So far in my life, I’ve read The Graveyard Book, American Gods and Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman and I’ve never really got the hype. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a great author (and screenwriter, The Doctor’s Wife is one of my favourite episodes of Doctor Who) but I’ve never really loved his books like others seem to. This book made me understand that hype that he is surrounded by. This book was magical.
I decided to listen to this as an audiobook and I don’t regret it. I really have trouble with audiobooks. I generally when reading need to invest everything in to the book, I struggle to then focus on anything else. But Neil actually narrated this himself and I couldn’t say no, really! So I settled down on Saturday afternoon and listened to this for nearly 4 hours while colouring and… I just loved it!
Essentially, this book is about a man who returns to the village where he grew up; triggering memories from when he was 7. We then get taken back to when he was 7 and, for the majority of the book, spend time in his mind when a big event happened in his life and everything comes down to the house at the end of the lane. As the story progresses there are a number of other peculiar events, including us meeting Lettie Hempstock and her family who seem almost magical. This book was magical.
This story is wonderful. Really. Having it read by the author is so much more engaging because it is read how it was intended to be and I really like that! The descriptive nature of his writing is brilliant, the characters are expertly crafted. I cannot explain how much I loved Lettie and her family! While it is short, it really packs a punch! It’s a really rich, expertly written book and I just loved it.
I’m still not entirely convinced by an audiobook, I did find it hard to pay attention at times but I think once in a while I may listen to one, especially now I’ve found a love of colouring! Gaiman reads this expertly, obviously, so I may well check out more of his books as audiobooks because I find his voice really good to listen to.
Ultimately, this is a 5/5 from me. I loved it!