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Audio Books - Introduction to Neil Gaiman


We love Audiobooks. Seriously. They are so much fun to listen to while playing WoW and afterwards discussing them.

Neil Gaiman - Anansi Boys read by Stefan Kaminski

Fantastic. The description calls this book a "wonderfully entertaining magical Horror-Thriller-Ghost-Romantic-Comedy-Family-Epos". And what can I say - it's true. Fat Charlies' Father dies and turns out to be a spider god. Charlie discovers he has a brother who is absolutely different from him and turns his life upside down.

Throughout the story there are lots and lots of folklore stories interwoven and we jump back and forth between the past and the present and between this world and the realm of the old african gods.

Stefan Kaminski reads fantastic and manages to bring every single character to life. Highly recommended book!

After Anansi Boys I had to check out what else Mr. Gaiman wrote. And came across his highly acclaimed book "American Gods":

From Amazon:

"This is the story of Shadow, who is released from prison following his wife's death and finds himself in the employ of a man named Wednesday.

As Shadow and Wednesday travel across America, another world is revealed. Scraping a living among the people of the modern world are old gods, brought to America in the beliefs of settlers and slaves. These ancient gods, their power waning as they are forgotten, find themselves threatened by the young gods of modern America, gods of TV and technology.

This is a book which meanders, and Gaiman clearly feels that the journey is far more important than the destination. In this case I agree, but if you don't, then don't worry because despite it's meandering, the book builds towards the battle between the old gods and the new.

Of the new gods, my favourite element was the spooks, sinister Men-in-Black type characters who represent the height of modern mythology. However, it is Shadow's encounters with the old gods that makes for the most compelling reading. They range from Odin to the spider-god Anansi to the Egyptian gods of death and the underworld. I was only sorry that my insufficent understanding of mythology meant that I didn't understand some of Gaiman's more subtle references.

There are also some brilliantly written interludes which reveal how some of these older gods first arrived in America, telling stories of Viking explorers, stone age nomads, African slaves and Cornish thieves. In short, this book contains it's own mythology, whilst being about the concept of that mythology itself.

At surface level this book is a brilliant story of magic, deception and human nature, but look a little deeper and you'll see that every page is riddled with fascinating metaphors."

While I liked "Anansi Boys" a tad better than "American Gods" (it's a bit more lighthearted and on the comedy side), it was still a brilliant read - or rather, listening. ;-) I especially enjoyed the interludes. Again, highly recommended!

Yes, I've found a new fav author. Neil Gaiman is my new hero. :-)


Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
cygninae
Sep. 7th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
Ooh, oooh, ooooh! Coraline! It's a youngster's book, but it's super scary too, in that there's something under your bed way....!

Also, if you've not read it, Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It's very silly and very fun.

morgaine77
Sep. 8th, 2010 05:57 am (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendations! Bookmarked "Good Omens" at Audible for future download. Also, didn't they make Coraline into a movie? Haven't seen it, though, but will keep it in mind to check it out.
cygninae
Sep. 8th, 2010 08:33 am (UTC)
Yes, they did. And also.....Stardust!

There's another very good book called Neverwhere, based on the BBC series, which is great, but it helps if you have some knowledge of the London Underground.

Neil Gaiman also has a livejournal blog!
morgaine77
Sep. 8th, 2010 08:55 am (UTC)
Ohhhh, I LOVE Stardust, got the DVD! Don't you just love Robert de Niro as Captain Shakespeare? And Michelle Pfeiffer was great, too.
BBC makes great series and I hate that we hardly get any over here.
Will have to check out Mr. Gaiman's Blog!
cygninae
Sep. 8th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
Oh he was great - and I've always loved Michelle Pfeiffer! I think you can get Neverwhere on DVD still, will have to check.

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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