Author Addiction is a feature where Kaja at Of Dragons and Hearts and I talk about authors we love who may not have gotten the attention they deserve on our blogs. It is an opportunity to declare our love for them and basically fangirl over how great they are.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned my love for Neil Gaiman before? He is an author I have quietly appreciated for quite a while. He is a fantasy author, but that’s not all he does, if you Google him he is referred to as ‘an author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films’. I mean, when is he going to take over the world? He also gave the greatest commencement speech at The University of Arts, you probably recognise the Make Good Art quotes. He is a man who fully realises he is lucky to work in the world he does and understands the work which goes into what he does and wants others to appreciate that it does not come easily and should be appreciated.
Enough About Awesome Speeches… What About His Books?
I first learnt who Neil Gaiman was when I saw the film Coraline. That film was visually spectacular, but not only that, the story was amazing. It was creepy and thought provoking and far more than I expected from a film I had judged as a mere children’s film. It really is far more than it appears, as is much of what Gaiman does. I hadn’t realised Coraline was based on a story which Gaiman had written until I saw the credits. (If we’re going with first exposure to his work, then that would be Stardust, but I didn’t realise that was even based upon a book until after I found out who Neil Gaiman was, so we won’t go there.) I was intrigued by the author, but not so intrigued I sought to read any of this work… that came later.
I promptly forgot all about Neil Gaiman and moved on to other things, but then I discovered two books, one was Good Omens, which Gaiman co-wrote with Terry Pratchett, and the other was American Gods, which Gaiman wrote by himself. Both books I wanted to buy, they looked fantastic and I absolutely wanted to own them both.
I can’t remember which I bought first, I think it might have been Good Omens, that’s definitely the one I read first. I loved the humour in it and the writing, and the story, now I’ve read work by both the authors I can see the blend of their writing. I know Gaiman has credited Pratchett with all the good stuff in the book, but I think it took both of them to make that book what it is. And it is fantastic. It is about an angel and demon coming together to try and prevent the end of the world because they have gotten attached to the world and they don’t like the sound of the prophesised apocalypse. Give me a book about and angels and I am in, and it was good.
It was my brother who then encouraged me to read American Gods (even though I’d owned the book for about a year) because he enjoyed it so much. He said he loved the various Gods and the story was interesting and I am a bit of a sucker for mythology so could hardly resist. I’m glad I take recommendations so seriously because that book was good. It’s length put me off (it’s long) but it’s so interesting and intense and really a very off putting book for those who aren’t familiar with Gaiman’s writing. I love the different Gods and the mythology, so if you’re interested that kind of thing then this is definitely a book for you along with the sequel Anansi Boys (which I really need to steal off of my brother and read). The mythology is amazing, there are deities in that book I’ve never even heard of before. It is an intriguing book and definite
So, Where Should You Start If You’re Daunted By Big Books And Mythology?
Look, Neil Gaiman has written a lot of stuff… like a crazy amount. You could pretty much start anywhere with him and there is a chance you’d hit upon something good, but I’m sticking with what I’ve read and so the two books I would suggest (apart from his short stories and actual fairy tale books) would be Stardust or The Ocean At The End Of The Lane. Both are fantastic, Stardust has more fantasy elements than The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, although both are pretty much fairy tales. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is the perfect book for adults (you know, if you’re wary of fantasy and YA books) and Stardust is perfect for YA and fantasy fans. Both are easy books to read and both are fantastic stories, it just depends what you’re in the mood for really.
Have I Convinced You To Read His Books Yet?
Okay, so I’ve told you about his books. This is an author that has so many different stories to tell and I guarantee you will find something to interest you. My favourite is a split between American Gods and Stardust, they are just too different to choose between. And if you’re into comics and graphic novels I’ve heard good things about Sandman, it does sound rather interesting but the artwork puts me off to some degree (I’m fussy with my artwork) but I’m sure I will change my mind at some point on that front. If you want to learn more about Gaiman and his work I’ve linked to various place below and I hope you find something you like.
And don't forget to visit Kaja's blog to see her post on Roald Dahl (one of my favourite childhood authors).
So, how was it? Did I convince you to give Gaiman a try, or have you already read his work? Tell me your thoughts below.