Neil Gaiman’s five best books

Tom Sturridge reads a book like Dream on Netflix

With more than forty titles in his bibliography (which is apparently still growing), Neil Gaiman he was a constant element of my childhood and remains among my favorite authors, if not in front of them. And with the recent success of the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman, I found myself reviewing some of his classics and books that I love to this day. if you just saw The Sandman and you’re looking to read more about Gaiman’s work and explore his little worlds, then you’ve come to the right place!

The ocean at the end of the road

Cover of the book The ocean at the end of the road.
(HarperCollins)

Posted in 2013, The ocean at the end of the road is as intriguing and captivating as its title sounds. Told from the perspective of an anonymous narrator, Gaiman explores the concepts of our unreliable memories and childhood innocence, all of course intertwined with fantasy elements. The story essentially follows the unnamed narrator as he returns to his old hometown for a funeral and finds himself enthralled once again, as he was in his youth, by a farm at the end of a road where he once met a girl. called Lettie. Hempstock, who claimed that the pond next to his house was actually an ocean. As he stands by that pond, he discovers that his memory of it is altered, and the past that he had once apparently forgotten comes back to him.

The name Hempstock may sound familiar if you’ve read some of Gaiman’s other works (some of which are also included in this list), as the family has appeared several times in his books. If not, well, Ocean is the perfect read for someone who is trying to find a good first book to start their work or a story that would lift them out of a reading slump. (It has less than 200 pages).

good omens

Good Omens novel, television companion and script book
(William Morrow)

Where do I begin? good omens? First published in 1990 and co-written by the late Terry Pratchett (RIP), good omens‘ the full title is actually Good Omens: The Pleasantly Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch and it is a hilarious tale of the coming of the end of days. The story follows Aziraphale (an angel) and Crowley (a demon) and the strange friendship they have formed over the millennia, along with the equally surprising and strange way they have taken to live amongst humanity. At some point, the forces of evil inform Crowley of his greatest and most important plan to finally win their war against good, aka Heaven: the birth of the Antichrist, where Crowley is literally tasked with having to deliver the baby meant to signal the apocalypse, only for a mix-up to occur (unbeknownst to him) at the hospital.

The novel mainly follows Crowley and Aziraphale as they try to figure out how to save the world without being found out by the forces of good or evil (because here, even everyone in Heaven wants the world to end because, well, that’s what the girls say). instructions). It also features two equally amusing subplots featuring the Antichrist growing up in the wrong home and town, and the legendary Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse preparing for the end times.

never anywhere

Neverwhere book cover.
(BBC Books)

never anywhere it has had several adaptations over the years and is notable for being Gaiman’s first solo book. It also introduces the magnificent and strange world of London Below, a kind of parallel universe that exists “underneath” the city of London, where supernatural beings mingle and exist. The novel also shows other real places with this little twist, such as the Floating Market at Harrods, Blackfriars, and the British Museum.

As Gaiman aptly puts it, “Neverwhere” is the London of people who have fallen between the cracks, much like the novel’s protagonist, Richard Mayhew, a businessman who has been living a relatively dull but normal life before meeting wrapped in the middle of two parallel universes, assassins from another world, hunters and the Marquis of Carabas.

Gaiman announced in 2017 that he is working on writing a sequel to never anywhere entitled seven sisters, although we have not yet received any updates or news on the publication dates. However, he has written a short story to accompany the book called How the marquis got his coat back.

star dust

Still from the movie Stardust.
(Paramount Pictures)

star dust shows Gaiman’s prose and world-building at its peak. Published in 1999, star dust it gives off a darker Victorian fairy tale feel in contrast to his other works and is set in the rural English town of Wall, where a great stone wall runs through the entire town and divides our world from that of the fairies. Once every nine years, a market is held on the faerie side of the wall, and there, a young Dunstan Thorn meets a faery woman named Una, with whom he becomes enthralled and spends the night.

Several months later, Dunstan is shocked to find a baby in a basket left on his doorstep, but immediately knows it is his and Una’s child, whom he names Tristran. Years later, we see Tristran grow up and embark on a journey to retrieve a fallen star and win the heart of his beloved Victoria. True to Gaiman’s fashion, the prose weaves together several other narratives from more characters also trying to find the fallen star. captivating and exciting, star dust It is a romantic story with a perfect rhythm that left me crying.

His adaptation has also received an equal amount of rave reviews, which I think speaks for itself. Did I mention that it stars our favorite Daredevil, Charlie Cox?

the graveyard book

Cover of the book The Cemetery.
(HarperCollins)

The story of how Gaiman came up with it the graveyard book is already interesting in itself: I had always wanted to write something like Ruyard Kipling the jungle book and one day he saw his son riding a tricycle through a cemetery and thought it would be interesting to capture his story in one. the graveyard book tells the story of a boy named Bod (short for “Nobody” because “He looks like nobody except himself”) who is raised by ghosts and lives in a graveyard. When he was a young child, his family was murdered at home, with the exception of himself, as he managed to get out of his crib and found his way out of the house and up a nearby hill, which housed the graveyard. local.

From there, the spirits of the resident ghosts took pity on him when the spirit of his late mother asked them to take care of him. After much deliberation, the ghosts agreed and Bod was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Owens, considering they were the first to find the baby. The ghosts are assisted by the graveyard caretaker, Silas, who also serves as Bod’s guardian. The novel moves through Bod’s childhood and early teen years and is essentially a kind of macabre coming-of-age fantasy that will leave you haunted and moved.

(featured image: Netflix)

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