July 30, 2010

Review: Neil Gaiman

I know Neil Gaiman has been around for awhile, but I've recently read a few of his more famous books. Here are a few that I especially liked. Also I've read InterWorld & Neverwhere, but it was a while ago and would hate to review them when they aren't fresh on my mind.

The Graveyard Book

About: Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.
There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath a hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.
But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack-who has already killed Bod's family...

Review: I enjoy Neil Gaiman's books so much. He really pulls you into the story and his descriptions are just amazing. When I first began reading this book I immediately couldn't put it down. I love that he mad so much happen in just the graveyard. There were secrets, each ghost has its own personality and stories to tell. All the characters are so unique as well. I especially liked Elizabeth 'Liza' Hepstock, the local witch ghost who helps Bod out of trouble and becomes his friend. Of course I loved the characters Bod and his guardian Silas. They had a very unique relationship. Silas obviously cared about Bod but never truly showed any emotion towards him. I also like how Bod is so independent, making his own decisions to go to school, and he's very brave for being (I believe) only 14. The whole book is just one fun adventure, intense, lovable book. (front flap)

About: 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 rescue. She will have to fight with all her whits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself. (front flap)

Review: I actually saw this movie before I read the book. I really enjoyed being able to imagine all the characters from the movie as I read, it made it fun. The book and film are very similar in their plots and time line events. Although the movie added a few characters such as Wybee and the whole thing about his grandmother's doll, it didn't ruin the book for me. Some of the things that happen in the book they did leave out in the movie, but again that's understandable for books into movies. I really enjoyed this book, it was fun, interesting and oh my, Neil Gaiman's writing is just amazing. He really keeps his narrative leaving you a bit terrified...for example when he writes "Her other mother's hand scuttled off Coraline's shoulder like a frightened spider". I am swept away by the way he describes things. I have to admit, I did get a little confused at times by the way he wrote things, so it was easy to have seen the movie to help imagine. I like the character Coraline, she's a little bratty and liked getting her own way, but yet she is brave and very smart. She stands up to the other mother, who even scared me at times. I highly recommend reading the book before seeing the movie, because they just add to one another, each one is well written and well thought out.


About: Tristan Thorn promised to bring back a fallen star. So he sets out on a journey to fulfill the request of his beloved, the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Foster-and stumbles unto the enchanted realm that lies beyond the wall of his English country town. Rich with adventure and magic, Stardust is one of the master storyteller Neil Gaiman's most beloved tales. (front flap)

Review: I wish I would have read this book before I saw the movie. I liked the movie a lot and was expecting characters and events that were in the movie, but were not in the book. While i read this book I kept waiting and anticipating moments to happen like they did in the film but I was just left feeling like it would happen later on but never did. Such as Robert De Niro's character in the film, Captain Shakespeare, I kept expecting him to act like he did in the movie bu he wasn't anything like how they portrayed him. It didn't feel like a let down in the book, it just felt like if I had read the book first, the movie would have been even better. Surprisingly the movie is just base on the book, there are so many differences between the two. The book follows a different story line completely, while the movie just picked up bits and pieces from the book that were good. I did have a hard time reading it because of this. Although I do enjoy both the book and the movie, separately. I still think this isn't one of my favourite books by Neil Gaiman. I didn't find myself connecting to any of the characters as much, I wanted more of a love story between Tristan and Yvain, but Yvaine was always very rude. It wasn't until the very end that they fell in love. But I do recommend reading this if you have yet to see the movie.

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