Neil Gaiman is an English author, but he is more than just any simple English author, he is also a graphic novelist, screenwriter, and even a Doctor Who episode writer. Like most people, he can be best understood and appreciated from his works, which include: Coraline, the Sandman Chronicles, the Graveyard Book, Stardust, American Gods, Smokes and Mirrors, and many more. And that’s what I’ll try to do here, understand and appreciate him through his works, using my 3 favorite works of Neil Gaiman to be exact.
(Neil Gaiman Trivia: Neil appeared in an episode of the “Simpsons: The Book Job”)
This is probably familiar to most people since a film adaptation was made in 2009, but just in case there are people who don’t watch movies here, I’ll give a quick summary.
Coraline Jones and her family move into an old house which was split into 3 separate apartments. While exploring the house, she finds that there is a little door in one of the room that opened into a brick wall. While visiting the other tenants, she received warnings about that small door. When she tried the door again, instead of a brick wall, a tunnel welcomed her leading to a similar house. In the house were her “Other Mother” and “Other Father”, who gave her delicious food, great toys, and other stuff she liked. Is the other world a dream come true? Or is it a nightmare in the making?
Usually, the book is better than the movie, but in this case, I have to agree that both the movie and the book are worth checking out. Gaiman was able to both thrill and intrigue us with a book that was made for a younger audience. I guess it goes to show that all his works are entertaining for any audience.
The Sandman is one of the most famous graphic novels out there. It is about Morpheus, the lord of dreams, and his adventures. The story starts when a cult tries to summon and capture Death, but instead captures Dream. After waiting a few decades, Dream escapes and punishes his captors then returns to his realm, but he discovers that his realm is in ruins and his symbols of power are scattered in the human realm.
What I like about the Sandman is it mixes mythology, legends, and familiar characters to make a story that is familiar yet strangely different. It is interesting and simply fun to read, there are always a few surprises in every chapter.
(The Sandman trivia: There are lots of familiar faces in the sandman chronicles including: John Constantine, the Martian Man Hunter, Lucifer, Cain and Abel, Shakespeare, the Scarecrow, and even Batman.)
The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book is about an orphan boy named Nobody “Bod” Owens. But Bod isn’t like any normal orphan, his family was killed by a mysterious man simply called Jack, he was brought up by a ghost couple, was taught reading and education by a woman who can turn into a wolf, and his other caretaker is another mysterious man named Silas who has very mysterious powers, and finally, he lives in a graveyard. The book is simply about Bods life as he grows up.
Gaiman once again was able to make a book with characters and creatures, who we think we know well, and redefining them into something that is strangely familiar and weirdly interesting.
(Neil Gaiman trivia: He is the first author to win both the Newberry and the Carnegie medals for the same work. The Graveyard Book)