isn't overly sentimental or cheesy. Jodi P. does it with exceptional compassion. But more than that - she transforms the genre.
10. Goblin Lake by Michael Swanwick - good idea, poor execution. 2 stars. About a hero in a fairy tale who discovers he is really not quite real.
11. Mallon the Guru by Peter Straub - unreadable, in my eyes. Maybe someone else's cup of tea. I can't even say what it's about since it was barely comprehensible to begin with.
12. Catch and Release by Lawrence Block - is there 7 stars? I had rarely seen a short story do what this one accomplishes. It gets inside the mind of a serial killer in a way that few movies or books had ever done. And it will get inside your skin.
13. Polka Dots and Moonbeams by Jeffrey Ford - I suppose this was an attempt at noir in the desert. Just passable.
14. Loser by Chuck Palahniuk - the master does it again. In just a few pages you get inside the mind of a TV show contestant. A spoiler: he isn't the one who dies :-)
15. Samantha's Diary by Diana Wynne Jones - I loved this one, even though it has a few weaknesses. This is about a girl in some distant future where few remember "The Twelve Days of Christmas." She gets to experience all 12 days in the most excruciatingly funny manner possible. I would love it even more if the guilty party wasn't so, um, boring.
16. Land of the Lost by Stewart O'Nan - Oh My God. I did want to cry after this one. A middle-aged woman finds a new hobby - more like obsession - after hearing about a girl disappearing. Hits you right in the gut, somehow.
17. Leid in the Wind by Gene Wolfe - how madness begins in outer space. After a few years. Quite affecting, as well.
18. Unwell by Carolyn Parkhurst - EVIL. EVIL. AMAZING. I rarely use caps, FYI. But... this is told from inside the mind of the woman whose sister is about to get married. And she is definitely not happy about that. And she is going to have her way with it if she can.
19. A Life in Fictions by Kat Howard - 3 1/2 stars. Good idea, good execution, but the connection to the character was lost. About a writer who writes about a girl in his real life... and her life becomes less real.
20. Let the Past Begin by Jonathan Carroll - 4 stars. Interesting, but again something is lacking. About a man in love with a woman who's not exactly who she appears to be. You can feel the wildness of her leaping from the page, but... it was somewhat strangely written. And the ending was somewhat lacking.
21. The Therapist by Jeffery Deaver - 7 stars. Slow beginning but what a ride. About a psychologist who believes in nemes. What is a neme? He'll tell you all about it. He had dedicated his life to fighting them, after all.
22. The Cult of the Nose by Al Sarrantonio. Is it a terrible omission not to have read anything by you before, Al? It must be because this story is so intriguing that I must seek more of your writing out. I can't do this justice here, and any spoilers would just, well spoil, so just read the darn thing.
23. Human Intelligence by Kurt Andersen - 10 stars. I am generous today but... this made me weep. About the meeting between human and extraterrestrial intelligence, told from the point of view of a very, very, very old man. He is a character I'd love to have read more about.
24. Stories by Michael Moorcock - 1 star. Unreadable, to me. Sorry can't tell you what it's about - I wish I could.
25. The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon by Elizabeth Hand - I just didn't like it. Decided not to read through it.
26. The Devil on the Stairs by Joe Hill - interestingly written story about a poor boy who killed someone he really shouldn't have. 3 stars though, for the headache-inducing print. ... Read more

19. Selections from Fragile Things, Volume One
by Neil Gaiman
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-01-23)
list price: US$0.99
Asin: B001QIGZTA
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This collection includes the Introduction, Mapmaker, A Study in Emerald, The Fairy Reel, and October in the Chair ... Read more

20. The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House
by Neil Gaiman, Malcolm Jones III, Mike Dringenberg, Michael Zulli, Clive Barker
Paperback: 256 Pages (1991-09-01)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$8.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0930289595
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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This volume of Neil Gaiman's THE SANDMAN book series features the first appearance of Death, the Sandman's older sister. As Clive Barker says in his Introduction, ". . . there is a wonderful willful quality to this mix . . .slapstick comedy, mystical musings, and the grimmest collection of serial killers this side of Death Row." Eighth printing. Graphic novel format. Mature readers.Amazon.com Review
The immense popularity of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series is due in large part to the development of his characters. In The Doll's House, thesecond book of the Sandman magnum opus, Gaiman continues to buildthe foundation for the larger story, introducing us to more of the DreamKing's family of the Endless.

The Sandman returns to his kingdom of the Dreaming after nearly a centuryof imprisonment, finding several things out of place; most importantly, ananomaly called a dream vortex has manifested itself in the form of a younggirl who unknowingly threatens to rip apart the Dreaming. And there's thesmaller matter of a few nightmares having escaped. Among them is Gaiman'screepiest creation: the Corinthian, a serial killer with a miniature set ofteeth in each eye socket. Because later volumes concentrate so much onhuman relationships with Gaiman's signature fair for fantasy and mythology,it is sometimes easy to forget that the Sandman series started out as ahorror comic. This book grabs you and doesn't let you forget that soeasily. --Jim Pascoe ... Read more

Customer Reviews (61)

4-0 out of 5 stars Bold look at serial killers, but still short on focus
This second volume of Gaiman's highly acclaimed Sandman series opens with a legend told by a primitive man to his grandson of how a beautiful woman fell in love with one of the Endless.I don't know if it was supposed to be Morpheus (a.k.a. the Sandman, Lord of Dreams) or not, or even if it matters which of his brothers it was so long as we get the message that the Endless are figures of myth, and that they lead an ultimately lonely existence.What does matter is that I don't like these open-ended endings very much; it isn't cool when John Barth does it and I don't care for it here either.Either make an artistic decision and stick with it, or don't bother telling that story at all.

That out of the way, we move on to the main story of this volume.Rose Walker is a "dream vortex", and as such a person who threatens the world of the dreaming, thus leaving Morpheus no real choice but to destroy her.Given the whole mystical nature of this book, I don't think we're ever told much more than that.I really liked the off-beat characters who Rose lives with in the rooming house (especially Gilbert) and would have liked to see more of them.Instead Gaiman digresses onto a kind of buddy story about a man who doesn't want to die, and so lives to meet Morpheus once every 100 years in the same pub, describing the ups and downs of his immortal existence.But once we get back to the main story, Gaiman really amps up the juice with a suspenseful, fascinating, funny, and eerily intense look into the world of serial killers.Gaiman clearly means to shock here as well as entertain, and in that he's very successful.

Despite some excellent moments, I found the plot very confusing with lots of questions left unanswered, which I, as a reader who leans more toward sci-fi than fantasy, found disappointing.The art wasn't really much to my taste either, although I suppose you could say it fits the mood of the book.I wasn't overly impressed with Preludes and Nocturnes, and I would suggest that this one is about the same level of quality: three and half stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars I am angry, Lucien. And it's my move
The Sandman has returned to his country of dreams, but his long absence is still showing -- he's gotten his magical items back, but not all of his followers. "The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House" picks up some threads from the first collection of Sandman stories, and while the story is often confusing and scattered, Neil Gaiman's writing is a glittering jewel of sadness, horror and beauty.

Among the current-day stories, we get some Dream backstory. As part of his coming-of-age ritual, a young boy is told of how a beautiful woman fell in love with Lord Kai'ckul, king of the dream realm.And we see a story of a man untouched by Death, and his ups-and-downs over the centuries as he keeps meeting with his Endless friend.

In the present, Dream learns that a dream vortex has appeared. That vortex is Rose Walker, the granddaughter of Unity Kinkaid (who has slept most of her life), who is searching for her imprisoned little brother. She goes to live at a boarding house full of eccentrics, and is taken under the wing of the mysterious Gilbert (who looks a lot like G.K. Chesterton, and is named "Gilbert").

Additionally, some of Dream's creatures have escaped -- the horrifying Corinthian, who is the guest of honor at a serial-killer convention; Brute and Glob, who have made their own "New Sandman" out of a dead superhero; and Fiddler's Green, who is already close to the dream vortex...

"The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House" is a somewhat messy story -- the two "past" stories feel disconnected from the rest of the book, and it takes awhile for some of the subplots to fully flower. Additionally, I was a little confused by the sudden inclusion of a pair of DC superheroes who have been folded into the world of Dreams -- although their story is the beginning of a much larger, more pivotal one.

And as the story winds on, Neil Gaiman's spellbinding style draws you in -- he fills these pages with bloody horror, love, sorrow, and the occasional glimpse of the lonely lives of the Endless. His style that is all glassy edges and lush poetry, and he pops in some moments of ghastliness (the Corinthan finally taking off his glasses, revealing empty sockets lined with teeth) as well as some moments of warmth (Unity's final shared dream with Rose).

Similarly, Gaiman's characters are a mixture of the lovable and the horrifying -- we get to see Morpheus as he has been throughout the centuries, as well as his flaky, devious sibling Desire (whom I desperately want to sock in the mouth) and the ghastly Corinthian. And he spins up the down-to-earth Rose, as well as a motley band of eccentric characters -- the lace-shrouded lesbians and the creepy yuppies spring to mind, as well as the genial Gilbert.

While some parts of it are clunky, "The Sandman Volume 2: The Doll's House" gradually twines together its many subplots, and sets the stage for what is to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars In which Gaiman expands his world with scope, imagination, wonder, and horror (4½ stars)
Having established the basis for his world in The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes, Gaiman starts to stretch his wings a little, introducing us to more inhabitants of Morpheus's strange world, including some of his siblings, his servants (of a sort), and waking nightmares like The Corinthian. Gaiman ties it all together in a fascinating arc involving a young girl descended from a minor character in Preludes who is on a search for her missing brother, himself a victim of Morpheus's escaped nightmares. If there's a flaw in The Doll's House, it's certainly not in the scope or the imagination on display. Gaiman effortlessly conjures nightmares and dreams, spinning together styles and ideas in such a way to dazzle the reader all while illuminating the psyches of his characters. And it's not in his willingness to take chances. The middle chapter of The Doll's House, entitled "Men of Good Fortune," leaves behind the main story for a short tale about Morpheus's recurring meetings with a man who chooses not to die - and the gamble pays off magnificently, creating the best and most compelling moments of the book. To be fair, it's not like there aren't other standouts - where else can you read about a serial killer convention that manages to be so hilarious and so frightening all at once? No, if there's a flaw, it's some gaps and difficulties with the specifics of the plot, but even the characters seem a little bewildered...and in dreams, isn't that okay?

5-0 out of 5 stars So awesome!
While this book isn't quite as good as Prologues and Nocturnes, it tells a story that is almost just as good, and was actually the first Sandman graphic novel to be published, though it covers issues #9-#16.You will probably only be reading this if you've already read Preludes and Nocturnes, and really no review would matter to you at this point, becuase you are hooked.Go ahead and buy this and Dream Country together, because you're going to fly through this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review of Gaiman's The Sandman, Vol II
Gaiman continues his epic narrative of the dream lord with this second volume. I say epic because both of the volumes find the Sandman moving through a series of realms and plots, through time and space, his character developing through and exploiting with panache with subplots of Gaiman's comics. In this sense, he has begun to develop into a truly otherworldy entity. 'The Doll House' finds Gaiman really engaging his character and discovering his place in the history of mankind. It's the sort of book you want to read in one sitting. ... Read more

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