Reading Neil Gaiman – November 2019

One of my reading goals for 2019 is to become more familiar with works by different authors by featuring a different author every month (see A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge). I thought another great addition to my Fall reads would be to read Neil Gaiman. I read my Neil Gaiman earlier this year, when I read Good Omens.

coralineTitle: Coraline
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: August 4, 2002
Pages: 162
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Libby library app
Date finished reading: November 4, 2019

Goodreads Description: The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring….

In Coraline’s family’s new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.

The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it’s different.

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there’s another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

Critically acclaimed and award-winning author Neil Gaiman will delight readers with his first novel for all ages.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

graveyardTitle: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: September 30, 2008
Pages: 307
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Libby library app
Date finished reading: November 21, 2019

Goodreads Description: Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place-he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren’t really one thing or the other.

This chilling tale is Neil Gaiman’s first full-length novel for middle-grade readers since the internationally bestselling and universally acclaimed Coraline. Like Coraline, this book is sure to enchant and surprise young readers as well as Neil Gaiman’s legion of adult fans.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

American_godsTitle: American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: June 19, 2001
Pages: 635
Format Read: Audiobook/Book
Standalone or series: Book #1 in American Gods series
Where I got the book: Libby library app
Date finished reading: November , 2019

Goodreads Description: Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what – and who – it finds there…

My Rating:

My Review: While I did enjoy reading Good Omens for a IRL book club earlier this year, I unfortunately did not enjoy reading Neil Gaiman this month as much as I would have liked. I knew when I decided to read Neil Gaiman for the first time this year that that would be stretching my reading life in a direction I did not know if I would enjoy. Fantasy tends to be one of my least favorite genres.

Coraline was a fun read and am definitely giving the graphic novel version to my niece for Christmas. However, it is definitely a story that caters to young people who need to appreciate their parents more. I feel that age-wise, I am a bit too old to truly appreciate this one.

The Graveyard Book was the most enjoyable Neil Gaiman read I chose this month. I thought it was very unusual and clever. The story had interesting characters both dead and undead, and the plot moved along with lots of fun adventures. I do recommend this book for kids and adults.

American Gods was not at all for me. This is the book I was most looking forward to reading this month and was unfortunately most disappointed in. The story had me engaged until immediately following funeral of Shadow’s wife. Is it just me or does this book assume that the reader knows norse mythology? I do not actually know anything about norse mythology, so maybe that is why the story lost my attention. I forced myself to read at least 25%, but eventually just decided to give up on it, hence the 1-star rating (which I give to all books that I DNF). This may be an unpopular opinion, but I do not recommend this book.

My Overall Rating: ♦ ♦ ¾


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