The Art of Neil Gaiman – Review

Flashback Friday

Perpetually Past Due

The Art of Neil Gaiman by Hayley Campbell

Published in 2014

Pages: 320

Genre: Nonfiction, biography, coffee table book

“Neil Richard Gaiman was born on November 10, 1960, to David and Sheila Gaiman (néeGoldman) above a grocery store on White Hart Lane, Portchester, a small town in Hampshire on the southern coast of England.”

The Art of Neil Gaiman is a nonfiction book written by Hayley Campbell; I simply call it a nonfiction book because while it deals with fiction, it is in itself about Neil Gaiman and his career. However, I’m not sure if I should call it a biography since I honestly don’t remember the last biography I read and Campbell herself refers to it as a coffee book in her writing, so the task of classification is a difficult one.

What it definitely is, though, is a glimpse into the storied (intentional pun, I assure…

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Norse Mythology – Review

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Published in 2017

Pages: 293

Genre: Mythology, Norse mythology

“It’s as hard to have a favorite sequence of myths as it is to have a favorite style of cooking (some nights you might want Thai food, some nights sushi, other nights you crave the plain home cooking you grew up on).”

The above sentence is probably not what one would expect to introduce a collection of Norse myths. Those intimately familiar with Neil Gaiman’s work will not be surprised that he jumped at the chance to retell the myths he loves most from Norse Mythology. The aptly titled Norse Mythology is his love letter to the tales of the Vikings, which feature not only action and suspense, but love, lust, poetry, and shapeshifting tricksters. In an attempt to pay homage to the stories that so deeply affected him, Gaiman succeeds in creating an accessible book to guide a new generation of readers into the nine realms. Continue reading “Norse Mythology – Review”

The View from the Cheap Seats – Review

The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman

Published in 2016

Pages: 522

Genre: Nonfiction, short essays

“I fled, or at least, backed awkwardly away from journalism because I wanted the freedom to make things up.”

Neil Gaiman is a writer who has worked in many types of media; literature, comics, film, and visual arts just to name a few. In his collection of selected nonfiction, The View from the Cheap Seats, he has compiled a mass of personal writing that covers everything from his favorite musicians to how comics and libraries affected him as a writer and human being. For those who have been blessed to visit his Sandman comics, his novels, and seen films based on his writing, this book is a revealing glimpse into the mind of the man who made them all. Continue reading “The View from the Cheap Seats – Review”

American Gods – Review

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Illustrations by Dave McKean

Published in 2001; 2017 Edition by The Folio Society

Pages: 537

Genre: Fantasy, mythology

 

Disclaimer: This review will be different from the norm in that it is split into two parts: a standard, albeit shorter, book review and a specific review of this Folio Society edition. I am endorsing this product through my own volition and belief in its high quality.

Part I: The Story

“Shadow had done three years in prison.”

American Gods has been in the spotlight quite a bit lately with the recent television adaptation on the Starz network. This review, however, covers the book written by Neil Gaiman, upon which the show is based. American Gods follows the life of ex-convict Shadow Moon after he is released from prison, learns his wife died in a car crash, and meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday. What follows is a meandering road trip across not only the geography of America, but the cultures and beliefs that came across the sea in the hearts and minds of immigrants. Continue reading “American Gods – Review”

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch – Review

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Published in 1990

Pages: 296

Genre: Fantasy, satire

“It was a nice day.”

Though this sentence isn’t necessarily what one would expect to begin a satirical story about the Antichrist kicking off the end of the world, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett does its best to wring the funny out of the potentially terrifying. Good Omens (as I shall refer to it from here on) follows the attempts of hilarious and well-meaning characters as they seek to save the world from a holy war between Heaven and Hell. Continue reading “Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch – Review”

Coraline – Review

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Illustrations by Dave McKean

Published in 2002

Pages: 160

Genre: Children’s literature, fantasy

“Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.”

No one seems to get Coraline’s name right. Though, this may be expected when the adults in her life seldom pay much attention to her in general. About a precocious and intelligent little girl, Neil Gaiman’s Coraline initially follows the mundane account of a lonely child stuck inside during summer break due to bad weather. She explores the house that her family lives in and meets the neighbors, but it isn’t until she sees a door that leads to (what seems to be) nothing but a brick wall that things turn truly interesting, though not necessarily for the better. Continue reading “Coraline – Review”

The Graveyard Book – Review

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Illustrations by Dave McKean

Published in 2008

Pages: 312

Genre: Fantasy, horror, children’s literature

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”

A man stalks up the stairs of an English house, searching for his final victim. Blood drips from the knife in his hand as he nears the finish of his dark deed. Victory, however, is not to be his. So begins The Graveyard Book, the tale of a baby toddling into a graveyard and being taken in by those who walk (0r float) in the twilight. Setting the tone for the book, the opening details a killer known as the man Jack who looks for the remaining child of a family of four who were fated to fall to his blade; or so he thought. Continue reading “The Graveyard Book – Review”