Neil Gaiman

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Neil Gaiman

Postby orlis_hot » Sat Jun 12, 2004 5:54 pm

So who else has heard of this really good author? I've just finished reading *Neverwhere*, and liked it enough for me to start a topic on him. Comments, thoughts,.....

:D
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Postby evenstar1 » Sat Jun 12, 2004 6:05 pm

Never heard of that author or books. Maybe you could tell me a bit about the story?
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Postby meneltarma » Sat Jun 12, 2004 10:17 pm

I've read Stardust (which is adorable), Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), a couple of his short stories, and recently bought Coraline.

I think he's brilliant. He's dark, has a sense of humour, and..well..


*swoon*
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Postby The_Fool » Sat Jun 12, 2004 10:51 pm

It was pure chance that I saw this when I popped by.

First and foremost, I adore anything and everything by Neil Gaiman. The man is a literary genius, and the only man in the entire world I believe I truely idolise. Everything he writes has such beautiful craftsmanship, he weaves stories so well. He takes elements from everywhere, characters from legend, from religion, from his own mind and mixes them together to create something so glorious, so wonderfully spirit enriching that you find yourself unable to fully describe its magnificence.

I have read nearly everything he has ever written, from his novels Stardust, Neverwhere, American Gods, Good Omens to his Sandman comics, to his short stories, to the small children's works; and have found each one contains the same level of craftmanship, each is well rounded, well thought out.

The man should be as recognised as Shakespeare, as loved as The Beatles.
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Postby Falagar » Sun Jun 13, 2004 9:16 am

I've read Good Omens (which seems to be mostly Pratchett's work, though heavily influenced by Gaiman) and American Gods, both really good books.

I particulary liked his use of the old gods in American Gods, and how they all were true to their original "characters". Wednesday was a brilliant character, and though Shadow seemed a bit passive that was understandable.
Especially the ending caught me, loved it (though I should have seen it coming :roll: ).

Hope that wasn't too spoiler-ish. :wink:
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Postby evenstar1 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 10:49 am

Sounds great! I should check those books out.
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Postby Falagar » Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:16 pm

Forgot to mention Coraline which is more of a children's book, but still worth a read. Really absurd. Resembles Alice in Wonderland in some ways, though much darker and more...scary.

And I've heard Neverwhere called an 'American Gods light', but can't comment on that since I haven't read it...
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Postby orlis_hot » Mon Jun 14, 2004 8:57 pm

Yay! There are some Gaiman fans here! :D The next thing I'm gonna pick up is Stardust, which I've been eyeing for the last 3 or 4 months probably. :oops:

I love the way that he writes. It all flows together very nicely, so that I can read it without a break for hours.

Does anyone know what he's working on currently? I think I'll go check that out.

:D
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Postby meneltarma » Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:13 am

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Postby Telemachos » Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:27 am

Neil's fans may also want to keep an eye on Fox Movie Channel near Halloween.
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Postby ereine » Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:21 am

The Fool said what I wanted to say but never could say in such a good way (this sentence is enough evidence of my lack of writing skills).

I like the way Neil Gaiman is a story teller. It seems that medium isn't really important, the stories are what matter. And some stories are better suited for certain mediums. Sandman without pictures might work but I'm very much in love with what Dream looks like as well as his character.
I'm very happy that I've been fortunate enough to meet Neil Gaiman (if only at a signing) and hear him read his stories at a fantasy/sf con. It was six years ago but I still remember how wonderful the stories sounded read aloud, especially that one about the Holy Grail.
I recently read a new short story (which can be found somewher in his home page www.neilgaiman.com), it was a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Lovecraft, meant for some collection. It was the strangest and most impressive thing I've read in a long time.
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Postby meneltarma » Tue Jun 15, 2004 8:49 pm

He posted some pictures in his journal about that programme on Fox... they involved him in a coffin Quite delicious. :P


I finished Coraline last night. I loved it. The illustrations are beautifully scary...the story is *cute*. This is what Children's stories were like before the adults got too squeamish. :)
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Postby The_Fool » Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:04 am

ereine wrote:The Fool said what I wanted to say but never could say in such a good way (this sentence is enough evidence of my lack of writing skills).


:D

Actually, I could say the same of you. Your mention of his choice of medium is very true, the Sandman is most certainly well suited to comics, the tone, the essence of that story could not have been captured so powerfully in any other literary medium, although, it is my fondest hope that someday, a LOTR standard film will be made of that particular tale. In fact, if my dreams of becomming a director ever do come true, I would give everything I owned to make it. :D

Also, still in the vein of comics, he always manages to attract such unique artists to his work! I particularly like the artists who worked on the Kindly Ones (probably my favourite Sandman), as well as John Bolton's contribution in Harlequin Valentine.

I've also seen Princess Mononoke, for which he wrote the English screenplay. Definitely a film in his element :wink: Which reminds me, has anyone here seen the BBC version of Neverwhere? Either I missed it's showing in NZ, or it never played her (highly likely considering the trash they play and the gems they leave :roll: ).
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Postby ereine » Wed Jun 16, 2004 3:36 am

I've seen the beginning of Neverwhere. My friend's sister was an exchange student in England then and taped it and sent it to my friend, who loaned it to me. And what did I do, record 90 minutes of Absolutely Fabulous on the tape accidentally. I was very fortunate, my friend didn't kill me (but then, she never was very enthusiastic of Neil Gaiman, even though she met and talked and emailed with him). Anyway, I liked the beginning, though it looked maybe a bit cheap. It could have been a lot better but it was good enough, I liked the actors and I like the way did London Below, it was quite magical.
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Postby The_Fool » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:18 am

LOL ereine, you taped over it!?! Oh dear, I don't think I could have forgiven myself for doing something like that.

ereine wrote:I liked the beginning, though it looked maybe a bit cheap.


I suspected as much, yet I suppose that if they stayed true to the tale then it wouldn't matter as much. Hmmm, maybe I will hunt out a copy of it then. When time allows at least.

ereine wrote:but then, she never was very enthusiastic of Neil Gaiman, even though she met and talked and emailed with him


........ :shock: ..................

That's all I have to say to that :P
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Postby ereine » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:18 am

I haven't really forgiven myself, especially as I never saw how it ended (of course I've read the book but it's not the same).
I was actually quite surprised that my friend wasn't mad, she used to get angry over nothings. She was (and maybe still is, haven't seen her in years) the kind who meets interesting people all the time so maybe meeting Neil Gaiman was nothing to her. But then, I don't really envy her, just standing in the line for autograph was enough for me. It was very embarassing but my sister insisted that I had to get some Sandman album autographed (I think that it was Doll's House). She has almost all the albums and I do envy her, especially as some of them were bought for both of us (my father used to travel quite a lot and every time he went somewhere he got a list of what Sandman albums were still needed, I once found some comic book shop in Texas (or some such place) for him on the internet, the owners were quite amazed that someone would come from Finland to their shop).

Has anyone read that short story in Legends II book? It wasn't maybe as good as some others but I liked, if only for the reason that we're finally told what Shadow's real name is.
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Postby Telemachos » Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:23 am

meneltarma wrote:He posted some pictures in his journal about that programme on Fox... they involved him in a coffin Quite delicious. :P


Ooops -- after reading some of Neil's journal, I see he's been blabbing about the show a good bit already. And here I thought I was giving out a tidbit of secret info. :oops:
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Postby Durin VIII » Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:49 am

Just read a wonderful short story by Gaiman the other night called the Troll Bridge. As much as I like his novels I really wish he would do more short stories. Just like with Sandman his 1 issue stories were just as good as the bigger stories.
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Postby Denethor » Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:42 pm

Durin VIII wrote:As much as I like his novels I really wish he would do more short stories.


Agreed. I recently read a short story of his, called We Can Get Them For You Wholesale, which was a great little Black Comedy, and certainly one of the better contributions to the anthology in which I found it.
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Postby saille » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:05 am

Ahhhhh! I LOVE Neil Gaiman. If I could ever actually decide on a favorite author, he'd be it. I think my favorite of the Sandman novels would either be the very first, which influenced me greatly since I read it when I was nine, or the very last, because it was like, the epilogue, you get to see everything else that's happened, or, I don't know, I just loved them all!

I don't know if I'm the only one here who's gotten my grubby little hands on 'The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch', but it was so excellent! And the first time I read Coraline, I was enchanted; the second time, I was terrified. I think this is the common reaction to all of Neil Gaiman's work.

Well, this is just me, doing my part to add to the Neil Gaiman adulation.
-s.
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Postby Koba » Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:14 am

Sandman is absolutely the best comic ever.
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Postby orlis_hot » Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:49 am

What's it about? I've heard of it, but I've never seen it anywhere. I'm not a huge fan of comics, but if it's Gaiman, then it can't be horrible.

:D
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Postby saille » Sat Jun 19, 2004 7:04 pm

The Sandman graphic novels were primarily about Dream, the third oldest of the Endless, a family of siblings who were really the physical representations of traits that exist wherever life does. They were, in order descending from age: Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Despair and Desire, and Delight turned Delirium. (Or it could be Death who's the eldest...)

The story begins when Dream breaks free of a prison that a magician seeking to trap his sister, Death, caught him in. Dream was in that prison for seventy-five years, and comes out of it in a weakened state. Still, he manages to reclaim what is rightfully his and get revenge. However, the world has gone on and changed without him; he must either learn to change, or perish.

The Sandman is a collection of ten graphic novels that chronicle Dream's journey through the world he is struggling to re-learn; it's also a detailed introspective on the nature of stories, and all incarnations thereof. There's also a new graphic novel that contains seven stories, one for each of the Endless, that shows their characters; what makes Desire desire, Despair despair, Dream dream, Death death, Delirium delirium, Destruction, destruction, and Destiny destiny. (if that makes any sense...)

In addition to that other graphic novel, also set in the Endless' world is 'Dream Hunters', which is a new take on an old Japanese myth with beautiful artwork.

Go out and read all things Neil Gaiman!!!
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Postby orlis_hot » Sat Jun 19, 2004 7:10 pm

Wow.....thanks. That actually sounds really interesting.

Oh and i will :wink:

:D
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Postby The_Fool » Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:58 pm

Durin VIII, Denethor, I've read Troll's Bridge and We Can Get Them For You Wholesale and agree, they are both spectacular. My favourite Gaiman short story would have to be the one from 'Smoke and Mirrors', The White Road.
The story was so delicately disturbing, so cold, so detached, which served only to make you feel so vulnerably close to the characters; it made you shudder. There was that tone that made you think back to the times when stories were read aloud, it had an aged quality I enjoyed.

This would have to be followed closely by Cold Colours, The Sweeper of Dreams, The Sea Change, Murder Mysteries and Snow, Glass and Apples.

Saille, I have read 'The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch.' I thought Dave McKean's (if memory serves me right) illustrations were perfect for that particular tale, they underlined that violence that resides in the Punch and Judy act.

orlis_hot, you must read The Sandman. It was the second piece of Neil Gaiman's I read after I discovered him via Neverwhere. For me, my favourite Sandman novel has, and always will be I suspect, The Kindly Ones. Probably because it affected me so greatly. I felt numbed after reading it. It was so monumental, so final, it was like Act III of one of Shakespeare's tragedies where everything that has been flung into the air comes crashing down to see who and what survives.
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Postby meneltarma » Sun Jun 20, 2004 8:22 am

Snow, Glass Apples. Best short story ever.

Well..possibly not. But it reminded me of Angela Carter's Bloody Chamber. And that has to be a good thing. :)
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Postby riotorange » Wed Jul 21, 2004 8:48 am

i love Neil! YAY! Neil fans!! my favorite is Good Omens.Oh the laughter.Tho i had to reread( in slow motion..lmao) the whole baby A and baby B switching part the first time.. it confused me for a few minutes.
Of course the Sandman is my other favorite.. who wouldn't love the Sandman,anyway? Delerium is the character i like the most.What about everyone else's fav character?

meneltarma--
Snow, Glass Apples. Best short story ever
Ah Snow,Glass Apples. That was truly a lovely little story. i hadn't heard of it until Tori Amos mentioned it in her song "Carbon" tho. She advertises for Neil a lot in her songs. lol
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Postby orlis_hot » Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:17 pm

inside the cover of neverwhere, she has a quote in there too. ;)

:D
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Postby Denethor » Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:35 pm

riotorange wrote:Of course the Sandman is my other favorite.. who wouldn't love the Sandman,anyway? Delerium is the character i like the most.What about everyone else's fav character?


I can't stand Delirium. The multicoloured speech bubbles do bad things to my eyes (though it was funny when in Brief Lives Delirium mistakes a normal Goth girl for Death, and the girl thinks Delirium is making advances at her). My joint-favourite Sandman characters would probably be Cain and Abel (a stuttering Abel: priceless), followed by Mervyn Pumpkinhead. Limiting my choice to the actual Endless, I'd say Death.
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Postby Durin VIII » Fri Jul 23, 2004 1:34 pm

Denethor wrote:
riotorange wrote:Of course the Sandman is my other favorite.. who wouldn't love the Sandman,anyway? Delerium is the character i like the most.What about everyone else's fav character?


My joint-favourite Sandman characters would probably be Cain and Abel (a stuttering Abel: priceless), followed by Mervyn Pumpkinhead. Limiting my choice to the actual Endless, I'd say Death.


Cain and Abel are old DC characters the hosts from the House of Secrets and House of Mystery anthologies. Mathew the raven before he became a raven was from Swamp Thing, and Lucien I think was also in the old horror anthologies. While very important to the Sandman stories I knew them long before, and don't think of them as Sandman characters.

For main characters I also like Delirium a lot, and it was the most fun interpretation of Death ever. For me it was often the secondary characters that really made the stories. From Emperor Norton (yes I know he was real), to his version of Thor, Fiddler’s Green, Wanda, the Corinthian, all the story tellers (from a cat to grandparents), Lucifer, and even the boys who died at the boarding school.
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