October 2, 2011

And if there were another, magic side to your city...

Written and Narrated by Neil Gaiman

I once saw a movie about a quest for love that included falling stars, magic, adventure, murder plots, flying pirates, and cross-dressing. It was an adult-suitable fairy-tale, and it was wonderful [and I got it in a $5 bin!]. I did not know until recently that the movie, Stardust, is based on a book written by Neil Gaiman. Since I learned of the connection, I've been curious to read some of his other work. Then one day, I was walking through the audio-book section at the library in a happy coincidence and I caught Neverwhere out of the corner of my eye - the author's selected text, read by himself - how sweet it that?!

I went home and immediately loaded it onto my Zune [microsoft's version of ipod], and that week, I listened to this amazing story at work [do I have the best job ever, or what]. From the start I loved it. Well, that isn't surprising to me, since I'm a beginnings kind of girl, but this beginning is even better than most. Is it because the characters were 100% authentic because Neil himself [his twitter handle, I'm so clever] wrote them and therefore knows how they said each thing he wrote, and does an incredible job with accents - perhaps; but I certainly recommend listening for yourself.

In case you have no idea what this book is about, basically this guy has a mediocre life that he thinks he quite enjoys, until he meets Door. She is laying in the middle of the street bleeding like mad, and he, being the great guy that he is, takes her home to care for her. She introduces him to a whole new side of London, one he can't seem to escape. The story is incredibly imaginitive and pokes fun of many of the London subway stations' names [like that is a selling point...come on Em]. The version I listened to was 10 discs and took me three of four days to get through. I almost decided to listen to it again before I did this review, but couldn't really justify that, even to myself [its that good].

It is so hard for me to put into words how good this story is. His characters [in both Neverwhere and Stardust] are clearly defined and have their own agendas, and they each have a purpose in his story. And he is a masterful story-teller, my friends. I almost tried to resist reading his books because he is so immensely popular - but his status among readers is very well deserved, and I find I've jumped right on the bandwagon. If you read my In My Mailbox post, you know I just got American Gods. I actually ordered it before I found Neverwhere at the library. Now I'm definatly glad I got it [any of you read American Gods? How is it? How does it compare to Neverwhere?].

Gaiman has also written a whole mess of graphic novels, if you like those, and is a skilled screenwriter. He also has a twitter [as I so cleverly mentioned before] and a tumblr and his white german shephard makes frequent appearences on both. I am sure being so active in the online community does nothing to quell the devoted fans obsessions. But seriously, check him out.

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