Tag: Author: Neil Gaiman

Review: Anansi Boys

Posted 13 August, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Anansi Boys
By: Neil Gaiman
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

When Fat Charlie’s dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie “Fat Charlie.” Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can’t shake that name, one of the many embarrassing “gifts” his father bestowed — before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie’s life.

Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie’s doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who’s going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun … just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie.

Because, you see, Charlie’s dad wasn’t just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself.

I think this is the last full-length Neil Gaiman novel that I haven’t read it. Maybe that’s why I had been stalling on reading it, to savour it. Or maybe I was waiting for Hallowe’en to come around. But anyway, I finally got around to reading it last month 🙂

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Review: Norse Mythology

Posted 9 June, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

Norse Mythology
By: Neil Gaiman
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, son of a giant, blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor’s hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman, difficult with his beard and huge appetite, to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir, the most sagacious of gods, is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.

Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

I was pretty excited when I heard that Neil Gaiman was going to tackle Norse mythology through his own narrative. Norse mythology is a fascinating body of work, the characters intriguing and powerful yet very human, and their concept of the world and its structure just intriguing. I’ve read the Elder Edda and some of the other works associated to Norse mythology but of course there’s so many different Eddas out there that as Gaiman mentioned in his introduction his take it just another voice to its body of tomes.

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Review: Fragile Things

Posted 25 October, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Fragile Things
By: Neil Gaiman
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

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

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

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

These marvelous creations and more showcase the unparalleled invention and storytelling brilliance—as well as the terrifyingly dark and entertaining sense of humor—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.

At long last I’ve picked up one of Neil Gaiman’s short stories collection; I had been eyeing them for some time, especially as I’ve been reading a lot of short story collections in the past year. I’ve enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s full-length works, whether they be novels or graphic novels, so I was also curious to see how he fared with shorter works.

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So You Want to Read… (Neil Gaiman)

Posted 14 October, 2016 by Lianne in Lists / 10 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂

*cackles* It’s October again, which means Thanksgiving is coming! Err, well, that too for us Canadians (actually, our Thanksgiving was earlier this week), but Hallowe’en is also around the corner, and coupled with the autumn weather, it seems like the best time to read some speculative fiction, chilling reads, creepy horrors, etc. For this month’s So You Want to Read… it seems fitting to feature Neil Gaiman. His stories are always so fascinating and unique and eclectic, they’ll make you tear up and/or freak you out. He has quite a bibliography ranging different types of media, some of which are not as easily accessible I feel (as I came to realise with reading American Gods (review) but here’s a few titles I would recommend by him if you’ve never checked out his books and want to 🙂

  • Stardust (review) — A great entry point to his books IMO (also happened to be my first Neil Gaiman novel, lol). It seems like standard fantasy fare, but once you start reading you realise it’s so much more than that. Character types and story tropes are turned inside out and the whole adventure was just wonderful and interesting.
  • Neverwhere — This was my second Gaiman read and in deciding which of his adult titles to add to this list of recommendations, it was the easiest to recommend. It’s like an urban fantasy version of Alice in Wonderland, with our main character Richard getting drawn into Neverwhere and the politics, the magic, and the adventure involved there. I found out last year that he released his definitive edition of this book which I still have yet to read but I think it’s awesome that it’s available.
  • The Graveyard Book (review) — I got around to this book some two years after it was first released and it is fantastic. It’s classic Gaiman with the eerieness (ghosts raising a baby in a graveyard? check) and the fantastic but also has themes of growing up and parenthood and the bond between parents and children. And I admit, it had me tearing up at the end so there you go 😛
  • Coraline (review) — Only recently got around to reading this book late last year, I can see why it’s a favourite. It will appeal to both adults and children because of the adventure and the mystery surrounding Coraline’s situation–the doorway to another house with another mother and another father–but also with themes of growing up, of bravery and loneliness. Plus, it’s pretty creepy at times, which makes for a great Hallowe’en read!
  • Fortunately the Milk (review) — A short but delightful read that will entertain and amuse both kids and adults! I went into the book not knowing much about what it was about or where the adventure would take the main character so I was pleasantly surprised. Skottie Young’s illustrations also really added to the story, so it’s double the treat with this book 😀

I hope this list helps if you’re interested in checking out Neil Gaiman’s books for the first time! What do you think? What’s your favourite novel by him? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books by her have you been meaning to check out?

Review: Fortunately, the Milk

Posted 5 April, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 12 Comments

Fortunately the Milk
By: Neil Gaiman
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

“I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: t h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.”

“Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.”

Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious New York Times bestselling story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.

Neil Gaiman and Skottie Young teaming up for a novel? Omg, count me in! Sure, the plot summary as to what the book is about tells me absolutely nothing, but it looks so amusing, how could I say no? Plus, seeing Skottie Young illustrate for middle school/young adult novels is a plus (he does a lot of the variant illustrations for comic books, I strongly recommend checking out some of his stuff because they are hilarious!)

But moving along, wow, what can I say about this book? It was such a delightful read, and quite an unexpected one at that. I thought the kids were going to be the protagonists partaking on the adventure, so imagine my surprise when it turned out to be their slightly absent-minded father narrating the tale! It’s fun and timey-whimey and funny (with a bit of meta/pop culture thrown in there); no matter if you’re the target audience or you’re an adult, I think you’ll really enjoy this little tale of a father who just went out to buy some milk for his kids’ breakfast only to be swept away across time.

Can I also say how much this book cracks me up because of the British mannerisms? This was one of my favourite lines in the book:

“Thank you, by the way,” said a little thin man. “I was going to be the sacrifice if no one else turned up. Much obliged.”

And not to go into details but the end of the novel was fantastic! The father’s last panel had me cracking up so much, I loved it.

It’s a relatively short, straight-forward, but fun novel so yeah, my review of it is equally short. But suffice to say I really enjoyed reading it, it was a nice break from everything else I’ve bee reading. Skottie Young’s illustrations added to Neil Gaiman’s story, bringing scenes to light and adding more humour to the story. Definitely worth checking out, I highly recommend it! 😀

Rating: ★★★★★

Visit Neil Gaiman’s official website || Visit Skottie Young’s official website || Order this book from the Book Depository