Friday, October 8, 2010

things i heart: neil gaiman.

"things i heart" is my new friday series on the blog.  hope you enjoy!
ok, neil gaiman isn't a thing.  he's a person.  a very interesting one at that.  he has quickly become one of my favorite writers.  i owe that to the bf, who had me start reading his books last winter, and here i am, 4 books later.  

the worlds that neil creates in his books are...fantastical, but i wish there was an even stronger word for it than that.  they draw you in and come alive in a way that few other writers can replicate.  i can't recommend them enough, particularly (but certainly not exclusively) if you find yourself drawn to whimsical, fantasy-inspired literature.   

below, a very brief synopsis of the four i've read so far.  i've also posted a couple of neil's quotes here on the blog in the past, but i'd like to repost them now for old and new readers to enjoy again, because they're just so good!

"everybody has a secret world inside of them.  all of the people of the world, i mean everybody.  no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds.  not just one world.  hundreds of them.  thousands maybe."
 -neil gaiman

a young man helps an injured girl on the street, and soon finds himself drawn into "london below."  an in-between world where the forgotten and the curious live, and where that same girl is his key to returning to the world he once knew, not to mention his survival in his new surroundings.

the gods of the past find themselves abandoned and replaced by those of 21st century life (think: the god of media, the god of cell phones, the god of tv...), but they won't be forgotten without a fight.  this is the bf's favorite of neil gaiman's work. 

to win his "true love's" heart, tristran thorn must find a fallen star and bring it back to his english village for her.  but when he finds the star in the land of Faerie, he discovers it is actually a woman, one whose life is in mortal danger.  if you're a princess bride fan, i think you'll really like this one! you might also remember that this was made into a pretty good movie in 2007 with claire danes, robert deniro, sienna miller, and michelle pfeiffer.

after narrowly escaping the murderer who killed the rest of his family, a boy called nobody (bod for short!) is taken in by the ghosts who live in the nearby graveyard, and is thereafter raised amongst these mostly friendly spirits.  but the danger has not entirely disappeared.  "the man jack" still has a job to complete.  this is technically a children's story, but with the vivid and suspenseful writing (not to mention 3 murders to kick it off), you could have fooled me!    

"stories you read when you're the right age never quite leave you.  you may forget who wrote them or what the story was called.  sometimes you forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you, it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit."  
- neil gaiman

and just in case you were wondering (pretend you were wondering), yes, these books can absolutely get you into a halloween sort of mood.  perfect time of year to pick one upi took my own advice: i just finished the graveyard book this week!

xo. di.


  1. This page couldn't load fast enough for me once i saw the title of the post! Neil Gaiman is my favorite author and he writes fairy tales for a modern world. Love, love, love to Neil Gaiman. He's getting married to Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls fame) and that is one wedding that I would love to help design/be at/see photos of...

    Try "Good Omens," which he wrote with Terry Pratchett. He's also written an episode of "Doctor Who" which will be airing in the new season.

  2. I'm somehow obsessed with Neil Gaiman without having ever read any of his work. I always love to read his quotes and such things. He even got me through last year's NaNoWriMo with a pep talk he wrote for the site. The novel I've always wanted to start with is Stardust, yet I can never seem to find it in the bookstores! I haven't seen the film, but I know just enough about the story after seeing the previews. I didn't know the storylines of any of the others, so this post definitely helped to educate me!

  3. lauren - thanks for the comment! so glad you like neil too, completely agree, re: fairy tale for a modern world! nicely put. thanks for the book rec too, i shall add it to the list!

    casee marie - my bf is actually doing NaNoWriMo this year, so i must alert him to neil's pep talk (since neil's his absolute favorite). we must get you started on stardust, it sounds like :) amazon should have it!

  4. Great post! I read American Gods earlier this year and quite liked it :) I want to read Good Omens, the one he co-authored by Terry Pratchett

    days in mayfair

  5. i've been told to read good omens as well, kendra! we should!


thanks so much for the note! i love reading your comments. xo. di.

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